Meetings & webinars

SEE Action Webinar – Community Based Social Marketing

Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CDT
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/896801960

This webinar will describe community-based social marketing as a behavior-based approach for developing energy-efficiency programs. The webinar will begin with an overview of the five steps involved in developing and delivering a community-based social marketing program including methods for prioritizing and selecting target behaviors, identifying barriers and benefits, leveraging behavior change tools, pilot testing, and evaluation. Each presentation will also cover case studies of scalable programs that have successfully applied the community-based social marketing model or its components to promote energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors.

SEE Action Webinar – Energy Efficiency Measure Cost Studies

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/956101832.

In this webinar, leading experts will explain the importance of measure cost studies, review the current “state of the science” of measure cost development and estimation, and explore opportunities for future collaboration and advancement of measure cost research.   Presenters will provide an overview of the regulatory and program planning applications of measure cost data, explain the limitations of ad hoc sources of such data, and provide examples of successful development of ex ante measure costs from recent work in California and the Northeast.  Panelists will also provide lessons learned and recommendations for increasing the value of measure cost studies moving forward.

Big questions: Frontiers’ fresh look

Read the full post from the University of Minnesota Institute on Environment.

This fall, the Institute on the Environment is refreshing our popular Frontiers in the Environment series. We’ll ask some Big Questions and host solutions-focused conversations about the next wave of research and discovery.

Below is the schedule from the web site.

Frontiers in the Environment: Big Questions

Solutions-focused conversations about the next wave of research and discovery.

Wednesdays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST
IonE Seminar Room R380, Learning & Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul
Free and open to the public; no registration required
Join us online via UMConnect

September 24 — Can We Build a More Resilient Food Distribution System?

Matteo Convertino, IonE Resident Fellow and Assistant Professor, School of Public Health; and Craig Hedberg, Professor, School of Public Health

Despite being a global concern, food safety is addressed in a systematic way only in some developed countries. We need an integrated ‘”system science” approach to managing the global food system that considers multiple needs and constraints, as well as an efficient system for transporting food and rapidly detecting food contamination and adulterations. Matteo Convertino and Craig Hedberg will describe a project that’s using computer modeling to predict and deal with food-borne disease outbreaks worldwide based on food supply chain structures and epidemiological data.

October 1 — How can the University of Minnesota assist the energy transition?

Hari Osofsky, IonE Resident Fellow, Law School Professor and Energy Transition Lab Faculty Director; and Ellen Anderson, Energy Transition Lab Executive Director

Our energy system is transitioning in ways that create critical challenges. Evolving approaches to sources of energy, electricity and transportation, energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, climate change, and environmental and energy justice affect every community and region and every sector of the economy. We need to remove barriers to needed change at local, state, regional, national, and international levels, and identify a holistic strategy for moving forward. Energy Transition Lab faculty director, IonE resident fellow, and Law School professor Hari Osofsky, and Energy Transition Lab executive director Ellen Anderson see Minnesota and beyond as a living laboratory for finding innovative solutions. They will explore how the lab will collaborate with business, government, NGO, community leaders, and university-based experts to make progress on these challenges.

October 8 — How Might the Twin Cities Help Catalyze Needed Global Urban Innovations?

Patrick Hamilton, Ione Resident Fellow and Director, Science Museum of Minnesota’s Global Change Initiatives; Anne Hunt, Environmental Policy Director, City of Saint Paul; Peter Frosch, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Greater MSP; and Mike Greco, Lecturer, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

By 2050, more than 6 billion people will live in cities. The quality of life in these cities of the future — and, by extension, our planet — is being shaped by decisions we make today. Patrick Hamilton will engage panelists Anne Hunt, Peter Frosch, and Mike Greco in a lively discussion of how the Twin Cities — one of the healthiest, wealthiest, best educated, and most innovative, creative and connected urban centers in the world — might use its considerable academic, nonprofit and business acumen to shape initiatives that directly benefit its residents while also helping to advance creative urbanism everywhere.

October 15 — Should Society Put a Price Tag on Nature?

Steve Polasky, Ione Resident Fellow; Project Lead, Natural Capital Project; and Professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Natural environments such as grasslands, forests and wetlands provide ecosystem services —benefits such as clean air and water and eye-pleasing landscapes. We value these amenities in the abstract, yet rarely figure them into a budget or balance sheet when developing a shopping mall or planting a cornfield. Steve Polasky will moderate a discussion about whether society could or should place a monetary value on nature — and if so, how to incorporate that value into decisions about resource management, conservation and environmental regulation.

October 22 — What Does a Sustainable Clean Water Future for Minnesota Look Like?

Bonnie Keeler, Lead Scientist, Natural Capital Project; Deb Swackhamer, Program Director, Water Resources Center; and John Linc Stine, Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Minnesota has a reputation as a land of abundant, high-quality lakes and rivers. But is our water clean enough? Addressing surface water quality problems is expensive and not without trade-offs, such as lost industry, agricultural production and development. Bonnie Keeler, Deb Swackhamer and John Linc Stine will share their visions of a sustainable clean water future for Minnesota.

October 29 — What Is the Role of the Environment in This Year’s Minnesota Elections?

David Gillette, Special Correspondent, Twin Cities Public Television; Amy Koch, Small Business Owner and Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader; and Mark Andrew, President, Greenmark

With all the statewide constitutional offices up for grabs — plus a federal senate seat — it’s a busy election year in Minnesota. Surveys show that while people care about the environment, they often don’t make it the top issue when voting. How important are environmental issues in this fall’s elections? How are environmental issues being framed? What impact might the election have on environmental policy in the state? And what can University of Minnesota faculty, staff and students do to help voters understand what’s at stake?

November 5 —  How Can We Make the Most of the Agriculture’s 21st Century Transformation?

Nicholas Jordan, IonE Resident Fellow and Professor of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; and Carissa Schively Slotterback, Associate Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Agriculture is in the midst of a revolutionary transformation. Output is rapidly shifting from a few predominant crops and commodities to a wide array of new foods, feeds, bioproducts and biofuels. At the same time, emphasis is shifting from minimizing adverse impacts to capitalizing on the potential of agriculture to improve soil, water, biodiversity and climate. Nicholas Jordan and Carissa Schively Slotterback will describe emerging opportunities and explore how one initiative in southern Minnesota is bringing science, social science and humanities together to develop and test a process for helping rural communities make the most of the economic and environmental benefits of the new bioeconomy as it develops around them .

November 12 — How Can We Help Children Connect to the Natural World?

Cathy Jordan, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Extension Children, Youth, and Family Consortium

These days, kids spend more time staring at a computer monitor or playing with electronic games than they do interacting with nature. Cathy Jordan will address questions such as: What effect does this have on children’s well-being and, ultimately, the well-being of our planet? What are the benefits of connecting children to nature? What can urban planners, landscape architects, educators and parents do to foster engagement between children and the natural world?

November 29 — Environmentalists and Corporations Make Strange Bedfellows . . . Or Do They?

Steve Polasky, Ione Resident Fellow; Project Lead, Natural Capital Project; and Professor, College Of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences with [panelists to be named]

When we think of a group of environmentalists fighting to protect fragile habitat, we may imagine an angry mob outside the gates of a manufacturer, chanting and waving signs. Or circulating an online petition. Or maybe boycotting a product. But the times, they are a-changin.’ Modern-day environmentalists are taking seats in boardrooms and influencing business practices on a global scale. Steve Polasky and panelists will share insights, challenges and successes in this lively conversation about these 21st century partnerships.

Webinar: Planting the Seeds for Sustainable Chemistry

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 1-2 pm CDT
Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/705583810

What can be done to incorporate green chemistry in to all parts of the industry? Join us to learn about the Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientist and Engineers (NESSE) and how they are working to build a community of confident and able early-career sustainable scientists; connected across disciplines, sharing knowledge and resources, forging collaborations, and finding solutions towards making research and its outcomes greener and more sustainable.

 

Webinar: Alternative Products: Release Agents for Parts Manufacturing, Concrete Stamping and Asphalt Manufacture and Application

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 1-2 PM CDT
Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/493087722

(Hosted by WSPPN & NPPR as part of the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program Fall Webinar Series)

In some manufacturing operations, various substrates are used to manufacture parts which are molded into a particular form.  Mold release agents are used to prevent the fiberglass or plastic from sticking to the mold. Concrete and concrete overlay stamping involve stamping a pattern into concrete to give it the appearance of stone.  Release agents are used between the curing concrete and the mats with the pattern to be stamped to prevent the concrete from sticking to the mat. A release agent is also used in asphalt manufacturing plants and when asphalt is being applied to roads to prevent the asphalt from building up and sticking to equipment and tools.

EPA Region IX and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) sponsored a project conducted by the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA), a nonprofit organization, to identify, develop, test and demonstrate low-VOC, low toxicity alternatives to the high VOC content materials used as release agents in these applications.

IRTA tested and demonstrated alternatives including water-based release agents, petroleum based lubricants, lubricants based on soy, and vegetable oil containing soy and canola oil recycled from restaurants.  IRTA analyzed and compared the cost of using the alternatives.  The project has been completed and the SCAQMD plans to develop regulations requiring the use of low-VOC alternatives over the next year or so.

Dr. Katy Wolf will present the findings of IRTA’s alternatives product research project and provide a comparison of alternative release agents.

Free Online TOXNET Class Offered This Fall

The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) is offering an online, asynchronous class called “Discovering TOXNET” October 20 – November 14, 2014. Discover TOXNET and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises. The class is taught online in thirteen independent modules.

TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and occupational safety and health. The independent modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, IRIS, Has-Map, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, REMM, LiverTox and more. You’ll learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises.

Who should take the class?

Health sciences librarians and health or environmental sciences professionals interested in unlocking the information in TOXNET and the other environmental health and toxicology resources.

How much time?

You will work on your own time over a period of 4 weeks to complete the modules that are of interest to you. There is one required module; the remaining modules are optional. The class is offered for variable MLA Continuing Education credit. Each module will be offered for 0.5 to 2.0 credit hours, for a total of up to 12 hours. Credit will not be awarded for partial completion of a module. Total credit awarded will be based on completed modules with a minimum of 1.0 credit hours.

What happens during the class?

This course is offered asynchronously through Moodle; you will work at your own pace. Each module consists of guided interactive online tutorials and/or tutorial videos as well as discovery exercises. Instructors will be available to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the course.

The modules are:

  1. Introduction to TOXNET: 0.5 hour (Required)
  2. TOXLINE: 1.0 hour
  3. ChemIDplus: 2.0 hours
  4. Integrated Risk Information System & Risk Assessment: 1.0 hour
  5. Hazardous Substances Databank: 1.5 hours
  6. Toxic Release Inventory: 1.0 hour
  7. TOXMAP: 1.5 hours
  8. Household Products Database: 0.5 hour
  9. LactMed: 0.5 hour
  10. Has-Map: 0.5 hour
  11. WISER & CHEMM: 1.0 hour
  12. REMM: 0.5 hour
  13. LiverTox: 0.5 hour

How do I register?

Space in the class is limited, so don’t delay! Register now at: http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/class_details.html?class_id=809

For questions, contact the NTC at ntc@utah.edu; http://nnlm.gov/pnr/dragonfly/2014/07/17/toxnet-class-fall-2014/