Elementais one of my favorite projects and I’m honored that they are one of my sponsors. It’s an open access (free) peer-reviewed science journal that focuses on, among other things, adaptation and climate change. They’re holding an open call for submissions.
Spread the word on your university’s listserv or wherever you can! Overview and instructions:
Elementa is an open-access, nonprofit journal, founded by BioOne and five collaborating academic institutions: Dartmouth, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington.
Elementa will publish original research reporting on new knowledge of the Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems; interactions between human and natural systems; and steps that can be taken to mitigate and adapt to global change. Embracing the concept that basic knowledge can foster sustainable solutions for society, Elementa is organized initially into six knowledge domains, each led by a prominent Editor-in-Chief.The following domains are now accepting submissions:
Atmospheric Science Detlev Helmig, University of Colorado Boulder
Earth and Environmental Science Joel D. Blum, University of Michigan
Ecology Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan
Ocean Science Jody W. Deming, University of Washington
Sustainable Engineering Michael E. Chang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Elementa is published on an open-access, public-good basis. Open access allows research to be freely available to all—including those from developing countries whose academic institutions may not be able to afford costly publications—in the interests of accelerating scientific progress, and ultimately resulting in public good. Open access not only ensures the widest dissemination of research possible, but also the greatest impact, by allowing others to cite, re-purpose, and build upon existing published research.
Elementa is now accepting submissions through its online peer-review system (www.editorialmanager.com/elementa). Benefits of publishing with Elementa include rapid, rigorous peer-review; a detailed manuscript tracking system for authors; and publications of articles through a variety of human- and machine-intelligible formats: XML, HTML, JSON, PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket. Elementa’s first articles will be published on September 3rd.
Be of service. You are taking your degree into a society dominated by concentrated poverty and a vulnerable middle class, a society where it is harder to pay for education, harder to find a job, harder to buy a house and harder to hold onto those things even if you manage to get them. You are entering adulthood during a period of mass incarceration and near constant war. There is a lot for you to do. Service is the rent you pay for the space you take up on the earth, and as a relatively privileged American you take up a lot of space. We are the most consuming, polluting, wasteful nation on earth. So your rent is steep. Pay it with service.
Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry’s advice to Class of 2013 (Via)
Lately, these shows have also filmed killing of wolverines, lynx, grizzly bears, rattle snakes, and crocodiles for no reason other than ratings. The wolf, above, was no threat to Tanana. The show exploits viewer’s naivete about guns by shooting this animal with an AR-15 semi-automatic gun. That’s not how Alaskans hunt, they use hunting rifles, not assault weapons that look good on camera. In fact, Alaskan outdoorsmen and women are appalled at this blatant exploitation of both the animal and the audience. There is no need for this.
My point is that we are at a critical time in human history. Species are going extinct at a rapid pace, science education is under attack from aging politicians, and young people are generally experiencing nature less and less.
I am genuinely worried about the future of this country’s environmental leadership. Federal conservation programs, which have taken decades to create, are weakening. The ethic of conservationism (a conservative ethos) is dwindling. Young people are being pulled in the direction of technology, and away from grandeur, away from fresh air and nature.
It seems to me that one important aspect of this messy new milieu are education based TV companies who heretofore have been untouched by healthy criticism.
I think it’s time to analyze the impact of these shows. I believe that the Discovery Channel et al are not contributing to a healthy planet nor are they assisting educating viewers. It seems to me they are mastering fear for short term gain and profits. If I am correct, and I believe I am, these companies need to stop and focus on their mission, which is non-fiction, education-based media - not sensationalism or harm.
These channels are failing the spirit of conservationism and education. They are failing inspiring awe in young people. Failing much needed inspiration in a very confused and conflicted world.
These shows are failing their core values, their main purpose, which is leadership in environmentalism and cultural education. Far worse, they are failing millions of young people - millions - who look up to them.
Please join me in asking Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channels to stop, apologize, and correct.
Anonymous asked: I saw the HarvardX free course you posted and i was wondering if you are familiar with any other free courses like this on the subject of ecology. I am studying biology currently so background knowledge wouldnt be a problem. Thanks in advance.
On April 4, teachers and fifty-eight 7th graders from Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School traded their brick and mortar classrooms for the vibrant landscape of southern Utah. The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) was one of the chosen venues for the “Day in the Desert” event, sponsored by the Washington County School District, which allows middle school students to participate in “hands on” activities.
In the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, located within the NCA, specialists from the BLM Saint George Field Office, Washington County Administrators Office, and Southern Utah National Conservation Lands Friends (SUNCLF) group instructed students on ecological and cultural resources with curriculum-based workshops. They educated students about the life histories and adaptive mechanisms of native Mojave Desert species, like the desert tortoise and Gila monster; sampled and tested water quality in Quail Creek, and tried their hand at flint-knapping.
They also identified native plants that were used as foods, medicines, or fiber sources by Native Americans and Anglo-European settlers, and visited the mid-19th century Orson B. Adams farmstead.
At the end of the day, “Day in the Desert” was a success with the children excitedly chatting about their experience on Public Lands as they marched back to the school bus.
-Story by Iris Picat; Photos by Iris Picat and Melissa Buchman
MyPublicLands is such a great tumblr to follow - it’s run by the Bureau of Land Management! And check out that old-timer desert tortoise!!
Based in Serbia, the new adaptation organization will act as a regional Centre in South East Europe focusing on cooperation in the areas of: applied research; water management; development and promotion of adaptation strategies; capacity development; and research for application, education, and training in the field of climate change impact on water resources management and the adaptation to such impacts.
The Center for American Progress is a DC based think tank that works on several policy issues, including energy, national security, immigration, education, and health care.
They’re starting to get involved in climate adaptation, which is the process of lowering risk from environmental harms. And they recently published an interesting paper that aims to motivate the Federal Government to invest in America’s infrastructure and resilience policies. For those new to the issues of resilience, this makes for a decent primer. For those familiar with the concepts, the section on making the business case might be most interesting. The paper is here. Below is an edited excerpt:
It is time for a national strategy for infrastructure resilience
There are three parts to forming a national strategy for infrastructure resilience. First, the federal government should launch a national infrastructure-vulnerability assessment that evaluates the ability of the nation’s current infrastructure to withstand climate-related extreme weather. Second, the Obama administration should build on the proposals laid out in its FY 2014 budget and harmonize financial resources to invest in these resiliency projects in a coordinated way. Third, the administration should elevate resiliency as a priority by tasking cabinet-level officials to work systematically with cities and states in directing these resources.
A national strategy is needed to reduce infrastructure vulnerability to climate change. If we don’t, then federal funding for disaster relief becomes much more expensive.
For this reason, it is essential that the federal government tightly link its work on infrastructure investment as an engine of economic prosperity with the expanding priority it has placed on resilience.
We recommend that the president, Congress, mayors, and governors work together to make an immediate commitment to design a national strategy for infrastructure resilience.
To realize this plan, the president should act immediately to:
1. Launch a national infrastructure-vulnerability assessment: Improve the availability and usability of information on infrastructure needs and resilience. It would look systematically at the ability of U.S. transportation, energy, water, communications, and other strategic infrastructure to hold up to both current and future threats.
2. Establish a comprehensive federal infrastructure-investment strategy: This would build on recent commitments in the administration’s budget plan, and would both access new financial tools and better harmonize existing financing authorities within the federal government to more effectively leverage public and private capital in priority-infrastructure investments.
3. Create an infrastructure and resilience council: The council would function as a working group within the president’s own cabinet to support presidential leadership in improving coordination across all federal agencies and in partnering with cities and states to accelerate the development of these priority-resilience projects by increasing public and private investment.
President Obama has already taken important steps to lay the foundation for a national infrastructure-resilience plan. In Executive Order 13514, signed into effect in October 2009, the president called on agencies to “evaluate agency climate-change risks and vulnerabilities to manage the effects of climate change on the agency’s operations and mission in both the short and long term.”
Since 2009 the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force—led by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy—has been coordinating federal actions to reduce climate-change risks to federal assets and communities.
In February 2013 executive agencies released their plans to begin adapting to climate change. Additionally, the administration has already adopted national-action plans overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency to safeguard our oceans, fresh water, and fish, wildlife, and plants from the worst impacts of climate change. Though agencies have yet to develop a national resilience strategy for public infrastructure, Executive Order 13514 and the real rising risks of climate change give them the clear authority to do so.
Fantastic climate change project out of the University of Kansas. It shows how UAVs (aka, drones) are being used to analyze disappearing ice and sea level rise. Most interesting is that this is an NSF funded project with excellent real-world applications. The project can assist coastal governments better prepare for impacts, help urban planners to build better cities, and get students involved in reducing vulnerability in coastal and low-lying areas.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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