Thoughts & Doings

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 4/19/18: 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

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
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 4/5/18: 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

Huxley Speaker Series 3/15/18: Mitch Friedman: Keeping the Wild in Washington

Mitch Friedman, Executive Director, Conservation Northwest

Keeping the Wild in Washington

Fisher - photo by Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project

Washington’s diverse landscape, from rainforest to sage steppe, supports diverse wildlife treasured by our people who live here. But with a rapidly growing human population and changing climate, focused and resourced conservation action is needed to sustain that biodiversity. Mitch will share observations from over three decades of protecting wildlands and wildlife, including some inspiring successes. He’ll also explain how the state is under committing to our wildlife, and what can be done about that.

Mitch Friedman never held the same job for longer than a few months prior to founding ... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 3/8/18: CANCELED, Salish Sea Speaker


Due to losses in the Lummi community the Salish Sea Speaker event for Winter Quarter has been respectfullly canceled.

We hope to reschedule this talk in the Spring.




Salish Sea Speaker - Winter 2018 

Lummi Nation Hereditary Chief Tsi’li’xw (Bill James) and Su'hun'up Hussmeen (Troy Olsen)

Chief Tsi’li’xw (Bill James) - photo by Matika Wilbur

Su'hun'up Hussmeen (Troy Olsen) - photo by Hannah... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 3/1/18: Laura Rose: Mt Everest Culture

The Deboche Project:  Rebuilding and revitalizing the historic Deboche Nunnery, an integral link to the preservation of Tibetan/ Buddhist traditions and Sherpa culture

Nestled into the foothills of Mt. Everest, the small Deboche convent is considered to be the oldest and most historically significant Buddhist nunnery in the Himalayan region, playing a key role in preserving Tibetan/ Buddhist traditions and Sherpa culture since the early 1920’s. Over time the buildings fell into disrepair and neglect, creating unsafe and harsh living conditions for the remaining resident nuns (Anis) and placing the convent’s future in jeopardy

The Deboche Project is an organized effort to renew and vitalize the struggling convent. Various projects have been completed, such as the provision of running water, sanitary facilities, a greenhouse, stoves and a working kitchen. Currently under construction is a new facility with... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 2/22/18: Rachel Arnold: Frogfish

The Bizarre Frogfishes (Antennariidae: Lophiiformes): Evolutionary Relationships, Life History, and Conservation Implications

(photo by Rod Klein)

Frogfishes (Order Lophiiformes: Suborder Antennarioidei: Family Antennariidae) are a morphologically diverse group of fishes found in nearly all subtropical and tropical oceans and seas of the world. Most genera, however, are endemic to relatively small regions within the Indo-Australian archipelago. Frogfishes, like nearly all anglerfishes, have a modified first dorsal spine that serves as a luring apparatus. Due to problematic morphological characters, intergeneric relationships had remained unresolved until a molecular study was conducted in 2012. This phylogeny was constructed using fragments of the 16S, COI, and RAG2 genes. Ovarian morphology, reproductive behavior, and life history were also examined. Results from the molecular study produced a clade representing genera endemic to regions within the Indo-Australian... Continue reading


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