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January 2021

RISE Climate Mitigation Student Awards

January 28 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy (RISE) invites you to the second annual RISE Climate Mitigation Student Award Ceremony. About this Event UMass Lowell Chancellor, Jacquie Moloney, will present awards to winning teams of students in the RISE Climate Mitigation Challenge. Each winning team has developed a unique project aimed to reduce the university or city's emissions by 10,000 lbs of CO2 within 10 weeks. This will be a virtual event held on Thursday, January 28th at 4pm ET.…

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February 2021

Living with Plastics: Problems and Solutions

February 1 @ 5:00 pm - 5:50 pm

A recent study predicted that 12,000 mega tonnes of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050, costing USD 40 billion annually in lost value. These startling numbers have propelled research activity on plastics recovery, redesign, recycling, and general sustainability in the Plastics Engineering Department at UML. This lecture will discuss the basic issues in plastics sustainability, recent research highlights from the Sobkowicz group, and steps being taken in the department to lower its environmental…

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Progress in water quality… but still more work to do

February 16 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Progress! We will briefly review the 50-year history of water quality improvements via the Clean Water Act (CWA), examine the CWA framework, and address current events related to our nation’s surface water quality. Be sure to have a glass of water on hand for this session (seriously). Richard Friesner has worked in the environmental sciences for over fifteen years in different capacities and holds a doctorate in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University. Currently, he serves as…

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Eco-grief and climate anxiety: managing the crisis

February 22 @ 5:00 pm - 5:50 pm

We usually focus on the physical impacts of climate change, but ecological disruption is also taking a huge emotional toll. This talk explores the mental health dimensions of climate disruption, and offers strategies for navigating the diverse emotions we feel in response to this crisis: anxiety, grief, guilt, fear, apathy, hope and more. Jennifer Atkinson is an Associate Professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington and host of "Facing It," a podcast exploring the emotional toll of climate disruption. She also…

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March 2021

Environmental Racism: Recognizing Its Impact and Environmental Justice Groups Creating Change

March 1 @ 5:00 pm - 5:50 pm

This lecture will provide an overview of environmental health and environmental racism with a discussion on the impacts of redlining in Boston as well as an introduction to Pennsylvania based community organization, “Philly Thrive”, and their path towards environmental justice in Philadelphia. Dr. Sheila Tripathy is a Research Fellow at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the Healthy Cities Lab and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center Community Engagement Core (CEC). Her work focuses on collaborating…

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Are We Alone? Searching Exoplanet Atmospheres for Clues

March 15 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Since the first discovery of an exoplanet in the early nineties, thousands of others have been discovered.  We will look at the methods and space-based and terrestrial platforms used to detect exoplanets.  A real surprise has been that we can make measurements on their atmospheres, which allows an opportunity to look for the biosignatures of life. Robert Gamache, a professor emeritus in the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, has been an active researcher during his almost 43 years at UMass Lowell. He has published…

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Leading by Example in State Government: Putting Climate Policy into Action

March 22 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join this session to hear how the Massachusetts Leading by Example Program and all of state government are working to help the Commonwealth meet aggressive and far-reaching emissions reduction goals. Learn how state agencies and college campuses are moving forward on building efficiency, renewable energy, and long-term decarbonization planning, while also get an understanding of some of the key challenges facing large institutions as we try to move toward a post-fossil fuel world. Eric Friedman is the Director of the…

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Climate Change as Moral Priority: The Green Patriarch

March 23 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Coastal Wetlands in a Changing World: The Future of Salt Marsh Ecosystems

March 29 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Coastal salt marshes are highly productive systems that provide numerous ecosystems services but are increasingly threatened by climate change and land use change. The fate of tidal wetlands is controlled by geomorphic feedbacks between sea-level rise, plant productivity, organic matter respiration, and sediment availability that together determine rates of mineral and organic matter accretion and, ultimately, whether these systems persist. In this talk, I will present on-going research at the Plum Island Ecosystems LTER assessing consequences of how increased marsh…

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April 2021

Someone in Texas didn’t water their backyard & caused a drought in New England?

April 5 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Land surface moisture plays a crucial role in precipitation patterns across the globe. Evapotranspiration (the combination of ground evaporation, canopy evaporation, and transpiration) from the land surface can influence precipitation through local recycling and the propagation of moisture to downwind regions. This talk will provide an overview of how the North American land surface modulates precipitation. The connection between land surface moisture and drought episodes are also examined for different regions of North America. Tyler Harrington is a graduate student…

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