UO Environmental Studies Senior Rachel Cleveland was recently in DC to learn about science policy and converse with political staff on the importance of funding scientific research.
Rachel was able to attend Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering conference from March 18-21. The CASE program is largely funded largely by the UO vice president of research and innovation with support also provided by Government and Community Relations.
Out of nearly 200 workshop participants, Rachel was the only one from Oregon, and one of the few undergraduates present. At their time there, Rachel learned more about government processes, and science policy and communications at the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Rachel will graduate with honors this spring, and will temporarily work at the Springfield office of the U.S. Forest Service post graduation.
Congratulations on the great work Rachel!
Dr. Lucas Silva has received the University of Oregon’s Outstanding Early Career Award. The award is the highest research award at the UO for early career scientists.
Dr. Silva’s research investigated how forest composition affects water supply, and the ecological changes in forests caused by climate change. Using a combination of historical and primary data from the Sierra Nevadas, his team’s findings suggest a 10-60 percent increase in regional water loss as changing climates are forcing tree species to migrate to different elevations.
The study is particularly insightful given the importance of these forest watersheds in providing water for approximately 20 million people in California.
Congratulations Dr. Silva and team for the great work!
The Environmental Studies Program is proud to announce 5 undergraduate Alice and Arnold Soderwall Scholarships now open for applications. For more information, please consult:
Applications are due 4:30 p.m., May 7th, 2018. FAFSA (federal student aid application) is not required.
Two UO ENVS undergraduates have been selected to receive the Humanities Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
The HURF program is a 16-week fellowship for undergraduate students conducting research in the humanities under the guidance of a UO faculty mentor. Fellows receive a $2,500 award, and meet with their cohort weekly to work on their research project and participate in seminars to enhance their skills, including research skills development, ethics, and communications development.
Becca Marshall, senior, is one of the recipients of this fellowship. She will be working with her mentor, Kathryn Lynch, on a project titled “Managing for Mushrooms? Commercial Wild Mushroom Harvesting in the Willamette National Forest”. Her research will examine the extent to which natural resource management policies influences and affects wild mushroom pickers in the Pacific North West. She also hopes to tie her interests in agricultural practices and policy to larger issues of local and global health.
Matthew Stephens will be working with his mentor Steven Brence on a project titled “Examining Personhood and Environmental Policy: Determining the Benefits and Risks of Granting Legal Rights to Non-Human Entities”. Matthew hopes to use the Whanganui River in New Zealand as a case study to explore and determine the most effective ways of protecting personal relationships people have with the natural world. The overall aim of the project is to assess the effectiveness of the Whanganui River Settlement Claims legislation, the ethical veracity of its central tenant that aims to grant legal personhood to the Whanganui River, and whether this recognition and protection afforded to the Whanganui River should be utilized as a model for other nations in the effort to protect and preserve our natural landscapes, resources, and cultural heritage.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology Dr. Lauren Hallett joined the University of Oregon faculty in the Fall of 2017. Dr. Hallett is a plant community ecologist whose research spans a variety of ecosystems (including woodlands, serpentine grasslands, working rangelands, and alpine). Her research themes include community assembly, species coexistence, functional traits, ecosystem stability and resilience theory.
The Hallett lab aims to produce “usable” science to improve ecosystem management. This is achieved through a combination of long-term data analysis, population modeling, and field experiments. Her recent publications include journal articles in Ecology, BioScience, Ecological Restoration and the Journal of Applied Ecology.
Recently, the Food Studies program hosted a special celebration at the Urban Farm to recognize and celebrate the first ever cohort of Food Studies Minors at the University of Oregon. Eight bright and hardworking students graduated this past spring with “Food Studies” emblazoned on their transcripts. In honor of their accomplishment and to help them remember their time in the food studies program they were gifted beautiful, hand-carved maple spoons made by our friends at Wanna Spoon. There are currently more than 50 students signed up for the minor, so there will be more occasions for celebration in the years ahead!
Congrats to our first graduating class! Go UOFS 2017!
Date: Monday, June 19th, 2017
Location: Women’s Quadrangle (Pioneer Mother Lawn)
Regalia: Our ceremony is casual and regalia is not required. Many students wear caps and gowns, and many do not. It’s your choice!
Don’t forget: If you plan on graduating this Spring term, you should have already applied for a Spring undergraduate degree on Duckweb. Contact the Registrar for further questions. Additionally, all ENVS/ESCI student need to do a grad check with a student adviser or with a faculty advisers, Katie Lynch or Peg Boulay. If you aren’t sure you’ve been cleared, feel free to drop in to COL 144, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.
This past fall one of our ENVS 201 discussion sections chose to do their community based project at the Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School, which has its own school garden. Besides typical garden maintenance, students Garrett Walden, Harley Prophitt, Jack Tomasik, Evey Mengelkoch, Katie Robison, and Ben Hinde wrote a proposal and received a $3000 dollar grant from Annie’s Homegrown Foods in order to make improvements at the garden. These funds will provide the school garden with an irrigation system, composting station, and plenty of tools.
The students also found a program through the state of Oregon that allows the school cafeteria to purchase produce from the school garden at current market value, which will enable the students to eat what they’ve grown while also generating revenue for the school. The grant from Annie’s will also be used to help offset the startup costs for this school garden food reimbursement program.
ENVS Director Richard York is the 2017 recipient of the Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Environment and Technology (ASA-ETS).
“This award recognizes scholars for outstanding service, innovation, and publication in environmental sociology and/or the sociology of technology. This award was founded to express appreciation when a person’s life work is deemed extraordinarily meritorious by the Section.”
UO will host this year’s Joint Campus Conference (JCC) on May 30th, 2017. The JCC is an annual event that brings together graduate students and faculty from three programs: the Environmental Sciences Program at Oregon State University, the Environmental Sciences and Management Program at Portland State University, and the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon.
See here for the schedule and more information on how to submit your poster and oral presentation abstracts!
Photographs from the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) course “Reflections on Water” are currently on display at Townshed’s Teahouse as part of a collaboration between several artists. Anya Vollstedt, a current student at UO, curated the show “because it gives smaller artists a chance to be present in a large space such as Townshend’s. Multiple artists bring several pieces without the pressure of having to fill the entire space.” All works on display have an environmental focus.
Many of the featured works are available for purchase. A minimum of 25% of art sales will be going to FAHA, the Freedom from Aerial Herbicides Alliance. FAHA is a petition committee comprised of volunteers who are working to have a ban of aerial spraying in Lane County put on the ballot. This ban would include ALL spraying, agricultural as well as forest related. Each artist decides whether they want to donate more than the 25% of their art sales to FAHA, and several artists who are giving 100% of their proceeds to FAHA.
The show runs now through the last day of April. Be sure to check it out!
See how students in Philosophy 410 connected their discussions around ethics in medical settings to their practical applications in an actual hospital here.
ENVS, along with several campus groups, is co-sponsoring the 2017 Coalition Against Environmental Racism’s 23rd Annual CAER Conference: “Wisdom in Water: Protecting a Universal Right.” on Saturday April 8th, 2017.
CAER is a University of Oregon student organization committed to bridging the gaps of social and environmental equality. Environmental Racism addresses the fact that underprivileged people, specifically communities of color, are disproportionately impacted by pollution, waste disposal, hazardous sites, resource depletion, and natural disasters in the natural and built environment. CAER exists as a resistance to this inequality, and as a strong and visible piece of the Environmental Justice Movement — a movement composed of the mobilization of people, communities, and organizations committed to fighting Environmental Racism in urban and rural settings across the country and the world.
The theme for this year’s conference is centered around water due to the recent struggles the state of Oregon and the nation face in regards to clean water and access.
The keynote speaker will be Robert D. Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. He is often described as the father of environmental justice. Professor Bullard received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. He is the author of seventeen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. Professor Bullard was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA).
Please join us to discuss these important issues, to learn about Environmental Justice advocates’ work and discuss ways in which we can continue to restore ourselves and our communities.
Follow the Facebook event page for more details and updates:
RSVP to the conference: tinyurl.com/CAER2017
(It is not required to RSVP but we highly encourage)
Hope to see you there!
Erin Moore is an Associate Professor in Environmental Studies and Architecture. Her work explores architecture in the context of environmental ethics, fossil fuel consumption, carbon sequestration, and climate change. Watch her interview with UO Today here.
Watch Richard York’s interview with UO Today here!
Mitchell’s research focuses on understanding international environmental treaties and which factors make some treaties more “effective” than others in getting countries to practice environmental protection. His interests include both researching the minutiae of specific treaties and how they are designed and implemented, as well as broader patterns and data on efficacy that emerge from examining hundreds of environmental treaties and protocols that different countries have signed. His inspiration for the work stems from an awareness of the environmental harm that humankind has historically wrought at the personal, local, national, and international level and the sustaining hope that providing his students with proper research skills might contribute to mitigating human-caused environmental damage in future.
For Mitchell, there is an indelible link between research and teaching. As he describes it, reading the works of other researchers broadens his understanding of issues related to treaties, and conducting his own research requires “active, careful, and rigorous thinking about these issues”. But, effective teaching requires identifying ways to communicate his own knowledge clearly and succinctly, which in turn deepens his own understanding of the topic. Thus, research and teaching are part of an “iterative” and mutually reinforcing process.
However, one of best parts about serving this dual role is the ability to bring students into the research process. Here, Mitchell puts it best himself:
“One of the great pleasures of being a faculty member who cares about teaching and research comes from inviting students to do research with me. Over 25 years of teaching at UO, I have invited over 75 undergraduate and graduate students to help me build a database of all international environmental agreements. Those students have helped create a database that now provides the most comprehensive list of international environmental treaties in the world. The most rewarding part of involving students in my research, however, has been the deep friendships that develop through the mentoring process. Students I have worked with have gone on to excellent graduate schools and/or positions in government, nongovernmental organizations, and universities. These students, and my close relationships with them, inspire me by their extraordinary commitment to helping protect the environment that we live in and are a part of.”
If you are interested in learning more about Mitchell’s work, links to his video lectures can be found here; or read his book International Politics and the Environment (Sage, 2010).
For more information about international environmental treaties, visit the International Environmental Agreements Database Project.
ENVS is co-sponsoring two book readings with the English Department, the English Department Diversity Committee, and the Ethnic Studies Department. Priscilla Ybarra will be reading from her book Writing the Goodlife: Mexican Americans and the Environment on March 1st at 4:00 PM.
Sarah Wald will be reading from her book The Nature of California: Race, Citizenship, and Farming since the Dustbowl, followed by a response from Sarah Jaquette Ray, on March 2nd at 4:00 PM. Both readings will take place in the Knight Library Browsing Room.