Greg Nemet wins Romnes Faculty Fellowship! Romnes awards recognize exceptional faculty members who have earned tenure within the last six years. Selected by a UW Graduate School committee, eight winners receive an unrestricted $50,000 award for research, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
The award is named for the late H. I. Romnes, former chairman of the board of AT&T and former president of the WARF Board of Trustees. (read the UW News story) (March 2015)

Could squirmy livestock dent Africa’s protein deficit? Read the UW News article about Valerie Stull and Rachel Bergmans' research on the use of mealworms as an inexpensive microlivestock that can provide an easy source of protein for humans.

Tyler Lark presents "Conservation and Biofuel Policy Implications of Recent Cropland Expansion in the United States" at the Nelosn Institute's Student Brownbag Seminar
Thursday, 12:30PM on February 12th
Room 15 Science Hall (Feb 2015) 

Tracey Holloway will serve as chairperson of the 2015 Energy Summit, the signature event of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI). This year’s Summit will address “Air & Energy: the Path Ahead for U.S. States,” and will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2015 (registration to open later this spring). The 2015 Energy Summit will facilitate discussion on complex issues facing policy-makers, industry , researchers, and the public in coming years. This one-day meeting will include expert panels representing perspectives of industry, regulators, researchers, and other stakeholders. For more information, please see the Wisconsin Energy Institute website
(Feb 2015)

New study by Holly Gibbs et al. published in the journal Science highlights the contributions of the industry-led Soy Moratorium in reducing the amount of deforestation linked to soy production in the Brazilian Amazon.
The study was led by a team of colleagues in the U.S. and Brazil. Brief summary of the findings: 
• Annual mapping of soy expansion shows that prior to the Soy Moratorium, about 30% of soy planted in the Amazon was directly replacing forests, but this fell to less than 1% by 2014.  Direct conversion continues in the Cerrado, where the Moratorium does not apply. 
• Brazil's environmental governance has been suggested to be effective enough to justify ending the Moratorium.  However, our results illustrate that the government policies are not an adequate replacement.  
• For example, 25-30% of Amazon deforestation occurs within CAR registered properties, with half of that occurring within designated Legal Reserves.  Less than half of illegal deforestation is penalized, and loopholes make it difficult to avoid those purchase properties that are embargoed. Less than 2% of soy farmers have intact Legal Reserves.
• Property-level analysis of soy farms across Mato Grosso demonstrates that soy farmers are 5x more likely to violate the Forest Code than the Soy Moratorium.  
• Current soy area could expand by 600% in the Amazon biome under the Moratorium restrictions.
(UW News Press Release, NWF blog)
(Jan 2015)

New article released in Landscape & Urban Planning
Annemarie Schneider's new research assessing the urban transformation in Western China has been published in this month's issue of Landscape & Urban Planning. The work, funded by a NASA Land Cover-Land Use Change grant, focuses on the post-reform period (1988–2009) in four major metropolitan areas: Chengdu, Xi’an, Kunming, and Urumqi. The analysis exploits recent land change maps, satellite images, socioeconomic data, and master planning documents, and draws on a variety of spatial and statistical measures to estimate urban patterns through space and time. Check out the full article here for more information. (Jan 2015)

New Remote Sensing of Environment publication available online
Annemarie Schneider's research Detecting change in urban areas at continental scales with MODIS data is now available in the January 2015 issue of of Remote Sensing of Environment (click here for more information).  This work demonstrates a new methodology for monitoring urban land expansion at continental to global scales using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Schneider's research group tested the method in 15 countries in East-Southeast Asia experiencing different rates and manifestations of urban expansion, finding accuracies ranging from 70-95% at the country level.  A companion article describing the spatial and temporal trends in urban growth across the 15 countries, A new urban landscape in East-Southeast Asia, 2000-2010, has been accepted at Environmental Research Letters. (Jan 2015)

Holly Gibbs

Tyler Lark and Holly Gibbs were recently awarded a SIRE-ED grant for their proposal "Solutions for Food Waste Reduction: Integrating Teaching with Research on Sustainability". This will enable them to expand the food waste curriculum in Geog 309 "People, Land, and Food" for Spring 2015, and also develop a new Environmental Studies Capstone course focussed on Food Waste in Spring 2016!
(Jan 2015)


Weston Roundtable Lecture Series

The Weston Roundtable is a weekly lecture series with on- and off-campus leaders in sustainability science, engineering, and policy. The unique, discussion-heavy format aims to build a community around policy-relevant sustainability science and engineering topics. The weekly 4:15-5:15 PM meeting includes a 40-45 minute presentation, followed by 15-20 minutes of discussion. Each meeting is preceded by coffee, tea, cookies, and conversation. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Location: 1106 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Avenue, unless otherwise noted

12 Mar: David Shaffer
Professor of Educational Psychology, UW–Madison

"LAND SCIENCE: Using Virtual Worlds to Learn About the Natural World"
What should environmental education look like in the computer age? This talk will examine how digital environments can help children and adults think more deeply about the natural and built environment around them. We will look at virtual internships in which students have opportunities to think and work as engineers, urban planners, and other real-world problem solvers, thereby increasing their understanding of complex topics. Virtual Internships show the power of aligning technology-based learning, teaching, and assessment to create a new model of 21st-century environmental thinking.

View all Weston speakers

Contact Carol Barford for more information

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Updated: 3/6/15

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