9-13-2016 BREE Leader Andrew Schroth on Vermont Edition (Audio)

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 21:22
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Dr. Andrew Schroth, leader of the BREE Ecological Systems Group talks about why nutrients like phosphorus are important to understanding algae blooms.
This program was originally aired on Vermont Edition on 9/13/2016.
Categories: Latest News

Cloudy with a Chance of Flies: Non-Biting Midges

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 20:11
Clouds of tiny insects, rising and falling hypnotically along lake shores, contribute to the ambiance of warm summer evenings. My recent bike ride was interrupted by a lungful of this ambiance.

If you find yourself in a similar predicament, you might wonder what these miniscule flies were doing before being swallowed, where they came from, whether they bite, and whether we need these interrupters of peaceful lakeside jaunts. We'll get to these questions, but first, let me say that as an ecologist, I find these insects to be among the most fascinating and important freshwater invertebrates.
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Researcher studies how phosphorous travels - St. Albans Messenger

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 12:50

Staff Writer
More stories by Tom
ST. ALBANS — A University of Vermont (UVM) researcher has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study a key driver of algal blooms in the Missisquoi Bay.

Andrew Schroth, an Assistant Research Professor of Geology at UVM and a Science Leader for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), received the $247,774 grant to study phosphorous-ion dynamics in the sediment and water of the Missisquoi Bay.

Phosphorous is a major waterway pollutant, responsible for the spread and survival of cyanobacteria, the toxic “blue-green algae” that has begun regularly cropping up in local water bodies.
Categories: Latest News

August 25, 2016 - Doctoral Dissertation Defense by Justin Guibert

Fri, 08/26/2016 - 15:02

Justin Guibert, a PhD candidate with Vermont EPSCoR, presenting his doctoral dissertation defense on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The defense, "The Impacts of Climate Change on Precipitation and Hydrology in the Northeastern United States," examined trends in precipitation in the northeast and specifically in the Lake Champlain Basin area.
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Getting smart about how we finance disaster resilience

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 03:06
Summary: Today, the White House highlighted innovative ways that states, local communities, and the private sector are investing in disaster resilience.

Across the country, individuals, communities, businesses, and governments are taking action to improve their ability to withstand and recover quickly from extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and other impacts of climate change. Disaster mitigation activities include adopting stronger building codes, restoring floodplains and streams, and retrofitting roofs to hurricane-resistant standards -- all of which help to reduce the loss of life and property and enable communities to recover more quickly in the aftermath of a disaster.

Investing in disaster mitigation and resilience before an extreme event occurs can provide significant cost-savings for homeowners, local communities, the private sector, and the Federal government. In 2005, a three-year, Congressionally-mandated independent study concluded that every $1 the Federal Emergency Management Agency spends on hazard mitigation saves society an average of $4. The 2016 National Preparedness Report estimated that the $8 million that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The Nature Conservancy invested in the Fisher Slough Marsh restoration project will save that Washington State community up to $21 million over the next 50 years and reduce flooding on as many as 600 nearby acres. The need for these investments is critical. The U.S. has experienced a significant increase in billion-dollar disasters since 1980, and has already recorded eight billion-dollar disasters in the first six months of 2016.
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RACC Team Contributes to Groundbreaking Environmental Law Publication

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 03:05

The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (VJEL) at Vermont Law School is proud to announce the publication of a timely new set of information and perspectives on the Lake Champlain restoration plan recently approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the federal Clean Water Act.

In June the EPA issued a document referred to as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) that assigns responsibility to landowners, farmers, and businesses for reducing the levels of phosphorus they are responsible for introducing into Lake Champlain. The "Lake Champlain Edition" of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (Volume 17, Issue 4) provides helpful and interesting insights into the scientific, policy and legal implications of this groundbreaking plan.

Editors Trey Martin, deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and David Mears, VLS vice dean and professor of law, are joined by an impressive array of scientists, government officials, policy experts and attorneys in presenting a top-to-bottom analysis of the TMDL.

"The 'Lake Champlain Edition' of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how science, policy and law are intertwined in the efforts by the state, the EPA and the many Vermont businesses, citizens and farmers who are working to restore Lake Champlain," Mears said.

The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law "Lake Champlain Edition" is available online at For more information about the issue, including obtaining a printed copy, email VJEL Editor-in-Chief Joseph Simpson at VJEL plans to produce copies for sale and distribution if there is sufficient demand.

The Vermont Journal of Environmental Law's mission is to provide an accessible forum to discuss contemporary environmental legal issues. VJEL publishes articles authored by academics, practitioners, and students alike. In selecting articles, VJEL editors recognize that environmental issues are inexorably linked with many other areas of law and seek to encompass a broad range of viewpoints and attitudes. In addition to publishing quarterly issues and hosting symposiums, VJEL reaches national audiences through its annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List. For more information about the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, visit
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Please tell me the weather - Rutland Herald

Sun, 08/07/2016 - 03:05

Please tell me the weather
Rutland Herald
Much of the Northeast is experiencing drought this summer. It is patchy because a lot of summer rain comes from scattered thunderstorms. Despite periods of drought and heavy rain, our garden here in Vermont is growing well this summer. In part this is ...

and more »
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SwarmFest 2016 - 20th Annual Meeting on Agent-Based Modeling & Simulation - July 31 - August 3, 2016

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 14:25
SwarmFest is the annual meeting of the Swarm Development Group (SDG), and one of the oldest communities involved in the development and propagation of agent-based modeling. SwarmFest has traditionally involved a mix of both tool-users and tool-developers, drawn from many domains of expertise. These have included, in the past, computer scientists, software engineers, biomedical researchers, ecologists, economists, political scientists, social scientists, resource management specialists and evolutionary biologists. SwarmFest represents a low-key environment for researchers to explore new ideas and approaches, and benefit from a multi-disciplinary environment.
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Andrew Schroth Wins New NSF Award to Study Phosphorus-Iron Dynamics in Sediment and Water - A key driver of algal blooms

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 06:00

Dr. Andrew Schroth, VT EPSCoR Science Leader and Research Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of Vermont, has been awarded a three-year award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study phosphorus (P) loading from lake sediments in Lake Champlain. The collaborative award that will have implications for freshwater systems also includes Dr. Greg Druschel, Adjunct Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Vermont and Associate Professor, Earth Sciences, at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. The award brings in $250,000 to the University of Vermont. Phosphorus is particularly important to understand in Vermont given the new Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)s established by the EPA for Lake Champlain, as well as its role in promoting and sustaining algal blooms. Schroth explained that this award "stems directly from our collaboration in Research on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin (RACC) and is a logical next step towards improving our understanding phosphorus in Lake Champlain. We envision that this work will provide insights on improving water quality, and ideas around the potential use of legacy pollutant phosphorus in a world where accessible P supplies are actually dwindling". The work in Vermont "will use cutting-edge analytical methods and experiments to study in great detail the interaction between phosphorus and iron minerals in lake sediment and water of Missisquoi Bay during different times of the year and under fluctuating conditions. In fact, one reason that Missisquoi Bay sediments are ideal for this study is because we have characterized the system's biogeochemistry so thoroughly under RACC. New experiments can be realistically derived from our data collected in the Bay over the past 5 years ".
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2016 RACC High School Training Week

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 17:57

The CWDD welcomed 19 high school student/teacher teams to the Saint Michael's College campus for a week of research education, stream sampling, and career exploration. Teams traveled from Puerto Rico, and from all around the state of Vermont. Students learned about the EPSCoR program, received hands-on experience with RACC faculty, and were able to participate in a number of Vermont-based activities. Students had the opportunity to either view Lake Champlain up close on a kayaking trip, take a hike at Rock Point to see the Lake and the Champlain thrust fault, or take a trip on UVM's research vessel, the Melosira.

They will spend the next year working on RACC research which will culminate in their presenting their individual projects at the Vermont EPSCoR Student Research Symposium next spring!
Categories: Latest News

US|A 'Smart' Green Tech Hub in Vermont Reimagines the Status Quo - New York Times

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 17:57

New York Times

US|A 'Smart' Green Tech Hub in Vermont Reimagines the Status Quo
New York Times
Inside a plain brick building in Burlington lies the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, a buzzing hipster incubator that looks as if it could be in Silicon Valley. It is powered invisibly by forces that any city would envy: a green grid that is ...

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Study role of climate change in extreme threats to water quality

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 23:10
With concerns about climate 'extremes' growing1, water is often the focus - either too much or too little. That is no coincidence: climate and the hydrological cycle are tightly coupled, and water is essential to ecosystems and societies. But it is not just the quantity of water that matters. So does its quality.

Last year, Lake Erie, one of the US Great Lakes (which contain one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water), experienced its biggest recorded harmful algal bloom. At its peak, the bloom spread some 200 kilometres across most of the lake2. Meanwhile, off the continent's west coast, another record harmful bloom stretched from Baja California in Mexico up to Alaska, probably triggered by unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean3. Both blooms were dominated by species of phytoplankton that produce powerful toxins.
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Climate change could curb malaria risk in West Africa by end of century - Carbon Brief

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 11:32

Carbon Brief

Climate change could curb malaria risk in West Africa by end of century
Carbon Brief
While a reduction in the spread of malaria might be one unintended benefit of human-caused climate change, it doesn't mean it will be favourable for Africa overall, says co-author Dr Arne Bomblies, an associate professor at the University of Vermont ...

Categories: Latest News

VT EPSCoR CWDD Macroinvertebrate Workshop

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 17:37

On July 14, 2016 Professor Declan McCabe from Saint Michael's College and CWDD Research Technician Janel Roberge welcomed four middle/high school teachers to the Saint Mike's Campus for an annual Macroinvertebrate Identification Workshop. As part of the Middle School Outreach Program, these teachers got to learn more about the history of macroinvertebrates in Vermont in addition to practicing their macroinvertebrate identification skills. Of course, they won't soon forget the live giant hellgrammite that Declan caught in a nearby stream before the workshop! In attendance were: Jane Walczykowski from Craftsbury Academy, Pamela Burke from Marlboro School, David Jensen from Camel's Hump Middle School, and Josepha Austin from Burlington High School.
Categories: Latest News

RACC Member Beverley Wemple Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 17:37

Dr. Beverley Wemple, Associate Professor, Department of Geography at the University of Vermont was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant for 2016-17. Dr. Wemple will be continuing a project that she started in 2013 (Mazar River Project) and studying geomorphology of mountain rivers on the eastern cordillera of the Andes in Ecuador to construct the first hydraulic geometry for rivers of this region.

The overarching goals of Dr. Wemple's Fulbright proposal are to develop baseline data on Ecuadorian rivers as a basis for tracking future environmental change and to contribute to capacity building among Ecuadorian students and local stakeholders. The Fulbright grant will also enable Dr. Wemple to construct the first hydraulic geometry for rivers of that region by studying the geomorphology of mountain rivers on the eastern cordillera of the Andes in Ecuador.

The Mazar River Project generates information about stream flow and sediment to inform watershed management in the high-mountain areas of southern Ecuador. The Project is a collaboration between the Fundación Cordillera Tropical, the University of Vermont, and public hydroelectric companies in Ecuador. It includes three major initiatives:
* Scientific research on stream flow and sediment transport.
* Capacity building for Ecuadorian University students and professionals.
* Interventions to reduce erosion of sediment off nearby landscapes.

The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, and it is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. As a Fulbright grantee, Dr. Wemple will join the ranks of distinguished participants in the Program. Since its beginnings in 1946, more than 360,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the Program.
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RACC member Alan Betts is the first recipient of the Bert Bolin award from the American Geophysical Union

Fri, 07/01/2016 - 08:57

Alan Betts is the first recipient of the Bert Bolin award from the American Geophysical Union Global Environmental Change focus group. The award recognizes his work in Vermont as well as his RACC/BREE related research.

Bert Bolin was an outstanding researcher and an effective scientific statesmen and international leader who directly contributed to a broad understanding of the social, political and security consequences of climate change brought by human impacts. The Bert Bolin Award/lecture is designed in recognition of an earth scientist for his/her ground breaking research or/and leadership in global environmental change through cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and trans-disciplinary research in the past 10 years. The award consists of a certificate, a 40-50 minutes GEC named lecture, and dinner at the GEC dinner event during the Fall AGU Conference, where the award will be presented.

Dr. Rong Fu, President, Global Environmental Change Focus Group, and Chair, AGU Environmental Change Focus Group Award Committee, said that Dr. Betts' research "has been transformative by providing a new understanding of one of the fundamental climate processes - land-atmospheric coupling and how it varies across time scales from the diurnal scale, with land cover, and how it may vary under environmental change. His environmental change leadership in Vermont, and writings dealing with weather, climate, climate change, energy and policy issues have fostered positive debate and have encouraged the reader to explore alternative and hopeful paths for themselves, their families and society faced with the broader issues of climate and climate change".
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Dr. Arne Bomblies appointed Senior Associate Project Director for VT EPSCoR

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 03:09

VT EPSCoR and the VT Technology Council are very pleased to announce that Dr. Arne Bomblies has been appointed Senior Associate Project Director for VT EPSCoR at the University of Vermont.

Dr. Bomblies has an outstanding career of research, teaching and leadership. He joined the University of Vermont in 2009 and is currently Associate Professor in the School of Engineering. His research foci are broadly centered on the impacts of climate change and variability. Within this context, there are two specific focus areas of Dr. Bomblies' research: disease/climate connections and regional adaptation to climate change.

Within VT EPSCoR he has served as a leader for the Watershed Processes Group since 2011 and was instrumental in the development of the new five-year award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) focused on Lake Champlain Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE). Dr. Bomblies has traveled to the National Science Foundation to report directly on progress for the Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: New Understanding through Complex Systems (RACC) award; he has also presented many RACC related posters and talks at national venues and co-authored several publications.

Dr. Judith Van Houten, VT State EPSCoR Director, is delighted to welcome Dr. Bomblies in his new position. "We have benefitted greatly from Dr. Bomblies' insights and collaborative leadership contributions within our research and modeling efforts. Now we have even more benefit as he expands his role."

Please join in welcoming Arne Bomblies as the Senior Associate Project Director of VT EPSCoR.
Categories: Latest News

Job openings at Vermont EPSCoR

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 03:09

Vermont EPSCoR is currently hiring a Coordinator for the VT EPSCoR Center for Workforce Development and Diversity. We are also seeking applicants for a Program Specialist.

In addition to the above two positions, Vermont EPSCoR is recruiting several PhD level graduate students and postdoctoral associates to join our cutting-edge NSF funded research on Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE). We are initiating a five-year award of large-scale interdisciplinary studies which will determine how the Lake Champlain Basin's landscape, watershed and lake conditions respond to extreme weather events and will test policy scenarios for enhancing resilience using our comprehensive Integrated Assessment Model (IAM). As a member of the BREE team, you will have excellent mentoring and participate in unique learning and professional development experiences including learning to communicate your science through our program with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.
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A first-of-its-kind event between the Chattanooga TN Library and the Burlington VT Fletcher Free Library enabled by VT EPSCOR

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 03:09

A first-of-its-kind event between the Chattanooga TN Public Library and the Burlington VT Fletcher Free Library enabled by VT EPSCoR! The technology used in this event (LOLA) only works over Internet2, and thus, this event was only possible because of our VT UCAN efforts.

After a series of tests, Chattanooga, TN Library and partners in Burlington, Vermont at the Fletcher Free Library decided to try to pull off an ambitious public event on Tuesday, June 21, as part of the International Make Music Day celebration of live music for cities across the globe. Make Music is held in more than 700 cities in 120 countries.
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Earth ignores politics - Rutland Herald

Sun, 06/19/2016 - 03:14

Earth ignores politics
Rutland Herald
There has been a lot of flooding across the planet this spring, perhaps because storm systems are traveling across the landscape less quickly and raining in the same place for longer. The day-to-day patterns of weather are so complicated that it is ...

and more »
Categories: Latest News


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