Special Seminar: Dr. Ben Zaitchik- Causes and Consequences of Climate Variability in the Nile Basin

Please mark your calendars for a special climate change seminar in Fralin Hall on Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 p.m. This event will be hosted by Dr. Julia Gohlke (PHS) and sponsored by the Global Change Center. Refreshments will be available in the Fralin atrium immediately following the lecture.
Ben Zaitchik, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
Causes and Consequences of Climate Variability in the Nile Basin
The two headwaters regions of the Nile River—the western Ethiopian Highlands and the Equatorial ...

Seminar Announcement: Dr. Alex Perkins- the epidemiology of dengue and Zika

Dr. Alex Perkins, an assistant professor at Notre Dame, will give a seminar in Fralin Auditorium on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm. The title of his talk is:
“Using mathematical models to address key unknowns about the epidemiology of dengue and Zika”
The seminar will be followed by an hour-long open reception in the Fralin Atrium, sponsored by the Fralin Life Science Institute.
You can find out more information about Dr. Perkins’ research at: http://perkinslab.weebly.com/
We hope many of you will be able to join ...

Meryl Mims joins the faculty in Biological Sciences

From VT News
Meryl C. Mims has joined the Department of Biological Sciences, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, as an assistant professor.
Mims focuses her research on how species’ traits and the environment interact to influence community and population structure of aquatic organisms. She aims to bridge fundamental work in freshwater population and community ecology with applied conservation and management needs using a range of approaches, from population genetics to community and landscape ecology.
Mims also is ...

NASA and NOAA declare 2016 hottest on record

From The Washington Post
In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading U.S. science agencies Wednesday jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set just last year — which itself had topped a record set in 2014.
Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015 and featured eight successive months (January through August) that were individually the warmest since the agency’s records began ...

Seminar Announcement: Dr. Kate Langwig- Ecology, Impacts, and Extinction in Emerging Infectious Diseases of Wildlife

Dr. Kate Langwig, is a postdoc at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research address questions on pathogen transmission and dynamics, heterogeneity in host susceptibility and infectiousness, the impacts of pathogens on ecological communities, and the conservation and policy implications of infectious disease.
Dr. Langwig will give a research seminar this Thursday, January 19th at 3:30 pm in Fralin Auditorium. Her talk will be titled, Ecology, Impacts, and Extinction in Emerging Infectious Diseases of Wildlife. 
The seminar will be followed by an hour-long open reception in ...

Dr. Tyrone Hayes will give the 6th Annual Martin Luther King Seminar January 20th

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr., Virginia Tech has a weeklong schedule to remember and honor the man who drove out hate and darkness through love and light. This year’s celebration theme is “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: The Legacy Between Two Movements.”
The schedule of events includes a special research seminar hosted by the Diversity Committee of the Biological Sciences Department featuring Dr. Tyrone Hayes. The lecture may be of particular interest to the Global Change community at Virginia Tech. In ...

Water is the latest battleground in Syria

From CNN
Nour, a housewife in Damascus, says the latest joke in the Syrian capital is also a prayer of sorts: “May the gold you hold become water.”
It is a half-hearted attempt to make light of a water crisis that is impacting millions in Damascus, a city that has been relatively sheltered from the violence raging elsewhere in the country.
Nour said that her family just got water on Tuesday morning, after four days without access. Her family quickly ...

The Tragedy of the Commons: is it inescapable?

Selfish resource exploitation threatens societies and livelihoods. But there could be ways for nations and communities to circumvent narrow self-interest in favor of the common good.
Consider a simple pasture, common land where anyone may let their cattle graze. Any rational, self-interested person wants to increase their livelihood. So each adds to their herd, one more animal at a time, until eventually the common land can’t sustain any more cows. The pasture is overgrazed and all of the cattle die.

Fighting the climate crisis with $150 homes in Africa

From CNN
Deforestation and climate change have triggered a housing crisis in West Africa
Millions of households in the Sahel region of West Africa live under a growing threat. Deforestation and climate change have decimated the available supply of wood that is used for traditional roof construction, forcing many to use imported sheet metal. This is both prohibitively expensive and unsuited to the climate, entrenching poverty and making homes that boil in summer and freeze in winter.
One creative enterprise ...