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Friday: 2nd annual SEEK national workshop

October 27, 2020

Join us Friday, October 30, for the 2nd annual (virtual) workshop on accelerating sustainable energy transitions and ethical responses to climate change. SEEK (Sustainable Energy, Education and Knowledge-Sharing) is an action research project of the Spirituality and Sustainability Initiative and catalyzes connections between social values and effective action. SEEK is led by sustainability scientist Elisabeth Graffy, professor of practice in ASU's College of Global Futures.

This year's workshop will explore four themes: practical energy stewardship and the ethics of care, the science and ethics of direct climate intervention, pathways to solar: what you need to know, and cultivating community resilience during uncertain times. Registration is free.

Maynard publishes new book: Future Rising

Knowledge Enterprise Stories | October 27, 2020

In his newest book, “Future Rising: A Journey From the Past to the Edge of Tomorrow,” sustainability scientist Andrew Maynard embarks on a 14-billion-year historical journey to show readers how we started and what we are steering toward.

“As humans we have a profound ability to not only imagine new futures but to change them,” says Maynard, who is associate dean for curricula and student success in ASU's College of Global Futures. “That comes with a lot of responsibility. If we are doing things intended to change the future, we have to do so smartly.” 

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SSEBE showcase to highlight research by new faculty

October 25, 2020

Nov. 13, ASU's School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment will host a research showcase to provide a high-level overview of research expertise by their new faculty. Faculty, students and others are invited to participate in this informative discussion of new research topics being undertaken by SEBE faculty.

The event will be webcast live via Zoom on Friday, November 13, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Arizona time. View the flyer to learn more about the presenters.

WaPo asks Pavlic about self-driving cars

October 23, 2020

According to an October 22 article in the Washington Post, Tesla is forging ahead with new self-driving technology, despite skepticism among some safety advocates about whether Tesla’s technology is ready — and whether the rest of the world is ready for cars that drive themselves. Self-driving is lightly regulated in the United States, and Tesla does not need permission to launch the new feature.

Ted Pavlic, assistant professor in ASU's College of Global Futures, works with autonomous systems. Asked about whether driverless cars are truly possible, Pavlic said, "They say that it’s just around the corner, but you don’t realize that the effort to get just around the corner gets more and more and more [complicated] as you get closer to the corner."

New paper: Urban ecological infrastructure for biocultural services

October 23, 2020

A new study by CAP LTER sustainability scientists evaluated how Phoenix residents perceive and value urban ecological infrastructure (UEI). This research can help urban planners, landscape architects, etc., create UEI that people enjoy and that has biological value.

The authors included Jeffrey A. Brown, Kelli L. Larson, Susannah B. Lerman, Daniel L. Childers, Riley Andrade, Heather L. Bateman, Sharon J. Hall, Paige S. Warren and Abigail M. York. The paper, Influences of Environmental and Social Factors on Perceived Bio-Cultural Services and Disservices, was published October 22, 2020, in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

The abstract follows.

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NSF issues call for Mid-Career Advancement proposals

October 22, 2020

The MCA offers an opportunity for scientists and engineers at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent) to substantively enhance and advance their research program through synergistic and mutually beneficial partnerships, typically at an institution other than their home institution.

The MCA is the only cross-directorate NSF program specifically aimed at providing protected time and resources to established scientists and engineers at the mid-career stage. Projects that envision new insights on existing problems or identify new but related problems previously inaccessible without new methodology or expertise from other fields are encouraged.

Full proposals are due February 1, 2021. Read more about program solicitation 21-516.

ASU develops gender equality training for world leaders

ASU Now | October 20, 2020

Only eight countries have legislated full gender equality, according to the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law database. (No, the United States isn’t one of them.) And an estimated one in three women worldwide experience physical violence.

To accelerate the adoption of policies that empower women and ensure equal rights, Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and EdPlus partnered with global organizations — including the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United Nations and the World Bank — on a unique video training series: SDG 5 Training for Parliamentarians and Global Changemakers.

This series will inform members of parliaments and other leaders on gender issues and trends, providing actionable steps they can take to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (UN Sustainable Development Goal 5) in their countries. Read more on ASU Now.

Voices from the Future shares stories from the front lines of climate change

ASU Now | October 15, 2020

Voices from the Future, a product of ASU's Narrative Storytelling Initative led by sustainability scholar Steven Beschloss, is a collection of stories based on the experiences and insights of survivors of extreme weather events on five continents. This project, both in its perspective and execution, represents the belief that personal stories have the potential to touch a wide cross-section of readers and constructively influence thinking and behavior.

Within these stories, you'll learn how people responded to disaster and how these experiences have affected their lives and visions of the future.

“I think there's been a failure to convince the public about the scale of the problem, the nature of potential responses and the science and the reality of climate change,” said Beschloss, who is also narratives lead of the Global Futures Laboratory. Read more about the series and its reach in this story on ASU Now.

Oct. 23: Speed Networking Event

October 13, 2020

Join ASU's Operational Excellence Community of Practice (OECoP) for this speed networking event. Registrations are limited for an optimal interactive experience. Participants will have the opportunity to make their elevator pitch and work on their professional conversational skills as they answer structured discussion prompts in small-group zoom break-out sessions. You will leave the event having practiced your skills, learned something about other areas in ASU, and expanded your network.

Sign up for this free, one-hour event on ASU Career EDGE. ASUrite login required.

Free virtual NSF grants conference Nov. 30

October 13, 2020

Join the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their very first NSF Virtual Grants Conference to be held during the weeks of November 16 and November 30, 2020. Registration will be free of charge and opens on Thursday, October 29 at 12PM EST.

This event is designed to give faculty, researchers and administrators key insights into a wide range of current issues at NSF. NSF staff will provide up-to-date information about the proposal and award process, specific funding opportunities and answering attendee questions.

Just like the in-person grants conferences, the NSF Virtual Grants Conference is a must, especially for new faculty, researchers and administrators.

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Oct. 15: How Vulnerable is our Infrastructure in a Changing Climate?

October 13, 2020

Join us via Zoom as sustainability scientist Mikhail Chester discusses the vulnerability of infrastructure to climate change and the challenges of designing systems for deep uncertainty. Sustainability scientist Margaret Garcia will moderate the audience Q & A following the presentation.

Mikhail Chester is the director of ASU's Metis Center for Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering, where he maintains a research program focused on preparing infrastructure and their institutions for the challenges of the coming century. His work spans climate adaptation, disruptive technologies, innovative financing, transitions to agility and flexibility, and modernization of infrastructure management.

In his work as co-leader of the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network, Chester argues that we need to fundamentally reassess what our systems need to be able to deliver in circumstances that are changing faster and faster.

NSF seeks strategy input on advancing a systems approach

October 9, 2020

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee on Advancing a Systems Approach to Studying the Earth: A Strategy for the National Science Foundation. The committee has been tasked to develop a compelling vision for a systems approach to studying the Earth in order to inform approaches to integrated research at NSF and to provide guidance as to how NSF can support the research community. The final report will also identify the facilities, infrastructure, coordinating mechanisms, computing, and workforce development needed to support a more integrated approach for studying components of the earth system.

The committee seeks feedback from the scientific community across all components of the Earth system to considered—including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and the individuals, institutions, and technologies that respond to and influence these dynamics—as will their interactions and feedbacks through time. Your answers to this questionnaire will help the authoring committee better understand the range of issues associated with this complex topic.

The questionnaire is now available and can be found here. Please share among your networks as well. Your input is greatly appreciated!

Oct. 14: People-Centered Climate Action and Resilience Planning

October 7, 2020

Join us for a special discussion led by Kristin Baja of USDN with city staff from Salt Lake City, UT and Fort Collins, CO as they highlight how focusing on racial equity and climate justice in local plan and policy development helps lay the foundation for a more equitable and resilient community.

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is working to restructure and rethink how local governments plan and implement projects by working at the nexus of equity, resilience, and greenhouse gas mitigation. USDN staff and members have developed guidance to overhaul the typical government process and center racial equity and climate justice in plan and policy development as well as implementation by 1) centering corrective action and 2) shifting power to frontline communities to create an equitable and resilient society.

The Nexus Guidance turns traditional planning efforts on their heads and reshapes how we approach planning including Climate Action Plans (CAPs), Hazard Mitigation Plans (HMPs), and Capital Investment Projects (CIPs).

With more Arizona cities beginning CAP and HMP processes, we have the opportunity to learn from USDN’s Nexus work to ensure Arizona government plans and projects are developed through a truly equity-centered approach.

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Oct. 20: Creative nonfiction pioneer Gutkind on his 'last 8,000 days'

ASU Now | October 6, 2020

Lee Gutkind has made several costume changes in his life. The fatigues of the U.S. Coast Guard. The leather of a biker. The black T-shirt of a beatnik. The tweed of a college professor. But through it all, one thing has remained the same: He is a writer.

This month, at age 75, the SFIS professor published his memoir, “My Last Eight Thousand Days: An American Male in his Seventies,” a deeply personal reflection on the journey that brought him to where he is now, revealing all the discomforts of his latest costume change — that of an older man.

Gutkind will discuss the book with sustainability scholar Steven Beschloss, director of ASU’s Narrative Storytelling Initiative, in a live Zoom event co-hosted by Changing Hands Bookstore at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. An excerpt from the book is available to read now at the online magazine Transformations, a collaboration between the Narrative Storytelling Initiative and the Los Angeles Review of Books that features essays inspired by the belief that sharing transformative stories has the power to influence the trajectory of our lives.

Watch: Education and engaging offline communities

October 5, 2020

Sustainability scientists Faheem Hussain, Mary Jane Parmentier and Laura Hosman recently conducted a webinar with USAID. The webinar, Digital Strategies for Offline Communities: Cases and Lessons from the Field, shared research-based insights and lessons learned from various approaches to digital engagement in education and with vulnerable populations, including refugees and rural communities.

The webinar was the second provided as part of USAID's DigiKnow series. Read about the collaboration and find links to both webinars here.

New paper: Global citizen views on climate and energy

October 5, 2020

As global environmental issues are increasingly coordinated through international negotiations, new methods are needed to engage citizens worldwide in the policy-making processes. Sustainability scientist Netra Chhetri and co-authors draw insight about citizens' views on issues of climate and energy through quantitative analysis of the data from World Wide Views.

A new paper, Global citizen deliberation: Case of world-wide views on climate and energy, has been published in the December 2020 issue of Energy Policy. The abstract follows.

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Culturally competent-curious faculty members needed

October 2, 2020

Renee Bhatti-Klug, ASU’s Senior University International Educator, provides training to faculty and staff on building inclusive environments for our culturally and linguistically diverse student population. Concurrently, she is a doctoral student in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) at ASU, working under the supervision of Dr. Audrey Beardsley, a faculty member in MLFTC.

Bhatti-Klug's research focuses on increasing cultural intelligence among university faculty through intercultural competence training. She is hoping to work with four culturally competent-curious faculty members who would be willing and able to participate in the Global Advocacy Certificate Program (GACP) during the spring and fall of 2021.

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University Senate resolution supporting students' right to vote

October 1, 2020

The University Senate Student-Faculty Policy Committee has requested that faculty be reminded of the Spring 2020 Senate-approved Resolution 2020-74 for supporting voting removal of barriers for students. The committee worked diligently with ASU student government on the proposal for relief of academic work on election day. All faculty are urged to demonstrate support for students’ participation in voting by using their discretion when considering the dates of elections when planning course calendars and due dates and when considering excused absences, make-up assignments or testing on election days.

With the unique circumstances posed by Covid-19 and other considerations, it is anticipated that students may need to stand in line for long periods to vote. During past election days, students have been faced with making the difficult decision of leaving the polls and not voting in order to attend class. Students may choose not to vote to avoid penalties imposed by faculty for missing class and/or not submitting assessments that are due on election day. As faculty, we acknowledge that students may face these and other barriers to voting on election day and we do not wish to suppress any citizen's participation in voting or create barriers to students exercising their civic right and responsibility to vote. The University Senate remains committed to protecting the academic freedom of faculty and maintaining excellence in teaching while allowing students to exercise their right to vote.

Please communicate this resolution with faculty in your units. Questions related can be directed to Scott Day, Chairperson of the University Senate Student-Faculty Policy Committee.

Free student access to Pearson eText and premium digital products

October 1, 2020

In a shared effort to support increased access and affordability to high-quality learning experiences, Pearson is partnering with ASU to provide access for all enrolled ASU students to all Pearson eText and premium digital courseware products (i.e. MyLabs, Mastering and Revel) at no cost. According to the College Board, the average college student spends more than $1,200 on books and materials (Kristof, 2018). As these titles will be free of cost to all students whether Online or On-campus, faculty who opt-in to the offer will enable a reduction in textbook expenses.

Only textbooks that are available on Pearson’s new eText platform are included. Availability of titles will continue to expand rapidly but will not include old editions or books out-of-publication. In addition to becoming free, the distribution of the titles through the digital eText also ensures seamless access for students. With the launch of Pearson eText 2.0, students will now be able to access their course materials without leaving Canvas. This will allow for material access on day one of classes for all students, both international and domestic, regardless of where the students reside. The easy-to-use, Pearson eText will allow students to continue learning no matter where their day takes them.

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Janssen invited opinion: Managing the global commons

The Hindu | October 1, 2020

The Hindu, one of the main newspapers in India, has published an invited opinion piece by sustainability scientist Marco Janssen. In the piece, Janssen argues that we need to facilitate the self-governance of local commons, but provide safeguards at various levels.

When we want to manage shared resources, we need to balance both private and public interests. Global commons refer to shared resources that cannot be managed within national jurisdictions. The spread of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19; greenhouse gas emissions; biodiversity reduction; overfishing; and the accumulation of plastic waste are some of the problems within the scope of global commons.

To manage our global commons, we need to facilitate and accommodate the self-governance of local commons, but provide safeguards at different levels to avoid exploitation and manage risks. Governing the global commons is the defining challenge for current and future generations.

Janssen is a professor in ASU's College of Global Futures and president of the International Association for the Study of the Commons. Read the full article at The Hindu.