#WomeninSTEM: Saving the Natural World through Conservation

Read the full story from the Department of the Interior.

As manager of Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Jennifer Owen-White is used to getting her hands dirty. Established in 2012, Valle de Oro is the first urban wildlife refuge in the southwest, and it’s becoming an important asset for the residents of New Mexico. In a recent TEDx talk, Owen-White shared her story of why she gave up being a doctor to play in the dirt and why we need more women in the conservation field.

Visualize Your Local Water Quality: A Mapping Challenge for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay High School Students

  • January 2016 – start of competition
  • February 2016 – submissions due
  • March 2016 – winners announced

In this competition, students will use digital mapping technology from Esri with data from the USGS, EPA, and other sources to analyze local water quality. They will then create a map that tells a story about the problem and suggests possible solutions. A free Esri ArcGIS Online school account is available so students can view and analyze relevant data and create maps.

U.S. High School Students in the following states are eligible to participate

  • Great Lakes Basin: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed: West Virginia, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York

It’s not just you — climate science really is impossible to read

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

The summaries designed to condense the latest scientific thinking on climate change to make it accessible for policymakers are too difficult to read, a new study has warned.

A paper, published today in Nature Climate Change, analyzed the “readability” of the influential summaries from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that have been published for the past 25 years.

The researchers found the reports are even more difficult to read than a scientific journal, despite their being aimed at policymakers who often have no background in scientific training.

Boulder To Serve as Pilot for MIT Climate Change Challenge

Read the full story at FutureStructure.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate CoLab has chosen Boulder as a host city for all forms of innovation in hopes of having a positive effect on the environment and building community relations.

Energy-Saving Solutions in the Bluegrass State

Read the full story in the EERE Blog.

The Energy Department is continuing partnerships with state and local governments to advance efficiency in both energy and water use. One way of doing this is by implementing Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), an approach to making improvements that reduce energy and water use and increase operational efficiency without upfront costs. Under the ESPC model, energy efficiency upgrades are paid for by future cost savings made by the upgrades themselves, over a set term. At the end of the ESPC, the customer owns the improvements and continues to reap the savings.

Edible Campus project would turn UNC into living garden

Read the full story from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Students, faculty and community members could soon harvest a snack while they walk around campus. The Edible Campus, a project run by Chancellor’s Fellow Emily Auerbach, is currently in the works. The goal of the project is to add high-functioning plants to areas on campus with heavy traffic.

High-functioning plants include plants that are native, medicinal and edible, Auerbach said. Auerbach said trees, most likely persimmon trees, will be planted by volunteers in November as the first installment of the project.

Auerbach said she hopes the area between Davis Library and Davis ATMs will eventually become an edible plant garden.