Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sustainability news from Michigan's Research Universities for the week ending June 4, 2011

It's the weekend, so it's time for a sustainability news linkspam. This is part one, with news from Michigan's research universities. Part two, which I already have in the can, will be posted tonight (ETA: posted here). I'll have a post suitable for linking from Kunstler's blog after that.

Without any further ado, here is this week's news.

General Sustainability

Wayne State University: Wayne State's Wednesday Farmers Market Opens June 8; Market Accepts Bridge Card, Project Fresh and Senior Project Fresh Coupons
June 2, 2011
For the fourth consecutive year, Wayne State University will kick off and celebrate the summer season with its weekly Wednesday farmers market.

Members of the university, Midtown, and broader Detroit community are invited to visit the Wayne State market and shop for fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, honey, and other farm and food products.

The market opens June 8, and will run every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through October 26. It is located at 5201 Cass Ave., in front of Wayne State University's Prentis Hall (WSU Business School), across the street from the Detroit Public Library.
Yes, it's a repeat, but both Wayne State and I thought it worth repeating.

Environment including science and technology

University of Michigan: Mass extinction victim survives! Snail long thought extinct, isn't
June 1, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Think "mass extinction" and you probably envision dinosaurs dropping dead in the long-ago past or exotic tropical creatures being wiped out when their rainforest habitats are decimated. But a major mass extinction took place right here in North America in the first half of the 20th century, when 47 species of mollusk disappeared after the watershed in which they lived was dammed.

Now, a population of one of those species—a freshwater limpet last seen more than 60 years ago and presumed extinct—has been found in a tributary of the heavily dammed Coosa River in Alabama's Mobile River Basin. Researchers from the University of Michigan, the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission reported the rediscovery May 31 in the online, open-access journal PLoS One.

The story of Rhodacmea filosa's disappearance and reappearance is both a conservation success story and a cautionary tale for other parts of the world where rivers are being dammed, said Diarmaid Ó Foighil, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a curator at the U-M Museum of Zoology. It's also an example of how museum specimens collected generations ago can inform scientists of today.
I was a grad student in the Mollusk Division at U of M when Dr. O Foighil was hired. I'm glad to see that he's making such valuable contributions.

Michigan State University: Managing forests requires a bird’s-eye view
June 3, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Managers of northern Michigan forests may not see the birds for the trees — or at least are in danger of losing sight of songbird neighborhoods when looking out for timber harvests.

In a novel look at managing both the future’s timber harvest while being mindful of the impact on key songbirds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Michigan State University researchers use a new forest simulation model for the first time to look at what timber-friendly hardwood regeneration can mean to bird habitat. And it’s a long-range look, given that the time lag between forest management decisions and impact are generations.

The results are reported online in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

“Foresters are farmers — but instead of sowing and harvesting in six months, they need to think 50 years in the future,” said James Millington, the paper’s lead author and former post-doctoral researcher at MSU’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. “If you are worried about the state of the forest in 100 years time, you need to think about it now and you’ll need good models like we’re developing.”
Wayne State University: Wayne State University to study the role of vitamin D in African-Americans with high blood pressure
June 2, 2011
DETROIT - A Wayne State University School of Medicine physician researcher has received a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to study the role of vitamin D in halting and reducing subclinical cardiac damage in African-Americans suffering from high blood pressure.
High blood pressure affects the black population to a greater degree than other demographics. Blacks also have more difficulty absorbing sufficient amounts of vitamin D through exposure to sunlight because of skin pigmentation. Previous studies, Levy said, suggest a relationship between the degree of skin pigmentation and thickening of the muscle tissue in the wall of the heart's main pumping chamber - a condition known as left ventricular hypertrophy. Common in those with high blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially heart failure. Importantly, the cardiovascular risks associated with left ventricular hypertrophy start increasing early in the process, often before the appearance of overt symptoms.
Society including culture and politics

University of Michigan: U-M to host international political networks conference
June 1, 2011

The University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy will host the 4th Annual Political Networks Conference and Workshops. This conference is intended for scholars who are interested in the application of network approaches to the study of political phenomena.

This event features three days of workshops (June 14-16) that are intended to provide training to scholars at various levels, as well as two days of academic panel presentations (June 17-18).

The keynote address, "Theory and Analysis for Networked Social Systems," will be given by Garry Robins of the University of Melbourne at 5 p.m. June 16. The plenary address, "Epidemics, Influence, and Kevin Bacon: Social Networks meet Network Theory," will be given by Mark Newman of the University of Michigan at 4:30 p.m. June 17.
Michigan State University: College of Osteopathic Medicine teams with new Detroit high school
June 1, 2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine is partnering with Detroit Public Schools as the district unveils details for a new high school to open in the fall.

The Dr. Benjamin Carson School of Science and Medicine will focus on a college-prep curriculum that offers unique experiences for students interested in science and medicine, according to the district. Gary Willyerd, associate dean for the College of Osteopathic Medicine's campus in Detroit, has been appointed to serve on the new high school's board of trustees.

"We want to establish partnerships in the community that benefit the people in Greater Detroit," Willyerd said. "We will be working with students at the new high school, and our medical students will serve as mentors. We hope to prepare those students interested in medicine for eventual entry in medical school."

The new high school is in the former Crockett Career and Technical Center building in the heart of the Detroit Medical Center. The College of Osteopathic Medicine's Detroit campus is at a renovated Detroit Medical Center building off St. Antoine Street in the downtown area.
I consider education to be under "society."Economy

University of Michigan: URC report: Information technology sector shows potential for Michigan
June 2, 2011

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich.—The University Research Corridor released a new report today that shows how the information and communication technology industry (ICT) is a worthy educational investment, offers higher-paying jobs and has potential for more business growth in Michigan.

The independent analysis, conducted by Anderson Economic Group, is the URC's fourth annual report that quantifies and assesses industry sectors where the universities' research and development play a major role.

"All of Michigan's key industries rely heavily on information and communication technologies," said Patrick Anderson, CEO of AEG. "Firms that create new ICT technologies, which are the lifeblood of the new economy, require trained employees, many of which rely upon an education from a URC university. Additionally, the URC universities are developing new technologies that are making all industries more productive and efficient, and are allowing entrepreneurs to start new businesses."
University of Michigan: URC to launch Global Detroit International Student Retention Program
June 2, 2011

New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan awards three-year, $450,000 grant to harness talent, economic potential of foreign-born students at Michigan's colleges and universities

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich.—The New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan has awarded the University Research Corridor (URC) a three-year, $450,000 grant to launch the Global Detroit International Student Retention Program to retain international talent in the region. The program is based on recommendations outlined in a May 2010 Global Detroit study funded by the New Economy Initiative. The objectives of the Global Detroit International Student Retention Program include:

• Marketing the region to international students from the moment of first contact to graduation
• Recruiting employers to hire international students
• Navigating immigration legal barriers
• Developing an ongoing presence and relationships with participating universities, international students, and related international organizations
Michigan State University: There’s more to shopping than just buying stuff
June 2, 2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. — For women, shopping is more than just buying stuff. For some it can be therapeutic, for others a time to socialize, or for some a challenge to find the right product at the right price.

Michigan State University’s Patricia Huddleston is co-author of a new book, “Consumer Behavior: Women and Shopping,” which looks at the reasons why women go shopping, as well as provides a history of how shopping has evolved over the years.

“Most of the women we talked to said it wasn’t necessarily about buying things,” said Huddleston, a professor of retailing. “It was what they liked about it, what it meant to them, and fond memories they had.”
I could have placed this one in any of the three categories, but because the person who wrote it was a business professor, I decided to place it here. Yes, I use some trivial tiebreakers.

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