Backlash hits Audubon after refusal to drop slave-holder’s name

Read the full story at GreenWire.

Three members of the National Audubon Society’s board of directors resigned Wednesday in response to the conservation group’s announcement that it will retain its current name tied to the enslaver and bird artist, John James Audubon.

The national conservation organization is facing an internal backlash after publicly announcing that its board of directors decided to keep its current name after a yearlong deliberation. The decision outraged employees, prompted an uncomfortable all-staff meeting and drove three board members to resign in protest.

Stephen Tan, a vice chair of Audubon’s board, and two other board members — Sara Fuentes and Erin Giese — resigned over the decision, according to a person who was informed about the resignations and was granted anonymity to discuss personnel moves that haven’t been publicly announced.

Solar companies offer reassurance after renewables financier Silicon Valley Bank collapses

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

The shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank by California regulators over the weekend has led to logistical questions about the fate of the renewables startups and projects it financed – particularly residential and community solar.

The federal government acted to fully protect the bank’s depositors and provide access to their funds by Monday, but SVB’s collapse means that companies that used the bank to finance projects will have to secure funding elsewhere.

Several solar companies said that they either had little exposure to SVB or were satisfied by the government’s promises to make them whole, but CEO Kiran Bhatraju of Arcadia – the largest domestic manager of community solar – said the bank’s collapse will “have an impact on the broader industry.”

New York lawmakers consider three packaging EPR bills

Read the full story at Resource Recycling.

New York lawmakers are trying to make their state the fifth in the nation to pass an extended producer responsibility law for packaging, and some stakeholders feel like this is the year.

Miller Lite converts sexist beer ads into fertilizer with help from Ilana Glazer

Read the full story at Marketing Dive.

Miller Lite is pledging to turn past sexist beer ads into fertilizer as part of a campaign running around Women’s History Month, according to a press release.

The Molson Coors brand has been busy buying up old marketing materials off the internet with the aim of converting them into compost that can be used to make fertilizer. The end product will be donated to women hops farmers, while the hops grown from the recycled materials will be sent to women brewers.

To spread word of the “Bad $#!T to Good $#!T” initiative, Miller Lite partnered with comedian Ilana Glazer, who explains the concept behind the campaign in a new video. Miller Lite joins other beer marketers in reckoning with prior marketing strategies that have largely ignored or objectified women.

Kit Harington on making a “‘Black Mirror’ of a climate change show” with ‘Extrapolations’

Read the full story in the Hollywood Reporter. See also In ‘Extrapolations,’ Scott Z. Burns dramatizes some inconvenient truths in the New York Times.

When it comes to environmental storytelling, there’s several different routes a project can take. Some have opted for scaring an audience into action (like Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up) while others have tried to Trojan horse climate messages into more uplifting fare, or take a more by-the-numbers documentary approach.

For Extrapolations, Apple TV+’s new anthology drama following eight different stories of people’s lives upended by climate change, creator Scott Z. Burns is taking inspiration from another future-looking anthology series, as star Kit Harington recalled how “Scott always described this to me as a kind of Black Mirror of a climate change show, and I think it falls in that.”

UN 2023 Water Conference – virtual side event: Fostering Resilience Through Cooperation in Transboundary Waters

Mar 20, 2023, 2 pm CST
Register here.

Now more than ever, effective cooperation is vital to ensure decision-makers have the tools to respond to rapidly-evolving water challenges, particularly in waters shared along international boundaries.  Inviting the knowledge and collaboration of those who are sustained by these waters – including Indigenous Peoples – is essential to these efforts, which are built upon an adaptive management approach.

This 2-hour virtual side event, linked to UN 2023 Water Conference themes 3 (climate resilience) and 4 (transboundary water cooperation), will illustrate how greater collaboration across borders – scientific, cultural, and economic – can promote the more resilient management of shared waters in an era of climate change.


Four presentations and case studies – spanning South America, Europe, and North America – will highlight the value of bringing diverse and competing interests together to learn from one another, collect data, discuss and analyze impacts, and cooperate on the sustainable management of shared waters.

Welcome and opening remarks.

Dr. Christopher Wilkie, International Joint Commission

Presentation 1: Lessons from the 25th International River Symposium (Vienna, Austria). Bringing together science, business, communities, NGOs and government to advance international efforts towards resilient rivers.
– Philip Weller, International RiverFoundation

Presentation 2:  Safeguarding freshwater resources through regional engagement, innovation, and exchange (Canada – United States).
– Mark Fisher, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Presentation 3: Towards a Blue Pact for the Lake Titicaca basin (Bolivia-Perú). Bringing civil society, government, and water users together to strengthen the sustainable management and use of transboundary waters.
– Vladimir Arana, International Secretariat for Water

Presentation 4: Supporting sustainable decision-making through public engagement (United States-Canada). Learning from those most impacted by severe flooding in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River region.
– Commissioner Pierre Béland, International Joint Commission

NSF Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Informational Webinar

Mar 20, 2023, 2 pm CDT
Register here.

Several solicitations from the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO) and Geological Sciences (GEO) will soon require the submission of a Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Plan (list of those solicitations below) that will be considered as part of the Broader Impacts criteria during the review process.

An upcoming Virtual Office Hour will feature Program Officers from BIO and GEO, who will provide an overview of the new requirement and take your questions and comments.

This 2-page supplementary document must address the following four sections:

  1. a brief description of the field setting and unique challenges for the team;  
  2. the steps the proposing organization will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment, including processes to establish shared team definitions of roles, responsibilities, and culture, e.g., codes of conduct, trainings, mentor/mentee mechanisms and field support that might include regular check-ins, and/or developmental events;   
  3. communication processes within the off-site team and to the organization(s) that minimize singular points within the communication pathway (e.g., there should not be a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone); and   
  4. the organizational mechanisms that will be used for reporting, responding to, and resolving issues of harassment if they arise.   

If you are planning a submission that will involve off-campus or off-site research, defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site including via fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft, we encourage you to join this webinar. 

The solicitations that currently include this requirement are:

  • BIO Core Solicitations:
    • Division of Environmental Biology (NSF 23-549) 
    • Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (NSF 23-547) 
    • Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (NSF 23-548) 
  • Biodiversity on a Changing Planet (BoCP, NSF 23-542) 
  • Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP, NSF 23-559)
  • Pathways into the Geosciences (GEOPAths NSF 23-540) 

Who was Minna Ernestine Jewell?

Read the full story on the Illinois State Water Survey History Blog. If you’re in the Champaign-Urbana, stop by the University of Illinois Funk ACES Library to check out the display. See also an online annotated bibliography.

Minna Ernestine Jewell (1892-1985) was an early 20th century aquatic ecologist and zoologist who studied Midwestern aquatic habitats extensively. Although she has gained some recognition for her contributions in ecology, a fact that has gone unreported is her brief affiliation with the Illinois State Water Survey.

Jewell was born Feb. 9, 1892 in Irving, Kansas, the fourth of seven children of Lyman Leander and Mary Jane Moores Jewell. Her parents had been neighbors and schoolteachers in Blue Rapids Township prior to marrying. The family owned a farm in Irving, Kansas where Minna lived until she graduated from Irving High School in 1910. Jewell enrolled at Colorado College in 1910, where she studied biology and graduated with honors in 1914. Yearbooks show she participated in the social life of the campus, engaged in extracurriculars such as the Dramatic Club, and had a wry sense of humor. Parasitologist William Walter Cort was a biology instructor at Colorado College during Jewell’s junior year, in between his MA and PhD work in zoology at the University of Illinois. Cort may have influenced Jewell’s interest in zoology and in pursuing graduate work, as well as her choice of graduate schools.

House lawmakers join senators in rallying around Colorado River

Read the full story at The Hill.

A bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers are forming a “Congressional Colorado River Caucus,” with the goal of collaborating on ways to best address worsening drought conditions across the seven-state basin. 

Food companies look to measure how soil captures carbon

Read the full story from the Wall Street Journal.

Companies are eager to improve their measurement of carbon emissions captured in soil ahead of coming mandatory climate disclosure rules as they still largely rely on imperfect estimates.