NOAA Internships: Sponsored by Mosakowski and Marsh Institutes
The Mosakowski and Marsh Institutes have launched a new summer internship program for undergraduates at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA Internships have placed Clark students in exciting, hands-on projects at locations around the United States.
Students from a wide range of majors will have the chance to learn from working scientists and policy experts at one of America's leading public scientific institutions. The interns will also be mentored by Clark faculty to maximize the connections between their internship experiences and their academic programs.
The following four students have been selected for the program, which awards summer research stipends of $4000 per student.
Lucas Earl, '14 is a Geography major who will work on the project, Land-based Influences on the Ecology of Coastal Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems in Puget Sound, WA. His Clark faculty mentor is Professor Christopher Williams from the Geography Department.
Faye Harwell, '15 is a Biology major whose NOAA project will be Coastal Ecology Research Supporting Ecosystem-Based Management, Wells, ME. Professor Deb Robertson of the Biology Department will serve as Faye's faculty mentor.
Gina Jenkins, '14 is majoring in Environmental Science and Policy and will spend the summer in Seattle studying Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation, Seattle, WA. Her faculty mentor is Professor Karen Frey of Clark's Geography Department.
Desiree Jerome, '14 majors in Economics and will study Socio-economic Support for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Silver Spring, MD. Professor Jacqueline Geoghegan of Clark's Economic Department will serve as Desiree's faculty mentor.
For more information about Clark's NOAA Internship Program, contact Prof. Robert Johnston, Director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute at 508.751.4619 or Jim Gomes, Director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at 508.421.3872.
Clark Researcher Testifies before House of Representatives
Dominik Kulakowski recently testified before the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation of the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives. He spoke about the Depleting Risk from Insect Infestation, Soil Erosion, and Catastrophic Fire Act of 2013. Professor Kulakowski has been researching insect outbreaks and fires in Rocky Mountain forests for 15 years, and has authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers on these topics. His full testimony is available online..
The 2012-13 Albert, Norma and Howard Geller '77 Endowed Research Awards for Projects Relating to Sustainability
The History of the Albert, Norma and Howard '77 Geller Endowed Research Awards: The Geller Student Research Awards were established by the family of Dr. Howard Geller. Howard graduated from Clark in 1977 with a degree in Physics and in Science, Technology and Society (now Environmental Science and Policy). He earned graduate degrees at Princeton and the University of Sao Paolo and became the first executive director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). After twenty years of accomplishments at ACEEE, including contributions to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992, he left ACEEE to found and direct the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) in 2001. Remembering his own experience as an activist students researcher at Clark, through these annual awards Howard hopes to support other Clark students as they combine research with action that moves society toward sustainability.
Below is the list of students who received the research award for the Fall 2012*:
- Alida Cantor, Geography, "Understanding Human Dimensions of Environmental Change: The Uncertain Future of the Salton Sea in Southern California." $1,000
- Katy Cleminson, ES&P, "Supporting Food Sustainability in Worcester: Using GIS Analysis and Urban Farming Workshops to Support a Sustainable Food Initiative for Worcester's Southwest Industrial Park, while Aiding Other Local Food Initiatives in the City." $1,900
- Tyler Dahlberg, IDCE, "Microgrid Modeling in Fort Portal, Uganda: A GIS Geometric Network Analysis Approach." $1,600
- E. Graham Hegeman, Biology, "Sympatric Stickleback in Maine Salt Marshes: Identifying Key Areas of Importance to Multiple Species, Life History Traits of Each, and Concerns for the Future." $485
- Matt Huck, Andrea Gialtouridis, Hoang Dao, Jenkins Macedo, Undergrads and Grads, "Edible Low-Maintenance Landscaping at Clark University: A Joint Action Research Project." $1,500
- Chris Knudson, Geography, "Solitary Risk: The Introduction and Adoption of Weather Index Insurance in the Caribbean." $1,000
- Pheakkdey Nguon, Geography, "Effectiveness, Efficiency and Equity: Stakeholders' Decisions on the Science of Policy to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) in Cambodia." $2,000
- Audrey Seiz, Biology, "Potential Host-Parasite Relationship Between the Freshwater Pearl, Margaritifera Margaritifera, and the Blacknose Dace, Rhinichthys Atratulus, in Massachusetts Streams." $2,000
- Andrew J. Shatz, Geography, "Examining Changes in Forest Canopy and Temperature in Worcester, MA Following Outbreaks of Asian Longhorned Beetle." $1,725
- Jim Thatcher, Geography, "Clark Recycles!: An iOS Application Featuring an Interactive Map of the Clark University Campus to Encourage and Promote Recycling and Sustainability." $219
*Awardees were selected by a panel of Clark University faculty representing multiple departments. The selection process was overseen by the George Perkins Marsh Institute. For additional details contact Robert J. Johnston, Director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute.
New NSF-funded Research on Post-Sandy Climate and Energy Linkages
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a new research initiative is exploring how societal discourse of energy systems and climate change is changing in response to the storm's devastation and disruption. Jennie Stephens, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in IDCE, and her collaborative research team have received funding ($60K) from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Science, Technology and Society Program to study how Superstorm Sandy is influencing discourse linking energy infrastructure and climate change. This research was funded through the NSF's RAPID program which provides fast-tracked proposal review and awarding of grants for time-sensitive research. This research takes advantage of the fleeting opportunity during the months directly following the storm to characterize energy and climate discourse among energy sector actors and the media in different regions of the U.S.
The storm highlighted the vulnerability of energy systems including electricity infrastructure damage that resulted in power outages to 8.6 million customers and gasoline distribution challenges leading to severe gasoline shortages in New York and New Jersey. Superstorm Sandy also re-introduced climate change into the political discourse of the 2012 Presidential election, where it had been conspicuously absent. Stephens and her collaborators at University of Minnesota, Texas A&M, and SUNY-ESF are characterizing post-Sandy levels of societal awareness of linkages between energy systems resilience and climate change vulnerability through media analysis, interviews and focus groups with energy sector actors in different regions of the country.
Professor Stephens was invited to present initial findings of this research at a conference on "Climate Change and America's Infrastructure" held at Arizona State University in January. Clark student Lauren Ziemer (Environmental Science BA '13 / ES&P MS '14) will be working with Professor Stephens' research team as a research assistant on this project.
Innovations in Sustainable Consumption
Halina Brown and Philip Vergragt as two of the co-editors just published a book, Innovations in Sustainable Consumption. This book explores the frontier of science aimed at the paired sustainability goals of decreased resource use and enhanced individual and societal well-being. Many of the contributors to this book will be at Clark University for the first international conference of SCORAI, the North American Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative. The conference will be held on June 12-14, 2013. For more information, including a provisional conference program, see www.scorai.org/.
SCORAI 2013 Conference
The Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) is organizing an international conference on "The Future of Consumerism and Well-Being in a World of Ecological Constraints", to be held June 12-14, 2013 at Clark University. Scholars working in the field of sustainable consumption will convene to better understand the connections between material consumption and societal wellbeing and to chart transition pathways toward a more sustainable future. The aim is to formulate options for post-consumerist lifestyles, social institutions, and economic systems in wealthy countries of the global North. The 2013 Conference at Clark University will follow three previous SCORAI workshops held in North America at Clark (2009), Princeton (2011), and Vancouver (2012) and a Trans-Atlantic workshop in Austria (2012). For further information, please visit www.scorai.org/.
Prof. Kasperson Essay in American Academy Journal Issue Dedicated to the Alternative Energy Future
"The Public Acceptance of New Energy Technologies," an essay co-authored by Clark University Research Professor and Distinguished Scientist Roger E. Kasperson and Bonnie J. Ram '75, M.A. '82, of Ram Power LLC, appears in the Winter 2013 issue of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. More »
Research Scientist Receives Fulbright Specialists Award
Deborah Woodcock, research scientist at the Marsh Institute, has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist award to collaborate with faculty and administration of the University of Córdoba in Colombia during February and March 2013. Dr. Woodcock will be participating in the academic life of the university and carrying out a review of the graduate and undergraduate programs of the School of Geography in conjunction with a Columbian initiative to strengthen science education. The university, which is located in Monteria, near the Caribbean coast, was founded in 1962; its graduate program in geography was the first to be established in Colombia. The Fulbright Specialist Program awards grants to senior US academics and professionals to engage in short-term collaborative projects in over 100 countries worldwide and is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For further information about the Fulbright Specialists Program, please contact FULSPEC@iie.org or consult www.cies.org/.