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Meet sustainability junior Andrew Kennedy

October 14, 2019

A quest to merge his passion for social justice and environmentalism led Andrew Kennedy to Arizona State University's School of Sustainability.

"I initially wanted to study conservation biology in high school because I absolutely loved learning about ecosystems, animal biology and how to protect valuable species," Kennedy said. "However, I was also very passionate about politics and justice."

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The myth of infinite growth on a finite planet

The New Republic | October 7, 2019

Graph of exponential growthOnce upon a time, economists believed that there was a limit to economic growth.

Many economists held this belief, including founding fathers such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. They based this conclusion on, among other things, the fact that there was a limited supply of land. And for hundreds of years, the theory of finite growth prevailed as economists acknowledged the interdependence of natural and economic systems.

That is, until recently.

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Reminder: Virtual board meeting set for October 18

October 2, 2019

person facetiming for a business meetingIn lieu of an in-person fall board meeting, we will host a group Zoom meeting. The primary Zoom videoconference session will be held on Friday, October 18th from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (AZ time). A secondary session will be offered for those that cannot attend the first meeting; this will take place on Tuesday, October 29th from 12:00 – 1:30 pm (AZ time).

Please contact Emma Hopson to register for one of these calls.

ASU researchers to address the question of how religion and science intersect

October 1, 2019

Translucent Anatomical 3d rendering of person facing away with multicolored lights emanating from their mindResearchers from Arizona State University have launched a new project to explore how we reconcile our search for spirituality in a secular age of technoscientific advancements.

Titled “Beyond Secularization: A New Approach to Religion, Science and Technology,” the interdisciplinary initiative has received a $1.7 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust and has the potential to revolutionize how we understand the intersection of religion, science and technology in public life. It will establish a collaboratory that will include graduate students, postdocs and faculty who will develop and advance new research methods and understandings over the next several years.

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Transnational corporations must shift toward biosphere stewardship, says sustainability professor

October 1, 2019

Marty AnderiesMarty Anderies, a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and a professor in the School of Sustainability, was one of several authors of a journal article, "Transnational corporations and the challenge of biosphere stewardship," published in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution. According to the authors, transnational corporations are increasingly aligning their business models to support a stable planet.

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This Youth Movement is more than a moment

Medium | September 27, 2019

Youth of a community rallying for climate actionSince September 20, more than 6 million people have marched worldwide as part of the Global Climate Strikes, spurred on by a youth movement laser focused on making climate policy a priority. In the latest article from Global Futures Laboratory thought leaders, "Why the Youth Movement Matters," Peter Schlosser, Steven Beschloss and Nina Berman look at the wave of young people who are organizing and rallying around the notion that the climate crisis is not a future problem - it is a now problem.

You can read the response on Medium. To ensure you don’t miss any Global Futures Laboratory Medium posts, follow our Medium channel directly, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn where we announce all new posts.

Conservation Solutions Laboratory scientists pen new commentary

View Source | September 24, 2019

Aerial view of deforestationMichael Brown, Samantha Cheng and Jim Tolisano, along with dozens of conservation and development researchers and practitioners representing ASU's Conservation Solutions Lab, have penned a new opinion piece, released September 24, 2019, on Mongabay. The scientists call for a crucial change in the way conservation efforts are undertaken.

The scientists argue that conservation efforts must specifically engage frontline communities – those people intimately situated in and around landscapes targeted for conservation – and elevate their role such that they can take the lead in planning and directing nature conservation.

Co-developing solutions with frontline communities requires groups that fund, implement and research conservation to revise their role and approach. In addition, learning from community experiences and adapting solutions over time can improve conservation efforts globally.

Meet sustainability student Andie Wilkerson

September 16, 2019

Andie WilkersonAlthough she was raised to love and care for the environment, Andie Wilkerson almost didn’t study sustainability.

“Going into college, I didn't even realize sustainability was an option,” Wilkerson said. “I applied to ASU intending to be an environmental engineering major, but two weeks before orientation, I discovered the school of sustainability through the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability's website.” Wilkerson read about the program and by the time she was done, she had decided to change her major.

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Darnall named National Academy of Public Administration fellow

ASU Now | September 16, 2019

Nicole DarnallThe National Academy of Public Administration has inducted Nicole Darnall, associate dean and professor in Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, into its 2019 class of fellows. Darnall is one of eight NAPA fellows from ASU. An induction into NAPA is one of the highest honors of a public administration official.

Established by Congress in 1967, the nonpartisan NAPA conducts work for federal cabinet departments and agencies, aiming to “improve governance and advance the field of public administration,” by focusing on intergovernmental evaluation, financial management, strategic planning, organization assessment, performance management and human capital.

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New research by ASU professor furthers understanding of dryland litter cycles

September 11, 2019

Heather ThroopArizona State University professor Heather Throop penned a new research article that advances our understanding of dryland litter cycles. Drylands are arid ecosystems characterized by a lack of water. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, drylands  "have been shaped by a combination of low precipitation, droughts and heat waves."

Litter in this case refers to parts of plants that have detached and fallen to the ground. A litter cycle is then the journey of litter from its location on the ground, its movement by horizontal or vertical vectors (such as water), and its eventual decomposition in the same or a secondary location. The litter decomposition rates in drylands are often underpredicted, resulting in a key knowledge gap that is important to address because litter decomposition has a significant influence on ecosystem properties. 

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Meet sustainability junior Casey Rapacki

September 9, 2019

Casey Rapacki stands smiling in front of treeMoved by the beautiful scenery she witnessed during a hike, Casey Rapacki decided then and there to dedicate her life to protecting the planet and its species.

“I love our planet, but I fight for social, economic and environmental health for my love of living beings,” Rapacki said. “The planet will continue on, and I want to make sure that we thrive along with it for years to come.”

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The Sustainability Consortium marks ten-year milestone

View Source | September 5, 2019

Small text bubbles all over a city2019 marks ten years since the launch of The Sustainability Consortium. The group has released its 2019 report, Reaching Sustainability Through Transparency. The report shows a 30 percent improvement in consumer goods supply chain transparency since 2016.

The data represented includes over $200 billion in annual consumer purchasing from Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, Walgreens, and Sprouts. TSC translates the best sustainability science into business tools that are used all over the world to create more sustainable consumer products. With over 100 members and partners, TSC brings together a wide range of companies, NGOs and sustainability experts to drive environmental and social sustainability impact at scale.

ASU named top-ten Cool School for 2019

View Source | September 3, 2019

ASU's Tempe campus Student Pavillion buildingOnce again, Arizona State University was named to Sierra Magazine's top 10 list of Coolest Schools. The annual list of the greenest colleges recognizes ASU for its wide-ranging sustainability efforts, from a fair trade pledge to climate-neutral construction to coral reef research.

Meet sustainability senior Dawson Morford

September 3, 2019

Dawson Morford - ASU sustainability student - wearing navy blue suit smiles in front of plant wallA simple question propelled Dawson Morford into the field of sustainability.

“When picking a major I had a close friend say, ‘Don’t you like all that renewable energy stuff?’ He was right — I always liked learning about all of the cool ways that society was creating energy," Morford said. "This then brought me to the arena of sustainability and I have not looked back since."

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ASU professors named 2019 American Geophysical Union Fellows

August 30, 2019

Osvaldo SalaArizona State University professors Osvaldo Sala, a drylands researcher and Regents Professor in the School of Life Sciences, and Meenakshi Wadhwa, a cosmochemistry expert and the new director of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, have been elected to the 2019 class of the American Geophysical Union Fellows. The election is an honor just 0.1% of AGU members in any given year enjoy. To be elected is a recognition of “attaining scientific eminence through achievements in research, as demonstrated by a breakthrough or discovery, innovation in science or the development of methods and instruments, or sustained impact," according to the AGU.

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ASU, CI and Potsdam researchers explore future of Alto Mayo, Peru

August 29, 2019

People sitting around table talking and brainstormingWhat is the future of coffee in a changing climate? How can we enhance the livelihoods of farmers while protecting the nature that surrounds them?

Conservation International and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research partnered with Arizona State University to help answer these questions.

“Farmers and government planners are making decisions today based on their past experience,” ASU-CI Professor of Practice and CI Peru's Director of Science and Development Percy Summers said. “This works in a [short-term, predictable] world, but increasingly change has become the new norm.”

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Meet sustainability junior Emma Goethe

August 28, 2019

Emma GoetheAlthough she grew up in Phoenix, Emma Goethe attended a small, private university in California until she decided Arizona State University was a better match. She transferred and hasn’t looked back since.

“I decided to transfer to ASU and it was the best decision I have ever made. Once I was admitted to [Barrett, the Honors College at] ASU, sustainability was really the only major that stood out to me,” Goethe said. “Truly, in the beginning, I didn’t know just how much sustainability covers. It’s not just about the environment, but it’s also about economics, policy and the social impacts that sustainability creates.”

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ASU solar project in Puerto Rico promotes energy independence

August 28, 2019

People working on Soalr panel installation in Puerto RicoArizona State University's first solar project in Puerto Rico promotes energy independence for the community of Barrio La Salud. Using flexible solar panels, a novel racking design and battery backup, community leaders can safely remove and replace panels before and after a major storm or hurricane. Doctoral students Jessica Otten and Tara Neitzold are part of a team of Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) students who worked with community leaders to design the system.

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Sustainability alumnus authors report on impacts of proposed new fuel economy standard

ASU Now | August 21, 2019

Chris HartoAn Arizona State University School of Sustainability alumnus was one of three experts to author a report on the potential consequences of the current administration’s plan to rollback Obama-era vehicle fuel economy standards. The report from Chris Harto, a former Science Foundation Arizona Fellow (2007-2009) who now serves as a senior policy analyst of transportation and energy for Consumers Reports’ Washington, D.C. office shows that “American consumers will lose about $460 billion dollars in fuel savings in the coming years” if the plans are enacted.

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