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Farming Expansion May Alter Rainfall in Brazil’s Cerrado

Agricultural expansion is quickly chewing up native vegetation in the vast wooded savannas of Brazil’s Cerrado biome, and a new study, led by doctoral student shows Stephanie Spera, that those changes in land use are altering the region’s water cycle.

“We’ve shown that cropland recycles less water annually back into the atmosphere than native Cerrado vegetation,” said Spera, a graduate student in the department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science and a researcher at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES). “As agriculture continues to expand, that could affect the rainfall regime that supports both natural vegetation and agricultural production.”

DCP Award Requests Met

The Graduate School is pleased to announce that all 69 Dissertation Completion Proposal (DCP) requests from rising sixth-year students in the Humanities and Social Sciences for 2016-17 support were met, with support communicated to each applicant by March 18.

Seven Students Named Deans' Faculty Fellows

Seven doctoral students secured Deans' Faculty Fellowships in the second year of awards. A joint pilot initiative of Brown University's Graduate School and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the fellowships are designed to allow advanced graduate students to strengthen their teaching portfolios by developing their own courses in consultation with a faculty mentor.

Fulbright-Hays DDRA Applications Due April 8

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to complete dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Links to the application, details on the process, eligibility and other requirements can be found here. Please see list of countries not eligible for travel. All applications must be reviewed internally prior to submission. The internal deadline is April 8, 2016 at 5pm. For questions, please contact John Tyler, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. 

PhD Students Embark on 'Open Graduate' Journeys

Ten graduate students are pursuing broadened graduate studies as part of the fifth class of Brown University's Open Graduate Education program, selected from a highly competitive pool. Through this Graduate School program, doctoral students gain the flexibility and resources to pursue a master's degree in a secondary field while they earn their doctorates at Brown University.

Bio Boom: Master’s Programs Take Off

Reveling in research:

Reflecting demand in the economy, Brown’s graduate programs in biomedical engineering and biotechnology have more than quintupled their enrollment in four years.

Study Suggests Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture May be Underestimated

One of the most critical questions surrounding climate change is how it might affect the food supply for a growing global population. A new study by researchers from Brown and Tufts universities, including doctoral student Stephanie Spera, suggests that researchers have been overlooking how two key human responses to climate — how much land people choose to farm, and the number of crops they plant — will impact food production in the future.

Mayes Named PMF-STEM Finalist

Marc Mayes, a doctoral candidate in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, is a PMF-STEM Finalist. With this honor, he has up to 12 months from selection to accept and start an appointment as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) in a federal agency. The PMF Program is a leadership development program for advanced degree candidates, including those in master’s, PhD and law programs, and is intended to develop a cadre of potential government leaders.

MFA Student Directs 'These Seven Sicknesses'

These Seven Sicknesses, directed by MFA student James D. Palmer and performed by the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA actors, opens March 3 at the Pell Chafee Performance Center. The play is an adaptation of Sophocles’ seven surviving plays and takes the audience through 33 characters exhibiting the best and worst of human nature. Hear Palmer speak about the experience he hopes the audience will have at the play and see the cast rehearse: watch the video.