NWF Campus Ecology Fellows

NWF’s Campus Ecology Fellows confront global warming on their campuses and help to educate and engage the campus community on global warming impacts and solutions. Monetary fellowship grants are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students working with other members of the faculty, staff, or administration on projects designed to help reverse global warming on campus and beyond. In addition to a modest grant, Fellows also receive project support, leadership development, recognition of their accomplishments and other perks.

Emerging Leaders Fellowships

New in 2013, NWF is offering an Emerging Leaders Fellowship track which will offer Fellowships to post-graduate, young professionals (ages 21-35) interested in career development and leadership opportunities within the conservation movement. Throughout the fellowship term, selected applicants will be provided with leadership opportunities through NWF and their state affiliates, seed funding for their entrepreneurial efforts, additional leadership and skills trainings, and a diverse support network of peers and mentors.  2013 is the inaugural year of this Fellowship program.

Applications are due March 31.

Chicago Challenges Offices to Go Green

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has launched round three of the Chicago Green Office Challenge.

The Green Office Challenge is a competition among local businesses to reduce energy, water, and waste while saving money. The activities should contribute to meeting the goals of the Challenge: to cut energy, water and materials use by 10 percent.

Since its first round was launched in 2008 by ICLEI, the model has been copied by 11 cities across the US.

Are Oysters Doomed?

Read the full story in Slate.

Behind the counter at Seattle’s Taylor Shellfish Market, a brawny guy with a goatee pries open kumamoto, virginica, and shigoku oysters as easily as other men pop beer cans. David Leck is a national oyster shucking champion who opened and plated a dozen of them in just over a minute (time is added for broken shells or mangled meat) at the 2012 Boston International Oyster Shucking Competition. You have to be quick, these days, to keep up with demand. The oysters here were grown nearby in Taylor’s hundred-year-old beds, but the current hunger for pedigreed mollusks on the half shell stretches to raw bars and markets across the country.

A similar oyster craze swept the United States in the 1800s, when the bivalves were eaten with alacrity in New York, San Francisco, and anywhere else that could get them fresh. Development of a fancy new technology, canning, meant there was money in preserved oysters, too. Gold miners in Northern California celebrated their riches with an oyster omelet called hangtown fry. New Yorkers ate them on the street; late at night they ate them in “oyster cellars.” Walt Whitman had them for breakfast.

That wave crashed. By the early 1900s, oysters were disappearing because of overharvesting and water pollution. Today’s revival is possible because oyster farms are better managed, and regulations have improved water quality. But a modern threat looms for ice-chilled fruits de mer platters, although it’s hard to tell with oyster juice on your chin. This time it’s a worldwide problem, affecting marine ecosystems everywhere. Ocean waters are turning corrosive, and it’s happening so quickly scientists say there may not be any oysters left to eat in coming decades.

How genuine are ‘natural’ labeled products?

Read the full story in the Dominion Post. Focus on New Zealand products, but the same principle applies in the United States.

But with the proliferation of eco products has come a surge in vague green claims. The problem is distinguishing the genuine from the dodgy. And can a cleaning product ever really be environmentally kind? Earthwise’s “naturally powerful, environmentally kind” dishwasher powder was last year found to have an illegally high, corrosive pH.

To answer that question it helps to borrow a scientist. Auckland University of Technology environmental chemist John Robertson selects an eco all- purpose cleaner, scans the ingredients and looks up the material safety data sheets…

Daylighting in NYC Could Save 160 Megawatts

Read the full post at GreenTech Efficiency.

Falling prices and changes to building codes are changing how the Big Apple thinks about office lighting.

New building codes are making New York a potential beacon for daylight harvesting (using daylight to offset electricity usage) according to a recent study from Green Light New York, a nonprofit that provides energy and lighting efficiency education and research.