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Sustainability News

NSF mandates new formats for current and pending documents, biosketches and CVs

January 6, 2020

A very important change will appear in the National Science Foundation’s 2020 Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG). Although PIs need not make this change until a date yet-to-be-announced, the NSF recommends making the following change immediately.

To create compliant biosketch and current & pending documents, researchers now must use Science Networks Curriculum Vitae. SciENcv compiles information from existing systems, including ORCiD, to create the professional profile needed for a federal grant application or annual report. Researchers also can create these documents from scratch; they will have complete control over the data.

NSF will release the 2020 PAPPG in January or February. Any changes outlined in a new PAPPG take effect approximately 90 days after its release.

The Second International Conference on Climate Change in the Sahel and West Africa

January 2, 2020

The Second International Conference on Climate Change is taking place April 1–3, 2020. This conference aims to share experiences on vulnerability issues; adaptation strategies in the fields of agriculture, livestock, forestry, water resources and fishing; and mitigation issues. More specifically, the conference is a way to:

1. Take stock of the achievements and needs in terms of research and extension in the field of climate and its impacts on the agricultural sector;

2. Create a framework for exchanges between the various actors in the field of climate and its impacts.

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UREx co-founder, Nancy Grimm receives honored recognition

December 31, 2019

In recognition of her distinguished and continued achievement in research, co-founder and director of the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), Nancy Grimm was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019, and will be inducted into the Academy in April 2020.  This mark of excellence in science is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. This fall, she also was honored by Arizona State University, being named Regents Professor.

Grimm’s research interests include the interaction of climate variation and change, human activities, and ecosystems. Her long-term stream research focuses on how variability in the hydrologic regime affects the structure and processes of desert streams, especially wetland plant distribution, metabolism, nitrogen cycling, and hyporheic processes. Her related research in cities addresses how stormwater infrastructure affects water and material movement across an urban landscape. As the founding director of the interdisciplinary Central Arizona-Phoenix LTER program, she brought together earth, life, and social scientists to develop new frameworks for understanding urban social-ecological-technological systems (SETS). For UREx SRN, the SETS framing is central.

Congratulations to Nancy!

Sustainability scientist, scholar named President's Professors

ASU Now | December 19, 2019

Joni AdamsonJoni Adamson, the director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and Michael Angilletta, a professor in the School of Life Sciences and the associate director of undergraduate programs, have been named President's Professors. To be designated as a President’s Professor is one of ASU’s most prestigious faculty honors. The recognition is given to faculty who have made substantial contributions to undergraduate education and faculty who have the ability to inspire original, creative works in their fields.

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ASU responds to questions posed by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

December 18, 2019

When the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis requested information on topics of great concern, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability was ready to respond. Nearly 50 faculty from across ASU – primarily Sustainability Scientists, Scholars and Fellows – responded to the questions raised by the committee with comprehensive transdisciplinary responses. Faculty responses were categorized, compiled and integrated into the final document, which captured ASU’s commitment to use-inspired, solutions-oriented work.

View the final response, as submitted to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on November 22, 2019.

We can course correct and save the melting Arctic

Medium | December 18, 2019

Two polar bears walking across thin Arctic iceThe Arctic is experiencing climate change more dramatically than anywhere else on Earth. In fact, the Arctic Ocean is expected to be virtually ice-free in the late summer within 20 years. These rapid changes not only affect life in the Arctic, but also the entirety of the planet.

In the newest article from the Global Futures Laboratory, "Rapid Changes in the Arctic: This Story is Not Just about Polar Bears," thought leaders Peter Schlosser, Stephanie Pfirman, Clea Edwards, Nina Berman, Steven Beschloss, Rolf Halden and Manfred Laubichler discuss the changing Arctic and what needs to be done to course correct. "To be clear, this is not all doom and gloom. There is a path forward," they say.

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USPCAS-E project concludes after five years

USPCASE Website | December 17, 2019

Launched in 2015 with an $18 million investment from USAID, the USPCAS-E project was conceived as a five-year partnership between Arizona State University (ASU) and two leading Pakistani universities — the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and the University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar (UET Peshawar) — together with supporting partner Oregon State University (OSU). Its charge: develop innovative solutions to Pakistan’s energy challenges through a host of initiatives, from modernizing curriculum and infrastructure within NUST and UET Peshawar to facilitating enhanced learning opportunities for faculty and students through academic exchange programs and joint research projects at ASU and OSU.

Director Sayfe Kiaei, a sustainability scientist and professor in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, invites you to visit the website and project archive to review the many accomplishments and highlights of the project.

Moved Online: 2020 Social Embeddedness Conference

December 13, 2019

The Arizona State University Office of University Initiatives announces that its 2020 Social Embeddedness Network Conference will take place on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 via Zoom.

This is an opportunity for ASU staff and faculty to share and learn from others about how we partner with community organizations in socially embedded research, teaching or practice to achieve positive outcomes at the local, regional and global levels. Community partners are invited to co-present with their ASU colleagues.

This year, learn how ASU and communities are partnering to advance social impact locally and beyond, through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more and register on the conference web page.

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Four sustainability scientists elected AAAS Fellows

ASU Now | November 27, 2019

America Association for the Advancement of Science logoFour out of the seven Arizona State University professors recently named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) were sustainability scientists in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

Sander van der Leeuw, C. Michael Barton, Gary Marchant and Charles Perrings were all chosen in recognition of their career contributions to science, innovation or socially distinguished efforts to advance science and its applications. To be named a fellow is an honor awarded for contributions to a specific field.

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Wu and Westerhoff are among world's most influential researchers

November 26, 2019

Sustainability Scientists Jianguo Wu and Paul WesterhoffSustainability Scientists Jianguo Wu and Paul Westerhoff joined nine other ASU colleagues in being named Highly Cited Researchers by the Web of Science Group for the year 2019. Globally, only about 6,200 academics have received this award, including 11 (one retired) from Arizona State University. Researchers who receive this honor are ranked in the top 1 percent of the most cited works in the last decade.

“Being cited by ones’ peers is a hallmark of highly respected work, and is demonstrative of the caliber of professionals dedicated to advancing impactful, cutting-edge research here at ASU,” said Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan, executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise and ASU’s chief research and innovation officer.

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Two sustainability scientists earn prestigious Regents Professor title

November 22, 2019

Nancy GrimmTwo sustainability scientists in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, out of five Arizona State University professors overall, were awarded the prestigious Regents Professor title.

Nancy Grimm, a distinguished sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Vijay Vittal, a senior sustainability scientist and Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering professor, are both internationally recognized experts at the apex of their fields. They joined an elite rank when their nominations were approved by the Arizona Board of Regents.

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Jennifer Vanos awarded 2019 Climate and Health Champion Award

November 7, 2019

Dr. Jenni Vanos leading Tempe Heat Walk researchSchool of Sustainability assistant professor Jennifer Vanos was recently awarded Maricopa County's 2019 Climate and Health Champion award in the research category for her outstanding work in understanding the hazards and health outcomes associated with children's playspaces. Her work, which is supported by the Healthy Urban Environments (HUE) initiative, evaluates how playspace design mediates exposure to heat, radiation and air pollution impacts.

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New ASU lab will address the social challenges of climate change

ASU Now | October 24, 2019

Power plant on the Navajo NationAs more locations across the country begin to transition to utilizing renewable energy sources, officials in such locations face a daunting task: How do they compensate the workers and communities that financially relied on those nonrenewable sources of energy?

While the question may be hypothetical, scenarios like that are not. One recently played out in Page, Arizona when the Navajo Generating Station closed down. The coal-fired power plant had operated for 40 years, serving as a financial support for the community of Hopi and Navajo tribes. Now that it’s closed, workers are at a loss as to how to meet their needs.

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Conservation Solutions Laboratory scientists pen new commentary

View Source | September 24, 2019

Aerial view of deforestationMichael Brown, Samantha Cheng and Jim Tolisano, along with dozens of conservation and development researchers and practitioners representing ASU's Conservation Solutions Lab, have penned a new opinion piece, released September 24, 2019, on Mongabay. The scientists call for a crucial change in the way conservation efforts are undertaken.

The scientists argue that conservation efforts must specifically engage frontline communities – those people intimately situated in and around landscapes targeted for conservation – and elevate their role such that they can take the lead in planning and directing nature conservation.

Co-developing solutions with frontline communities requires groups that fund, implement and research conservation to revise their role and approach. In addition, learning from community experiences and adapting solutions over time can improve conservation efforts globally.

ASU researchers mapping coral reefs

ASU Now | September 18, 2019

2 ASU researchers using equipment to map the coral reefPeople are killing coral reefs.

These reefs — some worth $1 million per square kilometer per year — are being destroyed by overdevelopment of coastlines, improper disposal of sewage, overfishing, ocean acidification due to climate change, and many other human activities. In addition to that, these reefs are poorly mapped, limiting our understanding of them.

Enter Greg Asner and Robin Martin.

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Darnall named National Academy of Public Administration fellow

ASU Now | September 16, 2019

Nicole DarnallThe National Academy of Public Administration has inducted Nicole Darnall, associate dean and professor in Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, into its 2019 class of fellows. Darnall is one of eight NAPA fellows from ASU. An induction into NAPA is one of the highest honors of a public administration official.

Established by Congress in 1967, the nonpartisan NAPA conducts work for federal cabinet departments and agencies, aiming to “improve governance and advance the field of public administration,” by focusing on intergovernmental evaluation, financial management, strategic planning, organization assessment, performance management and human capital.

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New research by ASU professor furthers understanding of dryland litter cycles

September 11, 2019

Heather ThroopArizona State University professor Heather Throop penned a new research article that advances our understanding of dryland litter cycles. Drylands are arid ecosystems characterized by a lack of water. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, drylands  "have been shaped by a combination of low precipitation, droughts and heat waves."

Litter in this case refers to parts of plants that have detached and fallen to the ground. A litter cycle is then the journey of litter from its location on the ground, its movement by horizontal or vertical vectors (such as water), and its eventual decomposition in the same or a secondary location. The litter decomposition rates in drylands are often underpredicted, resulting in a key knowledge gap that is important to address because litter decomposition has a significant influence on ecosystem properties. 

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ASU professors named 2019 American Geophysical Union Fellows

August 30, 2019

Osvaldo SalaArizona State University professors Osvaldo Sala, a drylands researcher and Regents Professor in the School of Life Sciences, and Meenakshi Wadhwa, a cosmochemistry expert and the new director of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, have been elected to the 2019 class of the American Geophysical Union Fellows. The election is an honor just 0.1% of AGU members in any given year enjoy. To be elected is a recognition of “attaining scientific eminence through achievements in research, as demonstrated by a breakthrough or discovery, innovation in science or the development of methods and instruments, or sustained impact," according to the AGU.

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