School IPM Webinar Series

Are you a school facility manager, IPM Coordinator, building and grounds supervisor, nurse, administrator, or pest management professional? If so, you play a critical role in reducing the number of pests in your school and in minimizing the exposure of students and staff to pesticides. To help you be better prepared to fill your role, EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM will host a series of webinars in the coming months on pest management topics of special interest to the school community. These monthly webinars, beginning on August 20, 2014, will include presentations from experts in the field.

Upcoming webinars

Creating Tick Safe Schools Using IPM

September 30, 2014 | 2 PM Eastern – Register Now

Join us to learn about this increasingly important pest and what you can do to reduce the risk to students, faculty and staff in schools.

  • Thomas Mather, University of the Rhode Island Center for Vector Borne Diseases, will discuss tick borne diseases and prevalence, the identification, inspection and removal of ticks,and the Tick Encounter web resource.
  • Marcia Anderson, EPA’s School IPM Center of Expertise, will review passive prevention using landscape design, sanitation, maintenance, the Agency’s role in tick IPM, and on how to incorporate tick prevention into your school IPM plan.
  • Kathy Murray, Maine Department of Agriculture, will discuss the importance of monitoring, repellents, active prevention using pesticidal tools, research, and information resources.
  • Christine Dunathan, Friends Community School (College Park, MD), will discuss real world school tick issues and first-hand challenges with tick management.
  • A Q&A session will conclude the webinar.

The Basics of Schools IPM

October 21, 2014 | 2 PM Eastern – Register Now

School experts from around the country will explain and demonstrate the basics of school IPM, a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to managing pests in schools. This webinar that will describe school IPM, why it is important, how it is implemented, and where and when to utilize IPM tactics. A discussion of how to monitor for pests, pest exclusionary practices, and the importance of sanitation and maintenance of waste/recycling areas will ensue. The presenters will share insights on dealing with the most pest-challenging areas in schools – the kitchens and cafeterias. A virtual walk-through of a school will instruct you on how to identify and manage pest prone areas. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session.

Big Data Climate Challenge winners show how big data can drive climate action

The winners of the Big Data Climate Challenge have been announced as part of the buildup to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit on 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Big Data Climate Challenge winners include a monitoring system that provides real-time information on forests, and a tool for farmers in Colombia that promotes climate-smart agriculture. The winners will be invited to attend the Climate Summit.

The Big Data Climate Challenge is a global competition hosted by United Nations Global Pulse, an initiative of the Secretary-General on big data. The Challenge was launched in May 2014 to unearth fresh evidence of the economic dimensions of climate change around the world using data and analytics. Submissions were received from 40 countries, representing more than 20 topics from forestry, biodiversity and transportation to renewable energy and green data centers.

Two overall Big Data Climate Challenge winners and seven “Projects to Watch” were selected by a high-level Advisory Board and Technical Committee of global experts in climate science, sustainable development and big data. Submissions were evaluated on their use of big data, economic relevance, stakeholder engagement, originality and scalability. The “Projects to Watch” were chosen to highlight particularly innovative uses of big data in emerging topics and geographic regions.

Big Data Climate Challenge Winners

Projects to Watch

  • Urban services monitoring (UrSMS) by development consultancy Taru in collaboration with Surat Municipal Corporation and Urban Health Climate Resilience Center (UHCRC) in India (project site)
  • Big Earth Observation Data for Climate Change Research by a research team at Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences (project site)
  • Using Big Data and Google Directions to show CO2 Emissions from Transport by researchers at University of Skopje Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering and UNDP Macedonia (project site)
  • Development under Climate Change (DUCC), an application of the Systematic Analysis of Climate Resilient Development (SACRED) framework to quantify economic impacts of climate change in South Africa submitted by United Nations University WIDER in Finland
  • SmartSpaces energy monitoring system in municipal buildings by Bristol City Energy Services in the UK as part of a European initiative implemented in 11 cities (project site)
  • Data and Computational Tools to Build Low-Carbon, Sustainable Energy Systems by a research team at Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at University of California Berkeley with projects implemented in United States, South America and Asia
  • Megacities Carbon Project by a research team from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Arizona State University, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), Resources for the Future, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Institute of Technology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the California Air Resources Board (project site)

Representatives from the two winning teams will be invited to the UN Climate Summit, where their research will be shared with Heads of State as well as global business leaders and civil society leaders. Both of the Big Data Climate Challenge winners and the “Projects to Watch” will be featured on the UN Climate Summit website.

“Big data helps us more deeply understand how climate change can affect our economies, land, health and issues of inequality—with the ultimate aim of delivering solutions, it can empower individuals, communities and policy-makers to make more informed decisions,” said Tracy Raczek, Senior Policy Advisor on Climate in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. “In the case of the Big Data Climate Challenge Winner on climate-smart agriculture, big data gives farmers valuable information on planting times which can lead to more productive growing seasons; and to the other winner, Global Forest Watch, provides multiple end-users timely data on deforestation. This can inform actions that affect short term deforestation, local economies, and long term changes to our climate.”

The Big Data Climate Challenge was inspired by the UN Climate Summit, which will convene leaders from Governments as well as public and private sectors to catalyze climate action. A new wave of climate action powered by big data and analytics is emerging. The Big Data Climate Challenge brings together these fields of big data and climate change in preparation for the Climate Summit. The Big Data Climate Challenge Winners and “Projects to Watch” demonstrate that scalable, data-driven climate solutions exist globally, and such solutions can inspire leaders from all sectors and all parts of the world to galvanize toward a safer, healthier, more equitable and resilient future.

Florida’s Trying to Save Its Bees

Read the full story in Governing.

After reading about the woeful state of honeybees and a new Florida law to foster backyard hives, Marcie Davis launched a simple, well-intentioned mission: become a foster mother to a dozen hives in her one-acre Kendall yard, cultivate a little honey and spread the word about their alarming decline.

Getting in a legal fight with Miami-Dade County was not part of the plan. “I thought I was street legal because of the new law,” Davis said.

Stewardship 2014 Keynote Speaker challenges attendees to explore product stewardship on a broader level

Read the full story at ISHN.

Jennifer Nash, executive director of the Regulatory Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School, kicked off Stewardship 2014 by challenging attendees to consider what the phrase “product stewardship” truly means to them, both in theory and in practice. In her keynote address, Nash, who also serves as associate director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, urged product stewardship professionals gathered at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio to integrate stewardship more fully into their organizations and actions.

Climate change and storm tracks: a tale of two hemispheres

Read the full story at EnvironmentalResearchWeb.

Last winter the UK saw exceptional rainfall and flooding, with the wettest December to January period since 1910 and parts of southern England receiving more than 200% of their average monthly rainfall. According to the UK Met Office, the clustering and persistence of the storms that swept in from the Atlantic was highly unusual, carried in on an exceptionally fast and strong jet stream. So is this the kind of winter the UK should come to expect? A new study in Environmental Research Letters (ERL) tries to glimpse the storms of the future.