Dean’s Update: Paper named among 2018’s best, Poulsen promoted, Kelly celebrates Denim Day and more

April 3, 2019
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4.3.19

OK—this is the REAL dean's update, not the fake April Fools' version from Monday...everything below really happened!

If you were around the school last Friday or Saturday, you likely noticed a lot of new faces. That is because it was Admitted Students Visitation Weekend!

We had 149 attendees (coming from 34 states and three countries) and more than 40 staff, students, faculty and alumni volunteers who contributed to an awesome weekend. Mother Nature contributed some incredible weather and the Blue Devils almost made it to the Final Four. The Nicholas School shared what it means to be part of our community with all of our admitted students, and we couldn't have done it without this team effort. Big shout out to Ben Spain, Brandon Toney and Park Watson for leading the charge! Thanks for all you do. You make us proud.

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JOURNAL SELECTS GROUNDWATER PAPER AS ONE OF 2018’S BEST

A paper on large-scale uranium contamination of groundwater in India, co-written by PhD student Rachel Coyte and Avner Vengosh, was selected as one of Environmental Science & Technology Letters’ best papers of 2018. This is a great achievement given the high ranking of this journal and the large number of papers competing for selection. This is the third time Avner has received the honor. A flame retardant study by Heather Stapleton and Kate Hoffman was selected in 2017.

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POULSEN PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR WITH TENURE

John Poulsen has been promoted to associate professor with tenure in the Nicholas School. Please join me in offering John the heartiest congratulations for this well-deserved accomplishment. The Nicholas School is lucky to have him and I, for one, very much look forward to seeing how the next stage of his already promising career evolves.

 

DUNN, MGEL LAUNCH OPEN-ACCESS MIGRATORY CONNECTIVITY SYSTEM

On April 1, Daniel Dunn launched a new open-access, online knowledge system to describe Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) at an event that was co-organized by Duke’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL), the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the Comisión Permanente del Pacífico Sur, and hosted by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations. The system was developed by a consortium of 50 organizations led by MGEL, and provides synthesized knowledge on area use and connectivity for migratory species of marine mammals, fish, sharks, sea turtles and seabirds in the high seas.

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KELLY WILL RETURN TO ALMA MATER TO CELEBRATE INCLUSIVENESS

On Friday, Nancy Kelly will be one of many Virginia Tech alumni joining students in the #VTDenimDayDoOver, which will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Denim Day, one of that school’s early steps toward inclusiveness. You can read more about Denim Day, the impact it had on Nancy and why she decided to change her mind after vowing never to return to Virginia Tech in this inspiring story.

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NICHOLAS SCHOOL REPRESENTED AT UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE

Daniel Dunn, Pat Halpin and Guillermo Ortuño Crespo attended the UN’s second Intergovernmental Conference in New York, which aimed to develop a new treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Guillermo also presented at an event for the Nereus Program on his work to understand assessment levels for fish biodiversity in the high seas.

COMMUNITY MEMBERS TAKE PART IN TRANS 101, ASEXUALITY 101 TRAININGS

Fifteen staff members and two students attended the “Trans 101” introductory workshop hosted by Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. It focused on understanding the issues related to sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression. Earlier in the month, eight employees attended “Asexuality 101” to learn about identities on the asexual spectrum, including—but not limited to—asexual, aromantic and demisexual identities. We hope continued education will improve our ability to create welcoming and inclusive spaces for all in our community.

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THREE STUDENTS TO SERVE ON DUKE STUDENT ALUMNI BOARD

Congratulations to Caryn Laska MEM/MBA'20, Molly Bruce MEM/JD'21 and Edgar Virguez PhD'20 for being selected to serve on the 2019-2020 Duke Student Alumni Board. The board works to foster communication and collaboration among students and alumni. Members get involved in Duke Alumni programs, conceive and plan student engagement activities and help spread the spirit of Forever Duke among their peers. Sarah Vondracek MEM/MBA'20 currently serves on the board.

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RAMOS BONILLA FEATURED IN FIRST SPANISH ALUMNI PROFILE VIDEO

Sean Rowe and Sergio Tovar from the school’s Marketing & Communications team produced our first-ever Spanish-language alumni profile on Juan Pablo Ramos Bonilla MEM’00. Juan Pablo, an associate professor at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, spoke about our MEM program, life as an international student and his work studying the environmental dangers posed by asbestos in Colombia.

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Welcoming our admitted students to visitation weekend #WeAreDukeEnvironment

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Megan Mullin (center) and PhD student Emily Pechar (second from right) were honored at a @dukegradschool ceremony Wednesday for receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, respectively. (From left) Dean Toddi Steelman PhD'96, Danielle Purifoy PhD'18 and PhD candidate Katy Hansen helped celebrate their accomplishments. #WeAreDukeEnvironment
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#WeAreDukeEnvironment

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Nicholas School of the Environment