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Future Agenda: Rethink the tax credit on electric vehicles

December 31, 2020

Sustainability scientist Ryan Cornell has contributed to Future Agenda, a series from Future Tense in which experts suggest specific, forward-looking actions the new Biden administration should implement. The article is entitled It’s Time to Rethink the Tax Credit on Electric Vehicles.

According to Cornell, we must decouple our economy from fossil fuels and electrify all aspects of our daily lives. While there has been a recent focus on the final pieces of the electrification puzzle (shipping, airlines, steel production), Cornell says we shouldn’t ignore the comparatively low-hanging fruit that is the automotive transportation sector.

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2021 Conference: The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture

December 24, 2020

Sustainability scholar Evan Berry has shared the following invitation. This is a year of pandemic, a year of disruption, a year in which struggles for racial and economic justice can no longer be ignored. In that spirit, and in the interest of protecting the health of our members, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture is postponing its in-person conference until 2022. In partnership with Arizona State University, ISSRNC will hold a nearly-carbon neutral virtual conference in February 18-28, 2021. Learn more and register.

Resilience Alliance offers short course on resilience

December 22, 2020

Sustainability scientists Michael Schoon and Jennifer Hodbod are among the lecturers presenting the Resilience Alliance's 2021 short course, set for May 24-28, 2021. The purpose of this exciting one-week course is to draw on the expertise of scholars in the RA network to teach about resilience as conceptualized and studied by RA scholars and to facilitate collaboration among a broader network of students and researchers.

The theme for this first RA short course will be Resilience Foundations from Theory to Practice. Key concepts including panarchy and the adaptive cycle, scale and system dynamics, social-ecological systems, and resilience assessment will be explored from their roots through to current advances and applications. The evolution of these concepts and key papers will be presented by researchers who have played a role in their development. In collaborative groups, participants will apply resilience concepts to case studies with the goal of developing manuscript drafts and contributing to a library of cases.

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Your top ten from 2020

December 22, 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, I wanted to thank each of you who has taken the time to open a Bulletin, read an article, send me your news, or participate in a meeting or event.

The university sent its own 2020 in review article this week, which included the launch of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, our #5 in the world ranking for Sustainable Development Goals Impact, and lots of great accomplishments in a really difficult year.

For this group, here are the top 10 events and news items that you found useful, interesting, or click-worthy.

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Can higher education be transformed to better serve society?

December 22, 2020

America’s higher education system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Colleges and universities, while promoting themselves as forces for social mobility, have stacked the deck against their neediest students. Rising college costs, skyrocketing student debt, and increasingly out-of-touch curricula are leading more Americans to question the fairness and value of higher education. What is right, and what misses the mark, in these mounting critiques of our colleges and universities? Can institutions be forced to make sweeping changes to tuition structures, endowment spending, and affirmative action—or are these changes destined to produce more conflict? And what would it take for higher education to transform itself to better serve society?

Thursday, January 14, 2021, 6:00 PM MST, Arizona State University President Michael Crow, co-author of The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education, Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr, and California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro visit Zócalo for an in-depth discussion of how to make American higher education a stronger force for equity and innovation. Register for this online event.

Global Futures hosts climate policy discussion with Obama administration's John Morton and GFL fellow Frank Sesno

December 22, 2020

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory hosted a special discussion with Emmy-winning journalist Frank Sesno and former Obama Administration climate policy advisor John E. Morton for a comprehensive conversation about President-elect Biden's incoming administration and it's placement of the climate and climate action as one of four priorities. The two went over what challenges and opportunities incoming administration and Cabinet-level appointees will confront. What will be their likely priorities—domestically and internationally—and how will they engage a diverse collection of stakeholders?

The interview was conducted by award-winning television journalist and Global Futures Fellow Frank Sesno, who also is director of Planet Forward, a climate and environment focused news platform through George Washington University, where Sesno is faculty. Morton is a former White House Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change, responsible for coordinating policies and strategies on international energy and climate change for the Obama administration. Morton is currently a partner at Pollination, a climate change advisory and investment firm. He brings more than 25 years of experience in emerging markets, investment finance and environmental policy.

The conversation was grounded by a welcome by Peter Schlosser, Vice President and Vice Provost for Global Futures.

View the full conversation here.

How community land trusts can advance racial equity in our cities

December 21, 2020

Providing low-cost access to land held in a commons while enabling private ownership of the homes on that land, CLTs keep housing affordable and benefit minority communities who have suffered for decades from unfair lending practices and discrimination. This, according to a new post by sustainability scienitsts Chris Boone, dean of the College of Global Futures, and Mark Roseland, professor in the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions and director of the Community Capital Lab.

Roseland and Boone published a new piece, entitled How community land trusts can advance racial equity in our cities, in Struggles From Below, an online magazine dedicated to shining a light on initiatives that are changing the world from the bottom up; telling the stories of the individuals trying to improve our system of living to achieve a more humane and ecologically-harmonious existence.

Can we fix climate challenges without hurting the economy?

December 17, 2020

Over the past year, New America’s Resource Security team ­— a program dedicated to exploring the balance between natural resources and human security — and Arizona State University's Ten Across Initiative, which engages communities along the I-10 corridor on the most urgent global issues of the 21st century, have been researching the effects of climate change and talking to those directly impacted on a daily basis.

During a virtual discussion hosted by Future Tense on Dec. 2, five community leaders and journalists joined moderator, sustainability scientist Wellington “Duke” Reiter, founder and executive director of the Ten Across Initiative, to talk about what it will take to address long-term existential threats, without harming today’s economy.

Read more at ASU Now.

Applications open: Energy, environment, and climate policy fellowships

December 17, 2020

Large wind turbines in front of sunset in field.The Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs offer research fellowships each academic year. The online application deadline is January 18, 2021.

STPP and ENRP believe that the best scholarship and most enduring impacts from our efforts are those that represent a wide array of perspectives and backgrounds, and so diversity, inclusion, and belonging is a critical component of their mission. Fellowships are open to pre-docs and post-docs, visiting scholars, and researchers at the junior faculty level. They strongly encourage women and scholars from underrepresented communities to apply.

Study shows proximity to convenience stores affects kids' weight

ASU Now | December 12, 2020

For better or worse, our environments shape every aspect of our lives, including the food we eat. In a new study, researchers from ASU and Rutgers University found that children who live in an environment with a higher prevalence of unhealthy food sources, such as convenience stores, are more likely to gain weight over time.

The paper, Evidence That Changes in Community Food Environments Lead to Changes in Children’s Weight: Results from a Longitudinal Prospective Cohort Study, was published Dec. 10 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The abstract follows.

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Bliss part of drive to create cybersecurity change

ASU Now | December 11, 2020

Sustainability scientist Nadya Bliss, executive director of ASU’s Global Security Initiative, says that while security measures such as encryption and authentication have been widely adopted, security tends to be secondary to application capability. She and colleagues from other institutions are urgently calling for a profound change in the way new technologies are designed.

“Capabilities and convenience are important, but they need to be balanced with security,” said Bliss. "Technologists typically prioritize capability over security, and that means we are constantly playing catch up, trying to patch vulnerabilities when they are already in the wild and being exploited."

Request for proposals: ASU Social Embeddedness Network Conference

December 11, 2020

ASU's Office of the University Provost and Educational Outreach and Student Services (EOSS) invite you to submit a proposal to share how you are partnering with external organizations (e.g., nonprofits, corporate partners, tribal nations, municipalities, etc.) in your socially embedded research, teaching or practice to achieve positive outcomes at the local, regional, national and/or global level.

Participants will engage in a variety of informative virtual breakout sessions and interactive workshops that are designed to bring together our network, share strategies for forging meaningful and mutually beneficial partners with community partners and generate institutional dialogue about how to advance socially embedded research, teaching, student development and practices at ASU.

This year's conference theme is Planting Seeds for Partnerships and Cultivating Community Collaborations. Learn more about the conference, the presentation formats they're seeking, and the variety of topics on the agenda. Proposals will be accepted through Friday, January 8, 2021.

Sustainability scientists participate in NASEM events

December 11, 2020

Three sustainability scientists have presented recently at events hosted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Mathematics.

In November, Nancy Grimm presented the academic perspective on the topic of urban sustainability, as part of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability. Grimm was one of three presenters during the hour-long webinar. View Grimm’s presentation, or watch the full event.

In December, Marty Anderies and B.L. Turner II presented during a three-day workshop, Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for Sustainability Science. The workshop’s steering committee included board members Pamela Matson and William Clark. Explore videos of the entire workshop here.

Anderies was a panelist on the topic of adapting to shocks and surprise. View Anderies' presentation video, and review his slides. Turner presented on the topic of sustainability science as a growing field of scholarship. Watch Turner's presentation video and review his slides.

Applications open: NASEM early-career research fellowship

December 10, 2020

The NASEM Gulf Research Program is accepting applications for the 2021 GRP Early-Career Research Fellowship Track 1: Human Health and Community Resilience. Applications are due January 13.

The Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowship supports emerging scientific leaders as they take risks on research ideas not yet tested, pursue unique collaborations, and build a network of colleagues who share their interest in improving offshore energy system safety and the well-being of coastal communities and ecosystems.

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Decision support tools and research workshop

December 9, 2020

On December 8, 2020, 35 participants learned from ASU’s Research Data Management Officer, Phil Tarrant, about the research data support services offered by Knowledge Enterprise and the ASU Library. They then shared their own best practices and lessons learned, in a robust dialogue about their work in decision support tools and research. Read the event recap here.

If there is one takeaway that is relevant for all sustainability scientists and scholars, it is to affiliate your new or existing ORCID with ASU. ORCID is your research “social security number,” unique to you. Consider it your system of record for research activity and fill out your profile completely.

The event presentation on research data management services, which begins at 03:38 of the event video, touches on a free electronic research notebook solution, ASU’s research data repository, and recommendations for developing decision support tools and models.

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UREx NYU lead to present at UNESCO event

December 8, 2020

Dec. 9: Rae Zimmerman, the NYU lead for ASU's Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network, will present a new UREx researcher-practitioner paper on GI and stormwater management as part of the "Innovative Initiatives 2" session.

The presentation will take place on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, from 14:25 - 14:40 CET time (6:25 a.m. AZ time). See p. 5 of the program for more details.

Read the paper, and register for the event.