The theme of tonight’s Rhett Talk will be “Social Justice.” Baldwin’s talk will focus specifically on the implications of demographic and environmental change for humanity in the coming decades.
In addition to Baldwin’s lecture, two other faculty members will also give brief lectures on past and present issues related to social justice.
Each talk will last roughly 15 minutes and be followed by a 5 minute Q&A session.
BU Rhett Talks are modeled after the popular TED talks and are designed to allow students to engage with faculty on a variety of interesting, intellectual topics.
Ranga Myneni coauthors an article in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA”
The paper “Afforestation in China cools local land surface temperature” was published on February 10th, 2014 and is a collaborative activity between researchers in China, France, and the USA. The paper reports the finding that afforestation decreases daytime land surface temperature (LST), because of enhanced evapotranspiration, and increases nighttime LST. This nighttime warming tends to offset daytime cooling in dry regions. These results suggest that it is necessary to carefully consider where to plant trees to achieve potential climatic benefits in future afforestation projects.
Prof. Myneni’s website is: http://sites.bu.edu/cliveg/
To see more information on Prof. Myneni’s publications, check out the publication section of our website.
This week, December 2-7, 2013, scientists from across the global will gather together in Bogota and Leticia, Colombia to attend the ”9th Regional Workshop on Forest Monitoring GEO GFOI: Methods for Biomass Estimation and Forest-Cover Mapping in the Tropics.” The workshop, sponsored by the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) and its partners, will focus on how UN REDD forest conservation efforts can help mitigate climate change.
Department of Earth and Environment Graduate Student Chris Holden will be one of the many scientists presenting research as part of the Workshop. Holden will present his talk titled “Optical and Radar Data Fusion for Mapping Activity Data, and Uncertainty Analysis of Emission Factors in the Tropics.”
In his talk Holden will discuss how he and his fellow scientists are working to develop an algorithm for monitoring land cover and land cover change that fuses radar and optical remote sensing data to mitigate issues of cloud cover while increasing change detection and land cover classification accuracy.
Holden will also discuss how he and colleagues propose to perform uncertainty analysis of forest carbon emissions estimated using all available sources of emissions factors (biomass density) for Colombia, Peru, and Mexico.
Holden’s talk is a product of the proposal and the initial work done on a recently funded NASA Carbon Monitoring Systems (NASA CMS) project, a collaboration with Josef Kellndorfer and others at Woods Hole Research Center.
For one night a year the Museum of Science opens its doors free of charge to area college students, and, for the second year in a row, Department of Earth and Environment Visiting Assistant Professor James Baldwin took advantage of the museum’s night of free admission to lead his students on a sustainable energy scavenger hunt.
For the scavenger hunt, Prof. Baldwin challenged the students in his GE150 Sustainable Energy class to search out specific exhibits at the Museum related to sustainable energy: “we looked at and discussed exhibits that demonstrated key scientific principles related to energy, the evolution of society’s use of energy, and also the extensive exhibit on renewable energy,” stated Baldwin.
Baldwin provided clues to the students to lead them to specific exhibits; the students then took pictures of themselves with the exhibits for extra credit. Some of the exhibits that the students had to find this year included a cloud chamber which enables visualizations of subatomic particulars and fission events and a display on solar “power towers.”
While students searched for the different exhibits, Baldwin roamed the museum with his students, explaining the science behind sustainable energy: “in total I was talking with students one on one and in small groups for nearly 4 hours,” said Baldwin, “although exhausting for me, all the students who went had an awesome time and so did I. I look forward to doing it again next fall.”
GE150, Sustainable Energy, focuses on the sustainability challenges that exist in our current energy systems. Students in the course learn about the physical principles and environmental aspects of energy systems, both renewable and nonrenewable, and then discuss ways society can become more sustainable from an energy perspective. Topics range from technological questions such as “what is a heat engine” and “how a nuclear reactor works” to global perspectives on things like climate change, energy policy, and conflict over energy.
Professor Ranga Myneni announced today the publication of a new coauthored article in the journal Remote Sensing.
The article, “Recent Changes in Terrestrial Gross Primary Productivity in Asia from 1982 to 2011” was coauthored by Prof. Myneni and eight other authors from Japan, Korea, and China.
Kazuhito Ichii of Fukushima University in Kanayagawa, Fuhushima, Japan is the lead author of the paper.
The article can be read online at this address.
To see more of Prof. Myneni’s publications go to the publications section of our website.
Professor Wally Fulweiler, Ph.D. student Sarah Foster, and Postdoctoral associate Dr. Silvia Newell were in San Diego, California last week for the 22nd Biennial Coastal Estuarine Research Federation Conference.
The week began with Prof. Fulweiler receiving the Cronin award. The Cronin award “recognizes the significant accomplishments of an estuarine scientist who is in the early stages of his/her career development. The recipient will have shown great promise with work carried out during the first six years after acquiring their Ph.D.” (CERF2013 Program 11). Fulweiler’s award reads: “in recognition of outstanding early career research, and answering fundamental questions about energy flow and biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, carbon, and oxygen, in a variety of environments.”
On Monday, Dr. Newell gave a well-received talk on N-fixation in Waquoit Bay, MA and the potential implications for underestimating N-fixation in marine environments.
On Thursday, Fulweiler and colleagues chaired a special session in honor of the late Dr. Scott W. Nixon which focused on and highlighted the transformative impact of his research. In this session, Foster gave a fantastic talk on significant changes in the biogeochemical cycling of Waquoit Bay.
In a later session, Fulweiler gave a talk on the role regional declines in daily irradiance play in observed decreases in estuarine productivity and altered N cycling
Professor Ethan Baxter gave a talk last Thursday at the University of New Hampshire as part of UNH’s Department of Earth Sciences Brown Bag Seminar. Prof. Baxter’s talk was titled “Linking garnet to water: The Chronology of Dehydration.”
To learn more about Prof. Baxter’s research visit his research website.
Annual Carbon Day held in Copley Square
Professor Nathan Phillips and members of the Department of Earth and Environment took part in Carbon Day 2013 this past October. Along with Sustainability@BU and other organizations, E&E members spent the afternoon of October 16, 2013 in Copley Square spreading the news about carbon footprints.
Sponsored this year by Sustainable Neighborhood Lab and Greenovate, Carbon Day promotes public awareness of how individuals, businesses, and communities can reduce the amount of carbon emissions they produce: from basic steps like turning off electrical equipment or using cold water to wash dishes and clothing to much larger projects like the Sustainable Neighborhood Lab initiative. Other participants at Carbon Day included Boston Bikes, Livable Streets, a unique percussion demonstration by Reyna Herrera, and many more organizations.
Joining Dr. Phillips, E&E graduate students Margaret Hendrick, Bahareh Sanaiemovahed, and Xiaojing Tang all participated in the event. In addition to discussing the reduction of carbon footprints, Dr. Phillips and the graduate students also spent the day informing the public about their recent Boston based research project. Over the summer, Phillips and company discovered over “3,300 leaks spewing natural gas into the streets.” Phillips and his team discovered that these leaks are causing higher electric bills and damage to the environment (BU Today).
In informing the public and this research and other carbon-related issues, Dr. Phillips, E&E graduate students, and other participants hope to show the public the practical and positive impact carbon reduction can have on the environment and the wallet.
Margaret Hendrick is a Ph.D. candiate working with Professor Nathan Phillips on global change, urban ecology, and fugitive methane emissions. Baraeh Sanaiemovahed is a graduate student working with Professor Curtis Woodcock, and Xiaojing Tang is a graduate student working with Professor Suchi Gopal.
Dr. John Hogan of Missour University of Science & Technology will be giving a talk titled “Conversations with a Rhyolite Dike” tomorrow, Friday November 8th 2013,as part of E&E’s Solid Earth Seminar Series.
Dr. Hogan will be speaking at 11 am in the Stone Science Building Room 141C.
For more information of Dr. Hogan’s presentation, see the attached flyer.
E&E Professor Dave Marchant announced the publication of a new co-authored paper today.
Along with James Fastook from the University of Maine and James Head from Brown University, Marchant co-authored a paper titled “Formation of Lobate Debris Aprons on Mars: Assessment of Regional Ice Sheet Collapse and Debris-cover Armoring.”
The article will be published in the January edition, volume 228, of Icarus.
To see the early online publication of the article click here.
To see Dave Marchant’s other publications from the past two years click here.