After only one semester, the partnership between Penn State and State College through the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, a program of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, has already seen successes. Moving forward, both parties hope to achieve more.
"The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science," explains Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University and the author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines."
On Monday, January 20, 2014, Warren Washington, Penn State alumnus and Nobel-winning meteorologist, spoke at a Martin Luther King Day event at Northwestern University about his work in climate change and on behalf of environmental justice. Over the years, he has been a science adviser to Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Take a deep breath—Earth is not going to die as soon as scientists believed. How long does Earth have? Climate modelers disagree. In one recent study, planetary scientist Ravi Kopparapu of Penn State and colleagues used computers to model how Earth would respond to increasing solar radiation.
About 70 percent of the earth's surface is water, but clean, fresh, potable water is increasingly scarce. A team of Penn State students is at work on a solution that could address “the global water challenge that faces humankind,” says Abhishek Kar, a Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering.
Planet hunters have always been keen to find Earth's twin, but an astrobiology team now suggests that "superhabitable" planets may be even better places to look for life. Ravi Kopparapu, a physicist at Penn State University, and other scientists discuss the habitable zones of planets.
While some of this year’s economic trends will be unfavorable to farmers, a longtime observer says 2014 looks to have more positives than negatives. H. Louis Moore, Penn State professor emeritus of agricultural economics, delivered that forecast Wednesday during National Penn Bank’s ag summit at Shady Maple.
52 million years ago, giant coniferous evergreen trees called Agathis thrived in part of Argentina, where paleobotanists have found numerous fossilized remains. “These spectacular fossils reveal that Agathis is old and had a huge range that no one knew about—from Australia to South America across Antarctica,” says Peter Wilf, professor of geoscience at Penn State.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced agricultural grants for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to reduce the use of potentially harmful pesticides and lower risk to bees all while controlling pests and saving money. The Penn State project aims to protect bees and crops by reducing reliance on neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatments and exploring the benefits of growing crops without them.
The U.S. EPA still won’t follow Europe’s lead and suspend or ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides believed to be killing honeybees and other pollinators — to the horror of beekeepers and environmentalists, who are suing the federal government over its inaction. Penn State University researchers will investigate the benefits of growing crops without treating seeds with neonic pesticides.
When the humanitarian engineering and social entrepreneurship program at Penn State created what it thought was the perfect technology to aid farmers in Africa, all it needed was the right partner to help promote it.