Dean's Update: Hurricane Relief, Climate Crisis, 'Seafloor Blob,' and more ....

October 10, 2018
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10.10.18

What a great week for the Nicholas School! We announced a $20M gift that will find Environment Hall with a new name—Grainger Hall. From what we know, this is one of the largest gifts ever made to a school of the environment, and we are proud to hold the record. Be on the lookout for all the good work we will do with this generous opportunity.
 
A busload of Duke students, under the direction of the irrepressible Nancy Kelly, went Down East to help with relief efforts as the communities in Carteret County continue to recover from Hurricane Florence’s wrath. Check out the wonderful multimedia piece Sean Rowe created from the photos he shot on the trip. Thanks to all who took time to volunteer!
 
I am happy to be back in North Carolina all week after two weeks on the road representing the school in Boston and then San Francisco. What a pleasure it has been to visit with alumni from Nicholas and all four corners of Duke and hear how enthusiastic everyone is about our school. The Nicholas network is alive and well and ready to serve. 
 
Here is hoping everyone enjoyed a bit of a fall break and returns refreshed to face the push to the end of the semester.  

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SHINDELL AMONG LEAD AUTHORS OF IPCC’s GLOBAL WARMING REPORT

As one of the lead authors of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming, Drew Shindell has been busy gearing up for this week’s release. The report warns of dire consequences of climate change — including worsening wildfires, food shortages and mass coral reef die-off as soon as 2040 — and says that limiting global warming to 1.5C will require rapid, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. Join me in thanking Drew for his leadership in this important project.

BASURTO TO HOST WORLD COMMONS WEEK FISHERIES WEBINAR

Xavier Basurto, who helped organize the first-ever World Commons Week to commemorate fifty years since the publication of “Tragedy of the Commons,” will host a webinar on local and global fishing commons research and policy at 4 p.m. Friday. This will be one of 24 live webinars by prominent commons scholars and practitioners that will wrap up the event. Full schedule >

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MORE WEATHER EXTREMES PROJECTED WITH GLOBAL WARMING

Wenhong Li co-authored a study that projects that global warming could cause more extreme wet and dry weather around the world. The chief culprit for these extremes is the increasing intensity of subtropical stationary waves that form in northern summers. Projections suggest this increase will further accelerate as climate continues to warm in coming decades. Read more >

 

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PHD ALUMNA’S WORK ON SEA CUCUMBER FISHERIES HIGHLIGHTED

Abigail Bennett PhD’16 was cited in The New York Times for her work on the sea cucumber fisheries of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, where “[sea cucumbers] went from being just a worm on the seafloor that these divers totally ignored to being something that they called ‘black gold.’” Abigail, an alumna of Xavier Basurto’s lab,  is now an assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State.

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STUDENTS HELP CARTERET COUNTY CLEAN UP AFTER FLORENCE

Last weekend, 48 Duke undergraduate and graduate students traveled to Beaufort to join eight Duke Marine Lab students to help our Carteret County neighbors in their Hurricane Florence cleanup. Nancy Kelly, who helped organize the trip as part of Duke’s relief efforts, deserves some recognition alongside staff volunteers Melissa Adragna, Elizabeth Demattia, Laura Lipps, Rachel Lo Piccolo, Sean Rowe, Morgan Rudd, Park Watson and Danielle Waples.

CAGLE LEADS D&I TRIP FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

Nicki Cagle partnered with Paul James from Duke’s Office of Institutional Equity and a team from the Triangle Land Conservancy to lead members of local community organizations on a trip to historic Stagville. The experience, part of Diversity and Equity in Environmental Programs (DEEP), brought together organizations working at the intersection of the environment, STEM, and diversity and inclusion to learn about the connections between history and current land tenure while also exploring the implications of race, history and modern conservation efforts.

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@DukeEnvironment

 - .@DukeU students rolled up their sleeves to help residents in Beaufort, NC, clear away debris left behind by #HurricaneFlorence! #givingback #community @TownofBeaufort

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@Dukeenvironment -

 We have some exciting news. The Nicholas School has received a $20 million gift from the Grainger Family Descendants Fund. Environment Hall has been remained Grainger Hall in recognition of the gift. More details on our profile link.

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#WeAreDukeEnvironment

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