Weekly Update: Scholars, Barnacles, Facebook Live! and more...

January 25, 2017

Hi everyone,

This stunning image comes from a study led by a Nic School PhD alum and one of our faculty members. Can you guess what it is? Find the answer below.
I’m keeping this short today because there is so much other news and recent accomplishments by our faculty, students, and staff for you to read.
Take care,

  1. Emily Bernhardt and Rich Di Giulio have new publications this week shedding light on the growing roles of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other synthetic chemicals as pervasive – and critically understudied – drivers of global change. The analyses show that although the production and use of these chemicals has outpaced the rates of change for atmospheric CO2 and other agents of global change, U.S. ecological journals, meetings and funding sources still devote less than two percent of their pages, talks and dollars to studies on the chemicals, creating a disconnect between real-world needs and scientific focus. It’s thought-provoking stuff. You can read Emily’s team’s paper here, and Rich’s team’s commentary here.  


  1. In case you haven’t already seen it, check out the cover of this week’s Journal of Experimental Biology. It features stunning confocal microscopy images of barnacles in transition from free-swimming cyprids to sessile juveniles, taken from a study led by PhD alum Tara Essock-Burns (now a postdoc at the University of Hawaii at Manoa) and faculty member Dan Rittschof. The study provides new insights into the complex interactions that occur between barnacles and bacteria during barnacles’ settlement and metamorphosis phases.  


  1. Nicholas Pardi, one of our amazing DEL-MEM students, has been named Director of Public and Governmental Relations for the U.S. Forest Service’s Eastern Region, based in Wisconsin.  He previously served as chief of the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Kudos on the new appointment, Nick!


  1. Second-year MEM student Alex Klonick has been selected to take part in the OneEnergy Scholars Program, a nationwide program designed to help graduate students with a demonstrated interest in renewable energy establish careers in the field. He’s one of only seven new Scholars named to the program this year,


  1. First-year MEM student Taylor Price has been selected to take part in the GreenBiz17 Emerging Leader Scholarship program. As a newly named Scholar, she’ll travel to the annual Greenbiz conference in Phoenix next month to meet with some of the world’s top sustainability professionals and network with other students identified as emerging leaders. Taylor is also one of our inaugural Nicholas Scholars.


  1. I hope you can all join us tonight as the Nic School hosts its first Facebook Live Q&A on the importance of environmental leadership. Deb Gallagher, Dean Urban, Liz Shapiro-Garza and Martin Doyle will be joining me on the panel to discuss the vital importance of effective environmental leadership – now more than ever – and how our school is working to train a new generation of leaders. You can watch the live stream starting at 7 p.m. and join the discussion on the Nicholas School Facebook page.


  1. The Nic School is sponsoring our first blood drive on Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Environment Hall’s second-floor reading room. You can sign up to give blood by going to the America Red Cross website (use sponsor code “Nicholas School”) or by contacting Beatrix Martin at 919-681-4426 or cabrera@duke.edu.


  1. Blueprint: People + Wildlife, an event bringing together Duke students and experts to craft innovative technology-aided solutions to timely conservation issues, will be held Jan. 27-28. Organized by Duke Conservation Technology and the Duke Conservation Society, the event kick offs Friday night with speakers and a reception at Penn Pavilion. On Saturday, the action moves to Environment Hall, where teams of 3-7 participants will vie in a fun but fiercely contested competition to devise blueprints for strategies, technologies or apps that could be used control invasive species, combat illegal wildlife trafficking, curb harmful human-wildlife interactions, or cultivate citizen science. To learn more and register, click here.


  1. Graduation requirements and deadlines for 2017 are now online. The site, managed by our Office of Student Services, includes updated info about all the action items MEM and MF students need to check off their lists in coming months, as well as reminders about key graduation-related deadlines and events. 


  1. Duke’s Bass Connections initiative is offering nine new interdisciplinary research projects this year focused on environmental themes and led by Nic School faculty. Students can apply for a spot in any of the projects through Feb. 17. The new projects include investigations on transportation governance and regulation; ocean energy; electricity demand in China; human-wildlife interactions at sea; digital cities and cyberarchaeology; environmental epidemiology in Latin America; and more. To sign up, or for additional info, go here.


  1. Our Executive Education team, led by Laura Lipps and Derek DeLong, hosted another successful Executive Leadership Forum for Black Public Administrators last week. Chris Wedding, Glenda Lee, and MEM students Charles Adair and Jason Elliott were part of the instructional team that helped participants explore new approaches to urban sustainability. Thanks to everyone, schoolwide, who came out to meet the visiting participants at our Third Thursday Community Coffee last week and to Erika Lovelace, Shawn Stevenson, Allison Besch and the D&I Actionators for hosting that event.


  1. Another great example of how outreach by our students, faculty and staff is making a difference: Maria de Oca, a PhD student who co-founded the Ocean Filmmaking Camp at DUML for economically disadvantaged students in 2014, has learned that one of the campers, Evelyn Cupil-Garcia, applied to Duke because of her experience in Maria’s program, and has been accepted. Evelyn plans to major in computer engineering and minor in art. Hopefully she’ll take some environment classes, too! Kudos, Maria, for the inspiring work you are doing down in Beaufort!


  1. Last but not least, please join me in wishing a healthy and prosperous New Year to our Chinese students, alums, faculty and staff, and our Chinese colleagues at Duke Kunshan University. May the Year of the Rooster bring much happiness and success to you all!


Keep me up to date on what you are doing so I can share your news. Submit your items here.