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  • richardmitnick 9:23 am on June 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First soil map of terrestrial and blue carbon highlights need for conservation", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , Multiscale machine learning, New Curtin University research has identified the most carbon-rich soils in Australia are in areas that are most threatened by human activities and climate change., The entire continent holds a total of 27.9 gigatonnes-or billion metric tonnes-of carbon in the top 30cm of the soil which is equivalent to around 700 times Australia’s total annual electricity emis   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “First soil map of terrestrial and blue carbon highlights need for conservation” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    6.2.23
    Lucien Wilkinson
    Office +61 8 9266 9185
    Mobile +61 401 103 683
    lucien.wilkinson@curtin.edu.au

    Vanessa Beasley
    Office +61 8 9266 1811
    Mobile +61 466 853 121
    vanessa.beasley@curtin.edu.au

    Yasmine Phillips
    Office +61 8 9266 9085
    Mobile +61 401 103 877
    yasmine.phillips@curtin.edu.au

    1
    New Curtin University research has identified the most carbon-rich soils in Australia are in areas that are most threatened by human activities and climate change, including Eucalypt and mangrove forests, and woodland and grassland areas that cover large parts of the country’s interior. Curtin.

    Lead researcher Dr Lewis Walden from Curtin’s Soil & Landscape Science Research Group in the School of Molecular and Life Sciences said the findings highlighted the need to protect key terrestrial and coastal marine ecosystems, which play an important contributing role in national strategies to mitigate climate change.

    “Using multiscale machine learning, we mapped the carbon storage of soils across Australia and found the entire continent holds a total of 27.9 gigatonnes, or billion metric tonnes, of carbon in the top 30cm of the soil, which is equivalent to around 700 times Australia’s total annual electricity emissions,” Dr Walden said.

    “Of this amount, 27.6 Gt of was in terrestrial ecosystems, with the remaining 0.35 Gt in coastal marine or ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems.

    “We also found climate and vegetation were the main drivers of variations in carbon storage for the continent as a whole, while at a regional level this was determined by ecosystem type, the elevation and shape of the terrain, clay content, mineralogy and nutrients.

    “Eucalypt and mangrove forests store the most carbon per unit area, but woodland and grasslands store more carbon in total, due to the vast areas across Australia they cover.”

    Professor Raphael Viscarra Rossel, who leads Curtin’s Soil & Landscape Science Research Group said these carbon-rich ecosystems were known to be those most threatened by human activities and climate change.

    “Our findings suggest these are essential ecosystems for conservation, preservation, emissions avoidance and nature-based climate change mitigation,” Professor Viscarra Rossel said.

    “These ecosystems are important as sources of products and food, and in the case of blue carbon ecosystems for providing coastal protection against storm surges and erosion, and as fisheries habitats that provide breeding grounds and nurseries for many species of marine life.

    “Understanding the variation and drivers of carbon storage will help manage those ecosystems better and inform national carbon inventories and environmental policy.”

    Dr Walden is a Research Associate in Soil and Landscape Science Group.

    Funding for the research was from the Australian Government’s Australia-China Science and Research Fund Joint Research Centre on ‘Next-generation soil carbon systems’.

    The research used Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) infrastructure, which is enabled by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, and computational resources at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, which is funded by the Australian Government and the Government of Western Australia.
    ___________________________________________________



    ___________________________________________________

    Digital maps of Soil Organic Carbon stocks are available for download via the TERN data portal.

    The research is published in Communications Earth & Environment.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of The Australian Technology Network , and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:08 am on May 22, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Can ‘enhanced rock weathering’ help combat climate change?", , , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , , UNDO enhanced rock weathering company   

    From The University of Oxford (UK) Via “BBC (UK)” : “Can ‘enhanced rock weathering’ help combat climate change?” 

    U Oxford bloc

    From The University of Oxford (UK)

    Via

    “BBC (UK)”

    5.20.23
    Jonah Fisher

    1
    Jim Mann calls the rocks that could help cool our planet his “magic dust”.

    In a quarry surrounded by the din of heavy machinery Jim Mann crouches down and picks up a handful of tiny black rocks.

    “‘This is my magic dust,’ he says with a smile, gently rubbing them between his fingers.

    He’s holding pieces of basalt. It’s a hard volcanic rock that is neither rare nor particularly remarkable.

    But through a process known as ‘enhanced rock weathering’ it could help to cool our overheating planet.

    UN scientists are now clear that reducing greenhouse gas emissions alone won’t be enough to stop dangerous levels of warming. They say there will need to be some carbon dioxide removal – actively taking it out of the atmosphere.

    Planting trees is the most natural way of doing this but has its limitations; the CO2 that’s captured is released when the wood rots or burns and there are limits to how widely trees can be planted.

    ‘Direct Air Capture’ (DAC), meanwhile, mechanically sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere and stores it underground; it’s permanent – but does it make sense to build such an energy intensive process when we’re trying to wean ourselves off fossil fuels?

    ‘Enhanced rock weathering’ lies somewhere in between the natural and the man-made. It takes the naturally occurring but very gradual weathering process and turbo-charges it to remove the carbon faster.

    2
    Orrock quarry in Scotland does not look like the source of a green solution. https://canmore.org.uk

    I’ve come to a quarry just across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh to see Jim, whose enhanced rock weathering company UNDO has just secured £12m of new investment and is looking to scale up operations.

    Around us the black hillside is being steadily eaten away, scraped by enormous diggers to make concrete and asphalt for roads. The vibe is more post-nuclear apocalypse than saving the planet.

    But the tiny pieces of basalt rock that are left over are prized by Jim’s company. They have a useful property – when they weather in the rain they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    For millennia volcanic rocks and cliffs have been removing carbon slowly while weathering in the rain. Enhanced rock weathering uses tiny pieces to increase the amount of contact between the rain and rock and hence the amount of weathering and carbon removal.

    As a cliff, or piled up in the quarry, the basalt weathers very slowly. To maximise the carbon removal it needs to be spread across a greater area.

    And that’s where local farmers come in, helping the planet while getting free fertilizer in return. As well as locking away carbon, the basalt has been shown in trials to improve both crop yields and the quality of grazing.

    Half an hour’s drive from the quarry I watch it being scattered on a field.

    It requires no specialist equipment. A trailer is loaded with 20 tonnes of basalt before a tractor drags it up and down, a rotating wheel at the back scattering the tiny rocks.

    ‘It’s free of charge which is quite important to a farmer,’ John Logan tells me with a chuckle as the basalt is put on his field. He’d seen UNDO’s trials on a neighbouring farm.

    ‘It looks like it’s going to make the grass better, so that can only be good for the cattle because they’re eating better grass.’

    Some experts worry that carbon removal techniques like this might distract people from the more urgent priority of cutting emissions and even be used as justification to continue living our carbon intensive lives.

    ‘CO2 reduction has to come first,’ Jim tells me as we watch the tractor move up and down guided by GPS, “but we also need to be developing these technologies that can do removal at scale. And the nice thing about what we’re doing with enhanced rock weathering is it’s permanent.”

    The maths, it must be said, are daunting. UNDO’s scientists calculate that four tonnes of basalt rocks are needed to capture one tonne of CO2.

    With a typical Brit’s CO2 emissions estimated at about 7 tonnes a year that means each of us needs about thirty tonnes, or one and half trailer loads of basalt to be scattered annually just to break even.

    UNDO has plans to rapidly scale up over the next few years and has attracted some serious supporters. Microsoft has agreed to pay for 25,000 tonnes of basalt to be scattered on UK fields. As part of the deal Microsoft will also help audit the project and verify that it is working as intended.

    ‘The essential chemistry of it makes sense,’ Dr Steve Smith, an expert in carbon removal from Oxford University, told me.

    ‘Measuring how much CO2 would be taken out and where that ultimately goes, is one of the key challenges, and there’s no standardized system at the moment.’

    Ultimately Dr Smith thinks the idea could end up just a standard part of the way land is farmed.

    ‘It’s something that can be folded into the way we use land at the moment and deliver a carbon removal benefit alongside other benefits in terms of the way we use land for food and crops,’ he says.

    There are still many questions about just how scaleable it is. UNDO’s projects uses by-product from the local quarry – but if this is massively expanded the energy and emissions it takes both to grind up the basalt and then transport and scatter it will need to be factored in.

    ‘At this point in time, there’s no downside, It’s a win win for everybody involved.’ Jim Mann tells me.

    This year UNDO is scheduled to planning to spread 185,000 tonnes of basalt and hopes by 2025 to have removed a million tonnes of CO2. It’s still a drop in the ocean compared to emissions. In 2022 its thought the world discharged about 37 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.”

    AIChE

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Oxford campus

    The University of Oxford

    1
    Universitas Oxoniensis

    The University of Oxford [a.k.a. The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford] is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris [Université de Paris](FR). After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the The University of Cambridge (UK). The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

    The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

    Oxford operates the world’s oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

    Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes.

    The University of Oxford’s foundation date is unknown. It is known that teaching at Oxford existed in some form as early as 1096, but it is unclear when a university came into being.

    It grew quickly from 1167 when English students returned from The University of Paris-Sorbonne [Université de Paris-Sorbonne](FR). The historian Gerald of Wales lectured to such scholars in 1188, and the first known foreign scholar, Emo of Friesland, arrived in 1190. The head of the university had the title of chancellor from at least 1201, and the masters were recognised as a universitas or corporation in 1231. The university was granted a royal charter in 1248 during the reign of King Henry III.

    The students associated together on the basis of geographical origins, into two ‘nations’, representing the North (northerners or Boreales, who included the English people from north of the River Trent and the Scots) and the South (southerners or Australes, who included English people from south of the Trent, the Irish and the Welsh). In later centuries, geographical origins continued to influence many students’ affiliations when membership of a college or hall became customary in Oxford. In addition, members of many religious orders, including Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites and Augustinians, settled in Oxford in the mid-13th century, gained influence and maintained houses or halls for students. At about the same time, private benefactors established colleges as self-contained scholarly communities. Among the earliest such founders were William of Durham, who in 1249 endowed University College, and John Balliol, father of a future King of Scots; Balliol College bears his name. Another founder, Walter de Merton, a Lord Chancellor of England and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, devised a series of regulations for college life. Merton College thereby became the model for such establishments at Oxford, as well as at the University of Cambridge. Thereafter, an increasing number of students lived in colleges rather than in halls and religious houses.

    In 1333–1334, an attempt by some dissatisfied Oxford scholars to found a new university at Stamford, Lincolnshire, was blocked by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge petitioning King Edward III. Thereafter, until the 1820s, no new universities were allowed to be founded in England, even in London; thus, Oxford and Cambridge had a duopoly, which was unusual in large western European countries.

    The new learning of the Renaissance greatly influenced Oxford from the late 15th century onwards. Among university scholars of the period were William Grocyn, who contributed to the revival of Greek language studies, and John Colet, the noted biblical scholar.

    With the English Reformation and the breaking of communion with the Roman Catholic Church, recusant scholars from Oxford fled to continental Europe, settling especially at the University of Douai. The method of teaching at Oxford was transformed from the medieval scholastic method to Renaissance education, although institutions associated with the university suffered losses of land and revenues. As a centre of learning and scholarship, Oxford’s reputation declined in the Age of Enlightenment; enrollments fell and teaching was neglected.

    In 1636, William Laud, the chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury, codified the university’s statutes. These, to a large extent, remained its governing regulations until the mid-19th century. Laud was also responsible for the granting of a charter securing privileges for The University Press, and he made significant contributions to the Bodleian Library, the main library of the university. From the beginnings of the Church of England as the established church until 1866, membership of the church was a requirement to receive the BA degree from the university and “dissenters” were only permitted to receive the MA in 1871.

    The university was a centre of the Royalist party during the English Civil War (1642–1649), while the town favoured the opposing Parliamentarian cause. From the mid-18th century onwards, however, the university took little part in political conflicts.

    Wadham College, founded in 1610, was the undergraduate college of Sir Christopher Wren. Wren was part of a brilliant group of experimental scientists at Oxford in the 1650s, the Oxford Philosophical Club, which included Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. This group held regular meetings at Wadham under the guidance of the college’s Warden, John Wilkins, and the group formed the nucleus that went on to found the Royal Society.

    Before reforms in the early 19th century, the curriculum at Oxford was notoriously narrow and impractical. Sir Spencer Walpole, a historian of contemporary Britain and a senior government official, had not attended any university. He said, “Few medical men, few solicitors, few persons intended for commerce or trade, ever dreamed of passing through a university career.” He quoted the Oxford University Commissioners in 1852 stating: “The education imparted at Oxford was not such as to conduce to the advancement in life of many persons, except those intended for the ministry.” Nevertheless, Walpole argued:

    “Among the many deficiencies attending a university education there was, however, one good thing about it, and that was the education which the undergraduates gave themselves. It was impossible to collect some thousand or twelve hundred of the best young men in England, to give them the opportunity of making acquaintance with one another, and full liberty to live their lives in their own way, without evolving in the best among them, some admirable qualities of loyalty, independence, and self-control. If the average undergraduate carried from university little or no learning, which was of any service to him, he carried from it a knowledge of men and respect for his fellows and himself, a reverence for the past, a code of honour for the present, which could not but be serviceable. He had enjoyed opportunities… of intercourse with men, some of whom were certain to rise to the highest places in the Senate, in the Church, or at the Bar. He might have mixed with them in his sports, in his studies, and perhaps in his debating society; and any associations which he had this formed had been useful to him at the time, and might be a source of satisfaction to him in after life.”

    Out of the students who matriculated in 1840, 65% were sons of professionals (34% were Anglican ministers). After graduation, 87% became professionals (59% as Anglican clergy). Out of the students who matriculated in 1870, 59% were sons of professionals (25% were Anglican ministers). After graduation, 87% became professionals (42% as Anglican clergy).

    M. C. Curthoys and H. S. Jones argue that the rise of organised sport was one of the most remarkable and distinctive features of the history of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was carried over from the athleticism prevalent at the public schools such as Eton, Winchester, Shrewsbury, and Harrow.

    All students, regardless of their chosen area of study, were required to spend (at least) their first year preparing for a first-year examination that was heavily focused on classical languages. Science students found this particularly burdensome and supported a separate science degree with Greek language study removed from their required courses. This concept of a Bachelor of Science had been adopted at other European universities (The University of London (UK) had implemented it in 1860) but an 1880 proposal at Oxford to replace the classical requirement with a modern language (like German or French) was unsuccessful. After considerable internal wrangling over the structure of the arts curriculum, in 1886 the “natural science preliminary” was recognized as a qualifying part of the first-year examination.

    At the start of 1914, the university housed about 3,000 undergraduates and about 100 postgraduate students. During the First World War, many undergraduates and fellows joined the armed forces. By 1918 virtually all fellows were in uniform, and the student population in residence was reduced to 12 per cent of the pre-war total. The University Roll of Service records that, in total, 14,792 members of the university served in the war, with 2,716 (18.36%) killed. Not all the members of the university who served in the Great War were on the Allied side; there is a remarkable memorial to members of New College who served in the German armed forces, bearing the inscription, ‘In memory of the men of this college who coming from a foreign land entered into the inheritance of this place and returning fought and died for their country in the war 1914–1918’. During the war years the university buildings became hospitals, cadet schools and military training camps.

    Reforms

    Two parliamentary commissions in 1852 issued recommendations for Oxford and Cambridge. Archibald Campbell Tait, former headmaster of Rugby School, was a key member of the Oxford Commission; he wanted Oxford to follow the German and Scottish model in which the professorship was paramount. The commission’s report envisioned a centralised university run predominantly by professors and faculties, with a much stronger emphasis on research. The professional staff should be strengthened and better paid. For students, restrictions on entry should be dropped, and more opportunities given to poorer families. It called for an enlargement of the curriculum, with honours to be awarded in many new fields. Undergraduate scholarships should be open to all Britons. Graduate fellowships should be opened up to all members of the university. It recommended that fellows be released from an obligation for ordination. Students were to be allowed to save money by boarding in the city, instead of in a college.

    The system of separate honour schools for different subjects began in 1802, with Mathematics and Literae Humaniores. Schools of “Natural Sciences” and “Law, and Modern History” were added in 1853. By 1872, the last of these had split into “Jurisprudence” and “Modern History”. Theology became the sixth honour school. In addition to these B.A. Honours degrees, the postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) was, and still is, offered.

    The mid-19th century saw the impact of the Oxford Movement (1833–1845), led among others by the future Cardinal John Henry Newman. The influence of the reformed model of German universities reached Oxford via key scholars such as Edward Bouverie Pusey, Benjamin Jowett and Max Müller.

    Administrative reforms during the 19th century included the replacement of oral examinations with written entrance tests, greater tolerance for religious dissent, and the establishment of four women’s colleges. Privy Council decisions in the 20th century (e.g. the abolition of compulsory daily worship, dissociation of the Regius Professorship of Hebrew from clerical status, diversion of colleges’ theological bequests to other purposes) loosened the link with traditional belief and practice. Furthermore, although the university’s emphasis had historically been on classical knowledge, its curriculum expanded during the 19th century to include scientific and medical studies. Knowledge of Ancient Greek was required for admission until 1920, and Latin until 1960.

    The University of Oxford began to award doctorates for research in the first third of the 20th century. The first Oxford D.Phil. in mathematics was awarded in 1921.

    The mid-20th century saw many distinguished continental scholars, displaced by Nazism and communism, relocating to Oxford.

    The list of distinguished scholars at the University of Oxford is long and includes many who have made major contributions to politics, the sciences, medicine, and literature. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel laureates and more than 50 world leaders have been affiliated with the University of Oxford.

    To be a member of the university, all students, and most academic staff, must also be a member of a college or hall. There are thirty-nine colleges of the University of Oxford (including Reuben College, planned to admit students in 2021) and six permanent private halls (PPHs), each controlling its membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Not all colleges offer all courses, but they generally cover a broad range of subjects.

    The colleges are:

    All-Souls College
    Balliol College
    Brasenose College
    Christ Church College
    Corpus-Christi College
    Exeter College
    Green-Templeton College
    Harris-Manchester College
    Hertford College
    Jesus College
    Keble College
    Kellogg College
    Lady-Margaret-Hall
    Linacre College
    Lincoln College
    Magdalen College
    Mansfield College
    Merton College
    New College
    Nuffield College
    Oriel College
    Pembroke College
    Queens College
    Reuben College
    St-Anne’s College
    St-Antony’s College
    St-Catherines College
    St-Cross College
    St-Edmund-Hall College
    St-Hilda’s College
    St-Hughs College
    St-John’s College
    St-Peters College
    Somerville College
    Trinity College
    University College
    Wadham College
    Wolfson College
    Worcester College

    The permanent private halls were founded by different Christian denominations. One difference between a college and a PPH is that whereas colleges are governed by the fellows of the college, the governance of a PPH resides, at least in part, with the corresponding Christian denomination. The six current PPHs are:

    Blackfriars
    Campion Hall
    Regent’s Park College
    St Benet’s Hall
    St-Stephen’s Hall
    Wycliffe Hall

    The PPHs and colleges join as the Conference of Colleges, which represents the common concerns of the several colleges of the university, to discuss matters of shared interest and to act collectively when necessary, such as in dealings with the central university. The Conference of Colleges was established as a recommendation of the Franks Commission in 1965.

    Teaching members of the colleges (i.e. fellows and tutors) are collectively and familiarly known as dons, although the term is rarely used by the university itself. In addition to residential and dining facilities, the colleges provide social, cultural, and recreational activities for their members. Colleges have responsibility for admitting undergraduates and organizing their tuition; for graduates, this responsibility falls upon the departments. There is no common title for the heads of colleges: the titles used include Warden, Provost, Principal, President, Rector, Master and Dean.

    Oxford is regularly ranked within the top 5 universities in the world and is currently ranked first in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, as well as the Forbes’s World University Rankings. It held the number one position in The Times Good University Guide for eleven consecutive years, and the medical school has also maintained first place in the “Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health” table of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the past seven consecutive years. In 2021, it ranked sixth among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. The Times Higher Education has also recognised Oxford as one of the world’s “six super brands” on its World Reputation Rankings, along with The University of California-Berkeley, The University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. The university is fifth worldwide on the US News ranking. Its Saïd Business School came 13th in the world in The Financial Times Global MBA Ranking.
    Oxford was ranked ninth in the world in 2015 by The Nature Index, which measures the largest contributors to papers published in 82 leading journals. It is ranked fifth best university worldwide and first in Britain for forming CEOs according to The Professional Ranking World Universities, and first in the UK for the quality of its graduates as chosen by the recruiters of the UK’s major companies.

    In the 2018 Complete University Guide, all 38 subjects offered by Oxford rank within the top 10 nationally meaning Oxford was one of only two multi-faculty universities (along with Cambridge) in the UK to have 100% of their subjects in the top 10. Computer Science, Medicine, Philosophy, Politics and Psychology were ranked first in the UK by the guide.

    According to The QS World University Rankings by Subject, the University of Oxford also ranks as number one in the world for four Humanities disciplines: English Language and Literature, Modern Languages, Geography, and History. It also ranks second globally for Anthropology, Archaeology, Law, Medicine, Politics & International Studies, and Psychology.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:10 am on May 18, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Green Investing Could Push Polluters to Emit More Greenhouse Gases", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, Most sustainable investing today involves building a portfolio of low-emissions “green” firms while excluding so-called “brown” firms., Starving brown firms of cheap money leads them to double down on existing methods of production because continuing with old production is how brown firms earn cash quickly to avoid bankruptcy., The researchers studied emissions data from over three thousand large companies from 2002 to 2020., When you punish “brown” firms they become more short-termist. They pollute more when they’re punished. Rewarding firms that are “green” does little to improve their environmental impact.,   

    From Yale University: “Green Investing Could Push Polluters to Emit More Greenhouse Gases” 

    From Yale University

    5.15.23
    Susie Allen

    One common approach to sustainable investing is to provide capital for companies with low carbon emissions and withhold it for high-emissions firms. But rather than incentivizing polluters to cut back, research co-authored by Yale SOM’s Kelly Shue shows that such an approach may actually cause them to pollute more.

    1
    Sean David Williams

    Imagine you’re an investor focused on sustainability, and you read about two companies. Martin Marietta, which supplies heavy building materials, emitted about 1,000 tons of carbon per million dollars of revenue in 2021, while insurance company Traveler’s prides itself on its low emissions—just 1 ton per million dollars of revenue. Which would get your investment?

    Most sustainable investment funds today would back Traveler’s and avoid Martin Marietta—and that’s a problem, according to Kelly Shue of Yale SOM and Samuel Hartzmark of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. In a new paper [SSRN (below)], Shue and Hartzmark argue that the most widely used approach to sustainable investment is actively pushing heavily polluting firms toward greater greenhouse gas emissions.

    Most sustainable investing today involves building a portfolio of low-emissions “green” firms like Traveler’s, while excluding so-called “brown” firms like Martin Marietta. The underlying goal is to lower the cost of financing for green firms and raise it for brown firms. With enough time and money, the thinking goes, this strategy will incentivize all firms, green and brown, to improve their environmental impact.

    But that’s not what happens in practice, Shue explains. “When you punish “brown’ firms, they become more short-termist,” she says. Ultimately, “they pollute more when they’re punished.” On the other hand, rewarding firms that are already “green” does little to improve their environmental impact. Most of the green firms favored by sustainable investors tend to be in the insurance, health care, and financial services industries. According to Shue, “green firms start with close-to-zero emissions by the nature of their business, and they are very unlikely candidates to develop new green technologies.”

    She and Hartzmark reached this conclusion by studying emissions data from over three thousand large companies from 2002 to 2020. They divided firms into five different segments based on greenhouse gas emissions (adjusting for revenue, because larger companies generally emit more than smaller ones). Then, using historical data, they analyzed how the highest- and lowest-emitting groups responded to changes in their cost of capital—like those the sustainable investing movement seeks to bring about.

    “What we find is that when green firms experience a change in their cost of capital, their emissions don’t change substantially,” Shue says. Brown firms, by contrast, significantly increase emissions following an increase to their cost of capital. Rather than incentivizing improvements, starving brown firms of cheap money leads them to double down on existing methods of production, because continuing with old high-pollution production is how brown firms earn cash quickly to avoid bankruptcy. Punishing brown firms with expensive financing pushes them away from investments in new green technology that could reduce emissions.

    And even a modest percentage increase in emissions from an already heavily polluting brown firm has a significant environmental impact. Shue and Hartzmark discovered that the average brown firm has 261 times the emissions of the average green firm. So for green firms, even a major percentage increase or reduction in emissions has negligible environmental impact. Meanwhile, “if a brown firm changes in emissions in either direction by just 1%,” Shue says, “that is way more meaningful than a typical green firm changing its emissions by 100%.” In the case of Traveler’s and Martin Marietta, the numbers are even more extreme: a 100% reduction by Traveler’s would be equivalent to a 0.1% reduction from Martin Marietta.

    Focusing too much on percentage reduction in emissions and too little on absolute emissions is a broader problem with sustainable investing, Shue argues. Brown firms that make small, hard-won percentage reductions are generally “still considered toxic assets that cannot be included in the portfolios of sustainable investment funds. And that is offering entirely the wrong incentives,” Shue says. “Instead, it motivates firms that are currently green to engage in trivial or greenwashing attempts to make themselves look even more green.”

    That doesn’t mean the larger goals of sustainable investing aren’t worthwhile. “To be concerned about climate change is very valid—this is the major risk we’re facing,” Shue says. However, she sees other, more direct means of driving change. For example, instead of divesting from brown firms, investors could try to influence them by gaining board seats and shifting corporate strategy in a more environmentally friendly direction. Investors could also put money directly into companies developing new green technologies, such as carbon dioxide removal.

    With this research, Shue hopes to offer a counterweight to media coverage that tends to focus on the laudable goals of sustainable investing, rather than its concrete outcomes. The current discussion highlights the incentives offered to green firms without realizing that brown firms have much greater scope to change their environmental impact. As Shue explains, “What we haven’t considered is, when you punish brown firms, you make them more brown.”

    SSRN

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton.

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:31 am on May 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Machine Learning Fights Global Warming", , , , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , ,   

    From Carnegie Mellon University: “Machine Learning Fights Global Warming” 

    From Carnegie Mellon University

    5.12.23
    Kaitlyn Landram
    klandram@andrew.cmu.edu

    1
    The BIG One.

    Among all greenhouse gasses, carbon dioxide is the highest contributor to global warming. Without action by 2100, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the average temperature of the world will increase by about 1.5 degrees Celsius. Finding effective ways to capture and store carbon dioxide has been a challenge for researchers and industries focused on combating global warming — Amir Barati Farimani has been working to change that.

    “Machine-learning models bear the promise for discovering new chemical compounds or materials to fight against global warming,” explained Barati Farimani, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “Machine-learning models can achieve accurate and efficient virtual screening of CO2 storage candidates and may even generate preferable compounds that never existed before.”

    Barati Farimani has made a breakthrough using machine learning to identify ionic liquid molecules. Ionic liquids (ILs) are families of molten salt that remain in a liquid state at room temperature, have high chemical stability and high CO2 solubility, making them ideal candidates for CO2 storage. The combination of ions largely determines the properties of ILs. However, such combinatorial possibilities of cations and anions make it extremely challenging to exhaust the design space of ILs for efficient CO2 storage through conventional experiments.

    Machine learning is often used in drug discovery to create so-called molecular fingerprints alongside graph neural networks (GNNs) that treat molecules as graphs and use a matrix to identify molecular bonds and related properties. For the first time, Barati Farimani has developed both fingerprint-based ML models and GNNs that are able to predict the CO2 absorption in ionic liquids.

    “Our GNN method achieves superior accuracy in predicting the CO2 solubility in ion liquids,” Barati Farimani said. “Unlike previous ML methods that rely on handcrafted features, GNN directly learns the features from molecular graphs.”

    Understanding how machine-learning models make decisions is just as important as the molecular properties it identifies. This explanation provides researchers with extra insight into how the structure of the molecule affects the property of ionic liquids from a data-driven perspective. For example, Barati Farmimani’s team found that molecular fragments that physically interact with CO2 are less important than those that have a chemical interaction. Additionally, those with less hydrogen connected to nitrogen could be more favorable in formalizing a stable chemical interaction with CO2.

    These findings will enable researchers to advise on the design of novel and efficient ionic liquids for CO2 storage in the future.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Carnegie Mellon University is a global research university with more than 12,000 students, 95,000 alumni, and 5,000 faculty and staff.

    Carnegie Mellon University has been a birthplace of innovation since its founding in 1900.

    Today, we are a global leader bringing groundbreaking ideas to market and creating successful startup businesses.

    Our award-winning faculty members are renowned for working closely with students to solve major scientific, technological and societal challenges. We put a strong emphasis on creating things—from art to robots. Our students are recruited by some of the world’s most innovative companies.

    We have campuses in Pittsburgh, Qatar and Silicon Valley, and degree-granting programs around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

    The Carnegie Mellon University was established by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, formerly a part of the The University of Pittsburgh. Since then, the university has operated as a single institution.

    The Carnegie Mellon University has seven colleges and independent schools, including the College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, Tepper School of Business, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the School of Computer Science. The Carnegie Mellon University has its main campus located 3 miles (5 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, and the university also has over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including degree-granting campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley.

    Past and present faculty and alumni include 20 Nobel Prize laureates, 13 Turing Award winners, 23 Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 22 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science , 79 Members of the National Academies, 124 Emmy Award winners, 47 Tony Award laureates, and 10 Academy Award winners. Carnegie Mellon enrolls 14,799 students from 117 countries and employs 1,400 faculty members.

    Research

    Carnegie Mellon University is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”. For the 2006 fiscal year, the Carnegie Mellon University spent $315 million on research. The primary recipients of this funding were the School of Computer Science ($100.3 million), the Software Engineering Institute ($71.7 million), the College of Engineering ($48.5 million), and the Mellon College of Science ($47.7 million). The research money comes largely from federal sources, with a federal investment of $277.6 million. The federal agencies that invest the most money are the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, which contribute 26% and 23.4% of the total Carnegie Mellon University research budget respectively.

    The recognition of Carnegie Mellon University as one of the best research facilities in the nation has a long history—as early as the 1987 Federal budget Carnegie Mellon University was ranked as third in the amount of research dollars with $41.5 million, with only Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University receiving more research funds from the Department of Defense.

    The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort between Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and Westinghouse Electric Company. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center was founded in 1986 by its two scientific directors, Dr. Ralph Roskies of the University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Michael Levine of Carnegie Mellon. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a leading partner in the TeraGrid, The National Science Foundation’s cyberinfrastructure program.

    Scarab lunar rover is being developed by the RI.

    The Robotics Institute (RI) is a division of the School of Computer Science and considered to be one of the leading centers of robotics research in the world. The Field Robotics Center (FRC) has developed a number of significant robots, including Sandstorm and H1ghlander, which finished second and third in the DARPA Grand Challenge, and Boss, which won the DARPA Urban Challenge. The Robotics Institute has partnered with a spinoff company, Astrobotic Technology Inc., to land a CMU robot on the moon by 2016 in pursuit of the Google Lunar XPrize. The robot, known as Andy, is designed to explore lunar pits, which might include entrances to caves. The RI is primarily sited at Carnegie Mellon University ‘s main campus in Newell-Simon hall.

    The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and operated by Carnegie Mellon University, with offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arlington, Virginia, and Frankfurt, Germany. The SEI publishes books on software engineering for industry, government and military applications and practices. The organization is known for its Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), which identify essential elements of effective system and software engineering processes and can be used to rate the level of an organization’s capability for producing quality systems. The SEI is also the home of CERT/CC, the federally funded computer security organization. The CERT Program’s primary goals are to ensure that appropriate technology and systems management practices are used to resist attacks on networked systems and to limit damage and ensure continuity of critical services subsequent to attacks, accidents, or failures.

    The Human–Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) is a division of the School of Computer Science and is considered one of the leading centers of human–computer interaction research, integrating computer science, design, social science, and learning science. Such interdisciplinary collaboration is the hallmark of research done throughout the university.

    The Language Technologies Institute (LTI) is another unit of the School of Computer Science and is famous for being one of the leading research centers in the area of language technologies. The primary research focus of the institute is on machine translation, speech recognition, speech synthesis, information retrieval, parsing and information extraction. Until 1996, the institute existed as the Center for Machine Translation that was established in 1986. From 1996 onwards, it started awarding graduate degrees and the name was changed to Language Technologies Institute.

    Carnegie Mellon is also home to the Carnegie School of management and economics. This intellectual school grew out of the Tepper School of Business in the 1950s and 1960s and focused on the intersection of behavioralism and management. Several management theories, most notably bounded rationality and the behavioral theory of the firm, were established by Carnegie School management scientists and economists.

    Carnegie Mellon also develops cross-disciplinary and university-wide institutes and initiatives to take advantage of strengths in various colleges and departments and develop solutions in critical social and technical problems. To date, these have included the Cylab Security and Privacy Institute, the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, the Neuroscience Institute (formerly known as BrainHub), the Simon Initiative, and the Disruptive Healthcare Technology Institute.

    Carnegie Mellon has made a concerted effort to attract corporate research labs, offices, and partnerships to the Pittsburgh campus. Apple Inc., Intel, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Facebook, IBM, General Motors, Bombardier Inc., Yahoo!, Uber, Tata Consultancy Services, Ansys, Boeing, Robert Bosch GmbH, and the Rand Corporation have established a presence on or near campus. In collaboration with Intel, Carnegie Mellon has pioneered research into claytronics.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:13 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Peter Breigenzer - Preserving forests as a woodsman and scientist", , , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , , , Protecting woodlands from climate change through a unique interdisciplinary training program at the University of Maine.,   

    From The University of Maine: “Peter Breigenzer – Preserving forests as a woodsman and scientist” 

    From The University of Maine

    4.27.23 [Just today in social media.]
    Marcus Wolf
    207.581.3721
    marcus.wolf@maine.edu

    1
    Photo by Jono Binger

    Peter Breigenzer of Glasgow, Montana, fell in love with forestry while working in the woods with multiple crews over the past several years. When he decided to attend graduate school, he searched for a program that would marry his passion for outdoor work and research, and teach him how to sustainably manage forests.

    Now more than 2,000 miles from home, Breigenzer is enhancing his knowledge and conducting biophysical and social science research to help scientists, foresters and landowners protect woodlands from climate change through a unique interdisciplinary training program at the University of Maine.

    Breigenzer, who is pursuing a master’s degree in forest resources, is one of many students who are participating in a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program that aims to educate the next generation of environmental conservation leaders. Funded with $2.9 million from NSF, the program offers students interdisciplinary coursework, collaborative research opportunities and conservation internships with state and federal agencies and other organizations. Breigenzer says he chose to study at UMaine to participate in the traineeship.

    As part of the NSF-funded program, Breigenzer is investigating how management decisions can affect forest responses to climate change with co-advisors Jessica Leahy, professor of human dimensions of natural resources, and Jay Wason III, assistant professor of forest ecosystem physiology.

    “After being here for almost two years, I know I made the right choice,” he says. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have such great co-advisors. Jessica and Jay have provided me with valuable guidance and support at every stage of our project.”

    In collaboration with Leahy, Breigenzer has interviewed private, noncommercial woodland owners — also called family forest owners — throughout Maine and toured their properties to learn about their concerns with climate change and how those worries may have shaped their forest management decisions. Breigenzer says he hopes the project will help instruct foresters on how to best communicate the importance of climate change adaptation to individual and family forest owners and assist with their implementation.

    “Prior to starting this project, I had done a lot of reading about ‘new’ ways to manage forests for climate change resilience, but I got the impression that much of this conversation was siloed within the academic community,” Breigenzer says. “Therefore, I wanted to talk to family forest owners directly to see what they thought about managing their woodlands with climate change in mind.”

    With Wason, Breigenzer has been researching how forest stand conditions affect understory microclimates. Over the past year, they bushwhacked through the Penobscot Experimental Forest and established 60 plots from which they measured microclimate and forest structure traits.

    “In general, when we think about future climate conditions, most of our assumptions are based on broad-scale climate projection models that use data from large weather stations established in fields or cities (i.e., Bangor Airport),” Breigenzer says. “These models are useful for landscape level planning; however, they don’t reflect the fine-scale variability in temperature and humidity that naturally occurs beneath forest canopies. Therefore, if we want to understand how climate change will affect our future forests, we need to understand how the climate is changing within forests.”

    While conducting his own research, Breigenzer also served as an intern at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park last year. He worked with its forest ecology division to collect and analyze remote sensing imagery for monitoring and evaluating the conditions of several forests across northern and eastern Maine.

    “My biggest takeaway from this internship was how it allowed me to develop my skills related to computer coding and data analysis,” Breigenzer says. “Regardless of which career path I eventually take within forestry, these skills will be important for the planning and assessment of different land management regimes.”

    When he’s not conducting research, Breigenzer is out in the field training himself and others to be better foresters. In September 2022, he attended the two-week-long Prescribed Fire Training Exchange, or TREX. During the event, he and other researchers and foresters worked with wildland fire professionals to conduct prescribed burns at Wells Barrens and Kennebunk Plains, and exchanged ideas on how to restore fire-adapted ecosystems.

    Breigenzer also serves on the leadership team for the UMaine chapter of the Society of American Foresters, through which he helps facilitate chainsaw safety courses and other professional development opportunities for students studying forestry or other natural science-related subjects.

    “The experiences I’ve gained during my time here are invaluable to my future career trajectory,” Breigenzer says. “From the skills I’ve gained in my classes, to developing multiple research projects, to the personal and professional connections I’ve made here, I feel prepared to pursue my forestry goals!”

    After receiving his master’s degree, Breigenzer says he plans to pursue a career as a forester or researcher, and sustainably manage woodlands through “multiple forms of science with localized knowledge and human experience.”

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Maine is a public land-grant research university in Orono, Maine. It was established in 1865 as the land-grant college of Maine and is the flagship university of the University of Maine System. The University of Maine is one of only a few land, sea and space grant institutions in the nation. It is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”.

    With an enrollment of approximately 11,500 students, The University of Maine is the state’s largest college or university. The University of Maine’s athletic teams, nicknamed the Black Bears, are Maine’s only Division I athletics program. Maine’s men’s ice hockey team has won two national championships.

    The University of Maine was founded in 1862 as a function of the Morrill Act, signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Established in 1865 as the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, the college opened on September 21, 1868 and changed its name to the University of Maine in 1897.

    By 1871, curricula had been organized in Agriculture, Engineering, and electives. The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station was founded as a division of the university in 1887. Gradually the university developed the Colleges of Life Sciences and Agriculture (later to include the School of Forest Resources and the School of Human Development), Engineering and Science, and Arts and Sciences. In 1912 the Maine Cooperative Extension, which offers field educational programs for both adults and youths, was initiated. The School of Education was established in 1930 and received college status in 1958. The School of Business Administration was formed in 1958 and was granted college status in 1965. Women have been admitted into all curricula since 1872. The first master’s degree was conferred in 1881; the first doctor’s degree in 1960. Since 1923 there has been a separate graduate school.

    Near the end of the 19th century, the university expanded its curriculum to place greater emphasis on liberal arts. As a result of this shift, faculty hired during the early 20th century included Caroline Colvin, chair of the history department and the nation’s first woman to head a major university department.

    In 1906, The Senior Skull Honor Society was founded to “publicly recognize, formally reward, and continually promote outstanding leadership and scholarship, and exemplary citizenship within the University of Maine community.”

    On April 16, 1925, 80 women met in Balentine Hall — faculty, alumnae, and undergraduate representatives — to plan a pledging of members to an inaugural honorary organization. This organization was called “The All Maine Women” because only those women closely connected with the University of Maine were elected as members. On April 22, 1925, the new members were inducted into the honor society.

    When the University of Maine System was incorporated, in 1968, the school was renamed by the legislature over the objections of the faculty to the University of Maine at Orono. This was changed back to the University of Maine in 1986.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:36 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Struggling to design green buildings amid a shifting legal and technical landscape", A trend — we’re not there yet — is considering the timing of energy use in buildings and how it impacts greenhouse gas emissions., Architecture technologist says universities like Harvard can offer big hand up because they have time and resources to project trends going forward., , Buildings were such energy hogs when they were running that we could kind of ignore the carbon emissions that went into building the buildings-a small slice of the pie., , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , It can be expensive to not design for resilience., Less glass would use less energy since glass is the worst thermal performer in the envelope., Many of the strategies to make our buildings more resilient and to shrink their carbon footprints are well-known and well-tested., Much of the focus has been and is on operational energy performance or bringing down the energy use of buildings., The new rules are adding extra costs to projects and sometimes require using relatively unproven technologies., The push to prepare American cities and towns for greater climate resilience has become urgent as scientific evidence of warming mounts and extreme weather events grow more common.   

    From “The Gazette” At Harvard University: “Struggling to design green buildings amid a shifting legal and technical landscape” 

    From “The Gazette”

    At

    Harvard University

    5.10.23
    Christina Pazzanese

    1
    Holly Samuelson, an associate professor of architecture at the Graduate School of Design, looks at climate change’s impact on new city and state regulations as architects, designers, and developers try to stay current. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

    Architecture technologist says universities like Harvard can offer big hand up because they have time and resources to project trends going forward.

    The push to prepare American cities and towns for greater climate resilience has become more urgent in recent years as scientific evidence of warming mounts and extreme weather events grow more common. Officials in many states, including Massachusetts and New York, are enacting new rules requiring developers and property owners to change or reduce the type or amount of energy used in their buildings, to incorporate certain construction materials and technology while excluding others, and to plan for rising seas and stormwater runoff.

    The new rules are adding extra costs to projects and sometimes require using relatively unproven technologies. And the rapidly shifting scientific, regulatory, and technological landscapes mean that even the most forward-thinking projects can soon be rendered obsolete, which is what happened with One Vanderbilt, a skyscraper near Grand Central Station. The project, intended to be an environmental showpiece, faced potential retrofitting of its innovative green heating-power system by the time it opened in 2021 because of newly adopted city climate regulations.

    Holly Samuelson, M.Des. ’09, D.Des. ’13, is an associate professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design who focuses on architectural technology and how issues related to building design impact human and environmental health. She spoke to the Gazette about how the field is responding to all the rapid changes. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    GAZETTE: There has been growing recognition that the effects of climate change are happening sooner and could be more extreme than anticipated. Has that changed the way projects are planned, designed, and built?

    SAMUELSON: I’ve seen increasing focus, investment, and expertise related to climate change. I think we’re going to see the pace accelerate going forward. I’m particularly interested in the new laws on existing buildings. In New York City, that’s local law 97. In Boston, that’s BERDO 2.0 [Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance] and will be BEUDO 2.0 [Building Energy Use and Disclosure Ordinance] in Cambridge. These are among the first wave of laws targeting existing buildings.

    In Boston, BERDO 2.0 will require existing buildings of a certain size to be net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s causing a stir because for the first time, existing buildings can’t simply remain energy hogs with no penalty. And for new buildings, it’s changing decisions. Design teams and owners are realizing that their new buildings will become existing buildings and be regulated by these laws.

    GAZETTE: What aspects of climate change are consuming the most attention?

    SAMUELSON: Much of the focus has been and is on operational energy performance or bringing down the energy use of buildings. Two things are happening rapidly. First, there’s an increase in interest in lifecycle carbon emissions, meaning that you think about the greenhouse gas emissions that came from not only operating the building, but also from manufacturing and constructing [it], from extraction to demolition, etc.

    Traditionally, buildings were such energy hogs when they were running that we could kind of ignore the carbon emissions that went into building the buildings because they were such a small slice of the pie. But now we’re shrinking the rest of the pie in terms of operational emissions, and we’re greening our grids, so the relative importance of the embodied emissions is growing.

    Another trend we’re going to see — we’re not there yet — is considering the timing of energy use in buildings and how it impacts greenhouse gas emissions. If we really are going to green our grids, we’re probably going to see more and more intermittent renewables, like wind and solar, which produce power at certain times. There are different ways of aligning supply and demand. One way is to adjust the timing of our demand in buildings. So, we’re starting to think more and more about that.

    GAZETTE: Given the increased cost to design and build for climate change and sustainability, and the risk associated with adopting new technologies that don’t have a lot of data behind them yet, are developers and property owners thinking twice about the ambition of their plans?

    SAMUELSON: Well, it can be expensive to not design for resilience. We’ve seen on the news people dying from indoor conditions during heat events, power outages, cold spells, hurricanes, etc. And on the commercial building side, we know that a business taken offline can be very expensive.

    Although technology is changing, many of the strategies to make our buildings more resilient and to shrink their carbon footprints are well-known and well-tested. For example, using better window systems, often using less glass area so that more wall area can be well-insulated, using proper window shading. The importance of these fundamental strategies is increasing.

    When designing for climate resilience, I think of basic strategies like moving expensive equipment from basements to higher floors if you’re in a floodplain, designing for hurricane-resistant envelopes, or putting in operable windows and insulation to mitigate against heat and cold extremes and power outages. These are not unknown technologies.

    If you’re trying to do a cost-benefit analysis, it’s difficult to know the probability that some extreme event is going to hit your building. And you’re right: We have a problem with long-term data because things are changing so quickly that, in some cases, the long-term data may not be adequate anymore. So, while there can be uncertainty about the future, in some ways, our path is becoming clearer.

    GAZETTE: One Vanderbilt incorporated costly, cutting-edge energy technology, and made specific choices around resiliency. By the time the building opened in 2021, new city regulations rendered the technology outdated. Is this kind of thing happening frequently?

    SAMUELSON: One Vanderbilt — that’s an interesting example. They put in a system that burns “natural” gas on site to make both heat and electricity simultaneously, which is generally more efficient than burning gas at the building for heat while also burning fossil fuel at the power plant, wasting most of the heat, and then bringing the electricity to the building. According to the Energy Information Administration, on average in the U.S. in 2019, more than 60 percent of energy was lost going from the power plant to the building. So, One Vanderbilt’s system was considered a step forward from the prevailing technology at the time.

    What happened since the planning of One Vanderbilt is the New York City law regulating certain existing buildings, with carbon caps becoming much more stringent over time. According to the EPA power profiler, in 2021 the city’s electricity was generated from about 90 percent gas, just under 9 percent nuclear, and most of the rest from fossil fuels, with the expectation of future decarbonization. At the same time, if you heat the building with a heat pump, which is the trend we’re moving toward today, each unit of electricity can “pump” more than one unit of heat into the building. But once a building has gas infrastructure, it’s going to be expensive to replace that with electric systems later.

    Another thing about that building is that less glass would use less energy since glass is the worst thermal performer in the envelope. That was likely known at the time and probably other priorities prevailed. So, while we can’t know the future of building regulations, maybe that’s a lesson to all of us: There’s a trend toward more stringent regulations. So, we may need to calibrate our priorities.

    GAZETTE: You mentioned that the rapidly changing regulatory environment is exciting and a positive development, but does it make it more challenging to design and plan projects because you’re making decisions based on existing conditions and but also perhaps want to anticipate what may be coming so you’re not caught flat-footed if something changes in the middle of a project?

    SAMUELSON: In Boston, I’ve heard of new building projects where their future anticipated BERDO 2.0 requirements have tipped the balance in favor of electrifying the building, for example, because they know that by 2050, they will have to be at net zero, so they want to be poised to take advantage of the greening of the grid. Whereas, if you put in a gas system, you’re somewhat locked into using that, and it’s not going to get cleaner as the grid changes.

    These kinds of laws have been spreading to other cities. So, if another major metropolitan area in the U.S. does not yet have these kinds of laws, and I were an architect or a developer in those cities, I would have in mind that there’s a good possibility that these will come, and we should be prepared for them.

    I think you make the best decisions possible with the information that’s available. No one has a crystal ball. That’s how Harvard as a university can help, because we’re able to look farther ahead than what design teams have the capability to spend time on right now, and we can say, “Here’s what we think is coming, and here’s what we think is going to be important if we look farther down the road.” So, the best we can do is to arm decision-makers with the best information possible about the anticipated future.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best-known landmark.

    Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University.

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:58 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Getting to root of possible carbon storage changes due to climate change", "MAOM" has been viewed as “essentially stable over decadal timescales., "MAOM": mineral-associated organic matter, , “Exudates”: organic carbon compounds that interact with bacteria and fungi and other soil elements to make its nutrients more accessible to the plant., , , , Carbon gets bound to clays and other soil minerals essentially capturing and storing it., , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , , , Organismic Biology, Pumping more exudates into the soil increased the exudates in the "MAOM" pool — but the "MAOM" carbon pool didn’t get bigger. It just increased the rate at which "MAOM" was also being lost., Root exudates can prime the soil microbial community to convert nitrogen to what’s called mineralized nitrogen-a form that’s usable for the plant., Study looks at dynamics of how warming may affect capture in soil near trees and other plants., To simulate different root exudates the researchers fabricated three different exudate “cocktails” of simple sugars and amino acids and organic acids and pumped them into soils.   

    From “The Gazette” At Harvard University: “Getting to root of possible carbon storage changes due to climate change” 

    From “The Gazette”

    At

    Harvard University

    5.11.23
    Clea Simon

    Study looks at dynamics of how warming may affect capture in soil near trees and other plants.

    1
    Ph.D. candidate Nikhil Chari (left) and Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Benton Taylor collect root exudates.

    The leaves of trees and plants have been called the Earth’s lungs because they take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. But beneath the soil’s surface, the roots of those plants are doing their bit for regulating the climate, facilitating the storage of carbon in the soil. But small changes in these processes can have considerable effects, as researchers in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology reveal in a study in Nature Geoscience [below].

    Roots release exudates — organic carbon compounds — that interact with bacteria, fungi, and other soil elements to make its nutrients more accessible to the plant. “In its most basic sense, root exudates are materials that get put out into the soil to help the microbial community convert material that’s already in the soil into forms that the root can then take up and use,” explained Benton Taylor, assistant professor in OEB and the study’s senior author. “For example, root exudates can prime the soil microbial community to convert nitrogen to what’s called mineralized nitrogen, a form that’s usable for the plant.”

    These exudates also interact with mineral-associated organic matter (or MAOM), where carbon gets bound to clays and other soil minerals, essentially capturing and storing it.

    “MAOM” has been viewed as “essentially stable over decadal timescales,” according to Taylor, but the researchers found that changes in the rate and composition of root exudation can result in short-term changes to MAOM — and, thus ultimately, to the soil’s ability to store carbon.

    “Root exudates are important regulators of soil carbon storage,” said Nikhil R. Chari, a Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student in OEB. Chari, the study’s lead author, points out that these exudates “are already small molecules so they can directly affect the kind of microscopic soil carbon that makes up MAOM.”

    “If warming or other climate-change drivers change the types of exudates that are coming out on the plant, how is that going to affect these pools of carbon that would normally be in the soil for a long time?” Chari added.

    To simulate different root exudates, the researchers fabricated three different exudate “cocktails” of simple sugars, amino acids, and organic acids and pumped them into soils using artificial roots. In a step distinguishing their experiment from prior work, the researchers performed these tests using intact soil cores from the Harvard Forest, rather than artificial or homogenized soil, preserving native soil biology, structure, and heterogeneity.

    What they found showed the resilience of the soil — up to a point. “When we pumped just a little bit of exudate into the soil, the MAOM carbon pool did grow. It did accumulate bit by bit over time,” said Taylor. “When we pumped more exudates into the soil, more of those exudates made it into the MAOM pool — but the MAOM carbon pool didn’t get bigger. It just increased the rate at which MAOM was also being lost.”

    “Our data suggests that this loss will also increase the release of carbon out of these long-term storage pools, and that we won’t necessarily see this long-term accumulation of stable soil carbon if exudation rates increase,” said Taylor.

    This limitation has real-world implications. “If you think about plants having more carbon available to them as CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rise, you might expect changes in their ability and their propensity to release carbon out of their roots,” said Taylor.

    The researchers also found that their exudate cocktails had differing effects on the MAOM. The organic and amino acids resulted in a lower rate of MAOM formation — and, ultimately, a net carbon accumulation. However, the simple sugar exudates produced a greater MAOM turnover — the equivalent of giving soil microbes a “sugar high,” Taylor suggested.

    “This gives us an idea of how these different exudate compounds will affect soil carbon dynamics,” said Chari. “What we really want to figure out is how these profiles, the rate of the carbon going into the soil and the types of carbon, like sugars or amino acids or organic acids coming in from the plant, are changing.”

    The team, he said, is working with other researchers around the world on the effects of warming and elevated carbon dioxide to “be able to pair the actual changes coming out of the plant with how we see these different exudates affecting soil carbon dynamics,” said Chari. “This would allow us to better predict soil carbon dynamics in the future.”

    Nature Geoscience

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus

    Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best-known landmark.

    Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

    The Massachusetts colonial legislature, the General Court, authorized Harvard University’s founding. In its early years, Harvard College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy, although it has never been formally affiliated with any denomination. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard University (US) had emerged as the central cultural establishment among the Boston elite. Following the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he liberalized admissions after the war.

    The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of academic disciplines for undergraduates and for graduates, while the other faculties offer only graduate degrees, mostly professional. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across the Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard University’s endowment is valued at $41.9 billion, making it the largest of any academic institution. Endowment income helps enable the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide generous financial aid with no loans The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding about 20.4 million items.

    Harvard University has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world and more alumni who have been members of the U.S. Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars (375), and Marshall Scholars (255) than any other university in the United States. Its alumni also include eight U.S. presidents and 188 living billionaires, the most of any university. Fourteen Turing Award laureates have been Harvard affiliates. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.

    Colonial

    Harvard University was established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1638, it acquired British North America’s first known printing press. In 1639, it was named Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge(UK) who had left the school £779 and his library of some 400 volumes. The charter creating the Harvard Corporation was granted in 1650.

    A 1643 publication gave the school’s purpose as “to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” It trained many Puritan ministers in its early years and offered a classic curriculum based on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. Harvard University has never affiliated with any particular denomination, though many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.

    Increase Mather served as president from 1681 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college away from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence.

    19th century

    In the 19th century, Enlightenment ideas of reason and free will were widespread among Congregational ministers, putting those ministers and their congregations in tension with more traditionalist, Calvinist parties. When Hollis Professor of Divinity David Tappan died in 1803 and President Joseph Willard died a year later, a struggle broke out over their replacements. Henry Ware was elected to the Hollis chair in 1805, and the liberal Samuel Webber was appointed to the presidency two years later, signaling the shift from the dominance of traditional ideas at Harvard to the dominance of liberal, Arminian ideas.

    Charles William Eliot, president 1869–1909, eliminated the favored position of Christianity from the curriculum while opening it to student self-direction. Though Eliot was the crucial figure in the secularization of American higher education, he was motivated not by a desire to secularize education but by Transcendentalist Unitarian convictions influenced by William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    20th century

    In the 20th century, Harvard University’s reputation grew as a burgeoning endowment and prominent professors expanded the university’s scope. Rapid enrollment growth continued as new graduate schools were begun and the undergraduate college expanded. Radcliffe College, established in 1879 as the female counterpart of Harvard College, became one of the most prominent schools for women in the United States. Harvard University became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900.

    The student body in the early decades of the century was predominantly “old-stock, high-status Protestants, especially Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians.” A 1923 proposal by President A. Lawrence Lowell that Jews be limited to 15% of undergraduates was rejected, but Lowell did ban blacks from freshman dormitories.

    President James B. Conant reinvigorated creative scholarship to guarantee Harvard University’s preeminence among research institutions. He saw higher education as a vehicle of opportunity for the talented rather than an entitlement for the wealthy, so Conant devised programs to identify, recruit, and support talented youth. In 1943, he asked the faculty to make a definitive statement about what general education ought to be, at the secondary as well as at the college level. The resulting Report, published in 1945, was one of the most influential manifestos in 20th century American education.

    Between 1945 and 1960, admissions were opened up to bring in a more diverse group of students. No longer drawing mostly from select New England prep schools, the undergraduate college became accessible to striving middle class students from public schools; many more Jews and Catholics were admitted, but few blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. Throughout the rest of the 20th century, Harvard became more diverse.

    Harvard University’s graduate schools began admitting women in small numbers in the late 19th century. During World War II, students at Radcliffe College (which since 1879 had been paying Harvard University professors to repeat their lectures for women) began attending Harvard University classes alongside men. Women were first admitted to the medical school in 1945. Since 1971, Harvard University has controlled essentially all aspects of undergraduate admission, instruction, and housing for Radcliffe women. In 1999, Radcliffe was formally merged into Harvard University.

    21st century

    Drew Gilpin Faust, previously the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, became Harvard University’s first woman president on July 1, 2007. She was succeeded by Lawrence Bacow on July 1, 2018.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:56 pm on May 9, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A rock hard technique to harvest atmospheric CO2", , Carbon mineralization — the formation of solid carbonate minerals from CO2— is one of the most stable methods for sequestering carbon., Carbonate minerals are formed when carbon dioxide reacts with magnesium and calcium-rich rocks., Carbonate minerals passively forming in these ultramafic environments are naturally sequestering atmospheric CO2., Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, ,   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: “A rock hard technique to harvest atmospheric CO2” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    5.9.23
    Anne M. Stark
    stark8@llnl.gov
    (925) 422-9799

    1
    From left, LLNL scientists Megan Smith and Kari Finstad collect carbonate mineral samples from weathered rock surfaces at a landslide near Swift Creek in Washington State. Radiocarbon (14C) dating of these newly formed minerals reveals how quickly carbon mineralization occurs in nature. Photo by Roger Aines/LLNL.

    Carbonate minerals are formed when carbon dioxide reacts with magnesium and calcium-rich rocks. But where does that CO2 come from?

    If it comes from the atmosphere, this process at sufficient scale may be able to reliably draw down atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, according to new research by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists. The research appears in the journal Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research [below].

    Carbon mineralization — the formation of solid carbonate minerals from CO2— is one of the most stable methods for sequestering carbon. This process occurs naturally at the Earth’s surface when magnesium (Mg)- and calcium (Ca) – enriched rock types, known as ultramafics, are exposed to CO2-rich water. After CO2 dissolves in water to form bicarbonate, it can react with the Mg or Ca ions released during rock weathering. Previous work has demonstrated that they actively draw down local carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.

    But there hasn’t been a method for unambiguously attributing the sequestered carbon solid product to atmospheric sources until now. LLNL researchers used radiocarbon to verify that the carbon being incorporated into carbonate minerals during carbon mineralization is atmospheric in origin.

    “We were able to identify some environments and locations where all the carbon in the carbonates almost certainly came from the atmosphere,” said LLNL scientist Kari Finstad, lead author of the paper. “It proved what we suspected, that carbonate minerals passively forming in these ultramafic environments are naturally sequestering atmospheric CO2.”

    This passive reaction is well-documented at mine sites composed of processed ultramafic material. Previous work demonstrated that these mine and tailings wastes actively convert available CO2 to more stable solid carbonate materials, but future large-scale implementation of this process to mitigate climate change will require a method to “fingerprint” both the nature and quantity of the CO2 source in the final material (e.g., “new” atmospheric versus geologically “old” and recycled carbon).

    If only atmospheric CO2 is incorporated into a material (as opposed to CO2 derived from other geological, biological or anthropogenic processes), then the radiocarbon (carbon 14) content of the material should match that in the atmosphere at the time of formation.

    “The radiocarbon content of carbonates may provide a unique tool for verifying the sequestration of atmospheric CO2 and determining the proportion of the carbon that is atmospheric in origin,” Finstad said.

    The team, along with researchers from the University of British Columbia and Université Laval, Québec, used LLNL’s Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry to analyze the radiocarbon content of samples collected from recently exposed ultramafic rock surfaces.

    The samples were taken from an experimental mine site and an active landslide.

    “This is not always the case though, we found some instances where older carbon is being incorporated, likely geologic carbon,” Finstad said. “Future work to understand why you sometimes get all atmospheric CO2 and other times it’s a mix is ongoing.”

    LLNL scientists Megan Smith and Roger Aines also contributed to this work. The research is funded by LLNL’s Laboratory Research and Development program.

    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is an American federal research facility in Livermore, California, United States, founded by the University of California- Berkeley in 1952. A Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), it is primarily funded by The U.S. Department of Energy and managed and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), a partnership of the University of California, Bechtel, BWX Technologies, AECOM, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System. In 2012, the laboratory had the synthetic chemical element livermorium named after it.

    LLNL is self-described as “a premier research and development institution for science and technology applied to national security.” Its principal responsibility is ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons through the application of advanced science, engineering and technology. The Laboratory also applies its special expertise and multidisciplinary capabilities to preventing the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction, bolstering homeland security and solving other nationally important problems, including energy and environmental security, basic science and economic competitiveness.
    The National Ignition Facility, is a large laser-based inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research device, located at The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. NIF uses lasers to heat and compress a small amount of hydrogen fuel with the goal of inducing nuclear fusion reactions. NIF’s mission is to achieve fusion ignition with high energy gain, and to support nuclear weapon maintenance and design by studying the behavior of matter under the conditions found within nuclear weapons. NIF is the largest and most energetic ICF device built to date, and the largest laser in the world.

    Construction on the NIF began in 1997 but management problems and technical delays slowed progress into the early 2000s. Progress after 2000 was smoother, but compared to initial estimates, NIF was completed five years behind schedule and was almost four times more expensive than originally budgeted. Construction was certified complete on 31 March 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy, and a dedication ceremony took place on 29 May 2009. The first large-scale laser target experiments were performed in June 2009 and the first “integrated ignition experiments” (which tested the laser’s power) were declared completed in October 2010.

    Bringing the system to its full potential was a lengthy process that was carried out from 2009 to 2012. During this period a number of experiments were worked into the process under the National Ignition Campaign, with the goal of reaching ignition just after the laser reached full power, sometime in the second half of 2012. The Campaign officially ended in September 2012, at about 1⁄10 the conditions needed for ignition. Experiments since then have pushed this closer to 1⁄3, but considerable theoretical and practical work is required if the system is ever to reach ignition. Since 2012, NIF has been used primarily for materials science and weapons research.

    National Igniton Facility- NIF at LLNL

    Operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration


     
  • richardmitnick 9:16 am on May 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New grants support 23 Yale projects tackling climate and biodiversity threats", , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , , The grants focus on an interdisciplinary and diverse group of projects., , This year’s projects represent a range of departments and programs within Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and its graduate and professional schools., , Yale’s leadership in understanding and helping address environmental challenges goes back over 120 years to the founding of our School of the Environment [then known as the Yale Forest School].,   

    From The Faculty of Arts and Sciences And The School of the Environment At Yale University: “New grants support 23 Yale projects tackling climate and biodiversity threats” 

    From The Faculty of Arts and Sciences

    And

    The School of the Environment

    At

    Yale University

    5.4.23
    By Jim Shelton

    Media Contact:
    Fred Mamoun
    fred.mamoun@yale.edu
    203-436-2643

    Yale’s Planetary Solutions Project has awarded seed grants to 23 new proposals. A showcase event featuring last year’s seed grant projects is set for May 8.

    1
    Working to address climate change, biodiversity, and related health and justice issues.

    The grants focus on an interdisciplinary, diverse group of projects such as measuring air pollution exposure at the neighborhood level, detecting the warning signs of animal disease from space, lowering atmospheric methane through bacteria respiration, and developing a membrane to capture carbon from surface water.

    “Yale’s leadership in understanding and helping address environmental challenges goes back over 120 years to the founding of our School of the Environment [then known as the Yale Forest School],” said Yale Provost Scott Strobel. “Due in part to the school’s efficacy, people across the university now search for environmental solutions, from the health sciences to the arts and humanities, to social and natural sciences. And alumni are giving generously to amplify our efforts.”

    The grants are supported by the Climate Impact Innovation Fund (launched in 2022 with a $15 million donation), the Gordon Data and Environmental Sciences Research Grants, the Science Catalyst Fund for Planetary Solutions, and the university.

    This is the second round of seed grants announced since the creation of Yale’s Planetary Solutions Project, whose mission is to accelerate and support the university’s commitment to find practical, innovative ways to mitigate, adapt, and engage on the global climate and biodiversity crises. The Planetary Solutions Project will present a “Spring Showcase” featuring presentations from many of the 2022 seed grant awardees at 12:30 p.m. May 8 in the Humanities Quadrangle.

    Like last year’s grant recipients, this year’s projects represent a range of departments and programs within Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and its graduate and professional schools.

    “These teams are finding partners across and beyond the university, and exploring surprising, creative solutions to our most challenging global environmental problems,” said Casey R. Pickett, director of the Planetary Solutions Project. “We are also grateful to the faculty who gave their time to review the remarkable proposals we received.”

    An 18-member committee comprised of faculty and staff with related expertise read and responded to each of the proposals. All applications were reviewed by relevant subject matter experts, faculty members from related fields, and cross-disciplinary readers. In selecting the recipients, emphasis was also placed on supporting early career researchers and a diversity of perspectives.

    Several of the awarded projects examine the relationship between climate change and human health. One project, for example, focuses on the connection between air pollution and cardiovascular health; another will offer an urban planning model for addressing excessive heat in city neighborhoods.

    Other projects will explore drought resilience mechanisms in ancient Egyptian wheat; determine whether it is possible to detect the presence of animal diseases from space; and advance the study of electrocatalytic dehalogenation, a potential renewable energy-powered process for decontaminating water. There are also projects devoted to carbon capture, climate policy, and remote sensor technology.

    Meanwhile, the projects receiving seed grants a year ago continue to make progress, Pickett said.

    For example, an effort to develop a reform agenda for the World Trade Organization to bring global trade policy in line with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement has commissioned a first round of white papers and held a workshop series that brought together dozens of climate and trade experts.

    For another project, investigators conducted some of the vital research needed to develop more effective catalysts for the conversion of carbon dioxide into useful industrial chemicals. A third project used seed grant funds to build an innovative accounting tool for greenhouse gas emissions in the health care sector.

    “The climate is in crisis,” Strobel said. “We are losing species faster than at any period in human history. These are the challenges of our time. In partnership with people around the world, the Yale community is rising to meet them.”

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Yale School of the Environment

    Vision and Mission

    We are leading the world toward a sustainable future with cutting-edge research, teaching, and public engagement on society’s evolving and urgent environmental challenges.

    Core Values

    Our Mission and Vision are grounded in seven fundamental values:

    Excellence: We promote and engage in path-breaking science, policy, and business models that build on a fundamental commitment to analytic rigor, data, intellectual integrity, and excellence.
    Leadership: We attract outstanding students nationally and internationally and offer a pioneering curriculum that defines the knowledge and skills needed to be a 21st century environmental leader in a range of professions.
    Sustainability: We generate knowledge that will advance thinking and understanding across the various dimensions of sustainability.
    Community: We offer a community that finds strength in its collegiality, diversity, independence, commitment to excellence, and lifelong learning.
    Diversity: We celebrate our differences and identify pathways to a sustainable future that respects diverse values including equity, liberty, and civil discourse.
    Collaboration: We foster collaborative learning, professional skill development, and problem-solving — and we strengthen our scholarship, teaching, policy work, and outreach through partnerships across the university and beyond.
    Responsibility: We encourage environmental stewardship and responsible behavior on campus and beyond.

    Guiding Principles

    In pursuit of our Mission and Vision, we:

    Build on more than a century of work bringing science-based strategies, ethical considerations, and conservation practices to natural resource management.
    Approach problems on a systems basis and from interdisciplinary perspectives.
    Integrate theory and practice, providing innovative solutions to society’s most pressing environmental problems.
    Address environmental challenges at multiple scales and settings — from local to global, urban to rural, managed to wild.
    Draw on the depth of resources at Yale University and our network of alumni who extend across the world.
    Create opportunities for research, policy application, and professional development through our unique centers and programs.
    Provide a diverse forum to convene conversations on difficult issues that are critical to progress on sustainability.
    Bring special focus on the most significant threats to a sustainable future including climate change, the corresponding need for clean energy, and the increasing stresses on our natural resources.

    Statement of Environmental Policy

    As faculty, staff, and students of the Yale School of the Environment, we affirm our commitment to responsible stewardship of the environment of our School, our University, the city of New Haven, and the other sites of our teaching, research, professional, and social activities.

    In the course of these activities, we shall strive to:

    Reduce our use of natural resources.
    Support the sustainable production of the resources we must use by purchasing renewable, reusable, recyclable, and recycled materials.
    Minimize our use of toxic substances and ensure that unavoidable use is in full compliance with federal, state, and local environmental regulations.
    Reduce the amount of waste we generate and promote strategies to reuse and recycle those wastes that cannot be avoided.
    Restore the environment where possible.

    Each member of the School community is encouraged to set an example for others by serving as an active steward of our environment.

    The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is home to 1000+ faculty and 40 departments and programs that span the divisions of Humanities, Social Science, and Science. Our work transforms the lives of our students and leads to fundamental discoveries that change understandings of the past and shape experiences of the future. Below, you will find news and stories of the impact of the FAS along with resources for FAS faculty and staff.

    The mission of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is to preserve, advance, and transmit knowledge through inspiring research, teaching, and art.

    The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) comprises the 40+ departments and programs that, along with the departments of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, provide instruction to the students of Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, including the ladder, instructional, and research faculty members who hold primary or fully joint appointments in them. The FAS spans three broad intellectual areas, represented by the divisions of Humanities, Social Science, and Science. All members of the FAS faculty hold appointments in at least one of these divisions. Through joint appointments and other affiliations, many members of the FAS also carry out their work in Yale’s professional schools or in the West Campus institutes.

    The FAS Dean, assisted by the academic deans, divisional deans, and administrative staff, oversees the activities and decisions that shape the quality of the faculty and the stature of the FAS departments, including faculty searches, recruitment, hiring, mentoring, promotions, retentions, and compensation. Additionally, the office oversees departmental staffing, budgeting, strategic planning, and policies and practices throughout the FAS.

    The FAS Dean’s Office seeks to facilitate the outstanding accomplishments of the FAS faculty in their teaching, research, and contributions to the university community.

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton.

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:41 am on May 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Why mosses are vital for the health of our soil and Earth", , , , , Climate Change; Global warming; Carbon Capture and storage; Ecology, , In patches of soil where mosses were present there was more nutrient cycling and decomposition of organic matter and even control of pathogens harmful to other plants and people., Mosses are the lifeblood of plant ecosystems., Mosses cover a staggering 9.4 million km^2: comparable in size to Canada or China., Mosses like the ones in the dry parts of Australia curl when they get dry but they don’t die – they live in suspended animation forever., Mosses may be instrumental in reabsorbing carbon dioxide., Often ignored or even removed moss provides stabilization for plant ecosystems the world over., , This ancient ancestor of all plants is bringing lots of benefits to our green spaces., This ancient precursor to plants is supporting the storage of 6.43 gigatonnes – or 6.43 billion tonnes – of carbon from the atmosphere.   

    From The University of New South Wales (AU) : “Why mosses are vital for the health of our soil and Earth” 

    UNSW bloc

    From The University of New South Wales (AU)

    5.2.23
    Lachlan Gilbert

    Often ignored or even removed moss provides stabilization for plant ecosystems the world over.

    1
    When mosses cover the soil, it’s a good sign, not a bad one. They lay foundations for other plant life to thrive. Photo: UNSW.

    Some people see moss growing in their gardens as a problem, but what they may not realize is this ancient ancestor of all plants is bringing lots of benefits to our green spaces, such as protecting against erosion.

    Now a massive global study led by UNSW Sydney has found mosses are not just good for the garden, but are just as vital for the health of the entire planet when they grow on topsoil. Not only do they lay the foundations for plants to flourish in ecosystems around the world, they may play an important role mitigating against climate change by capturing vast amounts of carbon.

    In a study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience [below], lead author Dr David Eldridge and more than 50 colleagues from international research institutions described how they collected samples of mosses growing on soil from more than 123 ecosystems across the globe, ranging from lush, tropical rainforest, to barren polar landscapes, through to arid deserts like those found in Australia. The researchers found that mosses cover a staggering 9.4 million km^2 in the environments surveyed, which compares in size to Canada or China.

    “We were originally really interested in how natural systems of native vegetation that haven’t been disturbed much differ from human made systems like parks and gardens – our green spaces,” says Dr Eldridge, who is with UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences.

    “So for this study, we wanted to look at a bit more detail about mosses and what they actually do, in terms of providing essential services to the environment. We looked at what was happening in soils dominated by mosses and what was happening in soils where there were no mosses. And we were gobsmacked to find that mosses were doing all these amazing things.”

    2
    Mosses have roots and leaves, but their roots are different to those of vascular plants, with root-like growths called rhizoids that anchor them to the soil surface. Photo: UNSW.

    It turns out that mosses are the lifeblood of plant ecosystems, that plants actually benefit from having moss as a neighbor. The researchers assessed 24 ways that moss provided benefits to soil and other plants. In patches of soil where mosses were present, there was more nutrient cycling, decomposition of organic matter and even control of pathogens harmful to other plants and people.

    On top of that, the authors say mosses may be instrumental in reabsorbing carbon dioxide. They estimated that compared to bare soils where there was no moss, this ancient precursor to plants is supporting the storage of 6.43 gigatonnes – or 6.43 billion tonnes – of carbon from the atmosphere. These levels of carbon capture are of a similar magnitude of levels of carbon release from agricultural practices such as land clearing and overgrazing.

    “So you’ve got all the global emissions from land use change, such as grazing, clearing vegetation and activities associated with agriculture – we think mosses are sucking up six times more carbon dioxide, so it’s not one to one, it’s six times better,” Dr Eldridge says.

    The researchers say that the positive ecological functions of soil mosses are also likely associated with their influence on surface microclimates, such as by affecting soil temperature and moisture.

    What exactly is moss?

    Mosses are different to vascular plants. They have roots and leaves, but their roots are different, with root-like growths called rhizoids that anchor them to the soil surface.

    “Mosses don’t have the plumbing that an ordinary plant has, called a xylem and a phloem, which water moves through,” Dr Eldridge says.

    “But moss survives by picking up water from the atmosphere. And some mosses, like the ones in the dry parts of Australia, curl when they get dry, but they don’t die – they live in suspended animation forever. We’ve taken mosses out of a packet after 100 years, squirted them with water and watched them come to life. Their cells don’t disintegrate like ordinary plants do.”

    3
    Before and after shots of native Australian moss Barbula calycina being dehydrated (left) and replenished with water (right). Photo: UNSW.

    Without moss, our ecosystems would be in big trouble, says Dr Eldridge. He is amazed that people often see moss as a problem in urban settings when it’s actually playing an important role in nature.

    “People think if moss is growing on soil it means the soil is sterile or has something wrong with it. But it’s actually doing great things, you know, in terms of the chemistry of the soil, like adding more carbon and nitrogen, as well as being primary stabilizers when you get lots of disturbance.”

    He says when you lose moss through land clearing or natural disturbances, you lose the ability to hold the soil together, leading to erosion.

    “And it means you’re going to lose nutrients, you’re going to lose habitat for microbes, the whole system becomes destabilized.”

    Moss can even come to the rescue in disturbed ecosystems. Dr Eldridge points to research examining the area around the Mount St Helens Volcano following a devastating eruption in the early 1980s. Most of the flora and fauna was denuded near the eruption site, but researchers who tracked how life returned to the mountain noticed that mosses were among the first forms of life to reappear.

    “The first things to come back were cyanobacteria, blue green algae, because they’re very primitive, and then mosses came back,” he says.

    “What we show in our research is that where you have mosses you have a greater level of soil health, such as more carbon and more nitrogen. So they’re helping to prime the soil for the return of trees, shrubs, and grasses, that eventually end up getting out-competed in the process. So they’re the first guys that get in there and fix things up and then first to leave.”

    Up next

    Future research aims to examine whether urban mosses can create healthy soils as effectively as those growing in natural areas.

    “We are also keen to develop strategies to reintroduce mosses into degraded soils to speed up the regeneration process,” Dr Eldridge says.

    “Mosses may well provide the perfect vehicle to kick start the recovery of severely degraded urban and natural area soils.”

    Nature Geoscience

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    U NSW Campus

    The University of New South Wales is an Australian public university with its largest campus in the Sydney suburb of Kensington.

    Established in 1949, UNSW is a research university, ranked 44th in the world in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and 67th in the world in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. UNSW is one of the founding members of the Group of Eight, a coalition of Australian research-intensive universities, and of Universitas 21, a global network of research universities. It has international exchange and research partnerships with over 200 universities around the world.

    According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UNSW is ranked top 20 in the world for Law, Accounting and Finance, and 1st in Australia for Mathematics, Engineering and Technology. UNSW also leads Australia in Medicine, where the median ATAR (Australian university entrance examination results) of its Medical School students is higher than any other Australian medical school. UNSW enrolls the highest number of Australia’s top 500 high school students academically, and produces more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university.

    The university comprises seven faculties, through which it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The main campus is in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the Sydney CBD. The creative arts faculty, UNSW Art & Design, is located in Paddington, and subcampuses are located in the Sydney CBD as well as several other suburbs, including Randwick and Coogee. Research stations are located throughout the state of New South Wales.

    The university’s second largest campus, known as UNSW Canberra at ADFA (formerly known as UNSW at ADFA), is situated in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ADFA is the military academy of the Australian Defense Force, and UNSW Canberra is the only national academic institution with a defense focus.

    Research centres

    The university has a number of purpose-built research facilities, including:

    UNSW Lowy Cancer Research Centre is Australia’s first facility bringing together researchers in childhood and adult cancers, as well as one of the country’s largest cancer-research facilities, housing up to 400 researchers.
    The Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre is a centre for the faculties of science, medicine, and engineering. It is used to study the structure and composition of biological, chemical, and physical materials.
    UNSW Canberra Cyber is a cyber-security research and teaching centre.
    The Sino-Australian Research Centre for Coastal Management (SARCCM) has a multidisciplinary focus, and works collaboratively with the Ocean University of China [中國海洋大學](CN) in coastal management research.

     
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