Weekly Update: I Am Duke Environment Photo Contest, New Coal Ash Study, Nic Students Attend U.N. Climate Change Summit and more ...

November 16, 2017
Photo Contest Duke Environment

Hi everyone,

 At the Nicholas School, we are always looking for photos that capture who we are: a community of motivated and passionate people who have an impact around the world.
To find them over the last several years, our Communications team has reached out to you through the “I Am Duke Environment” photo contest. Maybe you have taken “that photo” or are in one taken by someone else.
The fall 2017 contest is well under way, but you still have time to enter your pictures through Nov. 20. There are prizes that you can read about by clicking on the contest image above.
This year, there’s also a special “Outsiders on the Inside” category, sponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, for those of you who literally work indoors for the environment (as opposed to out in a marsh or forest, for instance).
Hope you will enter, and also read on to find out about other happenings at the Nic School.

  1.  A new study co-authored by Avner Vengosh found that coal ash from high-uranium deposits in China used as a low-cost binding agent in concrete may be too radioactive for this use. Some of the coal ash samples analyzed in the study contained radiation levels more than 43 times higher than the maximum safe limit and could pose health risks.
  2.  Congrats to Lori Bennear and Jonathan Wiener for their new book, “Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents and Financial Crises.” The book, which examines how policy-makers in industrialized democracies respond to major crises, was co-edited with fellow Duke faculty members Edward Balleisen and Kimberly Krawiec.
  3.  The Nic School has teamed up with our colleagues at the Pratt School of Engineering to join the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 research universities and institutes with major focuses on climate change, atmospheric science and Earth systems sciences. Membership in UCAR brings new research opportunities for our faculty and students, and provides us with access to the cutting-edge facilities at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which UCAR manages.
  4.  Eight Nicholas School students traveled to Bonn, Germany, for COP23, this year’s U.N. climate change negotiations. The students – Adam Fischer, Ryan Callihan, Tim Singer, Danielle Arostegui, Galen Hiltbrand, Jiaxin Guo, Rachel Brinks and Tasfia Nayem – are enrolled in the U.N. Climate Change Negotiation Practicum, a hands-on course that examines the inner-workings of international climate diplomacy. You can read updates from their experience on their class blog.
  5.  A recently-signed MOU between the states of North Carolina and Virginia to cooperate in the conservation and management of the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed used a Master’s Project by 2013 MEM graduates Andrew Menaquale, Jordan Page and Taylor Pool as a template. Rebecca Vidra and Mike Orbach served as the group’s MP advisors.
  6.  GIS Day, featuring speakers from a variety of fields to showcase the diverse nature of geospatial problems, will be held Friday. Topics include marine and terrestrial conservation, energy access and analytics, and recent advances in geospatial technology. The event is hosted by the Student Association of Geospatial Analysis (SAGA).
  7. Congratulations to 2009 MEM alum Jamie Harkins for winning a seat in the Lafayette, Colo., City Council. Jamie, the only new person elected to the council, received almost 14 percent of the more than 27,000 total votes.

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