Thoughts & Doings

Huxley Speaker Series 4/19/18: Amelia Taylor: UN Sustainable Development Goals

United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

To Achieve the Goals: The Role of Scientific Breakthroughs & The Role of Business – Three Examples

Amelia Taylor will provide an overview of UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and how these 17 goals are interconnected.

“This is the first period in history in which a single species has placed basic earth systems in danger. We are in a race against time to find new solutions for tackling climate change and protecting the environment while at the same time ending poverty and... Continue reading

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

ENVS 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
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

ENVS Faculty Candidate 4/26/18: 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, April 26, 4:00-5:00, ES-313

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

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

Huxley Speaker Series 4/12/18: Carolyn Parrs: Mind Over Markets

How to Engage with Environmental Activists So Everyone Wins

Environmental activism has reached an all-time high. With mounting public outrage over climate change and environmental derogation, concerned citizens and specialty groups are leveraging the power of social media and sophisticated, grassroots marketing strategies to combat the culprit and force change. The result: Corporations are increasingly thrown into uncharted waters on how to effectively engage with these highly-motivated and vocal environmental citizens and groups to avoid irreversible damage to their beloved brand.

This presentation is a case study of how a Southwestern utility company that struggled for years in entangled stakeholder relations and a hostile regulatory environment stepped up to the... Continue reading

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

Huxley Speaker Series 5/10/18: Kate Darby: Environmental Justice

"Looks like Urine" and "Smells Like Sewer":
Sensory Claims-Making and Environmental Injustice

Canary in a coalmine... use a mask!   (David & Angie, )

In the face of a regulatory system that asserted the safety of the Flint, MI water supply, in early 2015 resident Ashley Holt declared that her water “look[ed] like urine”, “smell[ed] like sewer”, and did not taste normal.  Environmental justice (EJ) scholars and activists have long recognized the value and power of experiential “lay” knowledge held by fenceline communities. While expert science employs disembodied, technocratic knowledge to assess harm,... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 5/17/18: Christie True: Local Governments, Climate Change

What Local Governments can do to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and be Ready for the Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change is one of the paramount environmental and economic challenges for our generation.  King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) is a comprehensive blueprint for climate action, and provides “one-stop-shopping” for county decision-makers, employees and the general public to learn about the County’s climate change commitments.

The presentation by Christie True will outline how the SCAP charts a clear pathway to achieve a clean energy future, where the region’s local governments, businesses and communities are working together towards an equitable, sustainable and thriving King County for all who live, work and play in King... Continue reading


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