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Sustainability News

Closes May 29: Art in Focus gallery highlighting women artists from the museum's permanent collection

May 10, 2021

The Art in Focus gallery highlights artwork from the museum's permanent collection. As ASU Art Museum, along with many museums across the country, actively works to build a more diverse collection that tells a representative history of art, they make it a priority to collect and exhibit artists who have been marginalized. A recent study of the artists represented in the collections of eighteen major American art museums found that only 12.6% are women.

This installation features works on paper, ceramics, baskets and wood objects made by a range of influential women artists, including Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, Sandra Ramos, Maria Martinez, Rose Cabat and Louise Nevelson.

To ensure the well-being of all our visitors and staff, we ask that you please comply with our new ASU and city guidelines to keep all of us safe. Reserve your free timed-entry tickets and learn more about the museum's new guidelines before visiting.

Image credit: Yolanda M. Lopez, “Women's Work is Never Done” (from 10x10: Ten Women/ Ten Prints portfolio), 1995, Screenprint, serigraph, 18 color, on Lenox 100 paper, 20 1/8 x 19 1/2 in. (51.12 x 49.53 cm). Gift of the Arizona Print Forum, ASU.

May 20: Global Accessibility Awareness Day at ASU

May 10, 2021

Join ASU's Universal Design and Access Technology (UDAT) Working Group for a morning of virtual, interactive presentations to raise awareness and understanding of digital access and inclusion for the more than 1 billion people with disabilities and impairments.

The 2021 Global Accessibility Awareness Day virtual conference is a great introduction to accessibility for faculty, staff and students who create online content. Virtually "drop-in" for one or more sessions!

Topics include accessible course design, inclusive pedagogy and ASU accessibility resources. More information and registration.

May 17-19: IASC 2021 Conference on Polycentric Governance

May 10, 2021

The IASC 2021 Conference: Polycentric Governance aims to bring together scholars and practitioners from various sectors, disciplines, and epistemological traditions to advance our understanding of how polycentric governance works in practice and share knowledge as a diverse research community.

This virtual event is one of a series of Our Commons Future conferences organized by the International Association for the Study of the Commons. Future topics include water commons, knowledge commons, and land and forest commons. Learn more and register.

Three sustainability scholars named 2021-22 IHR fellows

May 10, 2021

The Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) at Arizona State University has awarded fellowships to eight ASU faculty for the 2021–22 academic year. Among them are sustainability scholars Serena Ferrando, Daniel Gilfillan and Natalie Lozinski-Veach.

The new program includes enrollment in the National Council for Faculty Development and Diversity's Faculty Success Program, which provides faculty with the skills needed to increase both research and writing productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

"The new IHR Fellows program is focused on faculty development. It enables dedicated time for writing, research and public humanities work," said IHR associate director and sustainability scholar Ron Broglio.

Read more about the faculty and their respective projects on ASU News.

Larson: Arizona farmers to bear brunt of cuts from Colorado River

May 10, 2021

Sustainability scientist Rhett Larson was recently quoted by the Associated Press in an article about anticipated reductions in water the state of Arizona receives from the Colorado River. Larson is also the Richard Morrison Professor of Water Law in ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

The reductions in Arizona won’t hit cities or people’s homes, or affect water delivered through the canal system for Native American tribes. Still, anyone living in the desert should be concerned — but not panic — about water and think ways to live with less, said Larson, an expert on water law and policy.

"The fact that you’re not feeling it in your tap doesn’t mean you won’t feel it at the grocery store because Pinal County farmers are growing a lot of the things you eat and use," he said. Read the article in the Associated Press.

Explore groundwater level changes in Arizona sub-basins

May 10, 2021

Groundwater is a critical resource in Arizona, and changes in demand for groundwater have given rise to growing concern about the long-term resilience of some of the state’s aquifers.

The Kyl Center for Water Policy’s new Arizona Groundwater Level Change App shows what’s happening in sub-basins across the state – where groundwater levels are rising or declining and where more data may be needed.

The data for this powerful new tool are derived from the Arizona Department of Water Resources' Statewide Groundwater Level Changes report (Open-File Report No.18, December 2020).

Explore the new groundwater level change app.

Survey responses requested: NEON Needs Assessment

May 10, 2021

Arizona State University is working with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), operated by Battelle, to collect information that informs our understanding of use of large-scale data sets in higher education, your familiarity with NEON data, and your usage/non-usage of NEON data. Data gathered will be used to inform outreach efforts and for educational planning purposes.

The assessment team is asking for your assistance in completing this short survey. The survey aims to gather feedback from higher education administrators, faculty, and staff and should take no more than ten-minutes to complete. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate.

Please click here to take the survey: NEON Needs Assessment

This link is an anonymous link so no identifying information will be attached to your responses. Feel free to share the link with your colleagues or your professional network. We encourage you to list your institution and role, but doing so is not mandatory.

May 12: The impact of supportive housing on the costs of chronic mental illness

May 10, 2021

At a noon event on May 12, ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the ASU Center for Health Information & Research (CHiR) will present findings from a study sponsored by the Association for the Chronically Mentally Ill (ACMI). Register via Zoom.

Some individuals with serious mental illness experience severe, long-term symptoms of their disease. They may lack insight into their condition, not adhere to treatment, and have high support needs, among other challenges.

These individuals can be considered to have a chronic form of serious mental illness. Without appropriate treatment, support, and housing, they can experience recurrent crisis episodes, homelessness, and frequent interactions with emergency, criminal justice, and health systems, incurring great public expense.

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Your questions answered about the Research Accelerator

May 10, 2021

With applications open through May 17, now is the time to submit your application to the Global Futures Research Accelerator, a program developed to empower the Scientists and Scholars network to develop an ASU research enterprise strategy to increase competitiveness, funding success, partnerships and societal impact. Read the flyer to learn more.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received about the program.

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Government purchasing: sustainability’s best kept secret?

May 10, 2021

Archimedes once observed that with a long enough lever he could move the world. In the case of moving the world to a more sustainable place, government purchasing could be just what he would have ordered.

“Government is the largest buyer of goods across the globe,” Arizona State University Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative co-founder Nicole Darnall told an international audience during a Security and Sustainability Forum webinar April 22. That means, she said, that government purchasing can play a huge role in advancing sustainability around the world.

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Peter Schlosser named chair of AGU Development Board

May 6, 2021

AGU logoASU vice president and vice provost of Global Futures, Peter Schlosser, was recently named as chair of the Development Board for the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Joining Schlosser on the board as new members are John Podesta, former advisor to presidents Obama and Clinton and founder and Chair of the Board of Directors for the think tank Center for American Progress, and Tong Zhu, Dean of College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Peking University. They join a board dedicated to a membership of 130,000 members, from ethusiasts to experts from around the world, focused on Earth and space sciences.

In his introductory address to the AGU membership, Schlosser, who was first appointed to the AGU board in 2015 and recognizes AGU as the first scientific organization he joined, said, "I was trained as a physicist and used measurements of isotopes and trace substances to better understand the hydrosphere, air/sea gas exchange and continental paleoclimate. Thus, AGU was a natural choice as its broad scope in Earth and Space Science covered my interests in a way no other professional society did."

Learn more about Schlosser's appointment and the AGU.

Cornell: The one question I hate getting about my home's solar roof

April 27, 2021

It’s not uncommon for friends, family, and neighbors to ask sustainability scientist Ryan Cornell about his home’s solar power. And he loves most of the questions. It’s a chance to talk about a subject he enjoys, while encouraging people to think about adding solar to their own homes. Most questions are pretty straightforward: How much energy does it produce? Does it produce enough electricity to power your cars? What happens when it is cloudy?

The fact that it is possible to power an entire house and two cars with today’s technology seems to intrigue most people. It also inevitably leads to another question. The question that drives Cornell a little bit crazy: When will the roof pay for itself?

"It is a completely valid question," says Cornell, "and while there are problems with the question itself, I still understand why someone wants to know. The problem with the question is that it is a gross oversimplification."

Read the article in Slate to see what Cornell says about fossil fuels, human health and peer pressure.

May 12-14: Latin American perspectives on post pandemic

April 27, 2021

The World Academy of Art & Science regional event Perspectives on Post Pandemic is being organized to examine different perspectives on social, economic, political, educational and environmental matters, taking into account the plurality of realities in Latin America. View the agenda and register.

Despite the sizable number of studies and analysis inspired by the deepening of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still face several major uncertainties. This event aims to discuss ways for a humanitarian recovery that ensures environmental sustainability. WAAS believes that the integration of sciences and arts within a humanistic framework and with deference to the environment and cultural diversity can effectively give rise to public policies leading to global recovery and social transformation. This event will include visions and perspectives of Latin American WAAS members, and invited speakers from the rest of the world. The need to build social and political systems that are more resilient and less susceptible to future crises makes imperative the promotion and encouragement of wide-ranging dialogues. This meeting will be an opportunity to exchange ideas among peers, and identify ways to better understand the reality that we are currently experiencing.

Kyl Center releases new story map about Arizona's watersheds

April 27, 2021

Water both nurtures and erodes our land. Changes in the land affect our water quality and supply.

Any story about watersheds is a story about both water and land. This story map connects our water supply to the landscapes we depend on, both natural and built environments. It drills down into the complex relationships between land and water by examining forest health, wildfires, climate change, and our state's amazing biodiversity.

Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute, the University of Arizona's Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), and the National Forest Foundation developed this story map on watershed function and health so that teachers and students, interested community members, and water users can better understand Arizona's forest-water connection.

New book: Resilient Urban Futures

April 27, 2021

A new open access book, Resilient Urban Futures, addresses the way in which urban and urbanizing regions profoundly impact and are impacted by climate change. Editors include Urban Resilience to Extremes SRN members Zoé Hamstead, sustainability fellow David Iwaniac, Timon McPhearson, Marta Berbés-Blázquez, Elizabeth Cook and School of Sustainability adjunct faculty member Tischa Munoz-Erickson.

The editors and authors show why cities must wage simultaneous battles to curb global climate change trends while adapting and transforming to address local climate impacts. This book addresses how cities develop anticipatory and long-range planning capacities for more resilient futures, earnest collaboration across disciplines, and radical reconfigurations of the power regimes that have institutionalized the disenfranchisement of minority groups.

Although planning processes consider visions for the future, the editors highlight a more ambitious long-term positive visioning approach that accounts for unpredictability, system dynamics and equity in decision-making.

This volume brings the science of urban transformation together with practices of professionals who govern and manage our social, ecological and technological systems to design processes by which cities may achieve resilient urban futures in the face of climate change.

TSC Summit 2021 goes virtual: The future of resilient supply chains

April 27, 2021

TSC Summit 2021 gathers TSC members, partners and invited guests to bring big ideas, on-the-ground solutions and deep dives into transparency to tackle the path towards more sustainable consumer products. Through a mix of global content covering major issues in supply chains and scalable system changes, TSC tackles what it means to be resilient, together, in the face of worsening climate change and increasing pressure from consumers on brands and retailers.

This event is free to anyone from ASU: select "Arizona State University" from the Company Name drop-down. View the schedule and register.

Attendance for every day except Tuesday, May 11th will be restricted to TSC members and invited guests only. Because this event is virtual, there is no limit on TSC member registrations. All TSC members attend for free. TSC Summit will be presented virtually on the Pathable platform.

Greg Asner, Haunani Kane discuss coral reefs, indigenous knowledges and role of youth for Earth Day Celebration

April 24, 2021

ASU Global Futures Laboratory celebrates the 52nd Earth DayTwo of the planet's leading ocean biologists, Greg Asner and Haunani Kane from the Global Futures Laboratory's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, joined ASU vice president and vice provost for Global Futures, Peter Schlosser, for an extensive conversation as part of a celebration of the 52nd annual Earth Day. In addition to providing a glimpse into one of the center's newest tools, the Allen Coral Atlas, Asner and Kane spoke extensively about the importance of indigenous perspectives and knowledge in understanding the greater biodynamics of our oceans' biomes such as coral reefs.

"I think a lot of my experiences on the canoe (as navigator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society) allowed me to develop a relationship with my work as a scientist," said Kane, who joined ASU as an assistant professor and researcher this year. "Coming upon an island and seeing the island first by the color of the clouds, the reflection of the lagoon and then the tips of the coconut trees, and then spending time with the people there, it really helped me to shape my understanding of how islands and reef island systems are impacted by changes in climate."

Watch the entire conversation.

ASU recognized as nation's most impactful for second straight year

April 24, 2021

ASU is #1 in teh US for global impact.With sustainability long held as a core value across the entire university and home to the nation's first comprehensive Global Futures Laboratory, ASU was again ranked by Time Higher Education as the top US institution when it comes impacts made addressing 17 specific goals aimed at achieving a better world for 2030, known as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ASU also retained a top-ten international ranking, tied at #9 with last year's top ranked-institution globally, University of Auckland in New Zealand.

ASU scored a total of 95.8 points out of 100, with highest scores pertaining to goals for Sustainable Cities and Communities (93.4, second overall globally); Responsible Consumption and Production (89.7, fourth); Eradicating Poverty (87.1, third); Clean Sanitation and Water (82.3, fifth); Climate Action (81.8, fourth); and Life Below Water (89.5, seventh). Each SDG includes a set of targets and indicators designed by the United Nations and adopted in 2015 to provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

Learn more

Deep-sea exploration breakthrough to guide future space exploration missions

April 13, 2021

Scientists from Arizona State University, who are a part of the Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog (SUBSEA) program, have pioneered a new approach to the scientific process of geochemical exploration for our Earth and beyond.

Sustainability scientist Everett Shock of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and former ASU postdoctoral scholar Vincent Milesi worked with teams onboard the Ocean Exploration Trust’s (OET) Exploration Vessel Nautilus to use deep-sea exploration on Earth as an analog for hydrothermal systems on other ocean worlds.

In so doing, they designed and tested a new concept of operations that could help change the paradigm of planetary exploration. Their new approach is detailed in a recent article, Forward geochemical modeling as a guiding tool during exploration of Sea Cliff hydrothermal field, Gorda Ridge, published in the journal Planetary and Space Science. The abstract follows. Read the full story on ASU News.

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How 'food security' is quickly becoming national security

April 13, 2021

On March 15, Daniel Sarewitz, Arizona State University professor and Issues in Science and Technology editor-in-chief, moderated the webinar “What Does ‘Food Security’ Really Mean?” to discuss the weaknesses in our food supply systems and the future threats the country faces as we work to strengthen those systems.

The fight against food insecurity has grown in importance over the past decade, as a growing number of underserved communities are living in food deserts — areas that have limited access to food that is both affordable and nutritious. Although the work being done to tackle food insecurity typically happens on a local level, food insecurity is a rising concern for the United States on a global scale. Read the full story on ASU News.