Weekly update: photo contest, team matthew, publications and more...

November 30, 2016

They say seeing is believing, and believe me, there are few better ways to see – and understand – the global scope and impact of what we do at the Nic School than by checking out the winning photos from this fall’s “I am Duke Environment” photo contest.

More than 80 students, alumni, staff members, faculty members and friends of the school submitted entries. And they are amazing.

PhD student Kendra Kaiser took home the grand prize – and a new iPad – for her entry, titled “Looking Forward,” (you can see it above) that underscores the resolve to never give up in our fight to better ourselves, push our limits, and protect Earth’s resources. 

Other winners include MEM alum Michael LeVine, whose entry showcases the importance of passing along the love of the environment to our children; undergraduate Donovan Loh, whose photo and text reflect the spiritual benefits of nature; undergraduate Suzanne Ou, whose entry highlights the impact our teaching can have; and MEM student Serkan Erdem, whose entry shows how today’s leaders and tomorrow’s are working together to forge sustainable solutions.

You can check out all of this fall’s entries here.

Kudos to Scottee Cantrell and her team in the Office of Marketing & Communications for organizing another outstanding competition! (And if you didn’t win, don’t hang up the camera just yet: We’ll be sponsoring another contest this spring.)


  1. As we head into the season of giving, I hope you will consider donating to our Team Matthew Holiday Gift Drive, which starts today and runs through Dec. 16. Our goal is to collect 250 gifts to help the Boys and Girls Club of Lumberton make the holidays a little brighter for families still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Matthew. We need new, unwrapped gifts, valued between $10 and $20, for boys and girls ages 6 to 10. Drop-off locations are located in Environment Hall, LSRC and at the Marine Lab. No time to shop? You can donate cash instead to Debbie Gooch or Anne Davis in Durham and Patty Nolin in Beaufort, or give online here through the United Way of Robeson County – click on Hurricane Matthew Relief and put “B&G Club Holiday Gifts” in the “write a note” box on your donation form. To learn more about the gift drive and how you can help, and about future Team Matthew events we’re planning, go here or email teammatthew@nicholas.duke.edu. Be sure and check out photos below (and on our Facebook page) of Duke Foresters Brad Shewmaker and Beverly Burgess  who were part of a team that went to Lumberton last Sunday to clear the club's parking lot of downed trees and branches. Thanks everyone for their efforts in this good cause.
  2. Gaby Katul, Marco Marani and former postdoc Gabriele Manoli, who’s now a researcher at ETH Zurich, have a timely new study in the journal Earth’s Future that shows intrinsic delays in the speed at which low-carbon emitting technologies are shared worldwide could significantly undermine our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Given projected future population growth and the likely spike in carbon emissions it will cause, an unprecedented tenfold acceleration in the global spread of these green technologies will be needed to slow warming and meet our goals. It’s a sobering finding – and a call to action for all of us to redouble our efforts on the climate front.
  3. Avner Vengosh has received a 2016 Excellence in Review Award from the editorial board of Environmental Science & Technology in recognition of the outstanding work he has done for the journal this year as a reviewer of peer-reviewed papers in the fields of water quality and geochemistry. Congratulations, Avner!
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