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Sustainability News

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

ASU Wrigley Institute News Phosphorus Alliance

April 16, 2019

Arizona 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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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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Sustainability Scientist named Ecological Society of America 2019 Fellow

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 10, 2019

Portrait of Jianguo WuSenior Sustainability Scientist Jianguo Wu, a professor at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainability and School of Life Sciences, was elected an Ecological Society of America (ESA) 2019 Fellow. According to ESA’s announcement, Wu’s most notable work is in “landscape ecology, urban ecology, and sustainability science, particularly in the areas of hierarchical patch dynamics, spatial scaling, habitat fragmentation and biodiversity, ecological impacts of urbanization, and landscape sustainability.”

Wu regularly teaches ASU classes about landscape ecology and sustainability science. He has written at least 14 books and 295 research papers. Among his many activities and accolades, Wu has been the editor-in-chief for the journal Landscape Ecology since 2005. He is also an affiliated faculty of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at ASU.

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Fulbright scholar to spend semester studying urban climate effects in Greece

ASU Wrigley Institute News Biodiversity News

April 9, 2019

Matei GeorgescuFor most people, the thought of Greece may elicit images of sandy beaches and beautiful buildings cascading toward the shore, but for Senior Sustainability Scientist Matei Georgescu, Greece means the opportunity to expand his research into the effects urbanization has on climate. To help him accomplish this, Georgescu has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Grant.

“A key objective of my Fulbright Award is focused on development of high-resolution data of climate output illustrating the magnitude of future extreme heat events for all of Greece,” said Georgescu, an associate professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and affiliated faculty in Arizona State University's Center for Biodiversity Outcomes.

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Arizona PBS highlights sustainability scientists’ work in hot cars

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 4, 2019

Kid sitting in carseat in carA new segment of “Catalyst” by Arizona PBS features three Senior Sustainability Scientists in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability: Jenni Vanos, Nancy Selover and Ariane Middel. The segment covers the recurring tragedy of children dying in hot cars after parents experience a “cognitive failure” that causes them to forget their children are still in the car — and the research being done to prevent this from happening.

View the story, which was released April 3, online through Arizona PBS.

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Sustainability scientist contributes to paper linking empathy and sustainability

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 4, 2019

Hand touching tree with sunshine in backgroundJohn “Marty” Anderies is a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and a professor and graduate director in the School of Sustainability. He is one of the authors of a new research paper titled “Empathy, place and identity interactions for sustainability.”

“[H]ere we posited that empathy can promote sustainability when individuals have empathic relations with the consequences of environmental harm, when they have inclusive identities beyond their locality, and when empathy promotes collective responses,” the authors stated. Besides Anderies, there were nine other researchers involved from the University of Exeter, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development.

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Harnessing the power of solar to enhance the electric grid

ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 4, 2019

Sun reflects on solar panelsArizona State University researchers are set to receive a $3.6 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to advance solar energy’s role in strengthening reliability and resiliency of the nation’s electricity grid.

The research project, which is funded by the Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies (ASSIST) program, will focus on building enhanced grid models and control technologies for increasing the amount of renewable power operating in the distribution system.

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All hands on deck to protect Island Earth

Board Letter Thought Leader Series ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 2, 2019

Nainoa Thompson on boat looking out to seaA Thought Leader Series Piece

By Nainoa Thompson

Note: Hawaiian master navigator Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, gave a Wrigley Lecture in October 2018.

“Nainoa, you have no idea how beautiful your Island Earth is until you see it from space. But we are changing it. It’s going to change us. And we’re not prepared for the change.”

Conversations with one of my best friends and teachers, the late Hawaii-born astronaut Lacy Veach, would often end up this way. He would then say, “You can’t protect what you don’t understand, what you don’t care about.”

To understand the Earth, Lacy urged me to sail around the world on the Hōkūleʻa, a deep-sea voyaging canoe, as the ancient Polynesians did: using as wayfinding tools the stars, the winds, the waves and other cues from nature. No modern instruments. No GPS.

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ASU partners with Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings to initiate Global KAITEKI Center

ASU Wrigley Institute News Food Systems News The Global KAITEKI Center

April 1, 2019

hand reaching out to touch digital globeA unique center officially opens on April 3 at Arizona State University, housed within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

The Global KAITEKI Center is funded by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC) and its group’s think tank and research institute, the KAITEKI Institute, and led by Professor George Stephanopoulos, who holds joint positions in the School of Molecular Sciences and the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

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Sustainability scientist to explore farm labor shortages, immigration policy

ASU Wrigley Institute News Food Systems News

March 28, 2019

An apple farmAn ASU Now story discusses the complicated matrix of farm labor, wages, costs and consumer prices when it comes to getting produce onto our plates. The growers who produce that produce have been sounding the alarm in recent years that the lack of farm labor is cutting into their livelihoods and leaving crops unharvested in the fields.

An Arizona State University professor has been examining the issue of farm labor and how immigration policy could affect how much we pay for vegetables. The research caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has given Senior Sustainability Scientist Timothy Richards, a professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business, a two-year grant to delve deeper. He will be working with colleagues at California Polytechnic State University and Cornell University.

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Watch research seminars from the East-West Center

ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 27, 2019

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability frequently co-sponsors events with the East-West Center in Hawaii. Videos of two of these research seminars were recently made available online for public viewing. Watch them below to learn more about the role that policy-makers, investors and parliaments can play in sustainable development.

“The Trillion-plus Opportunity: Investing to Reverse Global Warming” with Katie Hoffman

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Ten Across Water Summit examines pressing sustainability issues

ASU Wrigley Institute News DCDC News

March 27, 2019

Ten Across Initiative's summitThe Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University had a presence at the Ten Across Initiative's second summit, held in Phoenix March 26-28. Ten Across examines the U.S. Interstate 10 corridor and engages this region as a living laboratory for resilience, innovation and new narratives for the future.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey opened the summit by noting the Phoenix metro area uses less water than it did in 1957 when Dwight Eisenhower was president. “This didn’t happen by accident,” Ducey said. “Along this I-10 corridor, we all have unique challenges with water. … I’m confident if we work together, there’s no challenge we can’t overcome.”

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Saving the world from thin air

ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 27, 2019

Klaus Lackner examining machineSenior Sustainability Scholar Klaus Lackner, director for the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, has created a machine that physically sucks greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. This machine gave a group of Arizona State University grads another idea: Instead of building the new technology, how about creating a marketplace that would incentivize carbon removal, whether by Lacknerian machines or some other method?

In 2018, the grads — Paul Gambill, Jaycen Horton and Ross Kenyon, along with Christophe Jospe, who worked for Lackner at CNCE — founded Nori. The Seattle-based company is flipping some basic ideas about climate change mitigation on their head. Instead of aiming to lower CO2 emissions, Nori focuses instead on Lackner’s notion of pulling out the carbon that’s already in the atmosphere. Instead of, say, taxing those who put CO2 into the air, they want to pay those who remove it.

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Priming the ocean’s carbon pump

ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 27, 2019

Senior Sustainability Scientist Susanne NeuerWhen it comes to climate change and carbon reduction, Senior Sustainability Scientist Susanne Neuer is thinking small — extremely small.

The Arizona State University biological oceanographer is an expert on marine phytoplankton, microscopic algae found in the sunlit zone of waters all over the globe. As Neuer is quick to point out, phytoplankton may be small — too small individually to be seen with the naked eye — but they are mighty. Their size belies their critical importance to the biological carbon pump, the primary biological mechanism in the ocean’s absorption of vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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ASU, Wells Fargo advancing K-12 sustainability education

Board Letter School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 26, 2019

Visual storytelling meeting notes K-12 Sustainability Education NetworkMany students go through elementary, middle and high school without ever learning about sustainability. That needs to change — and Arizona State University is doing something about it.

Accomplishing this will require systemic change and large-scale collaboration, which is why Christopher Boone, dean of the School of Sustainability at ASU, and CaSondra Devine, sustainability initiatives leader at Wells Fargo, recently put their heads together with more than a dozen local and international sustainability leaders for a three-day brainstorming conference hosted at ASU's Wrigley Hall.

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Project Cities and Peoria work to conserve water

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities SCN News

March 25, 2019

Sign about reclaimed water in Peoria, AZOn Cronkite News, see how Project Cities is working with the city of Peoria (the program's 2019-2020 community partner) to use water wisely. The video news story also touches on a previous Project Cities initiative with former partner Apache Junction.

"We all use water, and we need to have a better understanding of how we consume the water and what we are going to do to encourage further decrease in water consumption," said Lisa Estrada, sustainability manager for the City of Peoria. By collaborating with Project Cities, Peoria will create plans for water shortage response and water conservation.

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Fit for a queen bee

ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 22, 2019

queen bee surrounded by other beesWhat makes a queen bee? How does a queen bee achieve her regal status that elevates her from her sterile worker sisters? This has been a long-standing question for scientists studying honey bees, including honey bee expert and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist Robert Page.

To get at the heart of the question, scientists have now used for the first time the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to selectively shut off a gene necessary for general female development.

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Authors, artists explore solar futures in new anthology

ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 22, 2019

Colorful illustration featuring two people facing each other under the sunTo begin to imagine the difficulties, joys and adventures of human life powered by an energy system dominated by solar, last week Arizona State University published “The Weight of Light,” a free digital book featuring science fiction stories, essays and art exploring a variety of possible solar futures.

The book features four original science fiction stories — three of which take place in possible future versions of Arizona, with a fourth unfolding in a revitalized and transformed Detroit — each illustrated by an artist from the Phoenix community. The stories are accompanied by essays written by ASU faculty and graduate students in a wide range of fields, from electrical and systems engineering to public policy and futures studies.

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Arizona PBS highlights sustainability scientists' work in hot playgrounds and green buildings

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 21, 2019

Woman taking a picture with a cameraTwo new segments of “Catalyst” by Arizona PBS, in the episode released March 20, feature Senior Sustainability Scientists in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability: Jenni Vanos and Harvey Bryan.

Hot playgrounds and microclimates

The “Hot playgrounds and microclimates” segment discusses research studying the effects of heat and microclimates on playgrounds and the corresponding activity of children playing there.

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Students see eye to eye with marine life

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 20, 2019

Students in boat looking up-close at whaleTwo Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability Senior Sustainability Scientists, Jesse Senko and Ira Bennett, brought a group of students to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico for a class they are teaching called “Sea Turtles, Sharks and Fisheries of Baja California: Emerging Topics in Marine Conservation."

This Global Intensive Experience, organized by the ASU Study Abroad Office, was one of 15 spring break programs across 12 different countries. These 20 students were part of the 230+ students participating in a study abroad program during ASU’s 2019 spring break.

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