Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Campus Sustainability Day 2013

Today is Campus Sustainability Day.  To mark the occasion, I'm posting all the environmental stories from campuses on the campaign trail that I've included in the past two months of Overnight News Digests on Daily Kos but either haven't included in an entry about climate, energy, biodiversity, or food, or won't be including in tomorrow's entry about Food Day.  I'll begin with the two most recent, which are from Virginia Tech.

Mussels Meet Wild Cousins

Imagine a lifetime spent clinging to a riverbed by one foot. This is the case for freshwater mussels, and their limited mobility makes habitat loss difficult to avoid.

Virginia Tech in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to repopulate sections of the Clinch and Powell Rivers.
I'm a mollusk specialist; of course I'd put this one first.

Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech partners with Smithsonian to discover deeper link between soil microbes and plants
BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 14, 2013 – In a recent study published in the journal Plant and Soil, Mark Williams, an assistant professor of horticulture in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and his collaborators at the Smithsonian and other institutions discovered that microbes in soil function symbiotically with plants, much like the 3 billion microbes in the human gut interact with the body.

“The study is consistent with the idea that there are complex but fundamental feedbacks between these diverse systems of soil microbiota and plant species,” said Williams. “These plant-microbial-soil interactions ultimately determine how ecosystem’s breathe life into the earth’s biosphere.”

Some of the interactions that occur in the soil microbiome — the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in soil — have not always been as readily apparent until now.
Follow over the jump for other environmental news from campuses on the campaign trail.

University of Virginia: U.Va. Architecture Professor Launches International Biophilic Cities Peer Network
Julia Triman
October 10, 2013
The Biophilic Cities Project at the University of Virginia School of Architecture is a multiyear initiative engaging cities across the globe. From Oct. 17 to 20, it is hosting the launch of a “Biophilic Cities Peer Network” to advance the theory and practice of planning for cities that contain abundant nature.

Biophilic cities care about, seek to protect, restore and grow nature, and strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world, said Tim Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and a self-described “biophilic urbanist.”

“In 2012, we began in earnest our Biophilic Cities Project based in the U.Va. School of Architecture with significant funding from the Summit Foundation and the George Mitchell Foundation,” he said. “The project aims to better understand what biophilic cities are; what metrics we might use in defining and monitoring them; and what the current best practice is in supporting and expanding nature in U.S. cities and the world.”

The Peer Network launch will connect leaders working on initiatives that increase the abundance, quality and access to nature in their cities, creating a worldwide network for innovations and strategies.
Sustainable cities--Detroit could use lessons in how to become one.

Wayne State University: Wayne Law Associate Professor Noah Hall writes book chapter about water issues
October 8, 2013
DETROIT – Wayne State University Law School Associate Professor Noah D. Hall is co-author of a chapter in a new book, Water Without Borders? Canada, the United States, and Shared Waters, published by University of Toronto Press.

Hall’s chapter, written with Professor Jamie Linton of Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, is “The Great Lakes: A Model of Transboundary Cooperation.”

The book offers readers an overview of water issues along the 49th parallel, as well as commentaries by a variety of experts, including Hall, on sources of conflict between Canada and the United States over water issues.
Wayne State University: Wayne Law student wins environmental writing competition
September 26, 2013
DETROIT – Nathan Inks, a second-year student at Wayne State University Law School, has won first place in the Michigan Environmental Law Journal writing competition.

He will be awarded $2,000 for his first-place essay, “Wetland Mitigation in Michigan: Working Toward the Goal of No Net Loss of Wetlands.”

The Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan publishes the Michigan Environmental Law Journal and sponsors the essay contest.
As you can see, Wayne State has a very good program in environmental law, and they like water issues.

Finally, here's New York Univerity via New York University Research Digest, Fall 2013
Sustainable Fishing, Human Ancestors, and Pulsating Stars!
Happy Campus Sustainability Day!


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