Northwestern Students Accepted into Clinton Global Initiative University Program
In this academic year, nine Northwestern University students will participate in a year-round curriculum including an international conference as a part of the 12th annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) program. After a rigorous selection process, approximately 700 students from over 100 countries and 280 institutions of higher education were selected to join the CGI U class of 2020.
Accepted participants from Northwestern include: Saif Bhatti, Hannah Caplan, Amy Drake, Giovanni Gamalong, Simone Laszuk, Ahlaam Moledina, Allison O’Donnell, Nicole Tanda, and Mariel Tang.
Read more here!
Buffett Institute for Global Affairs awards $150,000 in support to ‘Idea Incubation Workshop’ project
The Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs awarded an estimated $150,000 in support to an innovative global research project — “Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Challenges”— after hosting the institute’s inaugural “Idea Incubation Workshop” this month.
Twelve Northwestern scholars, practitioners and outside experts collaborated on the interdisciplinary project aimed at mitigating climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, deforestation, pollution and other global environmental challenges that will require unprecedented community-based cooperation and research creativity.
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Northwestern University Recognized as Collective Conference Champion for EPA's 2018-2019 University Green Power Challenge
Northwestern University announced today that it is one of eight schools in the Big Ten Conference the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing as 2018-19 Collective Conference Champions for their green power use. With this award, EPA recognizes both the Big Ten and its participating schools for winning the 2018-19 College and University Green Power Challenge. Together, the schools in this conference collectively use more green power than any other conference participating in the challenge, with the University of Maryland leading the way as the Big Ten school that used the largest amount of green power.
Read more about what Northwestern is doing to stay green here!
Expanded Composting at Norris Center
In April 2019, student organization Northwestern University Real Food (NURF) piloted expanded food waste compost collections to diners on the ground floor of Norris University Center. While food waste composting is part of all campus dining operations, most collections take place in prep, serving, and dish room areas. With the help of Northwestern Dining, the Norris staff, and sustainNU, NURF was able to compost 400 pounds of waste from diners over a 4-week period, avoiding disposal in a landfill.
Read more about the wonderful initiative NURF has taken here!
Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Wendy Schmidt Discusses Critical Ocean Issues
Our oceans are under attack.
Contaminants pour in from everywhere. Plastic and chemical pollution overflow from cities and farms. Discarded waste materials come from the clothing industry. Trash and netting from fishing boats, illegal fishing and over-fishing create traps. Deep-sea mining and drilling by governments and industry release spills and sludge.
“It’s hard to care about something that you can’t see,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, speaking at Northwestern University on May 7. “It’s even harder to care about something you don’t understand.”
In her speech, “The Low Down on the High Seas: What We Don’t Know About the Ocean Can Kill Us,” Schmidt presented optimistic approaches to address critical ocean issues such as oil spill, micro-plastic, acidification, their impact on industries, and the framework of viewing the ocean as part of an interactive living system.
Read more about this issue here!
Northwestern Student Explores Legal Solutions to Help Protect the Amazon
Beginning in the fall of 2018, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) began working with the Environmental Advocacy Center to determine what opportunities and solutions exist on how to incorporate “natural capital” such as rain forests and human livelihood into infrastructure projects in the Amazon.
This could mean legal and policy changes that would enable WWF to work with local communities to better protect the environment in the Amazon and the interests of indigenous people.
The project emerged due in large part to WWF’s formal partnership with the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN).
Read more about it here!
Methane-consuming Bacteria Could be the Future of Fuel
Known for their ability to remove methane from the environment and convert it into a usable fuel, methanotrophic bacteria have long fascinated researchers. But how, exactly, these bacteria naturally perform such a complex reaction has been a mystery.
Now an interdisciplinary team at Northwestern University has found that the enzyme responsible for the methane-methanol conversion catalyzes this reaction at a site that contains just one copper ion.
This finding could lead to newly designed, human-made catalysts that can convert methane — a highly potent greenhouse gas — to readily usable methanol with the same effortless mechanism.
Read more here!
Working to Preemptively Respond to the Problem of Plastic Pollution
Despite its single-use lifespan, most of all plastic will persist for hundreds of years—eventually making its way into the environment and into the food and water we consume. That is why Cristina Negri, director of Argonne National Laboratory’s environmental science division, called plastics one of the worst misdesigns in history.
Read more about what action ISEN is taking here!
Northwestern Launches Program on Plastics, Ecosystems, and Public Health
The Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University (ISEN) is spearheading a new Program on Plastics, Ecosystems, and Public Health. The Program’s ultimate goal is to establish comprehensive scientific understanding of the uncertain environmental and human health impacts resulting from the unprecedented use and accumulation of plastics worldwide, while accelerating the discovery of scalable solutions to mitigate such impacts.