Category: Uncategorized

James Baldwin to give Rhett Talk on Social Justice tonight

April 7th, 2014 in Events, Uncategorized

Earth & Environment Lecturer James Baldwin will be giving a talk this evening at 7 pm in room 206 of the Photonics Center as part of BU’s Rhett Talks.

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”

February 14th, 2014 in Publications, Uncategorized

Department of Earth and Environment Professor Ranga Myneni coauthored a paper in the journal PNAS.

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.

E&E Grad Student Chris Holden to give talk at week long Workshop in Colombia

December 3rd, 2013 in Grad students, Talks, Trips, Uncategorized

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.

James Baldwin leads GE150 Sustainable Energy Students on Scavenger Hunt

November 20th, 2013 in Events, Uncategorized, Undergraduate

Prof. Baldwin explains solar collection to his GE150 students. Photo by Aine Russell

Prof. Baldwin explains solar collection to his GE150 students. Photo by Aine Russell

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.

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Prof. Baldwin and his student huddle around one of the many exhibits at the Museum of Science. Photo by Evan Volden.

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.”

Prof. Baldwin and students discussing an exhibit. Photo by Martin Schreurs.

Prof. Baldwin and students discussing an exhibit. Photo by Martin Schreurs.

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.

Alex Wong of GE150 takes a picture of herself with one of the scavenger hunt exhibits for extra credit. Photo by Alex Wong.

Alex Wong of GE150 takes a picture of herself with one of the scavenger hunt exhibits for extra credit. Photo by Alex Wong.

Ranga Myneni announces new coauthored article.

November 18th, 2013 in Uncategorized

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.

Wally Fulweiler, Sarah Foster, and Dr. Silvia Newell attend CERF Conference

November 12th, 2013 in Events, Talks, Trips, Uncategorized

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

To learn more about CERF or their biennial conference, click their respective links.

Ethan Baxter gives invited lectures at UNH and VT

November 12th, 2013 in Talks, Uncategorized

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.”

This coming Friday Prof. Baxter will be in Virginia giving a talk to Virginia Tech’s Geosciences department. His talk is titled “Making a Long Story Shot: Evidence for Brief Pules of Metamorphism.”

To learn more about Prof. Baxter’s research visit his research website.

Nathan Phillips and Grad Students take part in Carbon Day 2013

November 8th, 2013 in Events, News, Uncategorized

Annual Carbon Day held in Copley Square

Carbon day members promote carbon awareness in Copley Square on October 16, 2013. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

Carbon day members promote carbon awareness in Copley Square on October 16, 2013. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

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.

Nathan Phillips answers the public's questions about the reduction of carbon emissions. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

Nathan Phillips answers the public's questions about the reduction of carbon emissions. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

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.

Reyna Herrera performs for a group of onlookers.

Reyna Herrera performs for a group of onlookers.

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).

Margaret Hendrick stands by an informational display highlighting research on methane escape in the city of Boston. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

Margaret Hendrick stands by an informational display highlighting research on methane escape in the city of Boston. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

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.

A close up image of the information on methane escape in Boston. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

A close up image of the information on methane escape in Boston. Photo by Sayaka Yamaki

For more information about Carbon Day, visit their website or read BU’s news service article.

For more information on Sustainable Neighboorhood Lab or Boston’s Greenovate, click on the links to their respective websites.

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 to give talk as part of E&E Solid Earth Seminar Series

November 7th, 2013 in Events, Talks, Uncategorized

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.

Dave Marchant publishes new article in Icarus

November 7th, 2013 in News, Publications, Uncategorized

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.