Day: October 24, 2018

16th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet

Open/Close Dates: Oct. 24, 2018 – Dec. 11, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the release of the 16th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Phase I Request for Applications (RFA). This collegiate design competition promotes the use of scientific and engineering principles in creating innovative projects to address environmental challenges and develop real-world solutions. This RFA is seeking applications in the research areas of Air Quality, Safe and Sustainable Water Resources, Sustainable and Healthy Communities, and Chemical Safety.

Join us on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET for an informational webinar about the P3 RFA and application process. Webinar details will be posted on the P3 website.

P3 Program

The P3 program is a two-phase team competition. For the first phase, interdisciplinary student teams compete for one-year grants of up to $25,000 for project ideas addressing environmental solutions. Recipients use the funding to research and develop their design projects during the academic year. In the spring, Phase I Teams attend the National Student Design Expo to showcase their projects and designs. Phase I teams are eligible to compete for Phase II funding of up to $100,000 to implement their projects in a real-world setting.

P3 was developed to foster progress by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity, and protection of the planet – people, prosperity and the planet. EPA’s P3 Program offers technical solutions to environmental challenges while supporting education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). These grants propel the next generation of scientists, engineers, and researchers to think critically about current events and develop innovative solutions.

For general information on how to apply, visit

The P3 Student Design Competition is part of EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Research Program, which supports the development of science and tools to help communities make better decisions toward a healthy society and environment.

Follow climate scientists on Twitter by using these lists

Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center, has compiled Twitter lists of experts who talk climate, scientists who do climate, and innovators who fix climate. Read more about how and why she did this here. There’s also a list of organizations that study climate change.

Making the most of conservation money

Read the full story from Arizona State University.

A new decision-making tool helps align investment with objectives in biodiversity conservation. The tool, called the Recovery Explorer, can be used to evaluate potential consequences of alternative resource allocation strategies. This work was motivated, in part, by past critiques of USFWS recovery allocation processes.

The researchers write about the Recovery Explorer in “Endangered species recovery: A resource allocation problem” in the Oct. 19 issue of Science. Gerber said that Recovery Explorer can be used on a laptop or in a decision-theater type environment.


Why One Science Professor Has Students Write a Children’s Book

Read the full story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Hello, and welcome to Teaching, a free weekly newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Today, Dan tells you about a biology professor who allowed his students to take on an unusual assignment in place of a final exam. Then Dan relates a reader’s experience with two-stage exams, which is also the subject of some recent research. Finally, Beckie shares a tip she received about how to encourage faculty members to use centers for teaching and learning.

Sodexo Announces Plastics Reduction Policy

Read the full story at Waste360.

Company-wide plan aims to reduce or eliminate plastic straws and stirrers, single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam items.

Strategic Science Communication on Environmental Issues

Download the document.

A growing number of researchers across social science fields are investigating
the factors that influence public perceptions of climate change and other environmental issues, evaluating the implications for effective outreach on the part of scientists. Much of this research has conceptualized communication as a two-way iterative dialogue involving experts, the public, and stakeholders. By way of formal contexts such as meetings and consultation exercises, in this “dialogic” approach, members of the public are invited to be active participants in deciding what is discussed, contributing to the production of expert knowledge and/or the formulation of policy options and decisions (Nisbet & Markowitz, 2015; Dietz & Stern, 2008). A second but distinct area of research has examined “informal learning” approaches to communication across contexts such as science museums, science centers, zoos, and aquariums (Bell et al., 2009).

Over the past decade, there has emerged a third, “strategic” approach to science
communication. In this line of research, social scientists examine the social and political context within which science communication and outreach takes place, identifying the factors that influence public perceptions and behavior. Drawing on this understanding, they empirically test specific messages or communication strategies that can be used by scientists and practitioners (Fischhoff & Scheufele, 2013). Research often focuses on attaining specific outcomes such as gaining public attention and generating concern about a problem; maintaining trust and overcoming cognitive biases; responding effectively to false and misleading (mis)information; and/or encouraging the public to discuss an issue and to become involved in addressing a problem.

Yet, to date, few integrated reviews of this rapidly growing field of strategic
science communication research exist that clearly emphasize the practical implications for scientists and their organizations. This lack of integration persists despite the fact that many of the studies in this area have the potential to directly inform and enhance the communication and outreach activities of the scientific community. To address this gap, focusing on the U.S. context, we review four evidence-based approaches that are particularly relevant for scientists seeking to communicate with the public about climate change and other potentially contentious environmental issues. These multi-faceted strategies relate to the goals of maintaining trust in politicized debates; countering misinformation and false beliefs; tailoring information to audiences; and promoting informal conversations about environmental problems. Our review is written in a style intended to be accessible and relevant to scientists, communication practitioners, and other non-specialists.

Announcing New Projects Funded by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center

Read the full story from NE CASC.

The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center has awarded just over $650,000 to CASC consortium institutions, universities and other partners for research to inform cultural and natural resource managers in planning how to help species and ecosystems adapt to climate change.

Supporting Native and Indigenous Community Climate Adaptation Efforts Across the Country

Read the full story from the USGS.

Though familiarly recognized as Columbus Day, many people in the U.S. instead choose to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The day celebrates the Indigenous Peoples of the United States and commemorates their histories and cultures. Hawai‘i has chosen the name Discoverer’s Day, in recognition of the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands.

For centuries, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other Indigenous peoples have stewarded natural resources to sustain their communities, traditional ways of life, and cultural identities. This close relationship with the natural world puts Indigenous communities at the forefront of climate change impacts. Drawing upon a strong history of adaptation and innovation, Tribal nations and Indigenous communities are key collaborators on adaptation work within the Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) network. The CASCs partner with Native and Indigenous communities to better understand their specific knowledge of and exposure to climate change impacts, to increase or assist with capacity to support adaptation planning, and to identify and address their climate science needs. The CASCs have funded, organized, and participated in a variety of research projects, training workshops, and stakeholder meetings. In fact, in 2015 the South Central CASC received a Department of the Interior Environmental Achievement Award for “Climate Science and Partnerships – Increasing the Tribal Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation”. The CASCs have also worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to support Tribal Resilience Liaisons who provide another avenue for communication, engagement, and research between Indigenous peoples and the CASCs. These Liaisons are dedicated to increasing CASC engagement with Tribal nations, Tribal consortia, and Tribal organizations so that the CASCs can further understand and meet their information needs.

The projects CASCs have funded to support and assist Native and Indigenous communities can be grouped into four main categories: 1) assessing science needs; 2) increasing capacity; 3) understanding impacts to food, water, and culturally important resources; and 4) incorporating traditional knowledge into adaptation planning. Read on to learn more about our efforts in these areas.

TipSheet: As Climate Struggle Gets Real, Cities Stand on Front Line

The Society of Environmental Journalists has developed a new tip sheet that details how cities are responding to increased climate threats.

Call for Abstracts for the 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference now open

You can now submit abstracts for the 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference.

Abstracts are requested for oral and poster presentations on all aspects of emerging contaminants in the environment, including research, public health, policy, management, outreach, and education. The conference will include sessions on:

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) (including PFOS, PFOA, & related compounds)
  • Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) (including naturally occurring hormones)
  • Plastics and microplastics (including microfibers)
  • Other emerging contaminants

Visit the conference web site to submit your abstract or use the links below:

Registration will open in February 2019. Registration includes conference admission and detailed conference program. In addition, it includes breakfast and lunch on the day(s) that you register, hors d’oeurves at the poster session (May 21), and a networking mixer at 5-7 pm on May 20 at the Pavilion Lounge in the Hilton Garden Inn.

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