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Recently in Frontiers Category



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


MORE EVENT NEWS:
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)


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!)

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UPCOMING EVENTS:

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.jpg
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.


MORE EVENT NEWS:
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


MORE EVENT NEWS:
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!



Check out this article by Ashley Bray, MN Daily, about Roger Thurow's keynote speech at the Global Sustainable Bioenergy North American Convention!

Updates on GSB will be posted to the website next week, including presentations and the final resolution.

IonE Sponsors BioEnergy Conference (MN Daily, 9/16/2010)

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Be sure to join us next week for Frontiers in the Environment, Wednesday at noon!


IonE Events Page
E3 2010
With the start of the semester falling upon us, it's time to start up the Frontiers in the Environment seminar series again.  Following in last year's successes, we've got a great lineup of environmental all-stars this semester, starting on September 22.   Here's a sneak peak at what's coming up this fall in Frontiers in the Environment.

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Wednesdays, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
IonE Seminar Room R380, VoTech Bldg., St. Paul campus (map)
Free and open to the public; no registration required
Join us online via UMConnect


SEPT 22
Biochemical Bloodhounds: Using Enzymes to Detect Toxins

Larry Wackett, Distinguished McKnight Professor, BioTechnology Institute

Toxic chemicals have always been with us, but today's toxins are more problematic than ever: They are often made by people instead of by plants, bacteria, or other living things, and are found in places and even as part of objects we generally assume are safe. How can we detect toxins' presence and so avoid harm? Wackett is working on enlisting enzymes to sniff out the presence s-triazine ring compounds, a major class of manmade chemicals used as disinfectants, dyes, drugs, monomers, pesticides, and explosives. His talk will focus on melamine, which was used as a food adulterant and hit the news in 2008 for sickening hundreds of thousands of children in China. Wackett will show how fundamental enzyme research provided the key ingredient for a melamine test kit as well as valuable insights into the mechanism of melamine toxicity.

SEPT 29

Hooked on Halorespiration: How, Where and So What?
Paige Novak, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Chlorinated organic molecules are some of the world's most hazardous compounds, causing effects from cancer to obesity. Developed by humans for uses such as degreasing, insulation, and fumigation, they now contaminate tens of thousands of sites in the U.S.  alone. About 15 years ago, scientists discovered bacteria that were able to "breathe" some of these chlorinated compounds and thereby detoxify them. Astoundingly, some of these so-called halorespirers actually require chlorinated compounds to live. Scientists and engineers have since debated how these organisms came to be, whether they have a niche in uncontaminated environments, and how we can best harness their abilities. Novak will talk about her work trying to unravel the natural role of halorespirers in hopes of developing better clean-up methods.


OCT 6
Eight-Track Tapes, Compact Discs and Solar Cells
Eray Aydil, Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
At least a dozen existing technologies produce solar cells with overall power conversion efficiencies ranging from 5% to 40%. Given that these technologies are available, the question arises as to whether society should invest in research to develop even more new technologies, or just work to improve existing ones. Aydil will make the case that we should continue research on new types of solar cells, basing his argument on the decision in the 1970s to develop new recording technologies beyond the eight-track tape - a decision that led to compact discs and eventually to digital formats.  Even though new technologies are uncertain, Aydil will argue, they are worth pursuing on the chance they may lead to even more efficient solar cells at much lower cost, revolutionizing renewable energy.

Other featured Frontiers speakers this semester include:
Jason Hill (Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering)
Martin Saar (Geology and Geophysics)
Alexandra Klass (Law)
Jeff Bender (Veterinary Public Health)
Jennifer Kuzma (Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs)
Jim Harkness (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)
Elizabeth Wilson (Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs)
Tim Smith (Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering)

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Fall 2010 Frontiers in the Environment schedule & descriptions
IonE Events Calendar



Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for frontiers_wordmark.jpg"The Role of Urban Households in Pollution"
Sarah Hobbie, Associate Professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Kristen Nelson, Associate Professor, Forest Resources
The flow of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus through urban households contributes significantly to the overall biogeochemical cycles of American cities. However, little is known about how cycles that contribute to environmental pollution vary among households, or how socioeconomic factors contribute to that variation. In the Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project, University of Minnesota researchers are quantifying these cycles in households along an urban to exurban gradient in the Saint Paul-Minneapolis metro area. The goal is to determine how demographic and behavioral control factors contribute to household-to-household variation in biogeochemical fluxes. Ultimately, this project will inform policies intended to mitigate local and global pollution arising from human activities in cities.
watch Hobbie & Nelson's presentation


"Greener, Resilient, Secure and Smart Power Grid and Energy Infrastructure"
Massoud Amin, Director, Technological Leadership Institute
Recent developments and policies, combined with potential for technological innovations and business opportunities, have attracted a high level of interest in smart power grids and energy infrastructure. The potential for a highly distributed system with a high penetration of renewable sources poses opportunities and challenges: 1) How do we retrofit and engineer a stable, resilient grid with large numbers of such unpredictable power sources? and 2) What roles will increased efficiency, energy storage, advanced power electronics, power quality, electrification of transportation, novel control algorithms, smart grid and cyber security, and policies and technologies play in transforming the power grid? This talk will focus on how the smart grid relates to all of us.
Watch Amin's presentation

Next week:
"Designing Minnesota's Energy Future"

Steve Kelley, Senior Fellow / Director, Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Humphrey Institute
12pm, IonE Seminar room
Watch on UMConnect
Former state senator Steve Kelley will talk about new approaches to public policy development that could help Minnesota move forward on both energy efficiency and the generation of renewable energy. He will also discuss the role that design thinking and systems approaches ought to play in developing solutions to achieve our energy savings and energy generation goals. Kelley is the director of the Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

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Other upcoming events:

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Tuesday, April 27
Water for Mulobere film premiere
Coffman Memorial Theater, 7pm

View the trailer here


April 29 & 30
Cross-Sector Leadership for the Green Economy
Radisson University Hotel

IonE Events Page
UM Events Calendar



Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for frontiers_wordmark.jpgApril 14 at noon
IonE Seminar Room
Frontiers in the Environment
"The Role of Urban Households in Pollution"
Sarah Hobbie, Associate Professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Kristen Nelson, Associate Professor, Forest Resources

Individual households vary in how much carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus they add to American cities. U of M researchers are studying Twin Cities households to find out how to reduce the pollution.

The flow of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus through urban households contributes significantly to the overall biogeochemical cycles of American cities. However, little is known about how cycles that contribute to environmental pollution vary among households, or how socioeconomic factors contribute to that variation. In the Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project, University of Minnesota researchers are quantifying these cycles in households along an urban to exurban gradient in the Saint Paul-Minneapolis metro area. The goal is to determine how demographic and behavioral control factors contribute to household-to-household variation in biogeochemical fluxes. Ultimately, this project will inform policies intended to mitigate local and global pollution arising from human activities in cities.

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Other upcoming events:

Thursday, April 15
Governing Nanobiotechnology: Reinventing Oversight in the 21st Century
Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 8:30am

Wednesday, April 21
Massoud Amin "Greener, Resilient, Secure and Smart Power Grid and Energy Infrastructure"
Frontiers in the Environment
IonE Seminar Room, 12pm


wfm_logo.jpg
Tuesday, April 27
Water for Mulobere film premiere
Coffman Memorial Theater, 7pm

View the trailer here


Wednesday, April 28
Steve Kelley "Designing Minnesota's Energy Future"
Frontiers in the Environment
IonE Seminar Room, 12pm

April 29 & 30
Cross-Sector Leadership for the Green Economy
Radisson University Hotel

IonE Events Page
UM Events Calendar

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for frontiers_wordmark.jpg"There's been a dramatic shift in the number of people who are obese since 1985."
- Allen Levine, Frontiers Spring 2010
Obesity in America is a growing area of concern, and Allen Levine, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences came to Frontiers in the Environment today to share with us his research and data on "Why we can't stop eating."  The full room of over 80 people plus the online audience presence made it clear that this really is an issue that people are concerned about, and Levine was able to present it in a clear - and entertaining - manner.

Watch "Why We Can't Stop Eating" now


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Join us next week as Sarah Hobbie of the department of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior and Kristen Nelson of the department of Forest Resources tell us about "The Role of Urban Households in Pollution."

April 14 at noon
"The Role of Urban Households in Pollution"
The flow of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus through urban households contributes significantly to the overall biogeochemical cycles of American cities. However, little is known about how cycles that contribute to environmental pollution vary among households, or how socioeconomic factors contribute to that variation. In the Twin Cities Household Ecosystem Project, University of Minnesota researchers are quantifying these cycles in households along an urban to exurban gradient in the Saint Paul-Minneapolis metro area. The goal is to determine how demographic and behavioral control factors contribute to household-to-household variation in biogeochemical fluxes. Ultimately, this project will inform policies intended to mitigate local and global pollution arising from human activities in cities.

wfm_logo.jpg
Tuesday, April 27
Water for Mulobere film premiere
Coffman Memorial Theater, 7pm

View the trailer here


IonE Events Page
UM Events Calendar
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Frontiers in the Environment 

TODAY, April 7 at noon

"Why We Can't Stop Eating"

Allen Levine, Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Watch live online via UMConnect


The world is home to 1 billion overweight and 300 million obese people. There are a variety of hypotheses about the cause of the obesity epidemic. This seminar will address the central nervous system controllers that regulate food intake and the rewards associated with ingestion.

Allen Levine is the Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).  He has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1981 and worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center near Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, for more than 25 years, as associate chief of staff for research.

This article contains an excellent interview with Levine just after the announcement of his appointment as dean of CFANS in 2006. (UMNews)

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Other upcoming events:

Thursday, April 8
Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels
IonE Seminar Room, 8:30am

A Farm for the Future: Sustainable Alternatives
Bell Museum of Natural History, 7:30pm

Friday, April 9
Climate Change & Health: Looming Clouds with Silver Linings
IonE Seminar Room, 11am

Monday, April 12
Path to a Clean Energy Future
102 Fraser Hall, 7pm

Wednesday, April 14
Sarah Hobbie & Kristen Nelson "The Role of Urban Households in Pollution"
Frontiers in the Environment
IonE Seminar Room, 12pm

Thursday, April 15
Governing Nanobiotechnology: Reinventing Oversight in the 21st Century
Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 8:30am

Wednesday, April 21
Massoud Amin "Greener, Resilient, Secure and Smart Power Grid and Energy Infrastructure"
Frontiers in the Environment
IonE Seminar Room, 12pm


wfm_logo.jpg
Tuesday, April 27
Water for Mulobere film premiere
Coffman Memorial Theater, 7pm

View the trailer here



IonE Events Page
UM Events Calendar

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for frontiers_wordmark.jpgAfter a two-week hiatus from online audiences due to spring break and a video showing, Frontiers in the Environment is back tomorrow with a presentation by Pat Nunnally, director of the IonE's River Life program. 

Pat has been speaking about the Mississippi River all over the Twin Cities recently, and will continue tomorrow with his talk "Life on the (Future) Mississippi: Or, It's Not (Just) Mark Twain's River Anymore."   He's also been featured in a number of IonE videos, including this one, "Making the Mississippi."

Wednesday March 31
Pat Nunnally "Life on the (Future) Mississippi: Or, It's Not (Just) Mark Twain's River Anymore"
Frontiers in the Environment
IonE Seminar Room, 12pm
Join us online to watch live

The Mississippi River is a critical source of drinking water, transportation and recreation for tens of millions of people, as well as an important flyway for migratory birds and a critically important fishery. Currently, dozens of groups in various disciplines are passionately engaged in planning for the future of the Mississippi and its watershed, but lacking communication in coordinating these efforts. Learn how the River Life program works from its "lab" in the Twin Cities to strengthen the connections among the University of Minnesota, the Mississippi River, and communities and organizations along the river to create a sustainable urban riverfront.

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Other upcoming events:

Tuesday, April 6
Copenhagen Climate Change Summit Documentary Screening
IonE Seminar Room, 4pm

Wednesday, April 7
Allen Levine "Why We Can't Stop Eating"
Frontiers in the Environment
IonE Seminar Room, 12pm

Thursday, April 8
Expanding Biofuel Production and the Transition to Advanced Biofuels
IonE Seminar Room, 8:30am

A Farm for the Future: Sustainable Alternatives
Bell Museum of Natural History, 7:30pm

Friday, April 9
Climate Change & Health: Looming Clouds with Silver Linings
IonE Seminar Room, 11am


wfm_logo.jpg
Tuesday, April 27
Water for Mulobere film premiere
Coffman Memorial Theater, 7pm

View the trailer here



IonE Events Page
UM Events Calendar

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

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