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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

Switch Energy Project

MISSION Build a baseline understanding of energy. Transform the energy conversation, from polarized to practical. Promote efficiency and conservation. PROJECT OVERVIEW In 2009, documentary filmmaker Harry Lynch and geologist Dr. Scott Tinker set out to make a film on our energy transition. The goal was not to advocate for one technology over another, not to suggest how the transition should happen — but to try to determine how it actually would happen, based on scientifically-sound investigation and the practical realities of the world of energy as we discovered them. The result, is Switch. During the 3 years of filming and post-production, the film expanded into the Switch Energy Project, a multi-platform program, with its home being here, on the web. While the finished film is 98 minutes long, this website holds more than 5 hours of edited video, with much more content to come. The education components, created with two of our nonprofit partners, are also extremely important, helping to instill in new generations a fascination for and understanding of energy, so that they can make smart decisions for our future. Read More

A Big-Picture Approach to Fisheries Management

U.S. fishery managers often focus on one species at a time when determining how, when, and where fishing takes place. But each fish population is part of an interconnected ecosystem in which they interact with other fish, ocean wildlife, and habitats. Fish are also directly affected by changing environments and human activities. Threats such as ocean acidification, warming waters, overfishing, and habitat destruction can damage ecosystems and cause ripple effects, such as the decline of important fish populations. 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

Children and Nature Network

The Children & Nature Network is leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership. Read More

USDA Web Soil Survey

Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information. 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

Google Timelapse

Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab’s Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time. Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that has observed the Earth since the 1970s. For 2015 and 2016, we combined Landsat 8 imagery with imagery from Sentinel-2A, part of the European Commission and European Space Agency’s Copernicus Earth observation program. Search, pan, or zoom around to begin exploring our new Timelapse, or even check out our YouTube highlights. To embed the timelapse viewer on your site, use the “Share or embed” button above. You can also create a timelapse tour that moves from one destination to another over time using the Timelapse Tour Editor. Timelapse is an example that illustrates the power of Earth Engine’s cloud-computing model, which enables users such as scientists, researchers, and journalists to detect changes, map trends, and quantify differences on the Earth’s surface using Google’s computational infrastructure and the multi-petabyte Earth Engine data catalog. Read More


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

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