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International Approaches To Renewable Energy Education –A Faculty Professional DevelopmentCase Study With Recommended PracticesFor STEM Educators

Calls for increased international competency in U.S. college graduates and the global nature of the renewable energy industry require an exploration of how to incorporate a global perspective in STEM curricula, and how to best develop faculty providing them with global knowledge and skills necessary to update and improve existing teaching practices. To expand awareness of the global renewable energy sector, a cohort of renewable energy educators from across the United States participated in two international learning exchanges to Australia/New Zealand and Germany/Denmark. The exchanges provided opportunities for the participants to meet with technical educators, visit teaching labs, review industry partnerships, talk with policy makers and government representatives, and to share knowledge and best teaching practices. Three years after the initial international exchange, participant data was collected to measure the extended impact of the experience and the perceived value of various learning activities. The results show that the exchanges expanded participant’s knowledge of renewable energy technologies and issues both in the U.S. and abroad, and also influenced teaching curriculum and instruction, and academic community engagement. This study serves as a model program for providing STEM faculty with rich international experience. The findings in this manuscript highlight the key components to building a successful international professional development program, and illustrate the type of impacts that can result from these activities. The lessons learned are meaningful to other institutions or organizations planning similar international activities in a variety of disciplines. Read More

Global Change Research Highlights: Climate, Irrigation, and Fertilization - Understanding U.S. Crop Yields

Results: Using corn and soybeans as their testing ground, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised methods to peer into the mechanisms that modulate crop yield variability. They used statistical models to examine how climate variability impacts yields of these popular bioenergy crops at the county level. Among climate factors, the team showed that temperature is predominant in corn-growing counties, both by volume and percentage of production. Precipitation has a similar impact. The amount of energy from the sun, or radiation, has a much smaller effect USA-wide on both soybeans and corn. To understand the impact of management practices, the research team designed and conducted numerical modeling to reveal how irrigation and fertilization affect crop yield variability. Averaged over the USA, fertilization has a larger impact than irrigation. The work demonstrated that dynamically determining fertilization timing and rates in their models can greatly improve the predictive capability for yields of both crops. Read More

Breaking Through: UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE STORMWATER CENTER 2016 REPORT

Tight budgets, limited resources, new regulations, unexpected problems, citizen concerns, “to do” lists that stretch over decades—stormwater management at the community level is often about how people collaborate and make day-to-day decisions. When faced with a new technology, program managers need to know whether it will mesh with the culture of their organization. Will staff and contractors understand how to install the new systems? Do they have the resources on hand to build them? Can they be maintained without blowing the budget? Will they protect water quality and help meet regulatory requirements? In 12 years of working alongside communities, we have found that the answer to such questions is “yes” when two essential ingredients are present. The first is a community’s capacity to evaluate innovative designs and practices and make them their own. And the first depends on the second—a local champion with the respect, trust, and power to put new science-based stormwater management technologies into practice and inspire real cultural change for the future. These case studies illustrate what can happen when these necessary ingredients for change meet some of the biggest challenges faced by stormwater managers nationwide. Read More

Molybdenum (alternative mineral mining)

Hands-on teaching activity describing molybdenum, a key mineral nutrient. Read More

World's Largest Marine Reserve Created Off Antarctica

New 598,000 square-mile protected area is more than twice the size of Texas, and will protect everything from penguins to whales. Read More

Shifts in mating strategies help herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’ persist

Herbicide-resistant “superweeds” change their mating strategies over time, an evolutionary shift that helps them hold onto valuable genes and outcompete other plants, according to a new study from University of Michigan researchers. The study examined the relationships between plant mating systems and herbicide resistance in the common agricultural weed morning glory. The researchers found that morning glory populations that have evolved resistance to the herbicide Roundup rely on self-fertilization more than susceptible populations do. Read More

The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science

Food has become a flashpoint in American culture and politics. In the past generation, Americans have witnessed the introduction of genetically modified crops, the rise of the organic food industry, increasing concerns about obesity, growing awareness to food allergies and other health concerns linked with what people eat, an expanding volume of best-selling books and publications about food and the proliferation of premier chefs as superstars in popular culture. Read More

Arctic Resilience Report Website

The Arctic region is changing rapidly, in ways that could dramatically affect people’s lives and ecosystems. Climate change is a major concern, but rapid economic development and social transformation could also make significant impacts. Some changes may be gradual, but there may also be large and sudden shifts. For those charged with managing natural resources and public policy in the region, it is crucial to identify potential thresholds to prepare effectively for an uncertain future. The Arctic Resilience Report is a science-based assessment that aims to better understand the integrated impacts of change in the Arctic. Its goals are to: • Identify the potential for shocks and large shifts in ecosystems services that affect human well-being in the Arctic. • Analyze how different drivers of change interact in ways that affect the ability of ecosystems and human populations to withstand shocks, adapt or transform. • Evaluate strategies for governments and communities to adapt. The Arctic Resilience Report is led by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre and engages experts from across the Arctic. Read More

How much carbon dioxide is produced when different fuels are burned?

Different fuels emit different amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to the energy they produce when burned. To analyze emissions across fuels, compare the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy output or heat content. Read More

EPA Nonpoint Source Success Stories

This Nonpoint Source Success Stories web site features stories about primarily nonpoint source-impaired waterbodies where restoration efforts have led to documented water quality improvements. Waterbodies are separated into three categories of stories, depending on the type of water quality improvement achieved: Type 1. Stories about partially or fully restored waterbodies Type 2. Stories that show progress toward achieving water quality goals Type 3. Stories about ecological restoration Read More

Mission

EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.

EERL & ATEEC

EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu