US sends team to Pakistan to help with search for avalanche survivors

Apr. 10, 2012

Posted by Agyapong Awo under General
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A team of US soldiers has landed in Pakistan to help with an increasingly desperate search for survivors trapped under an avalanche in the north which engulfed 135 soldiers and civilians.

The eight-man, high-altitude search and rescue team comes at a time when the US and Pakistan are trying to rebuild relations after a long period of mutual acrimony and distrust.

Pakistan military sources confirmed the US rescuers flew into Islamabad from Afghanistan, where they are part of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), soon after the US embassy announced it was prepared to give any assistance sought. They were due to fly early on Monday morning to the Siachen glacier, the world's highest combat zone, where hopes of finding anyone alive have started to fade.

Their arrival came almost 48 hours after a wall of snow and debris swept over the remote military base from where Pakistan guards its section of the desolate glacier against Indian forces.

See full story here

Seattle considers switch to LED streetlights

Mar. 13, 2012

Posted by Agyapong Awo under In the News
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Seattle is gearing up to install energy-efficient light-emitting diodes in many of its streetlights.

Before doing so, a consortium of power companies, consultants, the Department of Energy, the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle City Light are gathering public opinion about the plan to install LEDs around the Pacific Northwest city.

Full Story here

INVASIVE SPECIES: No rats in sight on atoll, but FWS not ready to declare victory

Mar. 13, 2012

Posted by Agyapong Awo under In the News
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An effort to eradicate rats on a remote Pacific atoll appears to be succeeding, federal biologists say.

Targeting hundreds of thousands of rats that had swarmed Palmyra Atoll, rat hunters armed with slingshots and rodenticide swooped in by helicopter last June in a $2.7 million project aimed at killing every invasive rodent. The rats -- believed to have arrived from ships in World War II -- are an ecological menace. They had devoured seabird eggs and tree seeds as quickly as they were produced.

Full Story here

Evolution of Brain Pathways for Song Learning in Birds and Speech in Humans

Mar. 06, 2012

Posted by Agyapong Awo under Events
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The Department of Biological Sciences presents
The Isabelle Sprague Lecture : "Evolution of Brain Pathways for Song Learning in Birds and Speech in Humans"
by Erich D. Jarvis, Ph.D. Howard Hughes Investigator, Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center.
Date: Monday, March 12, 2012
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: Hooker Auditorium
Refreshments will be served at 4:00pm - Open to the public

Trouble in the air, double on the ground:China objects to European efforts to curb its airlines’ emissions

Feb. 28, 2012

Posted by Agyapong Awo under In the News
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Could a fresh row over airline emissions lead to a global trade war? That is the scariest prospect raised by China’s objections this week to the European Union’s new plan for controlling greenhouse-gas emissions from aeroplanes. The scheme, which came into effect on January 1st, forces airlines flying into the EU to buy tradable carbon credits as part of its broader emissions-trading system.

Many countries are unhappy with the policy, but China’s proclamations this week—official news agencies report that China has “banned” its airlines from participation without specific government approval—appear to be an escalation. Not least because Chinese and European officials are expected to meet for high-level talks in Beijing next week. It also raises the temperature of the row in advance of a meeting of 26 dissenting countries, including India, China, Russia and America, in Moscow on February 21st.

 Read full story here

The James Bay Cree: People, Place, and Political Ecology in Northern Quebec

Feb. 24, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under Events
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 This Summer Field School is looking for students who want to join their team from July 22nd until August 10th, 2012. If you are interested, please read below. 

The Cree have lived on their lands, east of James Bay, for nearly three thousand years. For the last forty years, these same lands have been the focus of intensive resource development, particularly hydroelectricity and softwood lumber, and the Cree have faced many ecological and cultural challenges. This field course will focus on all of these issues, visiting important sites and speaking with the people involved on all sides. Our intention is to educate ourselves about events in the north and also our own economic and political connections to these seemingly remote lands. We will spend time in a number of Cree communities, tour hydro facilities and lumber mills, and will spend five days in the bush with Anna and Dave Bosum, on traditional hunting lands. There we will learn some of their skills and get a sense of the depth of traditional Cree ecological knowledge. 

Trip instructors are Hans M. Carlson and Naomi Heindel. Hans has a PhD and has taught in the American Indian Studies Department, at the University of Minnesota; he is author of Home Is The Hunter: The James Bay Cree and Their Land. Naomi is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where her senior thesis dealt with James Bay Cree forestry issues, and she is currently a Masters Student, in Environmental Science, at the Yale School Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Both instructors will be happy to work with students for independent study credit. 

For more information, please contact: Meagan Chamberlain, Hulbert Outdoor Center, Fairles VT, (802) 333 - 3405, meagan_chamberlain@alohafoundation.org

For more information, please click HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exploring Careers in Environmental Law and Policy

Feb. 16, 2012

Posted by Amabella Lambinicio under Events
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On March 7th at Kendade Science Hall 305 there will be an event covering the field of Environmental Law and Policy. The Career Development Center and the Miller Worley Center for the Environment are hosting four panelists who will be sharing their unique look at the field. 


[Read More]

Charges dropped against filmmaker arrested at hearing

Feb. 16, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under Events
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Josh Fox, the anti-drilling filmmaker arrested at a House Science subcommittee hearing earlier this month, says that charges against him have been dismissed.

"The fact that my case was dismissed so readily only attests to the ridiculousness and unfairness of my arrest," Fox said in a statement issued yesterday evening. A spokesperson for Capitol Police did not immediately return a call for comment.

Fox, whose "Gasland" documentary was nominated for an Academy Award last year, was arrested Feb. 1 while trying to film a subcommittee hearing without having obtained press credentials. He was charged with "unlawful entry" Feb. 1).

His ouster overshadowed a hearing called by committee Republicans to criticize EPA's findings that hydraulic fracturing by natural gas drillers contaminated groundwater around Pavillion, Wyo.

Full Story available for MHC faculty, staff, and students through E&E Publishing

 

 

Blue Skies: Brainstorming for Sustainability Project

Feb. 10, 2012

Posted by Amabella Lambinicio under @ MHC
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The Blue Skies brainstorming for sustainability project is an initiative that encompasses all the campuses in the Five Colleges. It is a project that garners the wisdom, experience, and academic power found in all the campuses. For the Mount Holyoke community students, faculty, and staff alike this is their chance to give voice to those lingering ideas on how to make their campus more sustainable. The project emphasizes the role administrations of all the five colleges for an urgent movement for sustainability. In March of this year the presidents of the five colleges will gather together to review the proposals. We can already expect that President Lynn Pasquerella will be very enthusiastic about the ideas that everyone has contributed or will contribute during the brainstorming sessions.Everyone received an encouraging email from the president on Tuesday, February 7 inviting them to participate in one or all of the three sessions. Two brainstorming sessions took place on Wednesday, February 8 in Dwight 101, but for those who missed it you have the chance to come to the session on Tuesday, February 14 from 12:15pm - 1:00pm in Dwight 201. Professor Tim Farnham, the director of the Center for the Environment, is also accepting proposals through e-mail at tfarnham@mtholyoke.edu or you can directly submit your proposals to Five Colleges here.

[Read More]

BuildingEnergy: Most Cross-Disciplinary Renewable Energy and High Performance Building Conference in the Region

Feb. 03, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under Events
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BuildingEnergy is organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, it brings together architects, engineers, builders, policymakers, developers and building managers for three days of networking, accredited educational sessions and a high-level trade show. Attracting participants from across the US and Europe, it will take place next year March 6-8, 2012, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.

If you and your fellow students would like to attend this conference please contact the Miller Worley Center for the Environment. This is for MHC students only. 

For more detail, please visit the website here.

 

Dream Big for Sustainability

Feb. 03, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under Events
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The Five College Board of Directors is seeking proposals for sustainability initiatives from community members at Mount Holyoke and the other four colleges in the consortium as part of a new project, "Blue Sky Brain Storm: Envisioning Sustainability for the Five Colleges and Beyond.”

The directors have asked each college to arrange open meetings for faculty, students, and staff during the next month to explore incorporating sustainable practices into existing operations and initiating new projects and programs centered around sustainability. Ideas related to any aspect of life on the campuses are welcome, as well as any ideas for Five College cooperation and collaboration with communities in the local area.

Community members are invited to three meetings at Mount Holyoke: February 8 at 7 pm in Dwight 101; and February 8 and 14 at 12:15 pm in Dwight 201. In addition, community members can email proposals to Tim Farnham, director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment, at tfarnham@mtholyoke.edu, or submit ideas directly to Five Colleges.

“So many members of the community have such great ideas for making the College and the valley more sustainable,” said Farnham. “We really want to start a conversation with this initiative and have it continue into the future.”

1. WETLANDS: New tool could flood Louisiana wetlands with private financing

Jan. 31, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under In the News
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A new program in Louisiana could bring in billions of dollars of private financing to restore disappearing wetlands along the Gulf Coast.

The program would create the first-ever carbon offset market for broad-scale restoration of American wetlands. A consulting firm and nonprofit organization developed the groundbreaking methodology, financed with the help of a Gulf Coast electric company that is interested in investing in the offsets.

Voluntary carbon markets oversee investment in hundreds of conservation projects around the world, but the projects have thus far focused largely on reforestation or agricultural practices. The new tool would allow investors for the first time to pay for wetlands restoration along the Gulf Coast as a carbon credit.

Conservation advocates are hopeful the partnership could bring in new sources of revenue to restore wetlands they fear are shrinking faster than the states or federal government can afford to restore.

Full Story available for MHC faculty, staff, and students through E&E Publishing

 

An Energy Supergrid for Europe Faces Big Obstacles

Jan. 31, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under General
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LONDON — Advocates of renewable energy say an electricity supergrid could enhance the clean-power industry by connecting power sources like wind farms in Scotland and solar arrays in Spain or North Africa to the population centers of Europe.

The technical arguments for a significantly expanded and upgraded power network in Europe are clear, they say. Yet the political, regulatory and economic obstacles are formidable.

A supergrid “is absolutely essential” if Europe is to make widespread use of clean power supplies and significantly cut its emissions of atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide, said Doug Parr, chief scientist at the British arm of Greenpeace, the environmental group.

Full Story available

 

1. DEFENSE: Pentagon still can't define 'energy security,' much less achieve it

Jan. 31, 2012

Posted by Olivia K Derks under In the News
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Hurricane Katrina humbled U.S. military bases in 2005, cutting power at air towers, training facilities and command centers just as it did everywhere else along the Gulf Coast.

The Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss., for example, a staging ground for regional relief operations after the storm, needed relief itself after running for two weeks on backup power systems. And Keesler Air Force Base near Biloxi, Miss., lost its airfield lights and had to scramble to keep its hospital running after a generator was swamped.

While diesel generators kept critical missions going during Katrina, the storm provided a wakeup call for Pentagon leaders concerned about terror attacks on the electric grid, which provides 99 percent of the energy that bases consume. Could bases withstand a power outage that outlasts their three-to-seven-days' supply of diesel for backup systems? Is it wise for the military to rely on the same power plants and transmission lines that feed homes and businesses?

Full Story available for MHC faculty, staff, and students through E&E Publishing

NYT: Signs of New Life as U.N. Searches for a Climate Accord

Jan. 25, 2012

Posted by Ruby Maddox under In the News
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JOHN M. BRODER
Published: January 24, 2012

WASHINGTON — Critics and supporters alike agree that the U.N. forum for negotiating international climate change policies is an ungainly mess, its annual gatherings marked by discord, disarray and brinkmanship.

Each year, exhausted delegates and observers return home thinking that there has to be a better way to address what they believe to be one of the defining challenges of our time: the relentless warming of the planet and its impact on the world’s inhabitants.

But the recently concluded meeting in Durban, South Africa, which established a new mandate for concluding a binding agreement of some sort by 2015, has given the process new life and hushed many of its critics. For now.

“Apart from the fact that we took 36 hours longer than we expected, I actually think Durban will be proven by history to be the most encompassing and farthest reaching agreements that any climate conference has ever reached,” said Christiana Figueres, the Costa Rican diplomat who leads the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that oversees the negotiations.

Full Story...