Tag Archives: sustainability

Sustainable, sharing communities explored in Karen Litfin’s book ‘Ecovillages’

Karen Litfin is a University of Washington associate professor of political science and author of the book “Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community.” She answered a few questions about the book, and her work, for UW Today.

Q: What is the main message of “Ecovillages”?

A: After teaching global environmental politics for two decades and watching planetary conditions deteriorate, I grew disenchanted with top-down solutions. I also grew tired of making my students anxious, depressed and guilt-ridden. If our ways of living are unraveling planetary life-support systems, then we must answer the question: How, then, shall we live? (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Anna Troupe, Creative Designer and Social Thinker

Anna Marie Troupe was born in Mississippi in 1977 and grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. The fifth daughter of a mechanical engineer and an administrative assistant, Anna made a point of pushing the boundaries of her creativity. She studied furniture design at Savannah College of Art and Design and had the honor of exhibiting a chair at the Salone del Mobila in Milan, Italy. Her work was also published in a book called, “Creative Solutions for Unusual Projects.”

Anna began blogging about humanitarian design in 2008 as the social design movement was just gaining steam. In 2011, she won a fabric design competition that was created to support the weaving communities of Bangladesh and preserve their traditional craft. Upon discovering that she lived near the top-ranking textile program in the world, Anna entered NCSU’s College of Textiles and was hired to study sustainability. An invitation to present on the United Nations’ Agenda 21 guided her research towards sustainable development, as did the recent industry disasters occurring in Bangladesh. Anna graduated in July 2014 and continues to pursue her ideas for helping the textiles and clothing industry become ethical and beneficial to society.

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Anna Troupe:  I’m very interested in sustainable development, particularly social equality. The global textiles and clothing industry is fundamental to the development of nations and has an enormous impact socially, environmentally and economically. So my research addresses the social challenges in this sector which include creating humane workplaces, increasing the industry’s awareness of and commitment to sustainable development, and improving the integrity and efficiency of its manufacturing model. (more…)

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UCLA study yields more accurate data on thousands of years of climate change

Research also helps unravel the mystery of retreating glaciers in the Pacific Ocean’s western tropics

Using a cutting-edge research technique, UCLA researchers have reconstructed the temperature history of a region that plays a major role in determining climate around the world.

The findings, published online Feb. 27 in the journal Nature Geoscience, will help inform scientists about the processes influencing global warming in the western tropical Pacific Ocean. (more…)

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Habitat research methods give a new peek at tiger life with conservation

Twelve years ago, a team led by Jianguo “Jack” Liu at Michigan State University showed that China needed to revisit how it was protecting its pandas. Now research on tiger habitat in Nepal, published in Ecosphere journal of the Ecological Society of America, again shows that conservation demands not only good policy, but also monitoring even years down the road.

“Understanding long-term outcomes of conservation programs is crucial and requires innovative methods,” Liu said. “Now we’re learning that Nepal’s outstanding efforts to protect tigers are best supported with close monitoring because conservation situations are so dynamic. In both cases, the key is to understand how the people who live near the valued wildlife are faring as well.” (more…)

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A truly global course

Sixteen years ago, Jason Hill stood before some 30 students in one of his first classes as a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota. This June, more than 14,000 students will log on to take his course, Sustainability of Food Systems: A Global Life Cycle Perspective.

Hill’s class is among the first five massive open online courses (MOOCs) the U of M is offering (for free) through a partnership with Coursera, a leading MOOC platform. (more…)

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UCLA study shows warming in central China greater than most climate models indicated

Temperatures in central China are 10 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit hotter today than they were 20,000 years ago, during the last ice age, UCLA researchers report — an increase two to four times greater than many scientists previously thought.

The findings, published on May 14, 2013, in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help researchers develop more accurate models of past climate change and better predict such changes in the future. (more…)

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Solar Fuel Success

UD-developed solar reactor can produce solar hydrogen, but how much?

Last spring University of Delaware doctoral candidate Erik Koepf and research associate Michael Giuliano spent two months in Switzerland testing a novel solar reactor Koepf developed to produce hydrogen from sunlight.

Eight weeks of sophisticated testing at temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Celsius revealed that the reactor’s mechanical, electrical and thermal systems worked just as Koepf had predicted. (more…)

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State-Mandated Planning, Higher Resident Wealth Linked to More Sustainable City Transportation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Transportation practices tend to be more environmentally friendly in wealthier metropolitan areas located within states that mandate comprehensive planning, new research suggests.

The study involved an examination of 225 U.S. metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2008 to gauge how sustainable their transportation practices were and determine what kinds of socioeconomic factors appeared to influence those practices. (more…)

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