Month: June 2013

Early Career Climate Change Forum Launches Online

This Forum grew out of a week-long workshop known as the Northwest Climate Science boot camp, sponsored by the Northwest Climate Science Center. The Forum consists of early career scientists, managers, and others working at the science management interface on climate change issues.

The intention of the Forum’s website is to provide a space for early career climate researchers and climate professionals to explore new ideas, network, and find support to help them excel in their chosen paths. Additionally, the Forum strives to be an accessible outlet where all people can come and learn about climate science from people intimately involved with studying the climate and its implications for ecosystems and people.

To learn more, visit: http://eccforum.csc.alaska.edu/.

EPA’s Science Matters Newsletter Focuses on Climate Change Research

The current issue of EPA’s Science Matters focuses on how EPA researchers and partners are developing the latest climate change science and incorporating it into strategies and actions to protect human health and the environment.

The issue includes stories on: using climate models and watershed simulations to better understand climate change effects on streams and rivers; protecting salmon from warming waters in the South Fork Nooksack River Watershed; as well as a Q&A podcast with the Associate Director for Climate for the Air, Climate, and Energy Research Program.

To view this issue of Science Matters, visit: http://epa.gov/sciencematters/

Webinar: Modeling a Life Cycle Approach to Solid Waste Management and Recycled Content Materials

Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 9:30-11 am CDT
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/432224296.

This webinar will provide an overview and demonstrate tools to model and calculate the benefits of

  • Alternative end of life waste management comparisons
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption associated with purchasing and manufacturing activities using baseline and alternate recycled content scenarios.

The webinar will be hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and features a presentation by the U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery on the following tools:

  • Waste Reduction Model (WARM) – This model calculates and totals GHG emissions of baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, combustion, composting, and landfilling.
  • Recycled Content Tool (ReCon) – This tool helps companies and individuals estimate life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy impacts from purchasing and/or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of post-consumer recycled content.

8 Clever Ideas for Making Government Work Better With Data

Read the full story in Atlantic Cities. None of the ideas are overtly related to sustainability, but there’s probably some crossover on some of these.

How can we make the places we live more awesome through data?

That’s the question the Knight Foundation posed to coders around the world back in March, when they launched the Knight News Challenge: Open Gov. The foundation sought projects that would open up government data to citizens on the local, state or national level. At least 886 groups submitted ideas for a sliver of the $5 million prize money.

As we wrote at the time:

Amid all of the submissions are some familiar innovations we’ve already encountered at Atlantic Cities, formerly as nascent ideas now competing for a chance to scale up: our favorite guerrilla wayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America’s playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driven transportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here.

Below, a look at the eight winning projects, which will receive over $3.2 million in funding among them.

Sustainability Programs Are Even More Effective through Partnerships

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

While there is a lot of talk about manufacturer responsibility in product stewardship, retailers—as the middlemen between manufacturers and consumers—are emerging as a powerful force in environmental stewardship and sustainability. This new level of influence is being intentionally cultivated through strategic partnerships between retailers and manufacturers. Lowe’s and DeWalt, for example, have partnered together to sponsor tool trade-in events that provide both an opportunity and an incentive to recycle outdated power tools.

No organization understands this better than RILA (Retail Industry Leaders Association), the retail industry’s trade association that represents some of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies.  Importantly, RILA helps its members to become sustainability leaders.

Personal Grooming Products May Be Harming Great Lakes Marine Life

Read the full story in Scientific American.

Three of the five Great Lakes—Huron, Superior and Erie—are awash in plastic. But it’s not the work of a Christo-like landscape artist covering the waterfront. Rather, small plastic beads, known as micro plastic, are the offenders, according to survey results to be published this summer in Marine Pollution Bulletin. “The highest counts were in the micro plastic category, less than a millimeter in diameter,” explained chemist Sherri “Sam” Mason of the State University of New York at Fredonia, who led the Great Lakes plastic pollution survey last July. “Under the scanning electron microscope, many of the particles we found were perfectly spherical plastic balls.”