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Students committed to a world of change
Media Contact: Courtney Coelho, Brown University News & Events
Monday, March 24, 2014

Eleven Brown students were selected to attend this year’s Clinton Global Initiative University March 21-23, 2014, at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Each student who attends CGIU must make a Commitment to Action.


A better water wing to harvest tidal energy
Media Contact: Kevin Stacey, Brown University News & Events
Monday, March 17, 2014

The eternal ebb and flow of tides — 24 x 7 x 365 — makes them a dependable source of energy, but how to harness all that, especially in shallow water? Shreyas Mandre and colleagues at Brown have developed an efficient water wing and optimized its performance with a “secret sauce.”


Bill aims to curb R.I. carbon emissions
By Alexander Blum, Senior Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Resilient Rhode Island Act would attempt to make state more energy-efficient and create jobs.

The Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 — developed by Brown students working with a faculty member and outside consultants — was introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly by Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston, last week. The University provided funding to support the legislation, which outlines a strategy to lower Rhode Island’s carbon emissions and prepare the state’s infrastructure for impending climate change.


R.I. lawmaker, Brown University students craft bill on climate change
By Richard Salit, Journal Staff Writer, Providence Journal
Sunday, March 16, 2014

Atop two facing hills in Providence, defeat has forged a partnership to address climate change.

On Smith Hill, Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston, had tried for years to push bills through the State House to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

On College Hill, the Brown Divest Coal movement failed to pressure the university to stop investing in the coal industry.


Chafee forms Executive Climate Change Council
By Katherine Lamb, Metro Editor, Brown Daily Herald
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 signed an executive order Friday creating the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Council.

The newly formed council is charged with coordinating state environmental initiatives and advising Rhode Islanders and policymakers on how to combat the effects of climate change.


Megan Palmer: R.I. wind power leads way for U.S.
By Megan Palmer, Providence Journal Opinion/Commentary
Monday, February 24, 2014

Rhode Island expects to obtain 16 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2019. The state’s plan also requires that Rhode Island diversify its energy sources and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. These standards reflect Rhode Island’s commitment to providing secure, clean, cheap energy while making efforts to respond to climate change.


Alum analyzes barnacle ecosystems
By Corinne Sejourne, Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Emily Lamb '11 to publish findings on barnacles' growth and behavior in changing temperatures.

This April, the senior thesis-turned-research paper of Emily Lamb ’11 — which investigates barnacle behavior as influenced by temperature — will be published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.


Going the distance for marine biology
Media Contact: David Orenstein, Brown University News & Events
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who knew Emily Lamb would graduate from Brown and work with barnacle communities in Chile?  Certainly not Emily Lamb, at least not when she arrived at Brown. But curiosity is a powerful incentive. What began as her senior thesis is now a fully developed research paper in the the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.  (Return to “Barnacles”)


Researcher wins award for work on climate change in developing countries
By Sophie Yan, Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

J. Timmons Roberts merges environmental studies, sociology and community engagement.

J. Timmons Roberts, professor of environmental studies and sociology, will travel to Japan this July to receive the 2014 Frederick H. Buttel International Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Environmental Sociology. Given out once every four years, the award is presented by a branch of the International Sociological Association and intended for “outstanding contributions of scholars to the study of environment-society relations,” according to the ISA website.


Proposed bill focuses on increasing composting
By Emily Doglio, Contributing Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Thursday, January 30, 2014

If bill passes, all non-residential food waste will be sent to copost facilities by 2021.

Earlier this month, Rep. Donna Walsh, D-Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly, New Shorham, proposed a bill that would “attack the food waste issue” by gradually requiring large facilities — such as dining halls, hospitals and supermarkets — to donate their waste or divert it to compost facilities, Walsh said.


BERT welcomes students for spring semester
By Brittany Nieves, Senior Staff Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 24, 2014

The building includes the renovated Carmichael Auditorium, nine labs, and the new greenhouse.

The Building for Environmental Research and Teaching opened its doors to students this week, replacing Hunter Laboratory after over a year of construction.

The $35 million project entailed an overhaul of the building’s interior, the installation of a new greenhouse on the roof and an extension of the Walk.

Construction began in August 2012 and was completed in November, when faculty members moved in. Though the building is now officially open for students, the Corporation has yet to accept or dedicate it, said John Cooke, project manager at Facilities Management.


Greenhouse crowns Building for Environmental Research and Teaching
By Elana Jaffee, Contributing Writer, Brown Daily Herald
Friday, January 24, 2014

Six research rooms in new rooftop greenhouse provide innovative resources for studying climate change.

Sitting atop the new Building for Environmental Research and Teaching, the Plant Environmental Center — the University’s new greenhouse and conservatory — houses innovative technology for research on climate change and other leading areas of study.


Brown President, Students Craft Climate Legislation
By Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News staff
Thursday, December 12, 2013

PROVIDENCE — After a setback with its divestment campaign in October, Brown University students are moving forward on two fronts to tackle the climate-change issue.

The campus group Brown Divest Coal is still demanding that the university withdraw its endowment funds from the dirtiest U.S. coal companies. Public actions remain a regular tactic. Most recently, activists delivered a stocking filled with coal and sang divestment-themed carols outside President Christina Paxson’s house. (Watch video here.)


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.