Dean’s Update: Happy Holidays, 10,000-Acre Carbon Farm, Leadership Academy, Scholars in Marine Medicine

December 12, 2018
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12.12.18

Hi everyone,
 
Mother nature has done a lot this semester to remind us we are not in charge. Two hurricanes, a snowpocalypse and a partridge in a pear tree! Thanks to everyone for adapting along the way. Some of us have had to show greater resilience in the face of these events than others—Marine Lab, I am looking at you! It makes me wonder what the New Year will bring.
 
As we celebrate this holiday season and take a break, we have much for which to be grateful. Personally, as I reflect on my first semester as dean, I feel like I have the best job in the world. I get to come in every day and work with people who are passionate about what they do and committed to a larger purpose, and I get to be part of a community of alumni and many others who support us in all we do. Lucky me. I can only hope you feel the same.

This is the last Dean's Update for 2018. We'll start back up again early next year.
 
I wish you rest, peace and uneventful travel.

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RICHARDSON SPEARHEADS WORK TO CREATE 10,000-ACRE CARBON FARM

Curt Richardson spearheaded efforts to broker a deal with a private landowner in eastern North Carolina to help Duke acquire rights to create a 10,000-acre carbon farm. When fully operational, the farm—located in Hyde County—could potentially store enough carbon to offset much of the university’s carbon emissions and help Duke meet its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2024. Offset credits not used by the university could be sold to others. Read more>

SHAPIRO-GARZA PARTIPATES IN FINANCE FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION FORUM

Liz Shapiro-Garza participated in a national forum on finance for biodiversity conservation at Mexico’s Colegio Nacional last week. Liz spoke about the importance of adapting the design of payments for environmental services to the economic, social and environmental context of each country. You can watch the forum (in Spanish) here.

PILKEY QUESTIONS BUILDING ALONG OCEAN SHORES IN NEW INTERVIEW

Yale Environment 360 recently published an interview with Orrin Pilkey about sea level rise and the risks of building and rebuilding along coastlines. Orrin talks about why an eventual retreat from oceanfront property on the U.S. coast is inevitable. Read more>

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HYPOXIC DEAD ZONES FOUND ALSO IN URBAN STREAMS

A new study led by Joanna Blaszczak PhD’18 revealed that hypoxic dead zones, which occur when dissolved oxygen levels in water drop so low that fish and other aquatic animals living there suffocate, also occur in freshwater urban streams. Dean Urban, Martin Doyle and Emily Bernhardt co-authored the study, which monitored six streams draining urbanized watersheds in the cities of Durham and Raleigh from Oct. 2015 to April 2017. Read more>

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CAGLE, MCCARTHY GRADUATE FROM DUKE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

Congratulations to Nicki Cagle and Kevin McCarthy for graduating from the Duke Leadership Academy last week. They were among 27 members of the class, which were nominated by Duke vice presidents and deans to be part of the yearlong program. Participants took part in discussions with senior leadership, underwent a comprehensive analysis of their work and personality styles, received coaching and collaborated on a group project offering solutions to real world concerns relating to life at Duke and in Durham. Learn more>

3 DUKE UNDERGRADS NAMED SCHOLARS IN MARINE MEDICINE

The Scholars in Marine Medicine program recently announced three new members —Divya Dayanidhi, Giselle Vargas and Mallissa Vuong. Offering an interdisciplinary research experience for pre-health majors interested in marine biology or environmental science, the program allows scholars to spend at least one semester at both Duke Marine Lab and Duke University Medical Center.

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ALUMNI APPRECIATION BREAKFAST TO BE HELD IN JANUARY
 
All Nicholas School alumni currently working at Duke, as well as Duke alumni currently working or studying at the Nicholas School, are invited to attend an alumni appreciation breakfast on Jan. 25 from 8:30-10 a.m. in Grainger Hall’s Board Room. Everyone who attends will be entered to win two Duke men’s basketball tickets to the Jan. 26 game against Georgia Tech. RSVP>

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MEM ALUMNA NAMED NOAA EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
 
Kate Brogan MEM’13 was just named NOAA Employee of the Month from among the agency’s more the 12,000 staff members worldwide. Kate, a NOAA public affairs specialist in Silver Spring, Maryland, was nominated for volunteering to join the FEMA External Affairs team to provide media support at the National Response Coordination Center during hurricanes Florence and Michael. Kate serves on the Duke DC Alumni Board.

PHD ALUMS FIND PATTERN TO BUILD ‘BACK BIGGER’ AFTER HURRICANES
 
Eli Lazarus PhD’09, Patrick Limber PhD '12 and Evan Goldstein PhD '14 recently published a paper that finds a systematic pattern of “building back bigger” in hurricane strike zones, indicating a tendency toward greater exposure of high-risk coastal development to future destructive storms. The alums, who worked with Brad Murray while at the Nicholas School, compared plan-view footprints of individual residential buildings before and long after major hurricane strikes for their study. Read more>

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@DukeEnvironment

Studying in a winter wonderland! #WeAreDukeEnvironment

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@dukeenvironment
Some of our students are making the most of the snow #WeAreDukeEnvironment  - @matias_conti
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#WeAreDukeEnvironment

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