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Sustainability News

Cleaning up wastewater through algae

November 5, 2015

PeteLammers-310x372It’s easy to associate algae as being a nuisance. Noticing slimy green algae building up on the sides of your crystal blue pool might have you rushing to remove it. But before you prepare to scrub it away, let’s take a moment to consider how algae could actually benefit our water, particularly in wastewater treatment.

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ASU LightWorks to engage military in energy-related research

View Source | October 29, 2015

Wind turbines in a fieldASU LightWorks recently received funding through the Naval Enterprise Partnership Teaming with Universities for National Excellence (NEPTUNE), a pilot program of the Office of Naval Research. The $1.5 million in seed grants over seven years will support six energy-related research projects at Arizona State University that will engage veterans or active-duty military.

Recognizing that energy challenges pertain to both technology and people, the projects will invite participation from the ASU veteran community through the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, as well as from local bases with active-duty military personnel. The projects aim to provide military members with experience, training and resume-building that is beneficial in post-military careers.

Deliberate dystopias: Uncovering our climate futures with Paolo Bacigalupi

October 14, 2015

paoloFor many of us living in the Southwest, the sprawl of desert combined with a growing number of people serves as a constant reminder of water security and how we will sustain it in the future. With neighboring California experiencing a record drought, at nearly half of the state hitting driest levels, whether or not Arizona is close to follow has become a serious possibility. This then, begs the question—what would happen if Phoenix lost access to water?

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ASU LightWorks commits to brighter future in Ethiopia

View Source | September 17, 2015

Yellow solar tulip among upturned solar panelsWith the aim of transforming Ethiopia into a carbon-neutral middle-income country by 2025, ASU LightWorks, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, and Adama Science and Technology University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AORA Solar - a leading developer of solar-biogas hybrid power technology.

The memorandum seeks to expand the three academic institutions’ common interest in promoting mutual cooperation in the area of education and research. In this instance, the goal is to promote academic cooperation for the development and advancement of renewable energy technologies to support the implementation of Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy.

Collaboration will include joint activities for research park development, in addition to the development and strengthening of renewable energy curricula for solar electric, solar thermal, photovoltaics, wind and sustainable fuel technologies.

Capturing carbon

August 3, 2015

lackner-carbon-captureFor many of us, it can be easy to let the relationship we share with our environment go unnoticed. Let’s get back to basics. Every time you take a breath, you take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide (CO2).

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International Year of Light 2015: Celebrating illuminating solutions

June 26, 2015

IYL1When you think about light, what comes to mind? Do you think of a campfire in a dark forest, stars from a galaxy far away, or the neon sign across your street?

However you choose to envision it, light is all around us. Humans have had a long history of experimenting with different ways to utilize light. Some of the greatest minds have dedicated their lives to understand how to make light, and how to use it. Light is an integral part of how we communicate, navigate, learn and explore.

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NRG Renew and ASU partnership yields student opportunity

May 20, 2015

NRGRenew1NRG Energy, Inc. and Arizona State University are working together to develop a working prototype of a containerized solar and batterystorage solution designed to be deployed for disaster relief or other off-grid applications, primarily in developing countries and emerging markets. Dr. Naz Al-Khayat, chief micro-grid engineer at NRG Renew, and Dr. Nathan Johnson, assistant professor at ASU Polytechnic, are leading a team of student researchers to design and test a containerized micro-grid solution. The purpose of the team’s project is to offer a fast-response to energy demands that emerge from environmental disasters as well as to bring power to areas in the world that do not have access to reliable energy.

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How ‘Cli-Fi’ Promotes Sustainable Awareness

April 28, 2015

Clifi1Can a story trigger social movement? What is the role of imagination in society’s’ response to climate change? On April 2, ASU‘s Manjana Milkoreit moderated a panel event sponsored by ASU’s Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative (ICF) titled “Climate Fiction: Science, Stories, or Seeds of Transformation”. The panelists included LightWorks affiliates Joni Adamson, Sydney Lines, and Clark Miller, who examined the roots of the emerging “cli-fi” literary genre and its impact beyond simply telling stories.

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Intersecting the digital humanities and energy research

April 9, 2015

nexus2In a world where science and technology advance at record-breaking paces, so too must we ensure that studies in the humanities progress and obtain firm grounding. While science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines can answer the “what” and “how” of our society, the humanities offer insights to answering the “why” as well as communicating it well to others. The humanities and sciences must therefore work together in order to offer solutions to the pressing problems of our time to create meaningful change.

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Redesigning the future through technology + art

March 31, 2015

Emerge1For the past four years, Arizona State University has dared brilliantly creative and technical minds to answer some of society’s most complex questions through the Emerge event. On March 6, 2015, this year’s event showcased radically new visions of the future with the theme “The Future of Choices and Values.” In a press release for this year’s event,Joel Garreau, founding co-director of Emerge and Professor of Law, Culture and Values at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law said, “Humans today have unprecedented power to harness and reshape matter, energy and even life itself. Emerge asks what kinds of futures we should build together, at a moment in history when what we can do is almost unlimited.”

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Rent renewable devices via ASU’s PowerUp Lending Library

March 10, 2015

RentDevices1A phone charger powered by the sun, a lantern with state-of-the-art solar panels, and a kinetic USB or laptop charger that powers up in your pocket while you walk are just a few of the devices you could checkout through the Household Independent Power Project’s (HIPP) Personal Power Lending Library at ASU.

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Connecting the Humanities and Sustainability: An Interview with Joni Adamson

February 17, 2015

HumanitiesJoni1Joni Adamson likes to call herself a “Jill of all trades.” Adamson, a professor of English and Environmental Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and a Senior Sustainability Scholar at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU, has developed an impressive repertoire of research interests including but not limited to: environmental humanities, environmental literature and film, Sonoran Desert ecosystems and cultures, global indigenous studies, food sovereignty, and critical plant studies.

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Why algae is important to me: An interview with AzCATI’s Dave Cardello

February 10, 2015

AlgaeDave1As media outlets increasingly tout the possibilities of algae as a resource for the future, more and more people are beginning to ask the question- “why algae?” With recognition of being one of nature′s most prolific and efficient photosynthetic plants, algae is speculated to serve as the foundation for a new generation of renewable and low-carbon transportation fuels, as well as serving as a major component for numerous bioproducts. It is no wonder why a group of multidisciplinary researchers have come together to explore this fascinating organism further in a resource hub named the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI).

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