May 1, 2012
By Richard Kidd
Note: ASU was selected by the Army National Guard to partner in the development and delivery of an online Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Leadership designed exclusively for Soldiers and Army-related civilians. Classes are offered through the School of Sustainability.
Imagine the U.S. Army called to war with no fuel, no supplies, and no training.
You can’t. To safeguard against such a scenario, the Army embraces sustainability as a foundation of its global mission, operations, and strategic management. As a matter of preparedness, sustainability is integrated across the Army’s four lines of operation – material, military training, personnel, and services and infrastructure.
This is not a fad, but serious business. Army leaders have been working since 2000 to embed sustainability into the Army’s culture. Through collaborations with academia, federal agencies, and other organizations, and by emphasizing the key role sustainability plays in enabling operations at home and overseas, the Army has shifted its behavior. A strong culture of sustainability now ensures that the Army of tomorrow has the same access to energy, water, land, and other natural resources as it does today.
April 25, 2012
Their team, named FlashFood, earned a trip to the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia in July. Team members include senior biomedical engineering major Eric Lehnhardt, senior materials science and engineering major Katelyn Keberle, senior computer science major Steven Hernandez and senior marketing and sustainability major Jake Ervin.
April 23, 2012
Since 1998, local high school students have had the opportunity for advanced study in cutting-edge research labs with talented mentors from ASU. This opportunity is possible through the Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment (SCENE), an organization within ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability that links science expertise and resources at Arizona State University with the community at large, and with schoolchildren and their teachers.
This year, all eleven high school student participants in the SCENE research program won at least one award at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair.
April 23, 2012
In recognition of ASU employees’ efforts and achievement, ASU President Michael Crow presented select employees with President’s Awards at a reception April 18. Among the awards were the President’s Award for Innovation, the President’s Award for Sustainability, the President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness, and Top Multiple SUN Awards for Individual Excellence – all part of the 2011-2012 Employee Recognition Program.
The President’s Award for Sustainability recognizes ASU teams that have demonstrated excellence in fostering the successful development, implementation, and promotion of sustainability principles, solutions, programs, and services in the teaching, learning, research and business missions of the University. The 2012 winners of this award were Farmers Market @ the ASU Tempe campus and the Sustainable Cities Network.
April 20, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz,- April 20, 2012 – During its annual Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting on April 18th, Walmart announced that it is integrating the knowledge products produced by The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) into the retailer’s Sustainability Index and Live Better Scorecard. Walmart will use these tools to help its merchants evaluate suppliers and their products and collaborate to make the products on Walmart shelves more sustainable.
Walmart representatives expressed that they are particularly excited about integrating TSC’s Category Sustainability Profiles (CSPs) and corresponding Key Performance Indicators into their Sustainability Index this year. Both Walmart and Sam’s Club will be using these tools as a basis for ranking suppliers in a particular category according to their sustainability progress and to inform buyers about actionable opportunities for improvement.
April 18, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Arizona State University signed a Memorandum of Understanding designed to increase their outreach to diverse and underserved communities by offering internships, joint projects, and scientific research opportunities to ASU students and faculty.
“EPA will benefit from the tremendous pool of talent, energy and commitment offered by Arizona State students,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This collaboration will enhance participation in environmental studies by students from every corner of the state.”
April 18, 2012
Ostrom, a research professor and distinguished sustainability scientist at ASU and the founding director of ASU’s Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics for her analysis of economic governance.
“Ostrom’s work sheds light on the direction society must follow to avoid misuse of shared resources, ‘the tragedy of the commons,’” writes TIME writer Robert Johnson.
April 10, 2012
InBusiness magazine writer Sue Kern-Fleischer noted that the “Net Zero” energy concept is getting “a lot of buzz lately.” She spoke with Arizona State University’s Mick Dalrymple and Harvey Bryan for a story in the April issue of the magazine, which is a collaboration of business organizations and entities in the metropolitan Phoenix area.
April 2, 2012
Scientists say worldwide collections, existing experts and technology make charting 10 million species in less than 50 years achievable; a necessary step to sustain planet’s biodiversity
TEMPE, Ariz. – An ambitious goal to describe 10 million species in less than 50 years is achievable and necessary to sustain Earth’s biodiversity, according to an international group of 39 scientists, scholars and engineers who provided a detailed plan, including measures to build public support, in the March 30 issue of the journal Systematics and Biodiversity.
“Earth’s biosphere has proven to be a vast frontier that, even after centuries of exploration, remains largely uncharted,” wrote the authors, who include biodiversity crusaders Edward O. Wilson and Peter H. Raven.
“Exploring the biosphere is much like exploring the universe,” the authors argued. “The more we learn, the more complex and surprising the biosphere and its story turn out to be.”
By most estimates, about 2 million of Earth’s species are known, with about 18,000 new plants and animals discovered each year. Experts estimate at least 10 million species on Earth are yet to be discovered or accurately classified. These species are tiny, large, buried, hidden in collections, or in plain sight.
March 29, 2012
The Rob and Melani Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation is providing $27.5 million to Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) to develop and deploy promising solutions to sustainability challenges including energy, water, environment, climate, urbanization, social transformation and decision-making in local, national and global contexts and to educate future leaders in sustainability. The investment to ASU is designated entirely for program support.
March 29, 2012
By Lawrence M. Krauss
Shortly after the end of World War II, Albert Einstein uttered his now famous warning about the new global danger of nuclear weapons: “Everything has changed, save the way we think.”
In the intervening sixty-odd years, the world has continued to change and become even more dangerous. And still, there is no great evidence that our way of thinking about global catastrophes has evolved to meet the challenges.
I am currently honored to be co-chair of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – a body created by Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer in 1946 to help warn the public about the dangers of nuclear war.
March 27, 2012
John Sabo, an expert in ecohydrology and water resource management, has been named director of research development for the Global Institute of Sustainability, a transdisciplinary unit in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. OKED is responsible for advancing research, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development at Arizona State University.
“Dr. Sabo has a collaborative and entrepreneurial approach. I’m confident his leadership will greatly benefit sustainability-related research and researchers across ASU,” said Rob Melnick, executive dean with GIOS and the School of Sustainability.
March 22, 2012
The future of the oceans, poverty alleviation, global trade, biodiversity and food security are among research areas that will be at the core of the “Planet under Pressure” (PUP) conference this month with more than 2,500 participants, including several scientists from Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability.
“The agenda for worldwide sustainability science will be set at this conference,” stressed Sander van der Leeuw, dean of ASU’s School of Sustainability and a PUP conference participant. “The whole of the research agenda for sustainability science for the next several years will be recast and the funding reorganized to take account of the discussions at this conference,” he said.
March 19, 2012
From Slate.com, this interview with Torie Bosch features Sustainability Scientist Sander van der Leeuw, dean of the School of Sustainability. Van der Leeuw will be a panelist at this weekend’s Future Tense event, Defining Resilience, where academics, policymakers, and other experts will discuss resilience in the environment, business, national security, even the Constitution. Bosch spoke to van der Leeuw about resilience in the Roman Empire, prehistoric Australia, modern ecology, and more.
March 16, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. – Some 32 social scientists and researchers from around the world, including a Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University, have concluded that fundamental reforms of global environmental governance are needed to avoid dangerous changes in the Earth system. The scientists argued in the March 16 edition of the journal Science that the time is now for a “constitutional moment” in world politics.
Research now indicates that the world is nearing critical tipping points in the Earth system, including on climate and biodiversity, which if not addressed through a new framework of governance could lead to rapid and irreversible change.
“Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth’s sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500,000 years,” wrote the authors in the opening of “Navigating the Anthropocene: Improving Earth System Governance.”
March 14, 2012
Six Arizona State University masters students in diverse fields of study are participating in Diversity across the Curriculum (DAC), a class that equips them with the skills for transdisciplinary collaboration and effective communication of their research to the community. One of the students, Angela Xiong, is from the School of Sustainability.
March 9, 2012
Achieving carbon neutrality on American college and university campuses is not a matter for science alone. It has to be taught. And, in dealing with budget reductions coupled with enrollment growth, college and university presidents have learned that sustainability is also a good business model.
“We’ve all faced one big dilemma in the past few years,” said David Schmidly, president of the University of New Mexico, noting that UNM experienced budget cuts of about 20-22 percent, while at the same time enrollment increases of 15 percent.
“What we found is sustainability can be useful for teaching not only a paradigm to be a better citizen; we have found that sustainability is good business. It’s a good way to contain cost and save money,” he said, adding that UNM’s energy conservation program saved more than $8 million over just a few years.
February 24, 2012
Second Nature will announce the winners of the 3rd Annual Climate Leadership Awards at the 6th annual Climate Leadership Summit of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) on June 21-22, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Arizona State University is one of five finalists in the “Doctorate Granting University” category.
The Climate Leadership Awards highlight campus innovation and climate leadership to transition society to a clean, just, and sustainable future, and are chosen from ACUPCC signatory institutions in good standing via a nomination process.
February 19, 2012
The modernization of isolated villages brings about a change in human information flow patterns that not only destroys the social fabric of the community, but also the economy and the landscape, according to Sander van der Leeuw, a Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability.
Van der Leeuw, an archaeologist and anthropologist specializing in the long-term impacts of human activity on the landscape, studied the consequences of the construction of roads after World War II in Epirus, a region dotted with rural villages that is shared by Greece and Albania. He looked at how information flow patterns were changed by the building of roads and how the mindset of the people in the villages was transformed as a consequence, leading to major transformations in the economy and the social life of the population.
“The roads brought the villages into the modern word, which is essentially a globalization process,” said van der Leeuw, who presented an anthropologist’s view on how globalization works at the local scale during a session at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Feb. 19.
February 17, 2012
Phoenix, the sixth largest U.S. city, is vulnerable to water shortages even without climate change because of heavy outdoor water use and fragmented governance, according to research conducted at the Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University.
“Scientists, decision-makers and the general public have different perceptions of Phoenix’s water problems,” said Patricia Gober, a geographer and Senior Sustainability Scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.
“Scientists see a demand problem, decision-makers see a supply problem; and residents see someone else’s problem,” said Gober, a founding director of DCDC. Gober presented findings from simulation modeling and the principles of decision-making during a session on water security on Feb. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.