Huxley Speaker Series 4/5/18: Kellen Lynch: ZeNETH Tiny Houses

(video of talk)

Kellen Lynch will provide an update on WWU's Project ZeNETH (Zero Net Energy Tiny Houses) and the Institute for Energy Studies. In addition, there will be an opportunity for students to ask questions about the work and to potentially join the growing team. Kellen hopes to encourage other driven students to look at their own education with a critical eye and identify ways to improve upon it. 

Project ZeNETH is a student-led effort at... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

ENVS Faculty Candidate 4/19/18: Bayes Ahmed: Community Vulnerability Bangladesh


Research talk by Dr. BAYES AHMED
Candidate for Faculty of Environmental Studies
Thursday, April 19, 4:00-5:00, ES-313

This study develops an understanding of the root-causes of community vulnerability to landslides in the Chittagong Hill Districts (CHD) of Bangladesh. To begin, seven urbanized and four indigenous communities were selected and compared by developing and applying mixed methods. Quantitative information from household-level questionnaires was associated with qualitative maps and diagrams from participatory rural appraisal surveys. A convergent parallel design and index based weighted average decision support model was applied, covering community-level vulnerability indicators for physical, social, economic, ecological, institutional and cultural aspects.

The urbanized hill communities were found to be highly vulnerable to landslides, as they are attracted by city pull factors, deprived of social justice and involved in indiscriminate hill cutting for developing settlements.... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

ENVS Faculty Candidate 4/16/18: Manuel David Montaño: Nanogeochemical Processes

Exploring Engineered and Naturally Occurring Nanogeochemical Processes Using Advanced Nanometrology

Research Talk by Manuel David Montaño, PhD
University of Vienna, Department of Environmental Geosciences
Candidate for Assistant Professor in Environmental Chemistry & Global Change, ESCI dept
Monday April 16, 3:30 pm, CF-025

The advent of engineered nanotechnology has led to several consumer products and industrial applications incorporating nanoparticles and nanomaterials (ENPs). Through use, disposal, and accidental release, these ENPs are expected to enter into the environment where their fate, transport, and behavior are relatively unknown. In assessing the potential risks of these materials, sensitive and selective analytical techniques are required to quantify these materials at environmentally relevant concentrations (ng L-1) and amidst a background of chemically and morphologically similar naturally occurring nanoparticles (NNPs). Current techniques have been ill-equipped to examine these problems, even as advanced techniques such as single particle ICP... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

ESCI Faculty Candidate 4/20/18: Julie LaBar: Mining-Related Metals Reclamation

Fate and Transport of Mining-Related Metals from a Reclamation Perspective

Research Talk by Julie LaBar, PhD
St. Francis University, Environmental Engineering Department
Friday April 20, 1:00 pm, CF 226
Candidate for Assistant Professor in Environmental Chemistry & Global Change, ESCI dept

Among the numerous environmental hazards related to the millions of abandoned mines around the world, contaminated water presents one of the most persistent challenges. Elevated concentrations of iron, sulfate, and trace metals found in mine drainage may be treated with a variety of active and passive processes. In an ideal treatment scenario, metals are sequestered as stable and non-bioavailable precipitates. Vertical flow bioreactors (VFBR) are constructed anaerobic wetlands used to remove metals from mine drainage. Metals may be retained as a variety of products, ranging from ephemeral to stable in anaerobic environments, allowing receiving waterbodies to recover from the impacts of mine drainage.
Research has demonstrated that... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

ESCI Faculty Candidate 4/23/18: Bridget Ulrich: Sustainable Water Management

Biochar for Sustainable Water Management: Implications for Global Change Associated with Reduced Releases of Emerging Contaminants and Greenhouse Gases

Research Talk by Bridget A. Ulrich, PhD

Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), Dübendorf, Switzerland

Monday, April 23, 3:30-4:40 pm, CF-25

Candidate for Assistant Professor in Environmental Chemistry & Global Change, ESCI dept

Urbanization and climate change have caused growing public health concerns around exposure to contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), yet the fate of CECs in the environment remains poorly understood. This is a problem of global proportions, as highly persistent CECs can undergo long range transport from urban areas to some of the most pristine environments on earth. Warming temperatures are projected to affect the distribution and toxicity of CECs in the environment, and growing water scarcity may further increase exposure if proper precautions are not taken. Addressing these challenges will entail sustainable water management practices that... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

ENVS Faculty Candidate 4/23/18: Fayola Jacobs: Insuring Inequity: Flood Insurance


Research talk by Fayola Jacobs
Candidate for Faculty of Environmental Studies 
Monday, April 23, 4:00-5:00, AH-014

Despite the fact that Hurricane Katrina forced the national spotlight on the roles race, class and gender (and more importantly racism, classism and sexism) play in disasters, many disaster policies and plans at the national, state and local levels do not explicitly consider these factors. Using the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) as a case study – a program that rewards jurisdictions that implement forward-thinking flood mitigation strategies with access to discounted flood insurance –this project examines whether or not race-, class- and gender-neutral policies can produce equitable outcomes. Using the theories of rational disaster management, social vulnerability, environmental justice and Black feminism’s intersectionality, I operationalize four quantitative models that show... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

Huxley Speaker Series 4/26/18: Dennis Willows: PNW Sea Slug

Geomagnetic Orientation Behavior in the PNW Sea Slug Tritonia: Research on a Not Yet Understood Sensory Mode with Implications for Survival in a Changing Climate

Tritonia orienting to bite polyps from a sea pen

Nudibranch mollusks not surprisingly orient to optimize finding and capturing sea pens, their prey.  How do these sea slugs do it in a complex sensory environment where odor cues are carried on water currents driven by tides, seasons,  local geography and changing climate factors?   Evidence from field work using SCUBA as well as electrophysiological recording from individual brain cells suggest they detect the earth’s feeble magnetic field and use it to determine the shoreward direction.  This information also provides critical cues to the location of their prey. 

... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

Huxley Faculty Michael Medler Tests WWU eBike Program

As our sun finally breaks free of our wet skies (for a couple days) we look forward to hearing how our new eBikers are adjusting to the electric bike experience. Dr Michael Medler of Huxley College is one of our new riders. He comes at the project with a long history of cycling, but due to more recent circumstances he has had to rethink his approach. Now that he’s got an eBike for 10 weeks things may be changing.
Let’s see what he has to say….

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

Huxley Speaker Series 5/3/18: ENVS Faculty Candidate Yanjun Cai: Social Media and Geospatial Analysis

Creative Amalgamation of Technologies for Proactive Resilience toward Socio-spatial Justice

Research talk by Dr. Yanjun Cai
Candidate for Faculty of Environmental Studies
Thursday, May 3, 4:00-5:00, AW-204

This research presentation explores how the participatory approach of photovoice and the technological tools of social media and geospatial analysis can be innovatively integrated for proactive resilience, especially in marginalized communities. The multiplicity of definitions, interpretations, and objectives (e.g., social, economic, political), which underlies the theories and practices of resilience, is challenging for intellectual coherence. The convenient—depoliticized or overtly technical—application of resilience often fails to recognize structural issues that can be contextually unique. Common efforts to build resilience frequently elide the embeddedness of power, conflicts, and inequities. In this light, few scholars and practitioners have comprehensively revealed the intricacies of climate-related... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am

Huxley Speaker Series 1/11/18: Tammi Laninga: National Wild and Scenic Rivers

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Dr. Tammi Laninga, who spent eight years with the Bureau of Land Management’s Upper Snake Field Office facilitating visitor input opportunities to examine visitor recreation experiences and visitor capacity on public lands and rivers in Southeast Idaho, will give a brief overview of the WSR Act, how rivers are designated, and opportunities for celebrating this important achievement, including attending the River Management Society’s Symposium, “Wild, Scenic and Beyond” conference Oct 22-25, 2018 in Vancouver, WA. Tammi will also introduce the new ... Continue reading

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 9:41am