I want to offer early congratulations to our 2017 graduates: 55 undergraduate majors, 166 master’s students, and 40 doctoral students. We will honor them this weekend as they leave Duke and become agents of change for a more sustainable world, and we will not let the predicted rain dampen our celebration. Just bring your umbrella and we’ll be all set!
As you count down the days until graduation, be sure to click on these fun videos that Sean Rowe, our multimedia specialist, created with members of the 2017 MEM class. You can find out such things as which faculty members impacted them the most and what were their favorite classes. A video is being posted each day and shared through our social media.
Time to get on with today’s news. Check it out below and then offer your congratulations to our rooftop couple mentioned at the end.
- Congrats to Kaelyn Maehara MEM’19 on winning the grand prize in the “I am Duke Environment” spring 2017 photo contest. Her photo, “Kaelyn on the Bridge,” shows her aboard the MY Sam Simon during Operation Milagro III, where she served as the ship’s quartermaster during an expedition to remove illegally placed gillnets from the upper Sea of Cortez, a marine ecosystem that is home to many important species, including the critically endangered vaquita. Other winners were Barbara Cozzens DEL-MEM’17 whose photo took top prize in the contest’s “work” category; Alex Aines MEM’17 who won in the “learn” category and PhD student Wout Salenbien who won in the “fun” category. You can vote for the contest’s People’s Choice winner on the Nicholas School’s Facebook page until Friday at noon. To see all the winning photos, click here.
- Drew Shindell and colleagues from 10 other international research institutions published a peer-reviewed policy forum article, “A climate policy pathway for near- and long-term benefits” May 5 in Science. Their analysis shows that a commitment to reducing global emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as methane and black carbon could slow global warming while boosting public health and agricultural yields. Read the full story here.
- The Nicholas School hosted 25 local middle and high school students from the Emily Krzyzewski Center on Earth Day as part of the Buddy Bison School Program, the National Park Trust’s environmental education program to traditionally underserved K-12 students. Special thanks to Nicki Cagle for helping organize this important community outreach event. Check out the video here.
- A new study by Jennifer Swenson and her students shows that deforestation linked to large-scale agricultural expansion was responsible for an increasing proportion of all observed forest loss across the tropics between 2000 and 2012. Swenson conducted the research with PhD students Kemen G. Austin, Amanda Schwantes and Danica Schaffer-Smith, and former postdoctoral researcher Mariano González-Roglich. Their peer-reviewed analysis appeared May 9 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
- Emily Hall MEM’17 has been awarded a NOAA/NC Sea Grant Coastal Management Fellowship. The two-year program matches postgraduate students with state coastal zone programs. Emily will be working with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on a marine spatial plan for the Long Island Sound.
- Following summer research with the Environmental Defense Fund, Julia Lewis MEM’17 has written a chapter on the environmental impacts of cruise tourism in the Caribbean for a new book Marine Tourism, Climate Change, and Resiliency in the Caribbean: Volume 2. The book is published through the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST).
Ph.D. student Zachary Brecheisen was awarded the Forest History Society’s Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Forest History Fellowship. The yearlong program’s $10,000 stipend will fund Zachary’s work measuring eco-porosity in the soils at the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory in South Carolina, using X-ray CT analyses.
- Last but not least, congratulations to Lili Pita MEM’17 and Alexander Kliminsky MEM’16, who met during Lili’s orientation in August 2015 and were engaged on Saturday, April 29, in what’s believed to be the first proposal on Environment Hall’s rooftop garden.
I always want to hear about the good things you are doing. Submit your items here.