News


2012-07-23 - VT. Scientist gauges climate from his garden

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 00:00
Dr. Alan Betts knows you’ll probably skip this story on his study of Vermont climate change if he waxes scientifically about his nearly half-century of scholarship on meteorology and theoretical physics. That’s why he’s instead serving up weather-defying kale from his Pittsford garden.

When the 66-year-old atmospheric researcher moved to the state in the late 1970s, he wouldn’t leave any fruit or vegetable outside during winter. Instead, he harvested everything before frost took a bite each fall.
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2012-07-13 - Betts Delivers Climate Challenge at WEC Annual Meeting

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 00:22
The climate, in a sense, is a living
machine. The component parts
of the machine include energy
(heat and light) from the sun, water in
its various forms (crystal, liquid, vapor),
carbon dioxide, and of course life. Their
interplay sets forces in motion. That, in
turn, sets the course of the machine.
For the past several decades
their interplay has increasingly been
influenced by humanity’s affect upon
the environment – a teeming swarm
now of seven billion people whose
capacity for consuming and emitting
has been magnified a thousand-fold by
industry and technology. Consequently,
the machine has been churning out
warmer, shorter winters in Vermont, and
measurably longer growing seasons.
The latter has its benefits, but they
come with a price.
In his address to the Washington
Electric Cooperative members who
attended WEC’s Annual Membership
Meeting on May 24, titled “Climate
Change—What’s in Store for Vermont,”
Dr. Alan Betts, of Pittsford, Vermont, did
not use the analogy of the machine.
Yet his more scholarly term, “climate
feedback processes,” conveyed a
similar impression of forces set in
motion which fuel themselves and rev
the engine of climate change.
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2012-07-11 - Vermonters debate wind energy: Public input is part of the process

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 22:50
Our environmental challenges are tractable if they are openly and honestly discussed. A heated topic right now is the 20-turbine wind project installation proposed for the ridgeline known as Grandpa’s Knob, which spans the towns of Castleton, Hubbardton, West Rutland and Pittsford.
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2012-07-11 - A lost generation: No progress on reducing climate change

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 22:50
Twenty years ago, in a flush of enthusiasm at the end of the cold war, participants at a United Nations conference in Rio forged the Convention on Climate Change to protect the Earth. This led to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately the U.S. Congress refused to sign this protocol, and it proved ineffective.
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Algae blooms hit Champlain in wake of record phosphorus runoff - Addison County Independent

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 10:16

Algae blooms hit Champlain in wake of record phosphorus runoff
Addison County Independent
Although the two-year average — which the Water Management Division uses to track trends — for 2011-2012 phosphorus loads may drop if readings are lower in 2012, last year was nothing short of “extreme,” as division Director Eric Smeltzer put it ...

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2012-07-05 - Registration now open for VT EPSCoR Annual State Meeting

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 04:13
We are looking forward to seeing you at the Annual State Meeting scheduled on August 16, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont.
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2012-07-05 - Registration now open for VT EPSCoR Grant Writing Workshop

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 04:13
We are looking forward to seeing you at the Vermont EPSCoR Grant Writing Workshop on August 17, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont.
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2012-06-21 - Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux - Igniting a Passion for Climate

Wed, 06/20/2012 - 14:00
By taking a multi-faceted approach Dr Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux hopes to create new openings for minority students from high school to graduate levels who wish to study climate sciences.
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2012-06-20 - RACC Bouy Profiler Deployed (Photos)

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 04:24
Photos of the deployment of the RACC Bouy Profiler
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Johnson State College announces new science scholarship - vtdigger.org

Mon, 06/11/2012 - 19:00

Johnson State College announces new science scholarship
vtdigger.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 11, 2012 Contact Dr. Leslie Kanat JSC Department of Environmental & Health Sciences 802-635-1327 orLes.Kanat@jsc.edu.

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2012-06-15 - Two UVM Spin-Out Companies Secure New Funding

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 15:48
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has awarded a contract totaling $1.2 million to MicroGen Systems, Inc. to commercialize its proprietary technology. The company, a spin-out from UVM’s Office of Technology Commercialization, specializes in the use of vibrational, microenergy harvester technology to power autonomous and wireless sensors, helping to monitor and reduce energy consumption, among other applications.
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2012-06-15 - Meet the Vt Small Business Person of the Year

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 15:31
BURLINGTON, Vt. -
It might look like all fun and games as employees play foosball, but workers at Draker Laboratories in Burlington are getting down to business. Draker makes technology to monitor and fix problems at renewable energy projects, from smaller developments like a Ferrisburgh solar farm to bigger projects in Japan.
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2012-06-15 - The Unbearable Lightness of Greenland

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 15:31
University Communications science writer Joshua Brown traveled with geology professor Paul Bierman and graduate student Alice Nelson as they conducted climate change research in Greenland in early June. Read on for a week's worth of updates from the field
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2012-06-15 - Johnson State College Receives $552K Grant from National Science Foundation; Establishes New Scholarship Program

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 15:31
JOHNSON, VT – Thanks to a $552,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Johnson State College (JSC) is launching a new scholarship program called "START" this fall for promising students majoring in biology and environmental science.

Students chosen for a START scholarship may be able to receive up to $40,000 over four years to support their undergraduate studies at JSC. Students must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated financial need in order to apply.

START stands for “Student Transition, Achievement, Retention and Teaching” and is one of several steps JSC is taking to support academically talented students of modest financial means who are committed to earning a college degree.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our students,” said Dr. Leslie Kanat, a professor in the Department of Environmental and Health Sciences, in announcing the May 29 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). “The grant speaks both to the quality of our science programs at Johnson State and to our commitment to helping talented students with financial need, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.”



START scholars will have numerous opportunities to conduct faculty-mentored research in the field and in the laboratories of JSC’s newly renovated science facility, Bentley Hall; to attend and present at national and regional conferences; and to participate in specialized academic advising, learning communities and career counseling at JSC.

Ongoing research initiatives at JSC in which START scholars may be involved include chemical, biological and geological investigations in the Lamoille River Watershed; analysis of bacteria from the closed Vermont Asbestos Group mine in Lowell and Eden; assessments of landslide potential in Jeffersonville; and the characterization of hazardous algal blooms in association with the “Research on Adaptation to Climate Change” project. Funds from the Vermont Genetics Network and the National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) support most of these studies.

The NSF grant was awarded through the foundation’s "Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics" program. For more information or application materials, visit www.jsc.edu/START or contact Dr. Leslie Kanat at les.kanat@jsc.edu or 802-635-1327.

Keyword NECC
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Wind Farm Proposal In Rutland County Draws Opposition - Vermont Public Radio

Mon, 06/04/2012 - 17:24

Vermont Public Radio

Wind Farm Proposal In Rutland County Draws Opposition
Vermont Public Radio
But Dr. Alan Betts, a Pittsford resident who studies climate change, takes a different view. Because of global warming, he believes Vermont should do all it can to promote renewable energy development, including wind power projects like this one.

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2012-06-01 - CSYS - NSF Highlight - The Mathematics of Altruism

Fri, 06/01/2012 - 04:16
For decades, biologists have debated whether individuals sacrifice themselves to save those who share their genes or in effect to benefit the whole group. University of Vermont researcher Charles Goodnight has shown through mathematical models that the two views of altruism, kin selection versus group selection, are in fact equivalent behaviors.

The research sheds new light on fundamental issues in evolutionary theory.

For kin selection to be important, the related individuals must be in groups that preferentially help each other. For group selection to operate, the members of a group must be closer to each other than to other groups. The two ideas are so close they actually can be converted to each other mathematically. This understanding has been stated in technical research articles for more than 30 years, but the broader scientific community hasn't often recognized it.
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2012-05-31 - Learning Genomics at the Speed of Light

Thu, 05/31/2012 - 11:08
It is not often that a person can be in more than one place at the same time. James Vincent, Research
Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Bioinformatics Core for the Vermont Genetics Network
(VGN), managed to accomplish just that.

Dr. Vincent offered for the first time a class titled, Data Intensive Computing for Applied Bioinformatics,
at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont. Dr. Elizabeth Dolci, Professor and Chair of Environmental
& Health Sciences at Johnson State College, co‐instructed the class. Through the use of a video
conferencing system and an upgraded fiber connection between Johnson State College and the I2 UVM
backbone, the seemingly impossible, became possible.

Students at Johnson State College in Johnson, the University of Vermont, in Burlington, and Norwich
University in Northfield, Vermont attended the class simultaneously. Dr. Vincent was able to teach the
students cutting edge bioinformatics course work to the diverse group.
Workforce Development

Dr. Vincent aims to train the next generation of bioinformaticians in Vermont and to help sustain this
emerging and increasingly critical field of study. Bioinformatics applies computer technology to the
management of large datasets comprised of biological information. Dr. Vincent is also one of the lead
researchers studying the Little Skate genome through funding provided by NSF EPSCoR Track‐2 and the
Northeast Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (NECC).
- This course uses technology and trains people to use that technology – all at the same time - said Dr.
Vincent.

Vermont's mountainous landscape and sparse population distribution presents great challenges for high
speed Internet access and thus, transmission of large data sets. Funding provided by NSF EPSCoR has
resulted in increased access to expertise and course offerings such as Dr. Vincent's for all Vermont
students at geographically diverse campuses.
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2012-05-31 - UVM One of Only 18 Research Universities in Country to Receive Coveted IGERT Grant From National Science Foundation

Wed, 05/30/2012 - 23:08
The University of Vermont has been named one of only 18 colleges and universities in the country to receive a highly coveted Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training, or IGERT, grant from the National Science Foundation, the first awarded in the state of Vermont. The UVM proposal was chosen from among 154 IGERT proposals submitted to the NSF in 2012.

UVM will receive approximately $3 million over five years to create an innovative, multi-disciplinary graduate program supporting 22 doctoral students who will be trained to analyze and develop smart grid systems. UVM will also hire two faculty members as part of the grant.
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2012-05-30 - Alan Betts: Changing When the Seasons Occur

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 10:06
Climate trends in the northeastern U.S. show that in the past 40 years, winter has lost seven days every decade and the growing season has expanded by nearly four days each decade.

The warming climate and changing seasons affect farmers, foresters, outdoor recreation and wildlife, and society at large. Understanding these changes on a local level enables policymakers and others to adapt to the changes.

Seasonal climate has a natural variability from year to year. However, in recent decades Vermont's climate has changed rapidly, with winter temperatures rising twice as fast as summer temperatures. The cold season is shrinking by one week every decade. As snow and ice cover decreases, less sunlight is reflected, which accelerates winter warming. The summer growing season-the time between the last spring frost and the first fall frost--is adding one week every two decades. For every degree (Fahrenheit) increase in temperature in late winter and early spring, leaf-out and bloom come earlier by two to three days.
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Lake Dunmore group taps weevils in fight against milfoil - Addison County Independent

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 10:06

Lake Dunmore group taps weevils in fight against milfoil
Addison County Independent
This spurred the LDFLA to reach out to Middlebury College Professor of Biology Sallie Sheldon, whose work with the milfoil-eating aquatic weevils had earned her national acclaim. While Sheldon's weevil work essentially ended in 1995, she made a brief ...

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