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Sustainability News

WE Empower holds inaugural Changemaker Series event in Washington

ASU Wrigley Institute News WE Empower Challenge

April 26, 2019

On April 25, the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge held its first Changemaker Series event at the Arizona State University Barbara Barrett and Sandra Day O'Connor Washington Center. This event celebrated Habiba Ali, the competition’s 2018 winner, who founded a Nigerian company called Sosai that brings renewable energy technologies to the most rural of users, improving access to clean, affordable energy and providing clean water and better health outcomes.

At a related event the evening before, Ali was awarded the 2019 Economic Empowerment Award through Vital Voices’ Global Leadership Awards Honoree Program. Vital Voices and ASU's Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability are lead partners of the WE Empower Challenge.

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The politics of climate change

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 25, 2019

Smoke stack expelling plumes of smokeAs the world attempts to shift away from fossil fuel use, the need for alternative forms of energy is growing. But this transition does not come without major growing pains — especially in the politics surrounding the implementation of new technologies or energy policies. Hanna Breetz, an Arizona State University senior sustainability scientist and School of Sustainability assistant professor, studies the political economy of alternative energy and co-authored a journal article about the subject, "Politics in the U.S. energy transition: Case studies of solar, wind, biofuels and electric vehicles policy."

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Meet sustainability junior Daryn Lee Lieberman

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

April 24, 2019

Daryn Lee LiebermanDaryn Lee Lieberman is an Arizona State University online student pursuing a bachelor’s degree from the School of Sustainability. Recently, Lieberman presented a vertical garden project for elementary schools at ASU’s inaugural Change the World event (more on that project in the Q&A below), so we decided to ask him some questions to get to know more about him and his work.

Lieberman, a junior, describes himself as a “reconnecting indigenous student” and said that when he lived in San Antonio — where he started his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio — he organized a large march downtown in opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Standing up for indigenous rights is important to him, and he said he’s in the process of starting a nonprofit that will “assist with sustainable development in indigenous communities — specifically to increase their sovereignty, visibility and ecosystem/community health.”

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ASU students gamify sustainability education with Kahoot! quizzes

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Futures

April 23, 2019

Children playing games on iPadsAs part of Arizona State University’s efforts to advance sustainability education for K–12 students, a faculty-led student group created a suite of Kahoot! games to teach sustainability concepts. Kahoot! is a widely used platform to play fun, educational games called “kahoots” that are popular in classrooms and other group settings.

Through a new capstone workshop called “Innovation in Science Communication,” three undergraduate School of Sustainability students created nine quizzes for a new Kahoot! campaign, ASU Sustainable Futures. Topics include designing for our future, environment, sustainable food, social justice and energy. The students were responsible for developing the content and then demoing the kahoots in several middle school classes.

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Sustainability scholar supporting sustainable development in Hawai’i

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 22, 2019

The work of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University often extends across the sea — in this case, to Hawai’i. Hawai’i is setting examples for sustainable development in many ways, and was recognized in late 2018 by the United Nations as a Local2030 hub — the first island and first place in Asia Pacific to be named a hub. Hawai’i Green Growth (HGG) coordinates the hub activities and the ASU Wrigley Institute serves on the hub’s board, drawing on ASU expertise to help support practical implementation of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

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Sustainability scientist serves on new environmental economics advisory committee

ASU Wrigley Institute News CAP LTER News Press Releases

April 22, 2019

Keryy SmithASU faculty helps establish research organization to strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to assess social benefits and costs of environmental policies

Policies on air pollution, climate change and water have far-reaching effects on millions of Americans and businesses. Is the Environmental Protection Agency ─ the federal agency whose mission is to protect public health and the environment ─ using the best available economic science when designing and proposing such policy? The newly created External Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (E-EEAC) will convene nationally recognized environmental economists to ensure that it does.

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Streamlining the study of nature in cities

ASU Wrigley Institute News CAP LTER News

April 22, 2019

Nancy GrimmNancy Grimm, an Arizona State University professor in the the School of Life Sciences and a senior sustainability scientist, won an award for being part of a team that created an international consensus on how to approach urban ecology.

Along with nine co-authors, Grimm won the 2019 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. Grimm and her colleagues provided “an international perspective on how ecological research focused on urban areas can improve sustainability,” according to the society’s citation. “Urban areas are expected to be highly at risk from global environmental changes and this article highlights the need for a conceptual synthesis that allows urban residents to make better decisions concerning their environment and the social relations within it.”

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To save life on Earth, here’s the $100 billion-a-year solution

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News Biodiversity News

April 19, 2019

Keauhou ForestThere have been five mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. But in the 21st century, scientists now estimate that society must urgently come to grips this coming decade to stop the very first human-made biodiversity catastrophe.

“The sixth extinction is on our societyʻs shoulders; it really is,” said ecologist Greg Asner, who serves on the faculty of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Earth and Space Exploration and came to Arizona State University this past January to lead the new Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science.

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Michael Crow and William McDonough named to Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders List

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 18, 2019

Michael CrowArizona State University President Michael M. Crow and Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability Board Member William McDonough have been named to the World's Greatest Leaders list by Fortune. The list honors 50 men and women worldwide in business, government, philanthropy and the arts who are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same.

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Environment vs. economy: Outcomes can be win-win according to recent research

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 16, 2019

Illustration of a sun setting behind a city skyline with an orange skyClimate change is an ever-present and ever-pressing issue that has the attention of national and world leaders. On Nov. 23, 2018, the United States federal climate report was released. Several days later, U.N. world leaders met in Poland for two weeks of climate change negotiations. Scientists and researchers remain committed to finding solutions to one of the world’s greatest challenges.

Among them is Senior Sustainability Scientist Mark Roseland, professor and director of the School of Community Resources and Development. Roseland’s research article with colleagues Robert Newell and Ann Dale, both professors in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University in Canada, was recently recognized with the International Award for Excellence by the International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses.

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The human cost of expensive homes

ASU Wrigley Institute News Stardust News

April 16, 2019

Associate Professor Joanna Lucio and Melissa Kovacs giving a talkEasing the problem of homelessness will require communities to build more affordable housing, and that will require creating a new narrative with people who oppose it, according to two Arizona State University experts.

“We need to get businesses, public safety, education and neighborhood groups on board,” said Senior Sustainability Scientist Joanna Lucio, associate dean of academic affairs and an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs.

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Sustainability grad brings international perspective

Board Letter School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

April 16, 2019

Maryam Abdul Rashid standing in the entry way of Wrigley HallMaryam Abdul Rashid took a big risk enrolling in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Coming from Malaysia, she said sustainability was a foreign concept and people back home questioned what her future might be. But she took the leap anyway — with a big payoff.

"I forever feel blessed to have been given the chance to travel 9,021 miles just to come to school here," Rashid said, adding that her favorite part of being an ASU student is the diversity she is able to experience at a school that values different people and their cultures.

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ASU hosts third annual Phosphorus Forum in Washington, D.C.

ASU Wrigley Institute News Phosphorus Alliance

April 16, 2019

Sustainability Phosphosrus forumArizona State University's Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance hosted its third annual Phosphorus Forum at the ASU Barrett and O'Connor Center in Washington, D.C., on April 5. A packed room brought together 60 participants from industry, government, academia and civil society to network and share knowledge about sustainability issues spanning the entire phosphorus value chain.

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient required by global agriculture, but as a key driver of freshwater eutrophication and algal blooms and of coastal dead zones, it is also among the most damaging water pollutants. Participants shared information about policies, tools and technologies aimed at promoting more sustainable use of this finite natural resource.

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Sustainability scientist receives Public Humanities Scholars Award

ASU Wrigley Institute News Food Systems News

April 15, 2019

Joan McGregorThe Arizona Humanities council has named Arizona State University professors Joan McGregor and Natalie Diaz as recipients of the Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholars Awards. McGregor is a senior sustainability scientist and a professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. A ceremony to celebrate the honor took place April 14 at the Mesa Arts Center.

McGregor began her career as an academic with a focus on legal philosophy and applied ethics, frequently teaching courses on bioethics and environmental ethics. From there, she became interested in climate justice, which eventually segued into a focus on food systems.

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Sustainability scholar speaks at Guam conference on island sustainability

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 13, 2019

In April, Senior Sustainability Scholar Amanda Ellis was one of two keynote speakers, along with Master Navigator Larry Raigetal, for the 10th University of Guam Regional Conference on Island Sustainability. Ellis works with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University as the executive director of Hawaii and Asia Pacific and director of strategic partnerships.

During her presentation, Ellis discussed how the University of Guam (UOG) Center of Island Sustainability's proposed Guam Green Growth initiative — modeled after Hawaii Green Growth (for which Ellis is a board member) — could bring great opportunities in sustainable development for the island region. After the conference, Ellis said that UOG showed interest in working with experts in the ASU Wrigley Institute, particularly from the fields of renewable energy, microgrids and biochar, to further the Guam Green Growth initiative.

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Carbon Free Day: Do your part

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 12, 2019

Several ASU students and staff on bikes outside of Old Main at ASUA new signature event for Earth Month, Carbon Free Day on April 17, encourages the Arizona State University community to make small changes that can add up to make a big difference in the fight against climate change.

On Carbon Free day, ASU will be purchasing carbon offsets and planting 218 trees to mitigate the university’s emissions for the day. University Sustainability Practices is asking students, staff, faculty and the wider ASU community to join the commitment by making a pledge to reduce carbon emissions. Pledges run the gamut from transportation to food to energy, or participants can create their own.

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Solar advances earn ASU researcher IEEE young professional award

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 11, 2019

Zachary Holman holds solar cellSenior Sustainability Scientist Zachary Holman’s research spanning the full spectrum of solar cell technologies has made him shine as a leader in the photovoltaics community.

The assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University recently was recognized with the 2019 IEEE Stuart R. Wenham Young Professional Award for significant contributions to photovoltaic energy conversion science and technology. This award is given annually by the photovoltaic section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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Scholars redefine the border conversation at Arizona-Sonora Colloquium

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 11, 2019

Transborder ASU talkThe U.S.-Mexico border is a complicated mosaic of unpredictable policies and shifting economic tides. A patchwork of man-made and natural barriers spanning four U.S. states and almost 2,000 miles, the stretch is usually defined by the things it separates.

But at the Arizona-Sonora Colloquium, academics aimed to challenge that notion by reconnecting the area’s historic ties and forging a more sustainable future for both lands.

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Sustainability alumna discusses Audubon Arizona report about economic importance of waterways

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

April 10, 2019

Haley Paul sitting at desk on show Arizona PBSSchool of Sustainability alumna Haley Paul, who now works as a policy manager for Audubon Arizona, talked on Arizona PBS about the organization’s new report detailing the value of waterways to Arizona's economy. According to the report, water-based recreational activities in Arizona bring $13.5 billion to the economy and create 114,000 jobs.

The report aimed to establish a baseline of information and show how important water-based recreation is as an industry in Arizona.

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