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Thursday, Jan 15, 2015


Professor Deborah Swackhamer Named Fellow of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry


Humphrey School Professor Deborah Swackhamer has been named one of 20 inaugural fellows of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).

SETAC fellows are chosen for their extensive contributions and long-term service to the field of environmental toxicology and chemistry through significant scientific and science policy contributions.

Read more about Professor Swackhamer's nomination.

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014


GRA Positions for New STEP Students

The STEP program is currently recruiting for six new graduate research assistant positions available for the 2015-2016 year. The positions will be available to new MS and PhD STEP students enrolling at the Humphrey School in fall 2015. Topic areas include:

  • Sustainable urban infrastructure and healthy cities
  • Green ammonia
  • Distributed energy and renewables
  • Water-energy-food nexus

Additional information about the GRA positions can be found here. Contact the listed faculty members for more information on each of the positions.

Please note that January 15, 2014 is the deadline for applying to the MS-STEP program.

Wednesday, Dec 3, 2014


A Proposed Methodology for Governance of New and Emerging Technologies


On November 13, Leili Fatehi presented her ongoing research "Productive Oversight Assessment: A Proposed Methodology for Governance of New and Emerging Technologies" at the final STEP-FAR seminar of the semester.

New and emerging technologies present a perennial problem in which their research, development, and deployment outpace regulatory response and test the limits of existing oversight systems' capacity to ensure safety and responsibility while also balancing the need for innovation and public access to new products; yet, proactively assessing the adequate of oversight systems to handle new and emerging technologies has proven to be a difficult task and efforts to do so have, as yet, had little impact on oversight systems and decision-making.

Her presentation laid out the vision for a new methodological approach that pushes us to look beyond just vaguely imagined alternative systems of adaptive or anticipatory governance toward a "productive oversight assessment" approach in which the abilities and deficits of an oversight system are evaluated with the aim of enabling productive decisions (i.e., timely, feasible, effective for achieving desired policy outcomes) about oversight.

You can watch a recording of her presentation here.

Professor Fatehi is a Research Fellow with the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Affiliated Faculty with the Center for Bioethics.

The STEP FAR series is designed for students, staff, faculty, and fellows to get together in an informal setting to discuss their projects, research-in-progress, opportunities, and a variety of other issues related to science, technology, environment, energy, and policy. Learn more about the STEP-Far series.

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014


MnDRIVE Grant Awarded to Professor Elizabeth Wilson


Humphrey Professor Elizabeth Wilson was recently awarded a grant through Minnesota's Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) initiative. The project, "Sustainable Energy Systems: Control Systems and Sensors to Link Rural Renewables and Demand for Sustainable Industrial Energy in Food Processing Systems" will be a part of the MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program. Wilson and an interdisciplinary team from across the University of Minnesota will explore challenges related to integrating renewable energy sources into Minnesota's grid system.

Read more about Professor Wilson's project.


Autonomous Vehicles: The Legal and Policy Road Ahead

On October 31, Leili Fatehi, a visiting scientist in the Humphrey Science, Technology & Environmental Policy area, helped to organize the event, "Autonomous Vehicles: The Legal and Policy Road Ahead."

Held at the Humphrey School, the conference hosted a multidisciplinary group of leaders from academia, government, industry, and civil society to explore the legal, ethical, technical, and policy dimensions of automated and autonomous vehicles at the local, state, and national levels.

Learn more about the conference.