Skip over navigation


Iowa in the Amazon
By Stephen Porder
November 24, 2013

A FEW years ago, one of my graduate students showed me a Google Earth image that changed my view of the world. On a photo showing all of South America, I could clearly see a single soybean farm in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. My first thought was that a farm that big, sitting on the edge of the Amazon, must be an environmental disaster. But when it comes to agricultural sustainability, all is not what it seems.


Providence Food Shed Justice Site Launches

What does it mean to map a food system? And is there a landscape of food justice? Moreover, how can Providence citizens foster a more ecologically, socially, and economically resilient food system, in the face of societal trends that encourage homogenization over diversity; industrialization over environmental health; and concentrated profits over equity?


Environmental task force to address climate change
By Maggie Livingstone, Senior Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The University launched the Environmental Change Task Force — a committee composed of faculty members, administrators, undergraduates and graduate students — Monday, Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 wrote in a community-wide email.

The group is charged with identifying issues pertinent to climate change on which the University can act at local and national levels, said Leah Vanwey, the task force’s chair and an associate professor of sociology.


Bicycle Sharing Coming to Providence

PROVIDENCE — A bike-sharing program is on its way. If all goes as planned, the city will soon have some 200 bicycles and 20 bike-share stations scattered across the East, West and South sides.

The Board of Contract & Supply recently awarded management of the project to Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, Ore. Alta runs bike-share programs for Boston and New York City. Social Bicycles Inc. of New York will provide the bikes and bike stations. Dynamic Bicycles of Bristol will have its chainless pedal system used in the bikes.


Students attend U.N. climate conference
By Adam Hoffman, Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Friday, November 22, 2013

The University sent two student delegations over the past two weeks to the 19th Convention of Parties, an annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which serves as a platform for negotiations and assessments of international progress in reducing carbon emissions.


Mapping drought in tropical forests

Global climate change may bring more frequent episodes of the kind of extreme heat and dryness experienced during the 1997-98 El Niño. For that reason forest ecologist Jim Kellner and graduate student Carlos Silva studied the long-term impact of that weather pattern on a tropical forest in Costa Rica, using thousands of measurements of the height of the forest canopy over 12 years.


Campus reacts to coal decision
By Sabrina Imbler, Senior Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Monday, October 28, 2013

Activists decried the choice to maintain endowment investments in coal companies.


How much trash is recyclable? / How much recycling is trash?

EcoReps — Brown undergraduate educators on environmental issues — got down with residence hall trash on America Recycles Day, Friday, Nov.15. After combing through 105.8 pounds of trash and nearly 80 pounds of recyclables, they reported their findings by weight.


Faculty Voices: A Citizen And AScientist – Prof. Heather Leslie
Swearer exChange

My students and I investigate how people are connected to coastal ecosystems, in New England as well as Mexico’s Gulf of California. We are bringing together knowledge and approaches from diverse fields, from anthropology and ecology to economics and oceanography, in order to understand the drivers of coastal ecosystem change and how we humans can be positive forces in the marine systems of which we are a part.


With revisions in place, environmental program looks to grow
By Mariya Bashkatova, Senior Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Environmental studies and human impact on nature were highlighted as one of seven key “integrative themes” for the University’s next decade in President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan, released last week. But changes are already underway at the Center for Environmental Studies: With a new leadership team, the center is working to expand its faculty, adjust to recent curriculum changes and improve advising and cohesiveness under new leadership.


RI company to develop offshore wind power
By Mariya Bashkatova, Senior Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rhode Island-based renewable energy company Deepwater Wind won the first federal auction for offshore wind development, paying $3.8 million for 164,000 acres of ocean on the Atlantic seaboard between Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The lease for the Deepwater Wind Energy Center has not been officially signed but will be completed in the next few weeks, said Jeff Grybowski ’93, CEO of Deepwater Wind.


Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Available at Brown

Brown University now has two plug-in electric vehicle charging stations available for public use. One is located in Visitor Parking, Lot #44 on Brook Street, behind Minden Hall. The other is in the Richmond Street parking garage, entrance on Eddy Street.

Each station has dual ports to charge two vehicles simultaneously. Electricity is free after the user pays to access the parking lot/garage. Any vehicle with Brown parking pass hang tags may charge at Lot #44. Unless you have assigned parking at the Richmond Street garage, normal parking charges apply there. The charging limit is four hours. Both stations are on the Chargepoint network and visible through websites, apps and on-board vehicle navigation systems.

To start a charging session, just hold your Chargepoint card over the station's reader symbol, use your Chargepoint app or call the telephone number located on the charging station, 888-758-4389.

To sign up for a Chargepoint card or to view a video showing how to use the station, visit The use of plug-in electric vehicles is part of the University's strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants.

For more specific information on how electric vehicles compare to gasoline vehicles, visit

Can the market build sustainable fisheries?
Q & A with Professor Heather Leslie
Media Contact: Kevin Stacey, Brown Daily Herald
Monday, July 15, 2013

Heather Leslie, assistant professor of environmental studies and biology, says it’s a mistake to assume market forces and sustainability must always be at loggerheads. In a recently published paper, Leslie and a group of researchers showed that small-scale fisheries near La Paz, Mexico, could earn a premium for fish that fit nicely on a plate, leaving larger fish to sustain the population. She spoke about her work with Kevin Stacey.


Panel to examine eco-management

Ecosystem-based management experts working in diverse settings in the United States and beyond will speak at the 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore on Thursday, July 25, 2013, about what the field can learn from projects already underway, what difference such integrated management efforts are making, and what the future of research and practice in this area should be. “Ecosystem-scale restoration efforts, particularly in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, highlight the often fragmented management of these vulnerable and highly valued ecosystems,” said Brown conservation scientist Heather Leslie, who co-organized the 8 a.m. symposium with colleague Karen McLeod of COMPASS.


Professor Kurt Teichert received the William G. McLoughlin award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences.

Professor Teichert was recognized for his exceptionally well developed, current course materials. His courses are routinely over-subscribed, and attract a wide range of students. Along with ENVS concentrators, there are Biologists, Geologists, Engineers, Poets, Writers, Computer Scientists, etc. Kurt’s reputation for outstanding teaching of a unique and timely subject matter, is to be credited for the success of these courses. Teichert imparts to his students, a deep understanding of the challenges of building an environmentally responsible society.