Leadership Stories

May 27, 2020
Universities, cities, and now even some countries are starting to phase out single-use plastics, but what will they switch to? Tons of disposable foodware, including products made from agricultural waste and labeled compostable, are used and discarded every day. Some of the products contain chemicals that are associated with adverse health effects such as hormone disruption, increased cholesterol levels, and increased risk of cancer. Ideally, we should phase out single-use plastics and encourage the development of alternatives that are manufactured with and contain inherently safer chemicals. How do we incentivize a transition to the best reusable products?Read more >
May 27, 2020
A century ago, we tried desperately to wipe out mountain lions in North America, and failed. Then American culture changed. In the mid-20th century, we offered mountain lions limited protection in the form of managed hunting. As a consequence, mountain lion populations rebounded far more successfully than anyone would have predicted, and probably more than many would have liked. Today, mountain lions are as abundant as they ever were in the West, and people are faced with a new reality. Can we peacefully coexist with such a successful predator? Mark Elbroch's new book, The Cougar Conundrum, is being published by Island Press on August 13th.Read more >
Apr 21, 2020
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) won a prestigious national award March 5 for its influential role in the nation’s fight against climate change, receiving recognition for the Department’s outreach on climate resilience and for taking a comprehensive approach that aligns state and local water...Read more >
Jan 15, 2020
Fellow Cassandra Brooks returned in December 2019 from a three-week Antarctic expedition organized by Homeward Bound Project, a worldwide initiative that began in 2016 to “heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet,” according to the organization.Read more >
Nov 7, 2019
Plenty of Atlantans spend time on highways, speeding or inching or swerving along. But many people spend a lot of time near the highways, too: at their homes, schools or workplaces. And that’s not great for their health. So Fellow Christina Fuller, a Georgia State University public health professor, is studying how effectively trees can help filter out some of that pollution.Read more >
Oct 29, 2019
Some climate-related projects start local and stay local – but in other cases, there may be an opportunity to expand the initiative to broader scales. Over the course of just four years, Fellow Amber Pairis brought together more than 280 organizations, agencies, and groups of people keen to address climate change adaptation.Read more >
Oct 17, 2019
Dr. Katalyn (Kate) Voss, who grew up as an active member of the Surfrider Foundation in southern California, has always been interested in grass-roots organization and advocacy around environmental issues. Now as an AGU Congressional Sciece Fellow, Voss is excited to have arrived at the nexus of science, society and politics. “Maybe this is the geographer in me coming out,” says Voss, “since we’re trained to think across scales of space and time, I see this coming year working on the Hill as a perfect convergence of all these different spatial scales of policy and science.”Read more >
Sep 30, 2019
For the Yurok tribe, fishing isn’t a recreational weekend activity to be paired with a cold beer. It’s a way of subsistence, a way of life. Fellow Keith Parker’s groundbreaking biology research regarding a new subspecies of Pacific lamprey, recently published in the science journal Molecular Ecology, may be the key to saving his tribe’s way of life.Read more >
Aug 28, 2019
2019 Fellow Tamara Marcus studies methane emissions from permafrost thaw with Ruth Varner, professor of Earth sciences and director of the Earth Systems Research Center in the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire. In addition to researching the impact of warming on carbon emissions from Arctic Lakes, Marcus is exploring how indigenous communities understand and apply weather and climate data.Read more >
Aug 10, 2019
The latest episode of ESSENCE Magazine's UnBossed podcast features Fellow Ayana Johnson. She says, "I really strongly believe that one of the reasons that the environmental movement has not succeeded to the extent that it needs to so far is that it’s been dominated visibly by White people.”Read more >

Spotlight on Leadership

Innovative Weatherization in Chicago
Kristen Pratt is the Program Coordinator for the Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. One of the group's most successful projects has been the Community Weatherization Action Teams (CWAT) program, which helps volunteers plan weatherization events and campaigns all over the city. Over 25,000 homes have been weatherized through the city program and with their assistance.Read more >

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