Tuesday, September 30, 2014

News and Events

An Environmental Knight Visits UMD this Fall

Sir Robert Watson, renowned British atmospheric scientist, will be visiting campus this October, thanks to the Council on the Environment and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Well known for chairing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the late 1990s and early 2000s and specifically for his stance against fossil fuels, Watson is expected to talk about his overall view of climate change across multiple disciplines. “The most important thing about......

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DataBay Challenge: Using Data to Save the Chesapeake Bay

While some headed to the beach during the first weekend of August, eighty policy makers, scientists, activists and students put their heads together for the first DataBay Challenge at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland. Hosted by the University of Maryland’s Future of Information Alliance (FIA), the Chesapeake Bay-focused programming competition sought out new ideas to creatively use data gathered about the Bay to inform the local community and......

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UMD's New PALS Program to Launch 28 Courses for Inaugural Year

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In a bold, campus-wide community engagement initiative, the University of Maryland's new;(PALS) will debut 28 courses geared toward galvanizing sustainable growth in Frederick, Maryland for the 2014-15 academic year. The course list is twice the number originally imagined for PALS' inaugural year. It draws courses from seven different schools and several specialized university programs, spanning a variety of disciplines across campus. In all, about 50,000......

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UMD Public Health Study to Inform MD Decision on “Fracking”

College Park, Md. – The Maryland Department of Environment and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released on August 18, 2014, a report by the University of Maryland School of Public Health, which assesses the potential public health effects of allowing unconventional natural gas development and production (UNGDP), commonly known as “fracking” (a name derived from one part of the process), in western Maryland’s Marcellus Shale region. The School of Public......

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Mississippi River Delta Project: Finding Ways to Maximize Land and Water

When it comes to policy questions regarding land use, sometimes a little science is required to evaluate the effects on the land and the costs for developers. For Dr. Melissa Kenney and her colleagues, their research on the Mississippi River Delta will help influence future state-planned land development in the region through its examination of options that are cost-effective and environmentally conscious. “The Mississippi River Delta is a really critical ecosystem and social......

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SESYNC, USDA Partner to Catalyze Data-Driven Research on Food Systems Resilience to Climate Change

Annapolis, Md — In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) announces the “Data to Motivate Synthesis” Program for early career scientists and researchers at the agriculture, environment, and social nexus to identify and understand the factors that influence food systems resilience to climate change. The program, launched in support of the White House’s Climate Data Initiative, builds on......

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Lasers, Jedi, but no Han Solo?: How UMD Researchers' Project is Heading to Space

The University of Maryland will soon add “Instrument on International Space Station” to its list of accomplishments, thanks to the NASA-approved Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Lidar project. The GEDI project consists of a laser-based system that will observe the structure of forest canopy globally, examining the transformations in natural carbon storage within the carbon cycle from both anthropogenic and natural climate changes. “We’d like to......

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Programmers answer O'Malley's challenge to create bay-friendly apps

A few months ago, Gov. Martin O'Malley grew frustrated with state government's lack of creativity on the environment. He challenged his staff to look for new ideas to help the Chesapeake Bay. In response, 80 bright minds from around the state — from precocious high-schoolers to CEOs of technology companies — hunkered down over the weekend at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater for a Chesapeake-oriented marathon programming competition,......

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NASA’s OCO-2: Measuring the Earth’s Carbon Dioxide Sources from Space

NASA researchers look forward to getting their first results from OCO-2, a satellite that will study Earth’s carbon dioxide sources and sinks and their contributions to climate change from space. After Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)’s launch vehicle failure in 2009, NASA researchers, who have been working on this project for the past 13 years, finally launched its successor, OCO-2, into orbit on July 2, 2014. “OCO-2 was designed to do one thing and one thing......

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When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors

The University of Maryland (UMD) held its first Lightning Safety Awareness reporters' workshop on June 24, 2014, raising awareness about lighting safety both for people and for building structures through multiple presentations, panel discussions, and a Lightning 101 class. Hosted by UMD's Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), presenters from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (NWS), Federal Alliance for Safe Homes ......

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University of Maryland-led Consortium Wins Renewal of $93 Million NOAA Climate Institute

COLLEGE PARK, MD - The University of Maryland will continue to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supported Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) for the next five years, following a renewal of the existing cooperative agreement for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019. Initiated in May 2009, this partnership between NOAA, University of Maryland, North Carolina State, and 17 other institutions is one of the largest research consortiums......

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