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Event-related articles will now be posted at the Eye on Earth blog, here on the IonE.  Subscribe to the feed to find out more about upcoming events and other big ideas happening at the Institute on the Environment!

Eye on Earth gives our scientists and staff a chance to jot down their ideas and share them with the world. Both prominent and promising leaders in land use, renewable energy, environmental communications and other topics sound off on the issues that matter most to them. The blog also serves as a journal for the ever-growing IonE community, providing candid accounts of our research findings, field hearings and more.

It's time to Rock! (for Raingardens)

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Rock for Raingardens - Thursday, December 2

U of M faculty and student musicians will be performing for clean water on Thursday, December 2 at the 400 BarRock for Raingardens will feature "The Gated Community" (8:30), "Hypoxic Punks" (9:30), and "The Big Strong Men" (10:30), voted U of M's best student band. 


All proceeds will go to Metro Blooms, an organization dedicated to cleaning up Minnesota's "troubled waters." Buy your $5 ticket at by tapping the "Rock for Raingardens" link. Tickets can also be purchased through Tickmaster (search "Metro Blooms").

More info: 

Tickets (

Tickets (Ticketmaster)

Gated Community

Hypoxic Punks

Rock for Raingardens

What does this YouTube video have to do with today's Frontiers in the Environment seminar?
Watch Jeff Bender's presentation Animal Translocation: The Public Health Implications of Moving Animals and Animal Products, now posted on the Frontiers event page!

Click here to watch now.

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Don't miss our upcoming Frontiers seminars:
Emerging Technologies and the Environment: The Right Pushmi-Pullyu?
IonE resident fellow Jennifer Kuzma presents a Frontiers in the Environment talk on the role of emerging technologies with unknown consequences in addressing pressing environmental problems.
Nov. 11

Lester Brown Was Half Right: What We Can Learn From China's Food System
Jim Harkness, president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, presents a Frontiers on the Environment look at China's efforts to feed 22 percent of the world's people on 9 percent of its arable land.
Nov. 17

China's Challenges: Energy, Environment and Development
IonE resident fellow Elizabeth Wilson presents a Frontiers on the Environment talk on energy supply, demand, policy and innovation in the world's most populous country.
Dec. 1

E3 2010: The Midwest's Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference (Nov 30)
Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule
IonE Events
U of M Environmental Events (Environmental Portal)


Early bird registration for E3 2010: The Midwest's Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference ends tomorrow at midnight!  Register now before normal rates take over on Saturday.

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Check out the E3 2010 website for information on:
Keynote speakers
Track Speakers & Breakout Sessions

It's not too late to become a sponsor or exhibitor at the E3 2010 Conference.  For more information about sponsor or exhibitor opportunities, contact Stephanie Szurek.


E3 2010: The Midwest's Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference
Tuesday, November 30 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre

New this year:
Wind Energy Workshop (produced by SAFL)
Wednesday, December 1 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre

Freeman Center for International Economic Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, presents a Workshop on Global Policy

Path Dependence and Learning in the Global Clean Tech Industry
Presented by:
Professor Alfred Marcus
Carlson School of Management
12:45 - 2:00 pm
Tuesday, October 26
170 HHH - Stassen Room
Humphrey Institute, West Bank Campus

Clean tech - the production of electricity and fuels with a smaller environmental impact -saw a mini-investment boom occurred in the first decade of the 21st century. This study investigates the degree to which the strategies of clean tech investors varied over time in response to learning from investment successes and failures and from changes in public policy. The literature on path dependence predicts, all else equal, that initial patterns persist into the future. The past character of the investments will continue into the future without much alteration. Professor Marcus's model suggests that this pattern can be broken based on the feedback that investors receive from successful or unsuccessful rounds of venture capital funding and from the changes in the clean tech polices of global governments. Thus, there is another theoretical perspective that should be applied to the strategic choices that investors in this domain make, that is learning theory.  Its predictions would be that adjustments in strategic choices will take place based on factors included in the model. 

All are welcome!  Beverages and cookies will be served

Recent events at the IonE

It's been a busy couple of weeks as far as events go at the IonE, and there's more to come!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for frontiers_wordmark.jpgFirst off, we had 2 excellent seminars last week. As part of our Frontiers in the Environment seminar series on Wednesday, October 6, Eray Aydil presented "Eight-track Tapes, Compact Discs and Solar Cells."  View his powerpoint presentation here.

On Friday, October 8 we were pleased to bring special guest and friend of Jon Foley, Brian Stone, Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, for a special seminar.  He presented "Extreme Heat in Cities: Notes from the Front Line of Climate Change," looking at warming trends in U.S. cities and strategies for managing climate change in urban environments. Click here to view his presentation. 

Just yesterday, Jason Hill provided our Frontiers in the Environment seminar, "Fuelish Choices: Improving Sustainability of Transportation" which the seminar room and ignited many discussions about the consequences of our various transportation fuel options, including "none of the above."  If you missed it, the video of his presentation is posted here.

Also yesterday, October 13, IonE director Jonathan Foley presented "Another Inconvenient Truth" at the TEDxTC conference at the Science Museum of Minnesota.   Video of his presentation will be posted at TEDxTC's website soon - we can't wait to check it out (again!)


The next Frontiers in the Environment seminar, October 20, will be presented by Alexandra Klass of the U of M School of Law.  She will be presenting "Property Rights on the New Frontier: Climate Change, Natural Resource Development, and Renewable Energy." If you'd like to do a little preparation in advance for Professor Klass's presentation, she's provided us to a link to view her paper online.

california-sven-elieas-thumb.jpgA Sea Change, 
November 4 at noon - Coffman Union theater
Join us for a look at the other side of global warming in a screening of the award-winning film, A Sea Change. This feature-length documentary is the first to focus on the significant and largely unrecognized impact of ocean acidification. This event is free and open to the public.

Thanks to the Science Museum of Minnesota for allowing us to screen this for IonE supporters, students, faculty and staff.  A special evening showing at the SMM will feature a panel discussion following the screening.
E3 2010: Register now!
Registration is now open for E3 2010: The Midwest's Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference.
Featuring keynote speakers Daniel Kammen and Nicole Lamb-Hale, and a second day focused entirely on Wind Energy in the Upper Midwest.
Registrations available for each day individually or both together at a reduced rate.

Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule
IonE Events
U of M Environmental Events (Environmental Portal)

Another great turnout for the second in our Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment seminar series.  Paige Novak, Civil Engineering, spoke about halorespirers, and her work in trying to figure out their natural role and how to clean them up!

CLICK HERE to watch a recording of the presentation!

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Upcoming Frontiers in the Environment seminars:

October 6
Eight-Track Tapes, Compact Discs and Solar Cells
Eray Aydil, Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

October 13
Fuelish Choices: Improving Sustainability of Transportation
Jason Hill, Assistant Professor, Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering

October 20
Property Rights on the New Frontier: Climate Change, Natural Resource Development, and Renewable Energy
Alexandra Klass, Professor, Law

Rescheduled from 10/27

Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule
IonE Events
U of M Environmental Events (Environmental Portal)

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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR E3 2010 - November 30 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre!

E3 2010 - Registration NOW OPEN!

E3.jpgRegistration is now open for E3 2010: The Midwest's Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference!

This year's E3 2010 will take place on Tuesday, November 30 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.  We have also collaborated with the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory in putting on a second day focused on wind energy in the Upper Midwest.  This 2nd day workshop will take place on Wednesday, December 1, also at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.  Save $10 when you register for both events!

This year's keynote speakers are Daniel Kammen (UC Berkeley, World Bank), Nicole Lamb-Hale (U.S. Dept of Commerce) and Megan McCluer (U.S. Dept of Energy - 2nd day keynote).  We also have five breakout session tracks, each focused on a specific aspect of renewable energy.  Check out the agenda and session listings on the E3 2010 Website, and then register!

Early registration is available through October 26, 2010.

Breakout tracks:
Conservation & Energy Efficiency
Energy Policy, Environment & Economy
Solar Energy
Special Topics
Day 2 - Wind Speakers

E3 2010
would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and exhibitors.  If your company or organization is interested in exhibiting or sponsoring, contact Stephanie Szurek for more information on getting involved in E3 2010!

RSVP and invite your friends and colleagues:
E3 2010 on Facebook
E3 2010 on LinkedIn

Please join IREE supporter, North Central Cleantech Open, in celebrating its first year and the accomplishments of its participant companies.

The event will feature the announcement of the North Central finalists who will move on to Silicon Valley to compete with Cleantech entrepreneurs from around the country for a grand prize package of up to $250k of investment and services!

There will also be a trade show with exhibiting and showcasing of our participant companies, partner organizations and sponsors.


Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401


5:15 pm -- Trade show starts with exhibits from 2010 Participant Companies, Partners and Sponsors.

6:15 pm - 8:30 pm -- Awards program, including announcement of 2010 regional winners.

*Awards program will also include a keynote and insights from prominent industry experts.

Who Should Attend

Entrepreneurs, Investors, Corporate, Media and Civic Leaders who want to help foster the local cleantech and renewable economy, and learn more about the exciting contestant companies who will represent North Central in the world's largest cleantech business competition. The North Central region includes participant companies from various states including Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin.

For more information, visit

The room was abuzz with energy about our first Frontiers in the Environment seminar for the fall 2010 semester.

Professor Larry Wackett presented "Biochemical Bloodhounds: Using Enzymes to Detect Toxins."

Biochemical Bloodhounds: Using Enzymes to Detect Toxins


How can we detect food contaminants before they do harm? Deliberate doctoring of milk with melamine to provide misleadingly high protein content measurements sickened 300,000 infants and children in China in 2008. It also motivated Institute on the Environment founding fellow Larry Wackett to look back to melamine-related research performed in his lab seven years earlier for a potential tool for preventing similar tragedies in the future. As the first speaker in IonE's fall Frontiers in the Environment lecture series, Wackett, distinguished McKnight professor of biochemistry, described how he and colleagues built on that earlier research to create an easy-to-use enzyme-based kit to test for the presence of melamine as well as uncover the biochemical basis for melamine toxicity. Wackett's work resulted in production of a commercialized test kit by Texas-based BIOO Scientific and opens doors to developing similar tests for other contaminants that might accidentally or intentionally be introduced into the food we eat. 

If you missed Professor Wackett's talk, or would like to watch it again, click here for a recording of today's presentation.

And be sure to join us for other Frontiers in the Environment and Institute on the Environment events!

September 29
Hooked on Halorespiration: How, Where and So What? - Paige Novak

October 6
Eight-Track Tapes, Compact Discs and Solar Cells - Eray Aydil

October 13
Fuelish Choices: Improving Sustainability of Transportation

Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule
IonE Events
U of M Environmental Events (Environmental Portal)

  The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and not necessarily
  of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.