Dean's Update: Orientation, New Undergrad Program, New Art Gallery Exhibit and more ....

August 23, 2018
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08.23.18

To convocate - from the Latin meaning “to call or come together.”

I love this time of the year. The great academic migration has begun. Every August students and faculty all flock back to campus. The hallways are filled with energy, excitement and promise.

This week I participated in a variety of orientation activities to extend a welcome to 29 of our new and returning  DEL-MEM adult learners, 156 new MEM/MF students and 29 new PhD students. Students have been regaling me with what they have been up to over the summer, what they aspire to do with their degrees and what they hope to accomplish while they are here. I wish I could bottle this feeling of hope, inspiration and optimism to share with each of you.

If you can’t be here on campus to experience this renewal in person, I urge you to check out the stories below and especially the photos from the We Are Duke Environment exhibit to find a bit of inspiration from afar. As I write this, I am getting ready to dress up in my regalia and head off to convocation in Duke Chapel for a bit more pomp and circumstance. 

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FERGUSON HELPS STATE LAUNCH WATER TESTING PROGRAM

Lee Ferguson helped the state of North Carolina design and secure funding for a new testing program to detect chemical contaminants in the state’s drinking water. Lee will also be one of the scientists who will test and analyze the results using mass spectrometry. It’s exciting to see Lee’s commitment to making a difference in this state, which is also a top priority at Duke under President Price. Read more >

BAKER RECEIVES NSF GRANT TO STUDY AMAZON BIODIVERSITY

Paul Baker, who was recently named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, has received a $2.01 million NSF grant to fund the Trans-Amazon Drilling Project. This ambitious project will provide new insights into the Amazon’s remarkable plant biodiversity by collecting sedimentary samples dating back 70 million years at different sites across the Amazon basin – from the Andes to the Atlantic. Read more >

SMITH HONORED FOR HIS SERVICE AT FISHERIES CONFERENCE

Last month in Seattle, Marty Smith was honored at the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade’s conference for serving as editor-in-chief of the journal Marine Resource Economics from 2012-2016. Marty also organized two sessions at the meetings and co-authored five papers presented by members of his lab, including PhD student Stephanie Stefanski and alums Anna Birkenbach PhD’18, Rachel Karasik MEM '16, and Tess Petesch MEM '17. 

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MARTIN NAMED HONORARY CAPTAIN FOR KICKOFF CELEBRATION

Duke’s football game against N.C. Central on Sept. 22. Lola was nominated for the honor, which recognizes an employee’s willingness to go above and beyond in the workplace, by Kevin McCarthy.

Make sure you claim your free tickets to the Employee Kickoff Celebration to show your support for Lola and the Blue Devils!  Read more >

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NEW STUDY FINDS SPIKE IN WATER USE FOR FRACKING

A paper co-written by PhD students Andrew Kondash and Nancy Lauer with Avner Vengosh found that the amount of water being used for fracking rose by up to 770 percent between 2011 and 2016. During that same period, wastewater generated by fracked oil and gas wells in their first year of production increased up to 1440 percent. This important work raises big concerns about the sustainability of hydraulic fracturing. Read more >

MODELS COULD HELP REDUCE BYCATCH FROM LONGLINE FISHING

New models developed by a team, including PhD student Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Daniel Dunn and Pat Halpin, may help reduce the number of marine animals accidentally killed by becoming entangled in longline fishing gear. This could help ship captains and management organizations predict where and when the boats will enter waters where by-catch risks are greatest. Read more >

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SCHOLARS IN MARINE MEDICINE UNDERGRAD PROGRAM LAUNCHES

Duke has launched a new undergraduate program to offer an interdisciplinary research experience for pre-health majors interested in marine biology or environmental science. Students accepted into the Scholars in Marine Medicine program will spend at least one semester at both the Duke Marine Lab and Duke University Medical Center. Applications for next year’s cohort are open to Duke sophomores and juniors through Oct. 19. Read more >
 
‘WE ARE DUKE ENVIRONMENT’ EXHIBIT OPENS IN ART GALLERY

“We Are Duke Environment,” a photo exhibit showcasing the faces and passions of the Nicholas School community, opens this week in the Wegner Art Gallery on the second floor of Environment Hall. The photos are curated from our “I am Duke Environment” photo contests as well as special events and social media. Kudos to the the art gallery working committee: Allison Besch, Parker Brown, Nancy Kelly, Sarah Phillips, John Robinson and Ann Thurston.

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VIDRA LEADS DUKEENGAGE PROGRAM IN HAWAII

Rebecca Vidra had the enviable job of spending her summer leading this year’s DukeEngage in Kauai program. During their eight weeks in Hawaii, her 10 students volunteered for the Waipa Foundation and the Hanalei Watershed Hui to work on projects related to eco-cultural restoration, sustainable agriculture and disaster resilience.

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@DukeEnvironment --  Welcoming our newest MEM/MF students to campus #WeAreDukeEnvironment 
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@DukeEnvironment -- dukeenvironment For the second summer in a row, Adam Fischer MEM/MPP'19 was an intern with one of the Congressional committees responsible for our nation's energy and environmental policy. His internship with the Democratic staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce "has offered a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the policymaking process."
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#WeAreDukeEnvironment

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