Our Family Weekend Open House is only one week away! We can't wait to welcome you to IBES on October 14 for our alumni panel discussion (in-person and livestreamed), the launch of our Alumni & Family Network, guided greenhouse tours, and the opportunity to connect with students and faculty and learn about our curriculum. See you soon!
IBES Open House and Panel Discussion
Exploring frontiers in private sector climate action
IBES Fellow Elizabeth Rush's writing is "rigorous, poetic, meditative, essayistic, personal, political, well-researched, and democratically attentive to voices from frontline communities and scientists alike," writes Emily Raboteau for Orion Magazine.
Rush sat down with Raboteau to discuss her newest book, The Quickening, around the time of its release. Read what they had to say:
Orion Magazine - What the Ice Asks of Us
I FIRST BECAME ACQUAINTED with the environmental writing of Elizabeth Rush when I was assigned to review her last book, Rising: Dispatches from the New
Reflecting on recent weather, IBES Director Kim Cobb asserted, "We have to find in our brains a new awareness for what 'extreme' means today, and just how horrifying that word is going to continue to be when our baseline is changing so quickly." Read on in NBC News:
'Gobsmackingly bananas' September of extreme warmth alarms climate scientists
Data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service found that September was the most anomalously warm month in recorded history.
Erica Walker — IBES Affiliate, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, and founder of Noise and the City — called noise cameras "a very lazy and superficial solution" to a more systemic issue.
"A better noise mitigation strategy should be a pro-peace perspective, where everyone has to come to the table and agree to a solution, rather than the city just shutting down the acoustical culture of a community," she told The Guardian.
Honk honk! Can noise cameras reduce ‘potentially fatal’ sound pollution?
As noise detectors are installed in a rich neighborhood of Manhattan, experts worry they will punish people of color
Mark your calendars for the "Material Histories and Environmental Politics, Past and Present" conference, happening November 3 and 4 at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World (60 George St). IBES Voss postdocs Sandy Hunter and Jada Ko will be among the speakers.
This event is free and open to the public, with no registration required. Learn more on the conference website: https://ow.ly/Koik50PNvq3
IBES and Biology Professor Stephen Porder will discuss his new book, Elemental, in a virtual event sponsored by Smithsonian Associates. Tune in on October 10 at 6:45 p.m. ET:
A Practical Guide to Rewilding and More Learning Experiences in October
Smithsonian Associates offers ways to freshen your fall in an array of online and in-person offerings this month
Lahaina, Maui, was devastated by wildfires over the summer. This week on the Possibly podcast, student reporter Emily Tom spoke with a survivor about the challenges ahead — and hopes for the future. https://thepublicsradio.org/episode/after-the-wildfires-what-has-life-been-like-on-maui-
NEXT TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10: IBES, Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown, and the Brown University History Department are excited to host a panel and discussion featuring Dr. Vera Solovyeva: a Sakha environmental scientist, social justice advocate, and Dean’s Visiting Professor in the Humanities.
Udege scholar Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga and Professor Charles Norchi will join Dr. Solovyeva to discuss the profound pressures on high north Russian Indigenous peoples.
⏰ 5–6 p.m.
📍Rhode Island Hall 108
Learn more: https://ow.ly/m4N550PS9WK
Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Empowering people, protecting places.
IBES' first lunchtime seminar of the school year is this Thursday, October 5!
Seda Şalap-Ayça, Assistant Professor of the Practice in IBES and DEEPS, will discuss her work as a GIScience researcher dedicated to understanding the evolution of spatial data and analysis, geospatial modeling and technology, and visualization of geospatial information.
⏰ 12–12:50 p.m.
📍 Classroom 106, UEL (35 Angell St)
🔎 See you there!
The IBES Open House is only two weeks away! On October 14 at 10 a.m., hear from four distinguished members of the Brown community during our "Frontiers in Private Sector Climate Action" panel (clockwise from top left):
• Zoe Kemper '24, Panel Moderator and Co-President of FSIcon
• Andrew Bernstein '85, Founder and Managing Partner of Kearsarge Energy, L.P.
• Merrill Feather ’05, Co-Founder of The Regenerates
• Sarang Mani ’21, Sustainable Growth Equity Investor at JPMorgan
Can't make it to 85 Waterman St. for the panel? We'll also be livestreaming the event! Head to our website for all the details, including a forthcoming livestream link. https://ibes.brown.edu/news-events/2023-open-house
A longtime Brown supporter and proponent of coastal preservation, George Billings ’72 LDH'21 hon. left an estate gift to advance IBES' research, teaching, and advocacy.
The gift, which IBES Director Kim Cobb said will be "uniquely transformative" for the institute, establishes a professorship, an accompanying research fund, and a separate graduate fellowship through endowed funds.
Thanks to Brown Alumni & Friends for this story!
Dedicated Brunonian leaves a legacy of environmental impact
Merging his love for Brown with his dedication to the environment, George Billings ’72 LHD’21 hon. made a gift through his estate that supports faculty and graduate students in the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES).
A new article from Science News cites Rachel Baker, Assistant Professor of Climate Health, who has researched how increased global temperatures may affect the evolution and spread of influenza.
Malaria cases could ebb in an even hotter world. But other diseases will get worse
Disease forecasters struggle with the complex impacts of climate change
MONDAY, OCTOBER 2: Meet Brown alum Dr. Kira Lawrence!
Dr. Lawrence PhD ’06, Senior Scientist for New Jersey’s Division of Clean Energy, will provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges associated with offshore wind development along the eastern seaboard.
Following the talk, she will hold a special discussion where students can ask questions and learn more about her career.
⏰ 10 a.m. seminar, 11 a.m. discussion
📍85 Waterman St, Room 101/102
See you there! https://events.brown.edu/ibes/event/271114-offshore-wind-development-along-the-eastern
Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Empowering people, protecting places.
New York City may soon introduce "noise cameras" to fight noise pollution. Erica Walker, IBES affiliate and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Brown University School of Public Health), said that while this technology can help pinpoint the location of commotion, it is a blunt tool for solving noise complaints. Read more in Gothamist.
NYC Council plans to fight loud streets with 'noise cameras'
The City Council is proposing a package of bills to redefine unreasonable noise and implement a noise camera program to dish out fines.
How can the green spaces along our roadsides be used to help pollinators? Find out on this week's episode of Possibly, with insight from student reporters Will Malloy and Meg Talikoff! The Public's Radio 89.3FM https://ow.ly/vA4k50PPUlC
Watch IBES and Biology Professor Stephen Porder discuss his new book, Elemental, in a virtual interview with the owner of Pennsylvania's Wellington Square Bookshop:
Stephen Porder - Elemental: How Five Elements Changed Earth's Past and Will Shape Our Future
An ecologist explores how life itself shapes Earth using the elemental constituents we all shareIt is rare for life to change Earth, yet three organisms have...
When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, many believed the crisis would inspire European governments to turn away from fossil fuels. Instead, the opposite occurred. Learn more from Jeff Colgan — political scientist, IBES affiliate, and director of the Climate Solutions Lab at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs — on the Global Dispatches podcast.
Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters
The longest running independent international affairs podcast features in-depth interviews with policymakers, journalists and experts around the world who discuss global news, international relations, global development and key trends driving world affairs. Named by The Guardian as "a podcast to
When Heather Chaplet ’94 graduated from Brown University with a theater degree, she didn’t expect to move around the world and start her own business. Now Xoomba, Chaplet’s Burkina Faso-based company that looks to limit the environmental and ethical damage of the fashion industry, is thriving. Read more about Chaplet, her company, and her collaboration with IBES undergrads on our website:
Heather Chaplet ’94: Toward a More Sustainable Fashion Industry
Based in West Africa, Chaplet's company Xoomba prioritizes the wellbeing of its collaborators and the environment.
How do we determine "particularly vulnerable" developing countries? IBES and Sociology Professor Timmons Roberts and current and former members of his Climate and Development Lab say that an "objective" approach "is likely to bring division and delay." Read more of the team's new study in Nature Climate Change:
Vulnerability-based allocations in loss and damage finance - Nature Climate Change
Establishment of the loss and damage fund is a major step in climate negotiations for Global South countries, yet resource allocation remains unsettled. This Review shows how vulnerability-based approaches are variable and complex, with the adoption of quantitative measures likely to bring division.
"Even on a winter’s day, heat pumps can take heat from outside, move it inside, and use less energy than if you were heating your house with a furnace," Associate Provost for Sustainability Stephen Porder told the Associated Press. "A furnace makes heat by burning something, [but] moving heat is more efficient than making it."
Governors, Biden administration push to quadruple efficient heating, AC units by 2030
A coalition of 25 governors and the Biden administration are set to announce a pledge Thursday morning to quadruple the number of heat pumps in U.S. homes by 2030.
IBES and Ecology Professor Dov Sax provided extensive commentary on the history of societal attitudes toward native and non-native species, noting that, given how costly efforts often fail to control or eradicate invasive species, "some of that money might be better spent conserving more land or bolstering endangered species." Read more in The Messenger:
Don’t Kill That Bug Yet. Some Scientists Want to Rethink the War on Invasive Species
A small yet vocal minority of biologists contend our war on invasives —with its frequent orders to 'kill on sight'— is misguided, inconsistent and even immoral
"It will only stop getting warmer when we stop burning fossil fuels" write IBES & Biology Professor Stephen Porder and IBES Fellow & DEEPS Professor Baylor Fox-Kemper in their essay for TIME. "Until then, we are rapidly warming ourselves into a climate catastrophe." Read on: https://ow.ly/Glcp50PO08b Brown University Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences
The Air Was Hot This Year. It's Nothing Compared to the Ocean
'Our fate is intimately tied to the fate of our warming oceans,' write Stephen Porder and Baylor Fox-Kemper.
"After 20-plus years teaching in this field, I’ve come to think that our relentless focusing on the negative is, at best, missing an opportunity. At worst, it may be doing more harm than good," IBES and Biology Prof Stephen Porder writes in a recent opinion piece. Read on in Inside Higher Ed:
Environmental curricula should focus on solutions (opinion)
To reach more students, environmental sciences and studies should rework curricula to focus more on solutions, not (just) problems, Stephen Porder writes.
Congratulations to IBES Director Kim Cobb and DEEPS Professor Alberto Saal, who have been elected American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fellows. Since 1962, the AGU Fellows Committee has selected less than 0.1% of its members as new Fellows. Read more in the press release from the Brown University Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences: https://deeps.brown.edu/news/2023-09-13/cobb-saal-agu-fellows
"The way the government regulates air quality is based on averages," says IBES and DEEPS Professor Meredith Hastings. "But we don’t breathe average air."
Hastings leads the Breathe Providence project, which aims to characterize Providence’s air quality on a hyperlocal level. The team is installing 25 low-cost air quality monitors throughout the city to measure concentrations of five major pollutants.
Read more about the project and its impact:
'We're choking': How an air quality study is mapping which PVD neighborhoods have the worst air
A new network of air monitors around the city will measure ozone and other pollutants in real time to alert residents to dangerous conditions.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, the state has had more beach closure days in June and July 2023 than in the entire season last year. Why? Find out more on this week's episode of the Possibly podcast. https://ow.ly/maal50PNl8v
Timmons Roberts, Professor in IBES and the Department of Sociology at Brown, joined fellow Climate Action RI members to participate in Sunday’s March to End Fossil Fuels in New York City. Read more from Brown alum Colleen Cronin '21 in ecoRI News:
Tiniest State Shows Up to One of Largest Climate Rallies Since COVID - ecoRI News
At one of the largest climate rallies in the United States (and the world) since the start of the pandemic, the littlest state represented.
ICYMI: IBES alum Zanagee Artis '22 was featured in The New York Times last month! Artis quit a job at Goldman Sachs to spend more time working at Zero Hour, a climate nonprofit he co-founded in high school. 📸: Pete Kiehart. https://ow.ly/Mz7s50PMVcW
Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Empowering people, protecting places.
“When people in the U.S. see a destructive event ... they typically use the tools that we have at hand – FEMA money and insurance – to rebuild,” Population Studies and IBES Research Professor Beth Fussell told The Christian Science Monitor. But that's changing as people “question whether it makes sense to continue rebuilding when they’re living in a repeat hazard area.” https://ow.ly/o2Gj50PMSuH.
They moved to Vermont for climate safety. Then came floods.
Extreme weather events have been persistent and global. They are bringing home the effects of climate change, even in areas of relative safety.
IBES Fellow and DEEPS Professor Baylor Fox-Kemper noted that he and fellow scientists are "eagerly collecting information" as the extra rainwater Providence has experienced this summer threatens to contribute to pollution in Narragansett Bay.
Floods have been wreaking havoc on Providence – and they’re likely not over yet
This year, Providence has gotten half a foot more rain than on average. The mayor says the city is not prepared.
IBES is hiring! We seek individuals with professional and/or academic experience in sustainable finance & investing, including areas such as cleantech, carbon markets, climate finance, and ESG.
Strong candidates will have demonstrated expertise across the policy-to-implementation continuum and will bring a large network of relevant partners to enrich our academic and research programming. The successful candidate will work closely with the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship and serve as Academic Director for IBES’ program in “Sustainable Investing and Finance.”
Apply today: https://apply.interfolio.com/131777
"If there is anything divine about climate change," says environmental studies alum Blair Nelsen '06, who received her Master's in Religion and sees spirituality as a tool for ecological impact, "perhaps it is the dawning awareness of our own interconnectedness." Read more from Yale Divinity School.
Blair Nelsen: Finding the divine in the face of climate change | Yale Divinity School
By Joseph Becker Earlier this year, Blair Nelsen ’19 M.A.R. made the crowded commute to midtown Manhattan for the first United Nations Water Conference in a generation. She joined representatives from across government, business, science, the environmental movement, and civil society organizations...
Possibly's Kolya Shields kept seeing timelapses of ice sheets shrinking, causing them to wonder about the impacts of glacier melting and what we can do about it. To learn more, Kolya teamed up with fellow reporter Janek Schaller on this week's episode of the Possibly podcast 🎙️ https://ow.ly/PH7u50PKQyG
Mindi Schneider (Lecturer in Environment and Society) and Seda Şalap-Ayça (Professor of the Practice of Geospatial Science in IBES and the Brown University Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences) were recently selected for The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning's Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows Program!
Head to our website to read about the program and why Schneider and Şalap-Ayça are excited to join this year's cohort.
IBES Junior Faculty Join Sheridan Center's Teaching Fellow Program
Lecturer Mindi Schneider and Professor of the Practice Seda Şalap-Ayça have been selected as 2023-24 Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows with the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. The cohort-based program allows a small group of interdisciplinary junior faculty to reflect upon and discuss the...
"By colonizing the continents and moving to the source of the elements whose availability constrained their ocean-dwelling ancestors, land plants set themselves up to become the second great world-changers," writes IBES and Biology Professor Stephen Porder in his new book, Elemental. Read more of the excerpt in LiveScience:
'Once again, innovation and proliferation ended with catastrophe': The environmental disaster of plants taking over the world
"By colonizing the continents and moving to the source of the elements whose availability constrained their ocean-dwelling ancestors, land plants set themselves up to become the second great world-changers."
Congratulations to IBES Fellow Brad Marston, who was recently elected to the presidential line of the American Physical Society. In his upcoming role, Marston — whose work has deep roots in climate science — wants to "interest a broader range of physicists in thinking about the climate problem and possible ways to reduce climate change." Brown University Department of Physics
Brown physicist Brad Marston elected to presidential line of the American Physical Society
A condensed matter physicist who also studies Earth’s climate, Marston will lead the premier physics society in the U.S.
This Friday at 7 PM, join IBES and Biology Professor Stephen Porder at Books on the Square (471 Angell St) to hear about his new book, Elemental.
Meet the Author - Stephen Porder | Books on the Square
Event date: Friday, September 15, 2023 - 7:00pmEvent address: 471 Angell StreetProvidence, RI 02906 Join us on Friday, September 15th at 7:00 p.m. for a reading and discussion with Stephen Porder, author of Elemental. Elemental: How Five Elements Changed Earth's Past and Will Shape Our Future by ...
Introducing the new IBES Leadership Team! Professors Scott Frickel, Dan Ibarra, and James Kellner will work with Director Kim Cobb and Undergrad Studies Director Dawn King to advance research, early career training, and diversity, equity, and inclusion at IBES.
IBES Appoints Three Faculty Members to New Leadership Team
Three members of IBES faculty will join Director Kim Cobb and Director of Undergraduate Studies Dawn King to form an expanded IBES Leadership Team, as outlined in the Institute’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan.
"By looking at this thread that connects us all, we can actually use that understanding to build a more sustainable future," IBES and Biology Professor Stephen Porder said on Saturday's episode of the Keen On podcast. Listen in to learn more about Porder's new book, Elemental:
Keen On: Five Elemental Ways of Building a Sustainable Future: Stephen Porder on how five core elements changed earth's past and will shape our future on Apple Podcasts
Show Keen On, Ep Five Elemental Ways of Building a Sustainable Future: Stephen Porder on how five core elements changed earth's past and will shape our future - Sep 9, 2023