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Registration is open for winter school in agriculture

February 18, 2020

Rows of green lettuce in a fieldTogether with colleagues from Cornell, Michigan State, Purdue, and Susquehanna University, program director and sustainability scholar Carola Grebitus will present a weeklong winter workshop on various aspects of agriculture from agribusiness, ag economics, consumer studies, marketing and applied economics. The course is open to academics (students, professors, individuals employed by colleges and universities, and other institutions of higher education) and non-academics (consultants and other practitioners from the private sector or national and international organizations).

Attendees will learn to successfully deploy surveys and experiments in research studies in these fields. The workshop will cover: designing surveys, choice experiments, auctions to collect data, related data analysis, results interpretation, and deriving recommendations to stakeholders.

Scholarships of $800 are still available for interested students. The scholarship deadline is February 25. Graduate students at different levels (MSc, MPhil, PG-diploma, and PhD) are encouraged to apply.

To register for the workshop. Seats are limited and registration is first come, first served.

POSTPONED! Emerge 2020: Eating at the Edges

February 17, 2020

Heart symbol. Vegetables diet concept. Food photography of heart made from different vegetables on white wooden table. High resolution product.
Use all of your senses to develop new ways to explore food at Emerge 2020: Eating at the Edges. Look at alternative forms of food production, distribution and consumption in an effort to build a new culinary world that is more inclusive and equitable.

Event at Mesa Arts Center, POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. See website for activities and to RSVP.

RSVP for Wrigley Lecture with "CanopyMeg" Lowman

February 17, 2020

ASU’s Wrigley Sustainability Institute will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with Wrigley Speaker Meg Lowman. Referred to as "the real-life Lorax" by National Geographic, she has dedicated three decades to the exploration of tree canopies and is one of the first pioneers in the field of treetop science.

In her talk, CanopyMeg will highlight her creative toolkit for whole-forest exploration and discuss how she applies her research to create sustainability practices on local and global scales, such as designing canopy walkways to encourage ecotourism for local income instead of logging.

New publication: Carefarm helps to alleviate traumatic grief

February 17, 2020

One of the most difficult things a person or family can experience is the traumatic loss of a loved one. A traumatic loss is unexpected, violent, or involves a person who should not yet die, like a child. For people who experience these losses, traditional therapy may be inadequate: the therapist may not understand the depth of the person’s pain, the setting may be too sterile, and there may be a push toward try psychotropic medications rather than nonmedical alternatives.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore - senior sustainability scholar in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and associate professor in the School of Social Work – is developing a new approach. Her paper, Evaluating care farming as a means to care for those in trauma and grief, outlines her approach. Dr. Cacciatore operates the Selah Carefarm - C.A.R.E. stands for counseling, advocacy, research and education - which takes people into nature to hang out with and care for animals. Researchers know that engagement with nature has positive physiological effects. Even more, contact with animals lowers stress hormones (cortisol), heart rate, and blood pressure. Greencare therapy, of which care farming is an example, facilitates individuals’ interactions with nature with the intent of providing a health benefit.

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Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability celebrates 15 years

February 17, 2020

Wrigley HallIn 2004, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow convened a meeting in Temozón, Mexico, of a small but distinguished group of intellectual leaders who were exploring a new idea: sustainability science. Could sustainability be a core value of a large public research university?

It would have to instruct and inspire new generations. It would have to solve pressing real-world problems. And it would have to walk its talk.

On the 15th anniversary of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU has proven it can do all of that and more. Read more about the accomplishments and evolution of the ASU Wrigley Institute in these ASU Now stories:

Doctoral dissertation fellowship: Babbitt Center

February 7, 2020

The Lincoln Institute's Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy has announced its new Babbitt Dissertation Fellowship Program. The fellowships will assist Ph.D. students at U.S. universities whose research builds on, and contributes to, the concerns of the Babbitt Center to advance water sustainabiltiy and resilience, particularly in the American West. The fellowships are an impotant link between the Lincoln Institute's education mission and its research objective by supporting early-career scholars.

Applications are due April 1, 2020. Application guidelines and more information can be found on the Babbitt Center's fellowship program web page.

ASU launches master of innovation degree program

ASU Now | February 7, 2020

Arizona State University is offering a unique new degree that will teach students from any background how to launch a successful venture.

The Master of Science in innovation and venture development is a transdisciplinary partnership among three schools at ASU: The Design School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The one-year, on-campus program, which is now accepting applications, will be experiential. Students will participate in several intensive studio courses and work in teams, according to Cheryl Heller, the director of design integration, a joint position among the business, engineering and design schools.

“Everything Change” climate fiction contest

February 3, 2020

Applications are open through April 15, 2020, for the third annual Everything Change global climate fiction contest. The Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University—a partnership of the Center for Science and the Imagination and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing—seeks short stories that help us imagine how humans can live within Earth’s planetary boundaries—at the individual level, yes, but more importantly at the level of organizations, communities, and societies, and at the level of a global human civilization.

Submissions must be 5,000 words or less. All genres of short fiction are welcome.

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Sustainability Across the Curriculum Training at SDSU

February 1, 2020

AASHE, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, will present a Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership Workshop at San Diego State University on June 3 to 4, 2020. This intensive workshop teaches faculty to introduce and expand sustainability in their curricula.

To apply to attend the workshop, see the application here. For ASU faculty, the opportunity qualifies for the Sustainabiltiy Curriculum Incentive.

Christiana Figueres inspires action to cut carbon emissions in half this decade

January 31, 2020

Christiana Figueres Wrigley Lecture ASUAt the Wrigley Lecture held on January 30 at Arizona State University, climate leader Christiana Figueres said extreme events like the Australian wildfires are foretelling of things to come if we continue to sleepwalk into the future. "That world is possible, but it is not inevitable," she said.

Figueres is recognized internationally as a diplomatic leader on climate change. From 2010 to 2016, she was executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. During her tenure, Figueres brought together national and sub-national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and NGOs to deliver the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. To accelerate the global response to climate change, Figueres founded Global Optimism Ltd., a purpose-driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change. On February 25, 2020, Figueres is launching her new book, "The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis."

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The wisdom of indigenous foodways

January 27, 2020

top down view of dining table with food being sharedA food summit co-sponsored by Arizona State University brought indigenous voices to the forefront of a conversation about transforming our food system.

The ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Food Tank and the University of Hawaii, West Oahu partnered for the inaugural Food Tank Summit, “The Wisdom of Indigenous Foodways." The event, which took place on January 22 at ASU Skysong, featured 22 speakers, almost all of them Native American or Native Hawaiian. Indigenous celebrity chefs Mariah Gladstone and Sean Sherman, founder and CEO of The Sioux Chef, were also present.

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Gates Ag One will assist small-yield farmers in rising from poverty and facing climate change

GeekWire | January 23, 2020

Gates Ag One - short for Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations - is a new nonprofit begun by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization will focus on smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where a total of 2.8 billion people are rural and depend on small-scale agriculture for their food and income. Half or nearly half of employment in these two regions is from small-scale agriculture. Despite their importance to local and regional economies, the yield from these farms is far below that in other locations.

Gates Ag One aims to increase access to the affordable tools and innovations these farmers need to sustainably improve crop productivity and, more importantly, to adapt to the effects of climate change. By working with partners regional and international public- and private sector partners, Gates Ag One will develop drought-resistant, yield-enhancing seeds and crops; make advancements to see that land and water are used more sustainably; and see that rural farmers have access to affordable insurance and agricultural markets. The goal is to give small holder farmers what they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

Marchant is named AAAS fellow

ASU Now | January 23, 2020

Gary MarchantDistinguished Sustainability Scientist Gary Marchant was recently elected by his peers as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science – one of eight fellows named in the Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering sector, for distinguished contributions to research, teaching and outreach at the intersections of law, science and biotechnology, including important work with legislative, executive and judicial groups.

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National Academy of Sciences honors Elkins-Tanton

ASU Now | January 22, 2020

Lindy Elkins-TantonThe National Academy of Sciences has announced that Sustainability Scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton has been awarded the 2020 Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. The Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship is awarded to a scientist making lasting contributions to the study of the physics of the Earth and whose lectures will provide solid, timely, and useful additions to the knowledge and literature in the field.

The prize was awarded to Elkins-Tanton for her lasting contributions to the study of the physics of Earth and for illuminating the early evolution of rocky planets and planetesimals. She will be awarded a $50,000 prize and funds to present a series of Day Lectures, which are provided by the Arthur L. Day Bequest. The award will be presented on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m. in Washington, D.C., at the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting and will be available via live webcast.

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ASU center makes global impact on ecology, conservation science

ASU Now | January 22, 2020

Global Airborne Observatory plane flying over coastlineFrom working to save Hawaiian coral reefs during the 2019 Pacific Ocean warming event to empowering hundreds of students and researchers with data from the largest constellation of satellites currently in orbit, Arizona State University’s recently launched Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science is already making waves.

Established in January 2019, the center expands upon on a vision that Greg Asner, director of the center and a senior sustainability scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, began 18 years ago at the Carnegie Institution for Science on the campus of Stanford University. It’s based on Asner’s lab work of global coral reef mapping, measuring plant biodiversity in tropical forests and hiring and supporting new faculty with a similar vision of discovery and conservation impact.

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Call for presenters: AASHE conference 2020

January 15, 2020

The 2020 conference of AASHE, The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, will be held Oct 4-7, 2020 in Milwaukee, WI. If you are interested in attending, and would like a discount, consider being a presenter. Submit a proposal by February 28 for an opportunity to share your expertise. Conference attendees will exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities.

The theme of the 2020 conference is "Mobilizing for a Just Transition." AASHE aims to be part of a shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This conference will focus on centering justice within this transformation and ensuring that it leaves no one behind.

Corruption and illicit activity affect land change

SGSUP News | January 13, 2020

New research published in Nature Sustainability presents a conceptual framework of illicit land transactions and a new approach to spatially link illicit activities to land use. The paper, Understanding the role of illicit transactions in land-change dynamics, was authored by Beth Tellman, a doctoral alumnus from ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and now a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University.

From large deforestation in Costa Rica by narco drug traffickers to illegal sand mining by mafia groups in India to illicit transactions between urban developers and politicians in the United States, corrupt land transactions are pervasive across the globe. According to one study, 40% of deforestation globally is estimated to be illegal, and that number rises to 80% in places such as Indonesia and Brazil.

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2020 Welcome: Three things to know

January 9, 2020

Dear Sustainability Scientists, Scholars and Fellows,

Welcome to 2020 – may it be another great year for ASU and for each of you. This new year brings some exciting new changes to our processes. We’re still working out all the details, and we will be reaching out to many of you for your input. In the meantime, here are three things you need to know.

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Nominate a new innovator in food and agriculture research

January 9, 2020

Arianne wearing a black jacket and smiling with a locust on her handNominations for the 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award are now being accepted. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) will grant up to 10 awards to early-career investigators whose research supports the FFAR’s Challenge Areas and promotes sustainable food production globally. This year’s challenge areas are:

  • Soil Health
  • Sustainable Water Management
  • Next Generation Crops
  • Advanced Animal System
  • Urban Food Systems
  • Health-Agriculture Nexus

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