Tagged: Environmental Sciences Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 6:47 am on April 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Tibetan Plateau soil temperatures are found to affect climate regionally and globally", , Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, , , , , Environmental Sciences, Even changes of one or two degrees Celsius in surface temperatures can make a major difference., , Researchers combined satellite and ground-based temperature and precipitation observations with global climate models., The study found that a colder Tibetan Plateau makes a weak monsoon more likely while warmer conditions make a strong one more likely., The study is the first to discover the relationship between soil temperatures of the Tibetan Plateau and global climate and weather phenomena., , This latest study also found a Tibetan Plateau–Rocky Mountain wave train -a pattern of high- and low-pressure systems that stretches across the Pacific Ocean., Understanding the Tibetan Plateau’s influence on climate improves meteorologists’ and climatologists’ ability to predict seasonal and sub-seasonal climatic conditions., When the Rocky Mountains are colder in spring the southern plains are more likely to see dry weather or drought conditions in summer., When the Tibetan Plateau is warm the Rocky Mountains are cold and vice versa.   

    From The University of California-Los Angeles: “Tibetan Plateau soil temperatures are found to affect climate regionally and globally” 

    From The University of California-Los Angeles

    David Colgan

    The Tibetan Plateau includes the Himalayas, home to 100 mountains over 23,600 feet high. Michel Royon/Wikimedia Commons.

    Forecasting weather is tricky. Even with the most advanced technology, natural systems are so complex that meteorologists cannot accurately forecast beyond 10 days.

    So predicting months and seasons into the future is challenging; yet that is the focus of a growing area of climate science that began in earnest in the 1980s. It started with the discovery of how weather patterns are affected by El Niño, a natural phenomenon that causes surface water temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean to rise for up to a year.

    El Niño makes certain global weather conditions more likely: North and South America get more precipitation, while Australia gets less, and Japan is less likely to see an active cyclone season. Similarly, other ocean temperature conditions in the Atlantic and Pacific make regional and remote weather outcomes more likely, including rainfall in the tropics and the strength of major storms. Each new factor discovered improves researchers’ ability to forecast weather for months and seasons.

    Over the past 20 years, UCLA professor Yongkang Xue has been learning how land temperature and moisture influences climate patterns. His latest paper, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society [below] and co-authored by a global group of elite scientists, found that soil temperature variations in the Tibetan Plateau affect major climate patterns, such as the East Asian monsoon — seasonal rains that help grow food, generate power and maintain ecosystems in lands populated by more than a billion people.

    Fig. 1.
    Observed differences between the five coldest and the five warmest Mays in the Tibetan Plateau. (a) The difference in May T2m (°C) and (b) the difference in June precipitation for the same years. Note that the stippling in both figures denote statistical significance at the p < 0.1 level. In this study, the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) T2m data (Han et al. 2019), which consist in 80 stations over the TP and more than 2,400 stations over all of China, are used over China. The Climate Anomaly Monitoring System (CAMS) T2m data are used elsewhere. The Climate Research Unit (CRU) data are used for precipitation over globe.

    Soil temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau alter the temperature gradient from the Himalayan mountaintops down to the Bay of Bengal, the source of the monsoon’s moisture. In turn, that affects the pattern of high- and low-pressure systems and the jet stream — a high-atmosphere air flow with a powerful influence over where storms dump their precipitation. A colder Tibetan Plateau makes a weak monsoon more likely, the study found, while warmer conditions make a strong one more likely, with increased tendency to flood in the Asian monsoon region.

    The effect mirrors one that Xue’s research found in North America. When the Rocky Mountains are colder in spring, the southern plains are more likely to see dry weather or drought conditions in summer. Conversely, a warmer spring increases the chance of wet conditions— including extreme flooding, such as Houston’s catastrophic Memorial Day Flood of 2015.

    This latest study also found that temperature fluctuations of these two mountain systems are related through a Tibetan Plateau–Rocky Mountain wave train — a pattern of high- and low-pressure systems that stretches across the Pacific Ocean. When the Tibetan Plateau is warm, the Rocky Mountains are cold, and vice versa.

    “It’s not only that the Tibetan Plateau’s temperature influences the eastern part of the lowland plains in China and the Rocky Mountains influence precipitation in the southern plains — it’s global,” Xue said.

    Even changes of one or two degrees Celsius in surface temperatures can make a major difference, he says. This is because of the vastness of geological features like the Tibetan Plateau, which is about a million square miles of land with an average elevation of nearly 15,000 feet above sea level. In some locations, the temperature changes account for up to 40% of precipitation anomalies.

    To reach their findings, researchers combined satellite- and ground-based temperature and precipitation observations with global climate models. The models simulate climate outcomes based on data measurements, with and without the influence of soil temperature changes in the Tibetan Plateau.

    The study is the first to discover the relationship between soil temperatures of the Tibetan Plateau and global climate and weather phenomena. Xue stressed that much more research is needed to flesh out the details.

    The goal of the research, which was organized by the World Climate Research Program and funded by the National Science Foundation, is to improve the ability to predict weather conditions months and seasons ahead. More effectively doing so could save billions or even trillions of dollars by giving industries such as agriculture better guidance. Having advance knowledge of a light monsoon season, for example, could guide farmers to plant more drought-tolerant crops. Better predictions can also help protect human lives in extreme weather and flooding.

    Understanding the Tibetan Plateau’s influence on climate improves meteorologists’ and climatologists’ ability to predict seasonal and sub-seasonal climatic conditions. And, though the predictions are far from certain, even knowing there’s a greater likelihood of a strong monsoon or a drought is valuable, said David Neelin, a UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a co-author of the paper.

    “If you’re a farmer deciding how much crop insurance to buy and you can use this prediction across multiple years, you’ll come out ahead in the long term,” Neelin said. “It’s the same with El Niño. It doesn’t guarantee, but it helps.”

    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    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”.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    UC LA Campus

    For nearly 100 years, The University of California-Los Angeles has been a pioneer, persevering through impossibility, turning the futile into the attainable.

    We doubt the critics, reject the status quo and see opportunity in dissatisfaction. Our campus, faculty and students are driven by optimism. It is not naïve; it is essential. And it has fueled every accomplishment, allowing us to redefine what’s possible, time after time.

    This can-do perspective has brought us 12 Nobel Prizes, 12 Rhodes Scholarships, more NCAA titles than any university and more Olympic medals than most nations. Our faculty and alumni helped create the Internet and pioneered reverse osmosis. And more than 100 companies have been created based on technology developed at UCLA.

    The University of California-Los Angeles is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. The University of California-Los Angeles traces its early origins back to 1882 as the southern branch of the California State Normal School (now San Jose State University). It became the Southern Branch of The University of California in 1919, making it the second-oldest (after University of California-Berkeley ) of the 10-campus University of California system.

    The University of California-Los Angeles offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, enrolling about 31,500 undergraduate and 12,800 graduate students. The University of California-Los Angeles had 168,000 applicants for Fall 2021, including transfer applicants, making the school the most applied-to of any American university.

    The university is organized into six undergraduate colleges; seven professional schools; and four professional health science schools. The undergraduate colleges are the College of Letters and Science; Samueli School of Engineering; School of the Arts and Architecture; Herb Alpert School of Music; School of Theater, Film and Television; and School of Nursing.

    The University of California-Los Angeles is called a “Public Ivy”, and is ranked among the best public universities in the United States by major college and university rankings. This includes one ranking that has The University of California-Los Angeles as the top public university in the United States in 2021. As of October 2020, 25 Nobel laureates; three Fields Medalists; five Turing Award winners; and two Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The University of California-Los Angeles as faculty, researchers or alumni. Among the current faculty members, 55 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; 28 to the National Academy of Engineering ; 39 to the Institute of Medicine; and 124 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

    The university was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1974.

    The University of California-Los Angeles student-athletes compete as the Bruins in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bruins have won 129 national championships, including 118 NCAA team championships- more than any other university except Stanford University, whose athletes have won 126. The University of California-Los Angeles students, coaches, and staff have won 251 Olympic medals: 126 gold; 65 silver; and 60 bronze. The University of California-Los Angeles student-athletes have competed in every Olympics since 1920 with one exception (1924) and have won a gold medal in every Olympics the U.S. participated in since 1932.

    In 1914, the school moved to a new campus on Vermont Avenue (now the site of Los Angeles City College) in East Hollywood. In 1917, UC Regent Edward Augustus Dickson, the only regent representing the Southland at the time and Ernest Carroll Moore- Director of the Normal School, began to lobby the State Legislature to enable the school to become the second University of California campus, after University of California-Berkeley. They met resistance from University of California-Berkeley alumni, Northern California members of the state legislature, and Benjamin Ide Wheeler- President of the University of California from 1899 to 1919 who were all vigorously opposed to the idea of a southern campus. However, David Prescott Barrows the new President of the University of California did not share Wheeler’s objections.

    On May 23, 1919, the Southern Californians’ efforts were rewarded when Governor William D. Stephens signed Assembly Bill 626 into law which acquired the land and buildings and transformed the Los Angeles Normal School into the Southern Branch of the University of California. The same legislation added its general undergraduate program- the Junior College. The Southern Branch campus opened on September 15 of that year offering two-year undergraduate programs to 250 Junior College students and 1,250 students in the Teachers College under Moore’s continued direction. Southern Californians were furious that their so-called “branch” provided only an inferior junior college program (mocked at the time by The University of Southern California students as “the twig”) and continued to fight Northern Californians (specifically, Berkeley) for the right to three and then four years of instruction culminating in bachelor’s degrees. On December 11, 1923 the Board of Regents authorized a fourth year of instruction and transformed the Junior College into the College of Letters and Science which awarded its first bachelor’s degrees on June 12, 1925.

    Under University of California President William Wallace Campbell, enrollment at the Southern Branch expanded so rapidly that by the mid-1920s the institution was outgrowing the 25-acre Vermont Avenue location. The Regents searched for a new location and announced their selection of the so-called “Beverly Site”—just west of Beverly Hills—on March 21, 1925 edging out the panoramic hills of the still-empty Palos Verdes Peninsula. After the athletic teams entered the Pacific Coast conference in 1926 the Southern Branch student council adopted the nickname “Bruins”, a name offered by the student council at The University of California-Berkeley. In 1927, the Regents renamed the Southern Branch the University of California at Los Angeles (the word “at” was officially replaced by a comma in 1958 in line with other UC campuses). In the same year the state broke ground in Westwood on land sold for $1 million- less than one-third its value- by real estate developers Edwin and Harold Janss for whom the Janss Steps are named. The campus in Westwood opened to students in 1929.

    The original four buildings were the College Library (now Powell Library); Royce Hall; the Physics-Biology Building (which became the Humanities Building and is now the Renee and David Kaplan Hall); and the Chemistry Building (now Haines Hall) arrayed around a quadrangular courtyard on the 400-acre (1.6 km^2) campus. The first undergraduate classes on the new campus were held in 1929 with 5,500 students. After lobbying by alumni; faculty; administration and community leaders University of California-Los Angeles was permitted to award the master’s degree in 1933 and the doctorate in 1936 against continued resistance from The University of California-Berkeley.

    Maturity as a university

    During its first 32 years University of California-Los Angeles was treated as an off-site department of The University of California. As such its presiding officer was called a “provost” and reported to the main campus in Berkeley. In 1951 University of California-Los Angeles was formally elevated to co-equal status with The University of California-Berkeley, and its presiding officer Raymond B. Allen was the first chief executive to be granted the title of chancellor. The appointment of Franklin David Murphy to the position of Chancellor in 1960 helped spark an era of tremendous growth of facilities and faculty honors. By the end of the decade The University of California-Los Angeles had achieved distinction in a wide range of subjects. This era also secured University of California-Los Angeles’s position as a proper university and not simply a branch of the University of California system. This change is exemplified by an incident involving Chancellor Murphy, which was described by him:

    “I picked up the telephone and called in from somewhere and the phone operator said, “University of California.” And I said, “Is this Berkeley?” She said, “No.” I said, “Well who have I gotten to?” ” University of California-Los Angeles.” I said, “Why didn’t you say University of California-Los Angeles?” “Oh”, she said, “we’re instructed to say University of California.” So, the next morning I went to the office and wrote a memo; I said, “Will you please instruct the operators, as of noon today, when they answer the phone to say, ‘ University of California-Los Angeles.'” And they said, “You know they won’t like it at Berkeley.” And I said, “Well, let’s just see. There are a few things maybe we can do around here without getting their permission.”

    Recent history

    On June 1, 2016 two men were killed in a murder-suicide at an engineering building in the university. School officials put the campus on lockdown as Los Angeles Police Department officers including SWAT cleared the campus.

    In 2018, a student-led community coalition known as “Westwood Forward” successfully led an effort to break The University of California-Los Angeles and Westwood Village away from the existing Westwood Neighborhood Council and form a new North Westwood Neighborhood Council with over 2,000 out of 3,521 stakeholders voting in favor of the split. Westwood Forward’s campaign focused on making housing more affordable and encouraging nightlife in Westwood by opposing many of the restrictions on housing developments and restaurants the Westwood Neighborhood Council had promoted.




    College of Letters and Science
    Social Sciences Division
    Humanities Division
    Physical Sciences Division
    Life Sciences Division
    School of the Arts and Architecture
    Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science (HSSEAS)
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    School of Theater, Film and Television
    School of Nursing
    Luskin School of Public Affairs


    Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSEIS)
    School of Law
    Anderson School of Management
    Luskin School of Public Affairs
    David Geffen School of Medicine
    School of Dentistry
    Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health
    Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
    School of Nursing


    The University of California-Los Angeles is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and had $1.32 billion in research expenditures in FY 2018.

  • richardmitnick 9:33 am on March 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Living with fire - Community learns how to set fires in order to prevent them", , , , , Environmental Sciences, , UW research and expertise are playing an important role in forest management across Eastern Washington particularly in the state's Methow Valley.   

    From The University of Washington : “Living with fire – Community learns how to set fires in order to prevent them” 

    From The University of Washington

    Story by: Jackson Holtz
    Video by: Kiyomi Taguchi
    Photos by: Mark Stone

    Agencies that are well practiced in putting out wildfires are now learning a new skill: how to set the spark and fan the flames. UW research and expertise are playing an important role in forest management across Eastern Washington, particularly in the state’s Methow Valley.

    Agencies that are well practiced in putting out wildfires are now learning a new skill: how to set the spark and fan the flames.

    That’s the case for the state Department of Natural Resources, which is starting to use prescribed burning as part of its strategy for fighting wildfires.

    “The DNR is good at putting out fires,” said Susan Prichard, a University of Washington researcher who lives and works in the Methow Valley, an area prone to wildfires. “Now they’re laying the groundwork to use more intentional burning in dry forests.”

    This kind of forest management is important, say key community stakeholders.

    Fighting fire with fire in the Methow Valley.

    “Prescribed burning is an essential tool that our community continues to look to, along with other forest management practices, to ensure our forested areas are healthy and resilient for future generations,” Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said. “I appreciate Susan’s participation at the table when it comes to sustainable best practices for forest management in our community.”

    The importance of forest restoration and management is vital to this region, said Jasmine Minbashian, executive director of Methow Valley Citizens Council, a conservation group.

    “We want to go at it in a way that’s consistent with the latest science,” Minbashian said. “So having Susan helping us and guide us and giving us a really strong foundation of science to enable us to evaluate these projects has been hugely helpful.”

    How prescribed fires can play an important role in restoring forests to health is pivotal to Prichard’s work, which is gaining recognition both from her neighbors and, increasingly, a national audience. She’s been quoted in Outside Magazine, Nature and other high-profile publications.

    Photos above: Evidence of past fires dot the landscape across Washington’s Methow Valley.

    “I like to think about fire in a complex way,” she said. “We can’t just sit back and be passive about fire.” Increasingly, Prichard said, her message is: How do we work with fire?

    “Because it’s going to be here,” she said. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. So can we bring in some fire now to prevent the destructive fire later?”

    It’s a question she’s been studying for nearly two decades, using the forests around her as a laboratory. And its answers can mean a vital link between surviving wildfires and fighting off the devastation that wildfires bring, experts agree.

    Before white settlers displaced Native peoples in the Methow Valley, fire was a regular part of the landscape, Prichard said. Forests were burned, either by lightning strikes or by people. It wasn’t until European settlers moved in that humans started suppressing fire, building up fuels in the forests.

    Susan Prichard, left, with a collaborator in the field.

    Now, Prichard is advocating a return to intentional use of fire in these forests.

    She’s studying the buildup of carbon – in the form of forests – and how to mitigate climate change, while restoring forests to their more natural conditions. Through the study of how past thinning and prescribed burning worked in large wildfire events, Prichard and colleagues have proven evidence that dry forest restoration, including thinning and burning, can make forests more resilient to fire with much higher tree survivorship than in untreated forests.

    Prichard grew up on Whidbey Island and spent time hiking in the Cascades and Olympics. As a young teen she saw the scarred landscapes left behind by logging companies.

    “Clear cutting really bothered me,” she said. It was then she knew that she wanted to be an environmental scientist. “That idea latched onto my 13-year-old brain and I never let it go.”

    After graduate work at the UW (MS ’96; Ph.D. ’03), she moved to the Methow, where she conducts research as part of the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory and a research scientist at the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

    In 2006, she believed the Tripod Complex Fire would be the worst she ever saw. That was before 2014 when the Carlton Complex erupted.

    All the signs were there for us that year, Prichard said. Dry winter, hot spring, low snow pack, gusting winds.

    Then, on July 17 with sustained winds of more than 35 mph, lightning struck and ignited the forest near Carlton and Cougar Flats. Fueled by the winds, “the fires took a huge walk,” Prichard said, some 40 miles to the banks of the Columbia River.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “This entire valley was lit up and glowing.”

    Smoke rose 25,000 feet into the atmosphere. Flames destroyed more than 350 homes and burned some 256,000 acres. It remains the largest wildfire in Washington state history, running a tab of about $98 million.

    But despite the destruction, there’s a flip side to fire.

    “Fires often are renewal agents,” Prichard said. They burn accumulated fuels – the scientific term for combustible biomass in the form of live and dead vegetation – and prepare the ecosystem to start over.

    That renewal can be true for people, too.

    Scientific knowledge about fires also is spread over soup at the dinner table. That’s where neighbor and friend, Derek Van Marter, share a meal and news of the valley.

    Van Marter’s home burned in 2014, the same year of Carlton Complex Fire. Feeling trapped among smoke and debris from the massive Carlton Complex wildfire, Van Marter and his family had fled to Port Angeles for some downtime away from the smoke. That’s when another fire, the Rising Eagle Road Fire, erupted near his home.

    The news that his home was destroyed came via phone calls. By the time he returned to the Methow, only burning embers remained.

    Derek Van Marter.

    “We came back and it was just a waste land,” he said. “It was like an alien wasteland.”

    The house, including cats and chickens, imploded on itself just because of the heat of the fire, Van Marter said. Firefighters reported that the fire burned hotter than 2,000 degrees F.

    “It was devastation,” Van Marter said.

    It also was a pivot point. Van Marter, his wife, daughter and dog survived the fire. They could — and did — rebuild. And today, like many in the Methow Valley, they’ve rebuilt being “FireWise.”

    He’s adapted his new home for fire, growing an irrigated lawn, cutting back tall shrubs and “limbing up” the nearby trees – that’s making sure the limbs are trimmed so only the tree’s canopy thrives. It’s all meant to reduce fire fuels and protect property.

    Being prepared isn’t just prudent, it’s neighborly, Van Marter said. “The more you can do as a property owner, the better neighbor you are.”

    Here in the Methow, that kind of fire thinking is the stuff people talk about in the grocery store. It’s also exactly what the community needs — and actively is doing, Prichard said.

    “I’m surrounded by fire experts,” she said.

    Fire here is personal and the community is deeply engaged in understanding the need for forest management.

    “I believe we need to continue to have the valuable conversations needed to make informed decisions about wildfire management at the local level,” Ing-Moody said. “Having Susan here enables us to have the dialogue needed to ensure our forests are managed in a healthy way.”

    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”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    Stem Education Coalition


    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless, many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

  • richardmitnick 9:06 pm on March 21, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Billions of tonnes of ice lost from Antarctic Ice sheet", , , , Environmental Sciences, Scientists have calculated that the fastest changing Antarctic region - the Amundsen Sea Embayment - has lost more than 3000 billion tonnes of ice over a 25-year period.,   

    From The University of Leeds (UK): “Billions of tonnes of ice lost from Antarctic Ice sheet” 

    U Leeds bloc

    From The University of Leeds (UK)

    David Lewis


    Scientists have calculated that the fastest changing Antarctic region - the Amundsen Sea Embayment - has lost more than 3000 billion tonnes of ice over a 25-year period.  

    If all the lost ice was piled on London, it would stand over 2 km tall - or 7.4 times the height of the Shard. If it were to cover Manhattan, it would stand at 61 km – or 137 Empire State Buildings placed on top of one another. 

    Twenty major glaciers form the Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica, which is more than four times the size of the UK, and they play a key role in contributing to the level of the world’s oceans.  

     So much water is held in the snow and ice, that if it were to all to drain into the sea, global sea levels could increase by more than one metre.  

    The research, led by Dr Benjamin Davison at the University of Leeds, calculated the “mass balance” of the Amundsen Sea Embayment. This describes the balance between mass of snow and ice gain due to snowfall and mass lost through calving, where icebergs form at the end of a glacier and drift out to sea.

    When calving happens faster than the ice is replaced by snowfall, then the Embayment loses mass overall and contributes to global sea level rise. Similarly, when snowfall supply drops, the Embayment can lose mass overall and contribute to sea level rise.

    The results show that West Antarctica saw a net decline of 3,331 billion tonnes of ice between 1996 and 2021, contributing over nine millimetres to global sea levels.  Changes in ocean temperature and currents are thought to have been the most important factors driving the loss of ice. 

    Dr Davison, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at Leeds, said: “The 20 glaciers in West Antarctica have lost an awful lot of ice over the last quarter of a century and there is no sign that the process is going to reverse anytime soon although there were periods where the rate of mass loss did ease slightly. 

    “Scientists are monitoring what is happening in the Amundsen Sea Embayment because of the crucial role it plays in sea-level rise. If ocean levels were to rise significantly in future years, there are communities around the world who would experience extreme flooding.” 

    The research has been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications [below].

    Iceberg floating from the Amundsen Sea Embayment. ULeeds.

    Extreme snowfall events 

    Using climate models that show how air currents move around the world, the scientists identified that the Amundsen Sea Embayment had experienced several extreme snowfall events over the 25-year study period. 

    These would have resulted in periods of heavy snowfall and periods of very little snowfall or a “snow drought”. 

    The researchers factored these extreme events into their calculations. Surprisingly, they found that these events contributed up to half of the ice change at certain times, and therefore played a key role in the contribution the Amundsen Sea Embayment was making to sea level rise during certain time periods.  

    For example, between 2009 and 2013, the models revealed a period of a persistent snow drought. The lack of snowfall starved the ice sheet and caused it to lose ice, therefore contributing about 25% more to sea level rise than in years of average snowfall. 

    In contrast, during the winters of 2019 and 2020 there was very heavy snowfall. The scientists estimated that this heavy snowfall mitigated the sea level contribution from the Amundsen Sea Embayment, reducing it to about half of what it would have been in an average year.  

    Dr Davison said: “Changes in ocean temperature and circulation appear to be driving the long-term, large-scale changes in West Antarctica ice sheet mass.  We absolutely need to research those more because they are likely to control the overall sea level contribution from West Antarctica.  

    “However, we were really surprised to see just how much periods of extremely low or high snowfall could affect the ice sheet over two to five-year periods – so much so that we think they could play an important, albeit secondary role, in controlling rates of West Antarctic ice loss.” 

    Dr Pierre Dutrieux, a scientist at the British Antarctic Survey and co-author of the study, added: “Ocean temperature changes and glacial dynamics appear strongly connected in this part of the world, but this work highlights the large variability and unexpected processes by which snowfall also plays a direct role in modulating glacier mass.”

    New glacier named

    The ice loss from the region over the past 25 years has seen the retreat of the Pine Island Glacier,  also known as PIG.

    As it retreated, one of its tributary glaciers became detached from the main glacier and rapidly accelerated. As a result, the tributary glacier has now been named by the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee, Piglet Glacier, so that it can be unambiguously located and identified by future studies.  

    Dr Anna Hogg, one of the authors of the paper and Associate Professor at the Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Science at Leeds, said: “As well as shedding new light on the role of extreme snowfall variability on ice sheet mass changes, this research also provides new estimates of how quickly this important region of Antarctica is contributing to sea level rise.  

    “Satellite observations have showed that the newly named Piglet Glacier accelerated its ice speed by 40%, as the larger PIG retreated to its smallest extent since records began.”  

    Satellites such as the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite, which uses sensors that ‘see’ through cloud even during the long Polar night, have transformed our ability to monitor remote regions. 

    It is essential to have frequent measurements of change in ice speed and iceberg calving, so that we can monitor the incredibly rapid change taking place in Antarctica. 

    Nature Communications
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    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”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Leeds Campus

    The University of Leeds is a public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1874 as the Yorkshire College of Science. In 1884 it merged with the Leeds School of Medicine (established 1831) and was renamed Yorkshire College. It became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887, joining Owens College (which became The University of Manchester (UK)) and University College Liverpool (which became The University of Liverpool (UK)). In 1904 a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII.

    The university has 36,330 students, the 5th largest university in the UK (out of 169). From 2006 to present, the university has consistently been ranked within the top 5 (alongside the University of Manchester, The Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), The University of Nottingham (UK) and The University of Edinburgh (SCT)) in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received. Leeds had an income of £751.7 million in 2020/21, of which £130.1 million was from research grants and contracts. The university has financial endowments of £90.5 million (2020–21), ranking outside the top ten British universities by financial endowment.

    Notable alumni include current Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer, former Secretary of State Jack Straw, former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Sayeeda Warsi, Piers Sellers (NASA astronaut) and six Nobel laureates.

    The university’s history is linked to the development of Leeds as an international centre for the textile industry and clothing manufacture in the United Kingdom during the Victorian era. The university’s roots can be traced back to the formation of schools of medicine in English cities to serve the general public.

    Before 1900, only six universities had been established in England and Wales: The University of Oxford (UK) (founded c. 1096–1201), The University of Cambridge (UK) (c. 1201), The University of London (UK) (1836), The University of Durham (UK) (1837), Victoria University (UK) (1880), and The University of Wales Trinity Saint David[ Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant](WLS) (1893).

    The Victoria University was established in Manchester in 1880 as a federal university in the North of England, instead of the government elevating Owens College to a university and grant it a royal charter. Owens College was the sole college of Victoria University from 1880 to 1884; in 1887 Yorkshire College was the third to join the university.

    Leeds was given its first university in 1887 when the Yorkshire College joined the federal Victoria University on 3 November. The Victoria University had been established by royal charter in 1880; Owens College being at first the only member college. Leeds now found itself in an educational union with close social cousins from Manchester and Liverpool.

    Unlike Owens College, the Leeds campus of the Victoria University had never barred women from its courses. However, it was not until special facilities were provided at the Day Training College in 1896 that women began enrolling in significant numbers. The first female student to begin a course at the university was Lilias Annie Clark, who studied Modern Literature and Education.

    The Victoria (Leeds) University was a short-lived concept, as the multiple university locations in Manchester and Liverpool were keen to establish themselves as separate, independent universities. This was partially due to the benefits a university had for the cities of Liverpool and Manchester whilst the institutions were also unhappy with the practical difficulties posed by maintaining a federal arrangement across broad distances. The interests of the universities and respective cities in creating independent institutions was further spurred by the granting of a charter to the University of Birmingham in 1900 after lobbying from Joseph Chamberlain.

    Following a Royal Charter and Act of Parliament in 1903, the then newly formed University of Liverpool began the fragmentation of the Victoria University by being the first member to gain independence. The University of Leeds soon followed suit and had been granted a royal charter as an independent body by King Edward VII by 1904.

    The Victoria University continued after the break-up of the group, with an amended constitution and renamed as the Victoria University of Manchester (though “Victoria” was usually omitted from its name except in formal usage) until September 2004. On 1 October 2004 a merger with the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology was enacted to form The University of Manchester.

    In December 2004, financial pressures forced the university’s governing body (the Council) to decide to close the Bretton campus. Activities at Bretton were moved to the main university campus in the summer of 2007 (allowing all Bretton-based students to complete their studies there). There was substantial opposition to the closure by the Bretton students. The university’s other satellite site, Manygates in Wakefield, also closed, but Lifelong Learning and Healthcare programmes are continuing on a new site next to Wakefield College.

    In May 2006, the university began re-branding itself to consolidate its visual identity to promote one consistent image. A new logo was produced, based on that used during the centenary celebrations in 2004, to replace the combined use of the modified university arms and the Parkinson Building, which has been in use since 2004. The university arms will still be used in its original form for ceremonial purposes only. Four university colours were also specified as being green, red, black and beige.

    Leeds provides the local community with over 2,000 university student volunteers. With 8,700 staff employed in 2019-20, the university is the third largest employer in Leeds and contributes around £1.23bn a year to the local economy – students add a further £211m through rents and living costs.

    The university’s educational partnerships have included providing formal accreditation of degree awards to The Leeds Arts University (UK) and The Leeds Trinity University (UK), although the latter now has the power to award its own degrees. The College of the Resurrection, an Anglican theological college in Mirfield with monastic roots, has, since its inception in 1904, been affiliated to the university, and ties remain close. The university is also a founding member of The Northern Consortium (UK).

    In August 2010, the university was one of the most targeted institutions by students entering the UCAS clearing process for 2010 admission, which matches undersubscribed courses to students who did not meet their firm or insurance choices. The university was one of nine The Russell Group Association(UK) universities offering extremely limited places to “exceptional” students after the universities in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Oxford declared they would not enter the process due to courses being full to capacity.

    On 12 October 2010, The Refectory of the Leeds University Union hosted a live edition of the Channel 4 News, with students, academics and economists expressing their reaction to the Browne Review, an independent review of Higher Education funding and student finance conducted by John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley. University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor and Russell Group chairman Michael Arthur participated, giving an academic perspective alongside current vice-chancellor of The Kingston University (UK) and former Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Education at the University of Leeds, Sir Peter Scott. Midway through the broadcast a small group of protesters against the potential rise of student debt entered the building before being restrained and evacuated.

    In 2016, The University of Leeds became University of the Year 2017 in The Times and The Sunday Times’ Good University Guide. The university has risen to 13th place overall, which reflects impressive results in student experience, high entry standards, services and facilities, and graduate prospects.

    In 2018, the global world ranking of the University of Leeds is No.93. There are currently 30,842 students are studying in this university. The average tuition fee is 12,000 – US$14,000.


    Many of the academic departments have specialist research facilities, for use by staff and students to support research from internationally significant collections in university libraries to state-of-the-art laboratories. These include those hosted at the Institute for Transport Studies, such as the University of Leeds Driving Simulator which is one of the most advanced worldwide in a research environment, allowing transport researchers to watch driver behaviour in accurately controlled laboratory conditions without the risks associated with a live, physical environment.

    With extensive links to the St James’s University Hospital through the Leeds School of Medicine, the university operates a range of high-tech research laboratories for biomedical and physical sciences, food and engineering – including clean rooms for bionanotechnology and plant science greenhouses. The university is connected to Leeds General Infirmary and the institute of molecular medicine based at St James’s University Hospital which aids integration of research and practice in the medical field.

    The university also operate research facilities in the aviation field, with the Airbus A320 flight simulator. The simulator was devised with an aim to promote the safety and efficiency of flight operations; where students use the simulator to develop their reactions to critical situations such as engine failure, display malfunctioning and freak weather.

    In addition to these facilities, many university departments conduct research in their respective fields. There are also various research centres, including Leeds University Centre for African Studies.

    Leeds was ranked joint 19th (along with The University of St Andrews (SCT)) amongst multi-faculty institutions in the UK for the quality (GPA) of its research and 10th for its Research Power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

    Between 2014-15, Leeds was ranked as the 10th most targeted British university by graduate employers, a two place decrease from 8th position in the previous 2014 rankings.

    The 2021 The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked Leeds as 153rd in the world. The university ranks 84th in the world in the CWTS Leiden Ranking. Leeds is ranked 91st in the world (and 15th in the UK) in the 2021 QS World University Rankings.

    The university won the biennially awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2009 for services to engineering and technology. The honour being awarded to the university’s Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) which for over forty years has been a world leader in transport teaching and research.

    The university is a founding member of The Russell Group Association(UK), comprising the leading research-intensive universities in the UK, as well as the N8 Group for research collaboration, The Worldwide Universities Network (UK), The Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK), The European University Association (EU), The White Rose University Consortium (UK), the Santander Network and the CDIO Initiative. It is also affiliated to The Universities (UK). The Leeds University Business School holds the ‘Triple Crown’ of accreditations from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Association of MBAs and the European Quality Improvement System.

  • richardmitnick 9:45 pm on February 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How to Rewild a Wetland (Hint-Focus on the Groundwater)", , , , Environmental Sciences, , Researchers from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst investigated a series of former commercial cranberry bogs in eastern Massachusetts that are being restored.,   

    From The University of Massachusetts-Amherst : “How to Rewild a Wetland (Hint-Focus on the Groundwater)” 

    U Mass Amherst

    From The University of Massachusetts-Amherst

    Daegan Miller


    Using a first-of-its-kind approach that entailed drones and infrared imagery, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst investigated a series of former commercial cranberry bogs in eastern Massachusetts that are being restored. The team not only demonstrated how to best restore freshwater wetlands, but also showed that these wetlands are operating as self-sustaining ecosystems. The work was recently published in a pair of papers in a special issue of the journal Frontiers in Earth Science [below].

    For generations, eastern Massachusetts has been the cradle of cranberry production in the United States, and currently has more than 14,000 acres under cultivation. Cranberries thrive in acidic peat bogs, which are the legacy of the last ice age. When Euro-Americans began commercially cultivating cranberries in the mid-1800s, they did so by drastically altering the natural freshwater wetlands in order to improve yields.

    Collecting water quality parameter in the early post-restoration bog. Credit: Christine Hatch.

    “Instead of thick masses of peat,” says Christine Hatch, extension professor of earth, geographic and climate sciences at UMass Amherst, lead author of the paper on recovering groundwater [below] and a member of the commonwealth’s Water Resources Commission, “these human-altered cranberry bogs look like a Kit Kat bar when you dig down into them.” That’s because chocolate-colored layers of peat are interspersed with wafer-colored layers of sand. Whereas peat acts like a sponge, soaking up and holding groundwater, the sand, deposited in inch-thick layers by cranberry farmers every few years over the past 15 decades, acts like a drain and can help get rid of excess water, as well as increase yields and suppress weeds and pests.

    Such sand-filled bogs, which the authors call “anthropogenic aquifers,” perform very differently from natural ones. As small family-run cranberry bogs cease production, the question has arisen, what to do with them?One answer: return the bogs to their natural state—which is exactly what the state of Massachusetts is doing. “Massachusetts has recognized that wetlands are incredibly important resources,” says Hatch. “They’re the most biodiverse ecosystems we have. And they perform all sorts of ecosystem services, from managing floodwaters, to storing carbon and purifying drinking water. They’re also fantastic sites for recreation. The state has committed generous resources to restore these wetlands, which makes me proud to live in Massachusetts.”

    How to Restore a Wetland

    Shaded relief LiDAR terrain DEM showing the locations of samples, monitoring, and piezometers at Foothills Preserve (Town of Plymouth) and Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary (Mass Audubon) on a shaded relief LiDAR. (Inset) Location of the two focus cranberry farms/restoration sites. Credit: Hatch et al., 10.3389/feart.2022.945065 [below].

    (A) The anthropogenic aquifer at Foothills Preserve is bounded by the cranberry mat at the surface and the peat at the base. (B) A visual description of a sediment core through the anthropogenic aquifer yields a kit-kat bar of alternating sand-and soil layers. Credit: Hatch et al., 10.3389/feart.2022.945065 [below].

    Though Hatch notes that it’s easier to restore what was once a wetland than to create a new one from scratch, it is still quite a complicated task to undo 150 years of landscaping. water moved through the old, peat-filled bogs incredibly slowly, it courses much more rapidly through the human-made anthropogenic aquifers, draining off and ultimately disappearing from the wetland ecosystem. Restoring the wetland means returning the groundwater to its slow pre-agricultural rate of flow and holding on to that water.

    It’s not enough to simply pull out all the drainage pipes and fill the ditches that farmers have laid and dug over the generations. “You have to deal with all that sand,” says Hatch. “In the perfect scenario, we’d dig it all out, down to the untouched deposits of solid peat,” she continues, “but that’s cost-prohibitive and risks disturbing decades’ worth of pesticides that growers have sprayed over their bogs.”

    Hatch and her colleagues conducted their research at two sites near Plymouth, where they cored the soil, collected water samples, monitored the location of the groundwater and the speed at which it moved and measured water temperatures and levels. Armed with this data, they discovered that it’s not necessary to remove the sand from the bog for it to return to its pre-agricultural state. It’s only necessary to move it around, mixing it into the layers of peat, enough. But how much is enough?

    Mapping success

    Comparative UAS imagery from pre-restoration (top row) to post-restoration. From left to right: (left) plain light (RGB image), (center) thermal infrared, and (right) surface expression of groundwater (black = groundwater and gray =mixing zone). This figure shows an area where the channel was reconstructed from a series of ditches into a meandering channel. The red box indicates a single groundwater seep whose flow direction changed with the movement of the stream channel. Credit: Watts et al., 10.3389/fenvs.2022.946565 [below].

    The answer to that question hinges on how much and how slowly groundwater moves through the bog. In order to track the and measure the movement of groundwater, Hatch and her graduate student, Lyn Watts, lead author of the paper on mapping groundwater [below], as well as co-author Ryan Wicks, of UMass Amherst’s UMassAir, took to the air during the pre-dawn hours in the dead of winter during 2020 and 2021.

    Watts, an ace drone pilot, flew a UAV equipped with an infrared camera capable of seeing heat. Since groundwater remains at a nearly constant temperature year-round, she was able to “see” how the groundwater, which was warmer than the frozen surface water, moved through the former cranberry bogs, and to map its flow across the entire system of wetlands at the study sites.

    Post-restoration UAS-derived thermal infrared imagery 14 February 2021. Ground surface is cold (blue). Much of the surface has been altered with microtopography, allowing more free expression of warmer groundwater (red and orange) areas, which flow into the reconstructed meandering channel. Credit: Watts et al., 10.3389/fenvs.2022.946565 [below].

    What Watts discovered was that the groundwater was spending more time moving through the restored bog, just as it would in its pre-agricultural state, and that this increased residence time allowed the bog to “fill up” with enough water for it to pool at the surface.

    “We show that, at these restored bogs, groundwater is remaining in the area, not moving off of it,” says Watts. “This means that restoration is successful, and the bogs will quickly return to self-sustaining ecosystems.”

    Looking beyond Massachusetts

    Because the geology of eastern Massachusetts is similar to that throughout much of the Northeastern U.S., Hatch and Watts’s work is broadly applicable. “Our research can help restoration designers and engineers to more deliberately plan their efforts,” says Watts.

    “Restoring buried wetlands to their previous ecological glory has a very high success rate,” says Hatch. “That success depends on getting groundwater to stay in the system. We’ve shown how to do that, and our research can help us conserve one of our most treasured ecosystems.”

    Frontiers in Earth Science 2023

    Frontiers in Earth Science 2022

    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”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Mass Amherst campus

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

    As the flagship campus of America’s education state University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the leader of the public higher education system of the Commonwealth, making a profound, transformative impact to the common good. Founded in 1863, we are the largest public research university in New England, distinguished by the excellence and breadth of our academic, research and community outreach programs. We rank 29th among the nation’s top public universities, moving up 11 spots in the past two years in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide.

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is a public land-grant research university in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1863 as an agricultural college, it is the flagship and the largest campus in the University of Massachusetts system, as well as the first established. It is also a member of the Five College Consortium, along with four other colleges in the Pioneer Valley: Amherst College , Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Hampshire College.

    The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has an annual enrollment of more than 30,000 students, along with approximately 1,300 faculty members. It is the third largest university in Massachusetts, behind Boston University and Harvard University. The university offers academic degrees in 109 undergraduate, 77 master’s and 48 doctoral programs. Programs are coordinated in nine schools and colleges. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, the university spent $211 million on research and development in 2018.

    The university’s 21 varsity athletic teams compete in NCAA Division I and are collectively known as the Minutemen and Minutewomen. The university is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, while playing ice hockey in Hockey East and football as an FBS Independent.

    Past and present students and faculty include 4 Nobel Prize laureates, a National Humanities Medal winner, numerous Fulbright, Goldwater, Churchill, Truman, and Gates Scholars, Olympic Gold Medalists, a United States Poet Laureate, as well as several Pulitzer Prize recipients and Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award winners.
    The university was founded in 1863 under the provisions of the Federal Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to provide instruction to Massachusetts citizens in “agricultural, mechanical, and military arts.” Accordingly, the university was initially named the Massachusetts Agricultural College, popularly referred to as “Mass Aggie” or “M.A.C.” In 1867, the college had yet to admit any students, been through two Presidents, and had still not completed any college buildings. In that year, William S. Clark was appointed President of the college and Professor of Botany. He quickly appointed a faculty, completed the construction plan, and, in the fall of 1867, admitted the first class of approximately 50 students. Clark became the first president to serve long term after the schools opening and is often regarded the primary founding father of the college. Of the school’s founding figures, there are a traditional “founding four”- Clark, Levi Stockbridge, Charles Goessmann, and Henry Goodell, described as “the botanist, the farmer, the chemist, [and] the man of letters.”

    The original buildings consisted of Old South College (a dormitory located on the site of the present South College), North College (a second dormitory once located just south of today’s Machmer Hall), the Chemistry Laboratory, also known as College Hall (once located on the present site of Machmer Hall), the Boarding House (a small dining hall located just north of the present Campus Parking Garage), the Botanic Museum (located on the north side of the intersection of Stockbridge Road and Chancellor’s Hill Drive) and the Durfee Plant House (located on the site of the new Durfee Conservatory).

    Although enrollment was slow during the 1870s, the fledgling college built momentum under the leadership of President Henry Hill Goodell. In the 1880s, Goodell implemented an expansion plan, adding the College Drill Hall in 1883 (the first gymnasium), the Old Chapel Library in 1885 (one of the oldest extant buildings on campus and an important symbol of the University), and the East and West Experiment Stations in 1886 and 1890. The Campus Pond, now the central focus of the University Campus, was created in 1893 by damming a small brook. The early 20th century saw great expansion in terms of enrollment and the scope of the curriculum. The first female student was admitted in 1875 on a part-time basis and the first full-time female student was admitted in 1892. In 1903, Draper Hall was constructed for the dual purpose of a dining hall and female housing. The first female students graduated with the class of 1905. The first dedicated female dormitory, the Abigail Adams House (on the site of today’s Lederle Tower) was built in 1920.

    By the start of the 20th century, the college was thriving and quickly expanded its curriculum to include the liberal arts. The Education curriculum was established in 1907. In recognition of the higher enrollment and broader curriculum, the college was renamed Massachusetts State College in 1931.

    Following World War II, the G.I. Bill, facilitating financial aid for veterans, led to an explosion of applicants. The college population soared and Presidents Hugh Potter Baker and Ralph Van Meter labored to push through major construction projects in the 1940s and 1950s, particularly with regard to dormitories (now Northeast and Central Residential Areas). Accordingly, the name of the college was changed in 1947 to the University of Massachusetts.

    By the 1970s, the University continued to grow and gave rise to a shuttle bus service on campus as well as many other architectural additions; this included the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center complete with a hotel, office space, fine dining restaurant, campus store, and passageway to the parking garage, the W. E. B. Du Bois Library, and the Fine Arts Center.

    Over the course of the next two decades, the John W. Lederle Graduate Research Center and the Conte National Polymer Research Center were built and UMass Amherst emerged as a major research facility. The Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors welcomed thousands of guests to campus after its dedication in 1989. For athletic and other large events, the Mullins Center was opened in 1993, hosting capacity crowds as the Minutemen basketball team ranked at number one for many weeks in the mid-1990s, and reached the Final Four in 1996.

    UMass Amherst entered the 21st century with 19,061 students enrolled. In 2003, for the first time, the Massachusetts State Legislature legally designated University of Massachusetts-Amherst as a Research University and the “flagship campus of the UMass system. The university was named a top producer of Fulbright Award winners in the 2008–2009 academic year. Additionally, in 2010, it was named one of the “Top Colleges and Universities Contributing to Teach For America’s 2010 Teaching Corps.”

    Five College Consortium

    University of Massachusetts-Amherst is part of the Five Colleges Consortium, which allows its students to attend classes, borrow books, work with professors, etc., at four other Pioneer Valley institutions: Amherst College , Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Hampshire College.

    All five colleges are located within 10 miles of Amherst center, and are accessible by public bus. The five share an astronomy department and some other undergraduate and graduate departments.

    University of Massachusetts-Amherst holds the license for WFCR, the National Public Radio affiliate for Western Massachusetts. In 2014, the station moved its main operations to the Fuller Building on Main Street in Springfield, but retained some offices in Hampshire House on the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus.


    University of Massachusetts-Amherst research activities totaled more than $200 million in fiscal year 2014. In 2016 the faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Researchers at the university made several high-profile achievements in recent years. In a bi-national collaboration, National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst came together and built Large Millimeter Telescope. It was inaugurated in Mexico in 2006 (on top of Sierra Negra).

    A team of scientists at UMass led by Vincent Rotello has developed a molecular nose that can detect and identify various proteins. The research appeared in the May 2007 issue of Nature Nanotechnology, and the team is currently focusing on sensors, which will detect malformed proteins made by cancer cells.

    Also, UMass Amherst scientists Richard Farris, Todd Emrick and Bryan Coughlin led a research team that developed a synthetic polymer that does not burn. This polymer is a building block of plastic, and the new flame-retardant plastic will not need to have flame-retarding chemicals added to their composition. These chemicals have recently been found in many different areas from homes and offices to fish, and there are environmental and health concerns regarding the additives. The newly developed polymers would not require addition of the potentially hazardous chemicals.

    List of research centers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
    College of Natural Sciences

    Apiary Laboratory (entomology, microbiology)
    Genomic Resource Laboratory (molecular biology)
    Massachusetts Center for Renewable Energy Science and Technology
    Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions (http://www.physics.umass.edu/acfi/)
    Center for Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Computation
    Center for Geometry, Analysis, Numerics, and Graphics (www.gang.umass.edu)
    Pediatric Physical Activity Laboratory (PPAL)

    College of Engineering (CoE)
    Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) labs

    Antennas and Propagation Laboratory
    Architecture and Real-Time Systems Laboratory
    Center for Advanced Sensor and Communication Antennas (CASCA)
    Complex Systems Modeling and Control Laboratory
    Emerging Nanoelectronics Laboratory
    Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA)
    Feedback Control Systems Lab
    High-Dimensional Signal Processing Lab
    Information Systems Laboratory
    Integrated Nanobiotechnology Lab
    Laboratory for Millimeter Wavelength Devices and Applications
    Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL)
    Multimedia Networks Laboratory
    Multimedia Networks and Internet Laboratory
    Nanodevices and Integrated Systems Laboratory
    Nanoelectronics Theory and Simulation Laboratory
    Nanoscale Computing Fabrics & Cognitive Architectures Lab
    Network Systems Laboratory
    Photonics Laboratory
    Reconfigurable Computing Laboratory
    Sustainable Computing Lab
    VLSI CAD Laboratory
    VLSI Circuits and Systems Laboratory
    Wireless Systems Laboratory
    Yield and Reliability of VLSI Circuits

    Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Labs

    Arbella Insurance Human Performance Laboratory (Engineering Laboratory Building)
    Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    Multi-Phase Flow Simulation Laboratory
    Soil Mechanics Laboratories (located at Marston Hall and ELAB-II)
    Wind Energy Center (formerly the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory)

    College of Information & Computer Sciences (CICS)

    Autonomous Learning Laboratory
    Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval
    Center for e-Design
    Knowledge Discovery Laboratory
    Laboratory For Perceptual Robotics
    Resource-Bounded Reasoning Laboratory


    Center for Economic Development
    Center for Education Policy
    Labor Relations and Research Center
    National Center for Digital Governance
    Political Economy Research Institute
    Scientific Reasoning Research Institute
    The Environmental Institute
    Virtual Center for Supernetworks

  • richardmitnick 5:27 pm on November 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction", , , , Brighter beams mean better science., , , , , Environmental Sciences, , , , , The ALS specializes in “soft” X-rays., The ALS upgrade will enable researchers to make scientific advances in many different areas for the next 30 to 40 years., The DOE approval-known as Critical Decision 3 (CD-3)-formally releases funds for purchasing and building and installing upgrades to the ALS., , The upgraded ALS will squeeze the X-ray beams from about 100 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) to only a few microns wide.,   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    Lauren Biron

    Berkeley Lab’s biggest project in three decades now moves from planning to execution. The ALS upgrade will make brighter beams for research into new materials, chemical reactions, and biological processes.

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) [below], a scientific user facility at The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has received federal approval to start construction on an upgrade that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold.

    “The ALS upgrade is an amazing engineering undertaking that is going to give us an even more powerful scientific tool,” said Berkeley Lab Director Michael Witherell. “I can’t wait to see the many ways researchers use it to improve the world and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today.”

    Scientists will use the upgraded ALS for research spanning biology; chemistry; physics; and materials, energy, and environmental sciences. The brighter, more laser-like light will help experts better understand what’s happening at extremely small scales as reactions and processes take place. These insights can have a huge array of applications, such as improving batteries and clean energy technologies, creating new materials for sensors and computing, and investigating biological matter to develop better medicines.

    “That’s the wonderful thing about the ALS: The applications are so broad and the impact is so profound,” said Dave Robin, the project director for the ALS upgrade. “What really excites me every day is knowing that, when it’s complete, the ALS upgrade will enable researchers to make scientific advances in many different areas for the next 30 to 40 years.”

    The DOE approval, known as Critical Decision 3 (CD-3), formally releases funds for purchasing, building, and installing upgrades to the ALS. This includes constructing an entirely new storage ring and accumulator ring, building four feature (two new and two upgraded) beamlines, and installing seismic and shielding upgrades for the concrete structure housing the equipment.

    A cutaway view of the Advanced Light Source shows the new accumulator and storage ring that will be installed during the ALS Upgrade project. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    The $590 million project is the biggest investment at Berkeley Lab since the ALS was built in 1993.

    Brighter beams, better science

    The ALS generates X-rays by circulating electrons through a 600-foot-circumference storage ring. As the electrons travel through this series of magnets, they radiate light along beamlines to stations where researchers conduct experiments. The light comes in many wavelengths, but the ALS specializes in “soft” X-rays that reveal the electronic, magnetic, and chemical properties of materials.

    The upgraded ALS will use a new storage ring [see cutaway above] with more advanced magnets that can better steer and focus the electrons, in turn creating brighter, tighter beams of light. This will squeeze the X-ray beams from about 100 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) to only a few microns wide, meaning researchers can image their samples with even finer resolution and over shorter timescales. It’s like switching from a cell phone camera in dim light to a top-of-the-line high-speed camera in vivid daylight.

    The beam profile of Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source today (left), compared to the highly focused beam (right) that will be available after the upgrade. Credit: Berkeley Lab.

    “With the upgrade, we’ll be able to routinely study how samples change in 3D – something that is currently very difficult to do,” said Andreas Scholl, a physicist at Berkeley Lab and the interim division director for the ALS. “One of our goals is to find and develop the materials that will be essential for the next generation of technologies in areas like energy storage and computing.”

    With 40 beamlines and more than 1,600 users per year, the ALS supports a variety of research. For example, researchers can look at how microbes break down toxins, study how substances interact to produce better solar cells or biofuels, and test magnetic materials that could have applications in microelectronics. Teams will build two new beamlines optimized to take advantage of the improved light, and realign and upgrade several existing beamlines.

    One crucial element of the upgrade already underway is a second ring known as the accumulator, which will take electrons made by the accelerator complex and prepare them for the new storage ring. Construction began on the accumulator in 2020 with a special advance approval known as CD-3a. By installing and testing the accumulator first, teams can minimize how long ALS operations will be paused to complete the upgrade.

    See the full article here.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by The DOE through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above The University of California-Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.



    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California-Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded The DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.


    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.


    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now The Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source.
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

  • richardmitnick 3:48 pm on November 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Physics of disaster - How mudslides move", "Rheology": the study of how complex materials flow, , , During the 2018 Montecito mudslides powerful flows of debris pushed boulders out of creek-carved canyons toward homes causing destruction and 23 deaths., , , Environmental Sciences, , , , , , What is the tipping point at which a solid slope begins to ooze like a liquid?   

    From “Penn Today” At The University of Pennsylvania : “Physics of disaster – How mudslides move” 

    From “Penn Today”


    U Penn bloc

    The University of Pennsylvania

    Katherine Unger Baillie

    During the 2018 Montecito mudslides, powerful flows of debris pushed boulders out of creek-carved canyons toward homes, causing destruction and 23 deaths. New findings from a Penn-led team leveraged recent developments in physics to understand the forces that govern the mudslides. (Image: Douglas Jeromack)

    In early December 2017, the Thomas Fire ravaged nearly 300,000 acres of Southern California. The intense heat of the flames not only killed trees and vegetation on the hillsides above Montecito, it vaporized their roots as well.

    A month later, in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 9, a strong storm pelted the barren slopes with more than half an inch of rain in five minutes. The rootless soil transformed into a powerful slurry, churning down a creek-carved canyon and picking up boulders in the rush before fanning out at the bottom and barreling into homes. Twenty-three people died in the disaster.

    Could this tragedy have been avoided? What is the tipping point at which a solid slope begins to ooze like a liquid? New findings from a team led by Douglas Jerolmack of Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Science in collaboration with Paulo Arratia of Penn Engineering and researchers from the University of California-Santa Barbara, apply cutting-edge physics to answer these questions. Their study, published in the PNAS [below], performed laboratory experiments that determined how the failure and flow behavior of samples from the Montecito mudslides was related to material properties of the soil.

    Field setting. (A) Digital elevation model of the Montecito region. Sample names used throughout this study are shown in yellow. Main catchment regions are designated in red, with the two primary catchments and fluvial channels of interest labeled. Major lithological units are shown throughout and denoted in the legend. Debris flow deposits from the 2018 event are indicated as a dark brown lithological unit with primary flow paths following the channel paths. (B) Field image showing a site of source material used for rheologic testing. Rills are the concentrated zones of erosion on the hillslope. (C) Close up of hillslope soil deposited on a boulder, showing that source materials formed viscous, yield stress flows.

    The Thomas Fire charred the hillsides above Montecito in late 2017, setting up conditions for mudslides in early 2018. (Image: Douglas Jerolmack)

    “We weren’t there to see it happen,” says Jerolmack, “but our idea was, ‘Could we learn something about the process of how a solid hillside loses its rigidity by measuring how mixtures of water and soil flow when they’re at different concentrations?’”

    Melding the theoretical and the applied

    During the winter of 2018, Jerolmack was on sabbatical and traveled to the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB—but not to study mudslides. “It’s a place to come and hammer out problems that are frontier topics in physics,” he says. “I’m a geophysicist, but I wasn’t there to do geoscience. I was there to learn about that frontier physics, especially about the physics of dense suspensions.”

    Three days after Jerolmack arrived, however, the debris flows occurred. About a month later, when it was safe to do so, Thomas Dunne, a geologist at UCSB and a coauthor on the paper, invited him to collect samples from Montecito.

    It was a grim task. Some samples came from the devastated remains of homes, where mud flows from the hillside were strong enough to push massive boulders down creek beds all the way up to—and sometimes through—houses. “By the time we got near the mouth of the canyon, it was almost like a phalanx of boulders,” Jerolmack says. “Houses were buried to their roof lines; cars were pulverized and unrecognizable.”

    Jerolmack joined Thomas Dunne (foreground) and Doug Burbank of University of California-Santa Barbara to take samples from the field a month after the mudslides. The scientists used them to understand how the composition of mud influenced the forces required for it to lose its solidity. (Image: Douglas Jerolmack)

    Taking the samples back to the lab, the researchers’ goal was to model how the composition of the mud and the stresses it is subjected to influence when it begins to flow, overcoming the forces that lend substances rigidity, what scientists call a “jammed state.”

    It wasn’t the first time that engineers and scientists have attempted this kind of modeling from field samples. Some studies had tried to simulate conditions in the field by placing shovelfuls of dirt and mud in large rheometers, a device that spins samples rapidly to measure their viscosity, or how their flow responds to a defined force. Typical rheometers, however, only give accurate results if a substance is homogeneous and well-mixed, not like the Montecito samples, which contained various amounts of ash, clay, and rocks.

    More high-tech and sensitive rheometers, which measure the viscosity of tiny quantities, can overcome this drawback. But they come with another: samples that contain larger particles—say, rocks in mud—could clog their delicate workings.

    “We realized we could take measurements that we knew to be reliable and precise if we used this exquisitely sensitive device,” Jerolmack says, “even if it came at the cost of having to sieve out the coarsest material from our samples.”

    A clear signal from ‘dirty’ samples

    The investigation relied on the expertise of each team member. UCSB postdoc Hadis Matinpour prepared, recorded, and plotted out the first samples and analyzed the composition of natural particles. Sarah Haber, at the time a research assistant at Penn, determined the chemical composition of the materials, including important quantities like clay content.

    “We had all this raw data and were having trouble making sense of it,” Jerolmack says. “Robert Kostynick, then a master’s student at Penn, picked up the project for his thesis and put in a huge amount of legwork and thought to organize, interpret, and try to collapse a lot of the data.”

    Those contributions leaned on an understanding of cutting-edge physics related to the forces at work in dense suspensions. These include friction, as particles rub against one another; lubrication, if a thin film of water helps particles slide past one another; or cohesion, if sticky particles like clay bind together.

    “We had the audacity, or maybe the naiveté, to try to apply some really recent developments in physics to a really messy material,” says Jerolmack.

    Penn postdoc Shravan Pradeep, who has a deep background in rheology, or the study of how complex materials flow, also joined the team. He pinpointed precisely how the material properties of the soil—particle sizes and clay content—determined its failure and flow properties. His analysis showed that understanding particles’ stickiness, measured as “yield stress,” and how closely particles can pack together in the “jammed state,” could almost entirely account for the results observed in the Montecito samples.

    Yield stress can be envisioned by picturing toothpaste or hair gel, Jerolmack says. In a tube, these materials do not flow. Only when a force is applied to the tube—a firm squeeze—do they begin to flow. The jammed state can be thought of as the point at which particles are so crowded together that they are unable to move past one other.

    “What we realized was with debris flows, when you’re not pushing on them hard, their behavior is governed entirely by yield stress,” says Jerolmack. “But when you’re pushing very hard—the force of gravity carrying a debris flow down a mountainside—the viscous behavior comes to dominate and is determined by how far the particle density is from the jammed state.”

    In the lab, the researchers were not able to simulate failure, the point at which a solid soil, constrained by “jamming,” transitioned into a moveable mud. But they could approximate the reverse, evaluating the muddy materials mixed with water at different concentrations to extrapolate the jammed state.

    “The beauty of it is that, when you get samples from nature, they can be all over the place in terms of their composition, how much ash they contain, the location you collected from,” says Arratia. “Yet in the end, all the data just collapsed into a single master curve. This tells you that now, you have a universal understanding that holds whether you’re in the lab or you’re on the mountains of Montecito.”

    With climate change, wildfire frequency and intensity are growing in many regions, as is the intensity of precipitation events. Thus, the risk of catastrophic mudslides isn’t disappearing any time soon.

    The new findings to predict yield stress and the jammed state can help inform modeling that federal and local governments do to simulate debris flows, the researchers say. “Say, if it rains this hard and I have this kind of material, how fast is it going to flow and how far,” Jerolmack says.

    And in a more general way, Jerolmack and his colleagues hope the work, which combined theoretical and empirical sciences, leads to more such interdisciplinary approaches. “We can take late-breaking discoveries in physics and actually relate them pretty directly to a meaningful environmental or geophysical problem.”

    Science paper:

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at University of Pennsylvania is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

    The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

    Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Schools enrolling undergraduates include the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering and Applied Science; the Wharton School; and the School of Nursing. Penn’s “One University Policy” allows students to enroll in classes in any of Penn’s twelve schools. Among its highly ranked graduate and professional schools are a law school whose first professor wrote the first draft of the United States Constitution, the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), and the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881).

    Penn is also home to the first “student union” building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896), the first Catholic student club in North America (Newman Center, 1893), the first double-decker college football stadium (Franklin Field, 1924 when second deck was constructed), and Morris Arboretum, the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was developed at Penn and formally dedicated in 1946. In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the sixth-largest endowment of all universities in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university’s athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

    As of 2018, distinguished alumni and/or Trustees include three U.S. Supreme Court justices; 32 U.S. senators; 46 U.S. governors; 163 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and seven signers of the U.S. Constitution (four of whom signed both representing two-thirds of the six people who signed both); 24 members of the Continental Congress; 14 foreign heads of state and two presidents of the United States, including Donald Trump. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates; 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 64 billionaires; 29 Rhodes Scholars; 15 Marshall Scholars and 16 Pulitzer Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.


    The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton University and Columbia University. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

    In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open-air sermons. The building was designed and built by Edmund Woolley and was the largest building in the city at the time, drawing thousands of people the first time it was preached in. It was initially planned to serve as a charity school as well, but a lack of funds forced plans for the chapel and school to be suspended. According to Franklin’s autobiography, it was in 1743 when he first had the idea to establish an academy, “thinking the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an institution”. However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years. In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, his vision for what he called a “Public Academy of Philadelphia”. Unlike the other colonial colleges that existed in 1749—Harvard University, William & Mary, Yale Unversity, and The College of New Jersey—Franklin’s new school would not focus merely on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study could have become the nation’s first modern liberal arts curriculum, although it was never implemented because Anglican priest William Smith (1727-1803), who became the first provost, and other trustees strongly preferred the traditional curriculum.

    Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in America. At the first meeting of the 24 members of the board of trustees on November 13, 1749, the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as “Independence Hall”), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site. The original sponsors of the dormant building still owed considerable construction debts and asked Franklin’s group to assume their debts and, accordingly, their inactive trusts. On February 1, 1750, the new board took over the building and trusts of the old board. On August 13, 1751, the “Academy of Philadelphia”, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first secondary students. A charity school also was chartered on July 13, 1753 by the intentions of the original “New Building” donors, although it lasted only a few years. On June 16, 1755, the “College of Philadelphia” was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction. All three schools shared the same board of trustees and were considered to be part of the same institution. The first commencement exercises were held on May 17, 1757.

    The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting then-provost the Reverend William Smith’s “Loyalist” tendencies, the revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the State of Pennsylvania. The result was a schism, with Smith continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of Philadelphia. In 1791, the legislature issued a new charter, merging the two institutions into a new University of Pennsylvania with twelve men from each institution on the new board of trustees.

    Penn has three claims to being the first university in the United States, according to university archives director Mark Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in America made Penn the first institution to offer both “undergraduate” and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first American institution of higher learning to take the name of “University”; and existing colleges were established as seminaries (although, as detailed earlier, Penn adopted a traditional seminary curriculum as well).

    After being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the campus was moved across the Schuylkill River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has since remained in an area now known as University City. Although Penn began operating as an academy or secondary school in 1751 and obtained its collegiate charter in 1755, it initially designated 1750 as its founding date; this is the year that appears on the first iteration of the university seal. Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of “the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself”. The board of trustees voted in response to a three-year campaign by Penn’s General Alumni Society to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

    Research, innovations and discoveries

    Penn is classified as an “R1” doctoral university: “Highest research activity.” Its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 2015 amounted to $14.3 billion. Penn’s research expenditures in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.442 billion, the fourth largest in the U.S. In fiscal year 2019 Penn received $582.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    In line with its well-known interdisciplinary tradition, Penn’s research centers often span two or more disciplines. In the 2010–2011 academic year alone, five interdisciplinary research centers were created or substantially expanded; these include the Center for Health-care Financing; the Center for Global Women’s Health at the Nursing School; the $13 million Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center; the $15 million Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton; and the $13 million Translational Research Center at Penn Medicine. With these additions, Penn now counts 165 research centers hosting a research community of over 4,300 faculty and over 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, 5,500 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. To further assist the advancement of interdisciplinary research President Amy Gutmann established the “Penn Integrates Knowledge” title awarded to selected Penn professors “whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge”. These professors hold endowed professorships and joint appointments between Penn’s schools.

    Penn is also among the most prolific producers of doctoral students. With 487 PhDs awarded in 2009, Penn ranks third in the Ivy League, only behind Columbia University and Cornell University (Harvard University did not report data). It also has one of the highest numbers of post-doctoral appointees (933 in number for 2004–2007), ranking third in the Ivy League (behind Harvard and Yale University) and tenth nationally.

    In most disciplines Penn professors’ productivity is among the highest in the nation and first in the fields of epidemiology, business, communication studies, comparative literature, languages, information science, criminal justice and criminology, social sciences and sociology. According to the National Research Council nearly three-quarters of Penn’s 41 assessed programs were placed in ranges including the top 10 rankings in their fields, with more than half of these in ranges including the top five rankings in these fields.

    Penn’s research tradition has historically been complemented by innovations that shaped higher education. In addition to establishing the first medical school; the first university teaching hospital; the first business school; and the first student union Penn was also the cradle of other significant developments. In 1852, Penn Law was the first law school in the nation to publish a law journal still in existence (then called The American Law Register, now the Penn Law Review, one of the most cited law journals in the world). Under the deanship of William Draper Lewis, the law school was also one of the first schools to emphasize legal teaching by full-time professors instead of practitioners, a system that is still followed today. The Wharton School was home to several pioneering developments in business education. It established the first research center in a business school in 1921 and the first center for entrepreneurship center in 1973 and it regularly introduced novel curricula for which BusinessWeek wrote, “Wharton is on the crest of a wave of reinvention and change in management education”.

    Several major scientific discoveries have also taken place at Penn. The university is probably best known as the place where the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) was born in 1946 at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering.

    ENIAC UPenn

    It was here also where the world’s first spelling and grammar checkers were created, as well as the popular COBOL programming language. Penn can also boast some of the most important discoveries in the field of medicine. The dialysis machine used as an artificial replacement for lost kidney function was conceived and devised out of a pressure cooker by William Inouye while he was still a student at Penn Med; the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines were developed at Penn; the discovery of cancer’s link with genes; cognitive therapy; Retin-A (the cream used to treat acne), Resistin; the Philadelphia gene (linked to chronic myelogenous leukemia) and the technology behind PET Scans were all discovered by Penn Med researchers. More recent gene research has led to the discovery of the genes for fragile X syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation; spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a disorder marked by progressive muscle wasting; and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the hands, feet and limbs.

    Conductive polymer was also developed at Penn by Alan J. Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, an invention that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. On faculty since 1965, Ralph L. Brinster developed the scientific basis for in vitro fertilization and the transgenic mouse at Penn and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010. The theory of superconductivity was also partly developed at Penn, by then-faculty member John Robert Schrieffer (along with John Bardeen and Leon Cooper). The university has also contributed major advancements in the fields of economics and management. Among the many discoveries are conjoint analysis, widely used as a predictive tool especially in market research; Simon Kuznets’s method of measuring Gross National Product; the Penn effect (the observation that consumer price levels in richer countries are systematically higher than in poorer ones) and the “Wharton Model” developed by Nobel-laureate Lawrence Klein to measure and forecast economic activity. The idea behind Health Maintenance Organizations also belonged to Penn professor Robert Eilers, who put it into practice during then-President Nixon’s health reform in the 1970s.

    International partnerships

    Students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as the London School of Economics(UK), University of Barcelona [Universitat de Barcelona](ES), Paris Institute of Political Studies [Institut d’études politiques de Paris](FR), University of Queensland(AU), University College London(UK), King’s College London(UK), Hebrew University of Jerusalem(IL) and University of Warwick(UK).

  • richardmitnick 8:29 am on April 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "U of T researchers find more developed countries dumping toxic e-waste in Global South", , , Environmental Sciences, Europe; North America and parts of Asia have offloaded polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) emissions to less developed parts of the world., Exposure to PBDEs-a group of chemical fire retardants commonly associated with the disposal of electronic waste-is likely to cause thyroid problems; neurodevelopmental deficits and cancer., It is unethical to send our waste to developing countries or less wealthy parts of the world., PBDE emissions are highest in areas of China; India; Bangladesh and Western Africa the researchers say., The University of Toronto (CA) Scarborough, We should be held responsible for dealing with the waste generated by our society.   

    From The University of Toronto (CA): “U of T researchers find more developed countries dumping toxic e-waste in Global South” 

    From The University of Toronto (CA)

    April 13, 2022
    Don Campbell

    Photo by ToRyUK/iStockphoto/Getty Images.

    People in mainland China and the Global South suffer the brunt of emissions of toxic chemicals from consumer goods used in more-developed countries, according to a new study.

    Researchers, including Frank Wania and Kate Tong of The University of Toronto (CA) Scarborough, say “core regions” in Europe, North America and parts of Asia have offloaded polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) emissions to less developed parts of the world.

    Exposure to PBDEs, a group of chemical fire retardants commonly associated with the disposal of electronic waste, is likely to cause thyroid problems, neurodevelopmental deficits and cancer.

    “We should be held responsible for dealing with the waste generated by our society,” says Wania, a professor in the department of physical and environmental sciences at U of T Scarborough and author of the study published this month in Environmental Research Letters.

    “It is unethical to send our waste to developing countries or less wealthy parts of the world. If we rely on these chemicals for our products, then we should be responsible for disposing of them,” he added.

    PBDE emissions are highest in areas of China, India, Bangladesh and Western Africa, the researchers say. Emissions take place mostly while these products are being recycled, often done in small backyard workshops with minimal safety standards. Wania says some emissions happen during the manufacture and use of consumer goods, but the vast majority occur at the end of a product’s life cycle.

    Emissions in China from 2000 to 2020 were approximately 300 tonnes, with about half of that linked to imported e-waste. By comparison, PBDE emissions in Europe during that time were only about 5.5 tonnes, with more than 100 tonnes offloaded to other parts of the world.

    Studies show that exposure to PBDEs are likely to cause serious negative health consequences in animals and humans. While there’s a global restriction on new products containing the chemicals, existing consumer products will be used and recycled over decades.

    While the researchers focused on PBDEs, Wania notes there are many other chemicals in consumer products that can create harmful emissions during disposal.

    “We cannot assume that what we found for these chemicals applies equally to other chemicals, but this research shows this type of analysis can be done and it’s conceivable it takes place for other chemicals as well,” he says.

    Li Li, an assistant professor at The University of Nevada-Reno and one of the study’s authors, says that China used to import about 70 per cent of the world’s traded e-waste, but that will likely change after recent regulations banning the practice.

    Some areas in China have become known as e-waste recycling communities. The operations are hazardous for workers, who must manually separate products to salvage valuable materials such as gold, tungsten, cobalt and other precious metals.

    “It’s dangerous work,” says Wania, adding that these operations might start to shift more to Western Africa and developing regions of Asia due to the new restrictions in China.

    The research also highlights how a connected global economy means countries are trading not only products and chemicals, but waste. “This is an environmental justice issue because the environmental burden of making and disposing of a product is not fully experienced by those who benefit from using the product,” Wania says.

    The point of the study is not to be alarmist about the chemicals found in consumer products, Wania adds. PBDEs serve a purpose and many products simply wouldn’t exist or function well without them, he explains, adding that many are safe if handled and disposed of properly.

    “Some chemicals are safer than others, and it’s our job to figure out which ones we should be worried about, especially in how they are disposed of,” he says.

    If these products were disposed of in developed countries, Wania adds, overall emissions of these chemicals would be lower because of stricter health and safety regulations.

    “Exporting this waste not only means we shift the emissions to poorer parts of the world, but we also increase overall emissions because the regulatory environment isn’t as strong.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The The University of Toronto (CA) is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the oldest university in the province of Ontario.

    Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed its present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution.

    As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs and significant differences in character and history. The university also operates two satellite campuses located in Scarborough and Mississauga.

    University of Toronto has evolved into Canada’s leading institution of learning, discovery and knowledge creation. We are proud to be one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, driven to invent and innovate.

    Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with preeminent thought leaders through our multidisciplinary network of teaching and research faculty, alumni and partners.

    The ideas, innovations and actions of more than 560,000 graduates continue to have a positive impact on the world.

    Academically, the University of Toronto is noted for movements and curricula in literary criticism and communication theory, known collectively as the Toronto School.

    The university was the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research, and was the site of the first electron microscope in North America; the identification of the first black hole Cygnus X-1; multi-touch technology, and the development of the theory of NP-completeness.

    The university was one of several universities involved in early research of deep learning. It receives the most annual scientific research funding of any Canadian university and is one of two members of the Association of American Universities outside the United States, the other being McGill(CA).

    The Varsity Blues are the athletic teams that represent the university in intercollegiate league matches, with ties to gridiron football, rowing and ice hockey. The earliest recorded instance of gridiron football occurred at University of Toronto’s University College in November 1861.

    The university’s Hart House is an early example of the North American student centre, simultaneously serving cultural, intellectual, and recreational interests within its large Gothic-revival complex.

    The University of Toronto has educated three Governors General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, three foreign leaders, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court. As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, 94 Rhodes Scholars, and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the university.

    Early history

    The founding of a colonial college had long been the desire of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and founder of York, the colonial capital. As an University of Oxford (UK)-educated military commander who had fought in the American Revolutionary War, Simcoe believed a college was needed to counter the spread of republicanism from the United States. The Upper Canada Executive Committee recommended in 1798 that a college be established in York.

    On March 15, 1827, a royal charter was formally issued by King George IV, proclaiming “from this time one College, with the style and privileges of a University … for the education of youth in the principles of the Christian Religion, and for their instruction in the various branches of Science and Literature … to continue for ever, to be called King’s College.” The granting of the charter was largely the result of intense lobbying by John Strachan, the influential Anglican Bishop of Toronto who took office as the college’s first president. The original three-storey Greek Revival school building was built on the present site of Queen’s Park.

    Under Strachan’s stewardship, King’s College was a religious institution closely aligned with the Church of England and the British colonial elite, known as the Family Compact. Reformist politicians opposed the clergy’s control over colonial institutions and fought to have the college secularized. In 1849, after a lengthy and heated debate, the newly elected responsible government of the Province of Canada voted to rename King’s College as the University of Toronto and severed the school’s ties with the church. Having anticipated this decision, the enraged Strachan had resigned a year earlier to open Trinity College as a private Anglican seminary. University College was created as the nondenominational teaching branch of the University of Toronto. During the American Civil War the threat of Union blockade on British North America prompted the creation of the University Rifle Corps which saw battle in resisting the Fenian raids on the Niagara border in 1866. The Corps was part of the Reserve Militia lead by Professor Henry Croft.

    Established in 1878, the School of Practical Science was the precursor to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering which has been nicknamed Skule since its earliest days. While the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1843 medical teaching was conducted by proprietary schools from 1853 until 1887 when the faculty absorbed the Toronto School of Medicine. Meanwhile the university continued to set examinations and confer medical degrees. The university opened the Faculty of Law in 1887, followed by the Faculty of Dentistry in 1888 when the Royal College of Dental Surgeons became an affiliate. Women were first admitted to the university in 1884.

    A devastating fire in 1890 gutted the interior of University College and destroyed 33,000 volumes from the library but the university restored the building and replenished its library within two years. Over the next two decades a collegiate system took shape as the university arranged federation with several ecclesiastical colleges including Strachan’s Trinity College in 1904. The university operated the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1896 to 1991 and the Royal Ontario Museum from 1912 to 1968; both still retain close ties with the university as independent institutions. The University of Toronto Press was founded in 1901 as Canada’s first academic publishing house. The Faculty of Forestry founded in 1907 with Bernhard Fernow as dean was Canada’s first university faculty devoted to forest science. In 1910, the Faculty of Education opened its laboratory school, the University of Toronto Schools.

    World wars and post-war years

    The First and Second World Wars curtailed some university activities as undergraduate and graduate men eagerly enlisted. Intercollegiate athletic competitions and the Hart House Debates were suspended although exhibition and interfaculty games were still held. The David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill opened in 1935 followed by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1949. The university opened satellite campuses in Scarborough in 1964 and in Mississauga in 1967. The university’s former affiliated schools at the Ontario Agricultural College and Glendon Hall became fully independent of the University of Toronto and became part of University of Guelph (CA) in 1964 and York University (CA) in 1965 respectively. Beginning in the 1980s reductions in government funding prompted more rigorous fundraising efforts.

    Since 2000

    In 2000 Kin-Yip Chun was reinstated as a professor of the university after he launched an unsuccessful lawsuit against the university alleging racial discrimination. In 2017 a human rights application was filed against the University by one of its students for allegedly delaying the investigation of sexual assault and being dismissive of their concerns. In 2018 the university cleared one of its professors of allegations of discrimination and antisemitism in an internal investigation after a complaint was filed by one of its students.

    The University of Toronto was the first Canadian university to amass a financial endowment greater than c. $1 billion in 2007. On September 24, 2020 the university announced a $250 million gift to the Faculty of Medicine from businessman and philanthropist James C. Temerty- the largest single philanthropic donation in Canadian history. This broke the previous record for the school set in 2019 when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman jointly donated $100 million for the creation of a 750,000-square foot innovation and artificial intelligence centre.


    Since 1926 the University of Toronto has been a member of the Association of American Universities a consortium of the leading North American research universities. The university manages by far the largest annual research budget of any university in Canada with sponsored direct-cost expenditures of $878 million in 2010. In 2018 the University of Toronto was named the top research university in Canada by Research Infosource with a sponsored research income (external sources of funding) of $1,147.584 million in 2017. In the same year the university’s faculty averaged a sponsored research income of $428,200 while graduate students averaged a sponsored research income of $63,700. The federal government was the largest source of funding with grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council amounting to about one-third of the research budget. About eight percent of research funding came from corporations- mostly in the healthcare industry.

    The first practical electron microscope was built by the physics department in 1938. During World War II the university developed the G-suit- a life-saving garment worn by Allied fighter plane pilots later adopted for use by astronauts.Development of the infrared chemiluminescence technique improved analyses of energy behaviours in chemical reactions. In 1963 the asteroid 2104 Toronto was discovered in the David Dunlap Observatory (CA) in Richmond Hill and is named after the university. In 1972 studies on Cygnus X-1 led to the publication of the first observational evidence proving the existence of black holes. Toronto astronomers have also discovered the Uranian moons of Caliban and Sycorax; the dwarf galaxies of Andromeda I, II and III; and the supernova SN 1987A. A pioneer in computing technology the university designed and built UTEC- one of the world’s first operational computers- and later purchased Ferut- the second commercial computer after UNIVAC I. Multi-touch technology was developed at Toronto with applications ranging from handheld devices to collaboration walls. The AeroVelo Atlas which won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition in 2013 was developed by the university’s team of students and graduates and was tested in Vaughan.

    The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921 is considered among the most significant events in the history of medicine. The stem cell was discovered at the university in 1963 forming the basis for bone marrow transplantation and all subsequent research on adult and embryonic stem cells. This was the first of many findings at Toronto relating to stem cells including the identification of pancreatic and retinal stem cells. The cancer stem cell was first identified in 1997 by Toronto researchers who have since found stem cell associations in leukemia; brain tumors; and colorectal cancer. Medical inventions developed at Toronto include the glycaemic index; the infant cereal Pablum; the use of protective hypothermia in open heart surgery; and the first artificial cardiac pacemaker. The first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto in 1981 followed by the first nerve transplant in 1988; and the first double-lung transplant in 1989. Researchers identified the maturation promoting factor that regulates cell division and discovered the T-cell receptor which triggers responses of the immune system. The university is credited with isolating the genes that cause Fanconi anemia; cystic fibrosis; and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease among numerous other diseases. Between 1914 and 1972 the university operated the Connaught Medical Research Laboratories- now part of the pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis. Among the research conducted at the laboratory was the development of gel electrophoresis.

    The University of Toronto is the primary research presence that supports one of the world’s largest concentrations of biotechnology firms. More than 5,000 principal investigators reside within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the university grounds in Toronto’s Discovery District conducting $1 billion of medical research annually. MaRS Discovery District is a research park that serves commercial enterprises and the university’s technology transfer ventures. In 2008, the university disclosed 159 inventions and had 114 active start-up companies. Its SciNet Consortium operates the most powerful supercomputer in Canada.

  • richardmitnick 5:07 pm on January 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Research in Colorado mountains takes students’ environmental immersion to new heights", , , Bringing the research alive and painting a more holistic picture of what Earth processes are happening., , Communication of Science and Technology, , , , Environmental Sciences, Environmental Sociology, , , Glaciers are disappearing.,   

    From Vanderbilt University (US): “Research in Colorado mountains takes students’ environmental immersion to new heights” 

    Vanderbilt U Bloc

    From Vanderbilt University (US)

    Jan. 20, 2022
    Amy Wolf

    Research trip to Colorado takes students’ environmental immersion experience to new heights.

    Vanderbilt junior Callie Hilgenhurst and a dozen of her classmates took their research to a new immersive level, collecting soil and rock samples 9,000 feet up in the Sawatch Mountain Range of Colorado. Their work in the mountains and then in the lab helped show the movement of glaciers, ultimately giving clues about the impact of climate change.

    “This trip to Colorado was really incredible,” said Hilgenhurst, an Earth and environmental sciences major from Nashville. “Going out and being part of the scientific method—literally taking samples that we get to bring back to the lab—and experiencing the research on such a grand scale was awesome.”

    Students in the new Glacial Geology class. From left to right: Miquéla Thornton, Genna Chiaro, Sophia Wang, Courtney Howarth, Easton Maxey, Alex Xu, Kevin Chen, behind him is Ellie Miller, and to the right of her is Estelle Shaya, and Bryce Belanger; on the bottom is Rachel Brewer, Callie Hilgenhurst and Kristin Sequeira.

    The immersive trip was part of a new class in the College of Arts and Science called Glacial Geology.

    “It’s designed to help students think about the landforms and landscapes that glaciers create and leave behind,” said Dan Morgan, associate dean in the College of Arts and Science and principal senior lecturer in Earth and environmental sciences. “Then we analyze what drives those advances and retreats in glaciers and put that in the context of global climate change.”


    Many of the students in the class said making an impact on climate change is crucial. That’s why faculty designed the class with only one prerequisite, allowing students with diverse majors to take the course.

    “Fighting climate change is very big in my heart, and it’s really important that we do everything we can to maintain the 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming as much as we can. I also took the class because I know that glacial geology isn’t always going to be around in the future because glaciers are disappearing,” Hilgenhurst said.

    Fellow student Ellie Miller has dedicated a great amount of energy to Earth sciences as a triple major in Earth and environmental sciences, environmental sociology and communication of science and technology. She jumped at the chance to gather data in the field and learn more about glacial environments.

    “I was so ready to get my hands dirty and actually see where my samples are coming from—and then carry that all back to the lab and be able to run procedures,” said the Olathe, Kansas, resident. “Being able to see the connection between our field site and the data that we’re producing here at Vanderbilt brings the research alive and paints a more holistic picture of what Earth processes are happening.”

    This trip was Miquéla Thornton’s first experience out west. The communication of science and technology and creative writing double major from Richton Park, Illinois, said she loved observing her fellow students and then writing about the experience.

    “In my time at Vanderbilt, I’ve taken both environmental science and psychology classes, which really sparked an interest in science writing because everyone needs to understand what’s going on with climate change and what’s happening with our Earth,” she said.

    Dan Morgan (far right) teaches as part of his Glacial Geology class during an immersive trip in Colorado.


    Morgan, who has led Vanderbilt undergraduates on expeditions to places as remote as Antarctica, said bringing students into the field is invaluable in connecting them to the research.

    “This is something that’s fun and makes Vanderbilt a really special place because we’re educating and expanding the living-learning experience all the way to this mountain.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was in his 79th year when he decided to make the gift that founded Vanderbilt University (US) in the spring of 1873.
    The $1 million that he gave to endow and build the university was the commodore’s only major philanthropy. Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire of Nashville, husband of Amelia Townsend who was a cousin of the commodore’s young second wife Frank Crawford, went to New York for medical treatment early in 1873 and spent time recovering in the Vanderbilt mansion. He won the commodore’s admiration and support for the project of building a university in the South that would “contribute to strengthening the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country.”

    McTyeire chose the site for the campus, supervised the construction of buildings and personally planted many of the trees that today make Vanderbilt a national arboretum. At the outset, the university consisted of one Main Building (now Kirkland Hall), an astronomical observatory and houses for professors. Landon C. Garland was Vanderbilt’s first chancellor, serving from 1875 to 1893. He advised McTyeire in selecting the faculty, arranged the curriculum and set the policies of the university.

    For the first 40 years of its existence, Vanderbilt was under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Vanderbilt Board of Trust severed its ties with the church in June 1914 as a result of a dispute with the bishops over who would appoint university trustees.

    From the outset, Vanderbilt met two definitions of a university: It offered work in the liberal arts and sciences beyond the baccalaureate degree and it embraced several professional schools in addition to its college. James H. Kirkland, the longest serving chancellor in university history (1893-1937), followed Chancellor Garland. He guided Vanderbilt to rebuild after a fire in 1905 that consumed the main building, which was renamed in Kirkland’s honor, and all its contents. He also navigated the university through the separation from the Methodist Church. Notable advances in graduate studies were made under the third chancellor, Oliver Cromwell Carmichael (1937-46). He also created the Joint University Library, brought about by a coalition of Vanderbilt, Peabody College and Scarritt College.

    Remarkable continuity has characterized the government of Vanderbilt. The original charter, issued in 1872, was amended in 1873 to make the legal name of the corporation “The Vanderbilt University.” The charter has not been altered since.

    The university is self-governing under a Board of Trust that, since the beginning, has elected its own members and officers. The university’s general government is vested in the Board of Trust. The immediate government of the university is committed to the chancellor, who is elected by the Board of Trust.

    The original Vanderbilt campus consisted of 75 acres. By 1960, the campus had spread to about 260 acres of land. When George Peabody College for Teachers merged with Vanderbilt in 1979, about 53 acres were added.

    Vanderbilt’s student enrollment tended to double itself each 25 years during the first century of the university’s history: 307 in the fall of 1875; 754 in 1900; 1,377 in 1925; 3,529 in 1950; 7,034 in 1975. In the fall of 1999 the enrollment was 10,127.

    In the planning of Vanderbilt, the assumption seemed to be that it would be an all-male institution. Yet the board never enacted rules prohibiting women. At least one woman attended Vanderbilt classes every year from 1875 on. Most came to classes by courtesy of professors or as special or irregular (non-degree) students. From 1892 to 1901 women at Vanderbilt gained full legal equality except in one respect — access to dorms. In 1894 the faculty and board allowed women to compete for academic prizes. By 1897, four or five women entered with each freshman class. By 1913 the student body contained 78 women, or just more than 20 percent of the academic enrollment.

    National recognition of the university’s status came in 1949 with election of Vanderbilt to membership in the select Association of American Universities (US). In the 1950s Vanderbilt began to outgrow its provincial roots and to measure its achievements by national standards under the leadership of Chancellor Harvie Branscomb. By its 90th anniversary in 1963, Vanderbilt for the first time ranked in the top 20 private universities in the United States.

    Vanderbilt continued to excel in research, and the number of university buildings more than doubled under the leadership of Chancellors Alexander Heard (1963-1982) and Joe B. Wyatt (1982-2000), only the fifth and sixth chancellors in Vanderbilt’s long and distinguished history. Heard added three schools (Blair, the Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody College) to the seven already existing and constructed three dozen buildings. During Wyatt’s tenure, Vanderbilt acquired or built one-third of the campus buildings and made great strides in diversity, volunteerism and technology.

    The university grew and changed significantly under its seventh chancellor, Gordon Gee, who served from 2000 to 2007. Vanderbilt led the country in the rate of growth for academic research funding, which increased to more than $450 million and became one of the most selective undergraduate institutions in the country.

    On March 1, 2008, Nicholas S. Zeppos was named Vanderbilt’s eighth chancellor after serving as interim chancellor beginning Aug. 1, 2007. Prior to that, he spent 2002-2008 as Vanderbilt’s provost, overseeing undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs as well as development, alumni relations and research efforts in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education, business, law and divinity. He first came to Vanderbilt in 1987 as an assistant professor in the law school. In his first five years, Zeppos led the university through the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression, while continuing to attract the best students and faculty from across the country and around the world. Vanderbilt got through the economic crisis notably less scathed than many of its peers and began and remained committed to its much-praised enhanced financial aid policy for all undergraduates during the same timespan. The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons for first-year students opened in 2008 and College Halls, the next phase in the residential education system at Vanderbilt, is on track to open in the fall of 2014. During Zeppos’ first five years, Vanderbilt has drawn robust support from federal funding agencies, and the Medical Center entered into agreements with regional hospitals and health care systems in middle and east Tennessee that will bring Vanderbilt care to patients across the state.

    Today, Vanderbilt University is a private research university of about 6,500 undergraduates and 5,300 graduate and professional students. The university comprises 10 schools, a public policy center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The university is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top 10.

    Cutting-edge research and liberal arts, combined with strong ties to a distinguished medical center, creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their education to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to solve complex questions affecting our health, culture and society.

    Vanderbilt, an independent, privately supported university, and the separate, non-profit Vanderbilt University Medical Center share a respected name and enjoy close collaboration through education and research. Together, the number of people employed by these two organizations exceeds that of the largest private employer in the Middle Tennessee region.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
%d bloggers like this: