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Events Calendar for rsenr

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vermont Climate Assessment Press Release Event

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Silver Maple Ballroom - Davis
Description: When: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Where: Silver Maple Ballroom, Davis Center, University of Vermont

Why: The Vermont Climate Assessment (VCA) is the first state-scale climate assessment in the country. It’s being released just 3 weeks after the National Climate Assessment and speaks directly to the results of climate change as they pertain to our rural towns, cities and communities including impacts on Vermont tourism and recreation, agriculture, water resources and energy. VCA paints a vivid picture of a changing climate in Vermont and calls for immediate strategic planning to sustain the social, economic and environmental fabric of our state.

More Information: Please join us in this exciting event as we release the final report and summarize key findings on how climate change has impacted and will impact Vermont. A panel of speakers will comment on the implications of the report, followed by a question & answer session with authors and panel members. The panel members include Deb Markowitz, Secretary of Natural Resources, David Blittersdorf, President and CEO All Earth Renewables, Win Smith, President and Owner of Sugarbush Resort, and Ray Allen, Owner of Allenholm Farm. A reception will follow at noon.

Save the date, invite others and please RSVP!

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

RSENR Thesis Seminar & Defense: Jakob Schenker

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Ecological Remediation Using Bacterial and Fungal Microcosms: an Effective Solution for Bunker C Crude Oil Contamination in Waterways

By Jakob Schenker

Seminar: 1:00, Aiken 311
Defense: 2:00, Aiken 311

Dr. William Keeton, Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Dr. Donald Ross, Research Professor, Plant & Soil Science, Chair
Dr. Suzanne Levine, Associate Professor, RSENR

Factory legacy pollutants are an increasing concern for waterways as old infrastructure deteriorates and contaminates nearby environments. The Fisherville Mill in Grafton, Massachusetts, USA exemplifies this problem since it has now fallen into disrepair and is leaking Bunker C crude oil into the adjoining Blackstone River, a third order stream. Our research examines how effectively an ecologically engineered system (EES), consisting of anaerobic bacteria environments, fungal microcosms, and aquatic plant environments, can break down extracted petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH), specifically aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), in this river environment.

Our testing protocol involved taking water samples before and after each filtration stage monthly from June through October 2012. Water samples were analyzed at the Brown University Superfund Research Lab using mass spectrometry to determine aliphatic and PAH concentrations.

Our results showed post-treatment aliphatic oil concentrations were significantly different from control concentrations (p=0.008), with an average reduction of 95.2%. Post-treatment PAH concentrations were not significantly different from control concentrations (p=0.135), however the average reduction was still considerably high at 91%. Nonetheless, post-treatment PAH concentrations were significantly different when compared to an alternative sampling point in the river (p=0.002). We conclude that this EES provided effective treatment for Bunker C crude oil, even though some filtration stages did not achieve their intended objectives. This type of filtration has the potential to be scaled, and therefore should also be considered in larger remediation efforts regarding Bunker C crude oil.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

RSENR Thesis Seminar & Defense: Joan White

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Renewable Energy Versus Land Conservation? Cutting Green Tape While Improving Ecological Outcomes for Wind Energy Projects in Vermont

By Joan White

Refreshments: 12:30 pm, Aiken 311
Seminar: 1:00 pm, Aiken 311
Defense: 2:00 – 3:30 pm, Aiken 311

Walter Poleman, Professor, RSENR; Director, GreenHouse Residential Learning Community, Advisor
Alec Ewald, Associate Professor, Political Science, Chair
Taylor Ricketts, Professor, RSENR; Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

Climate change creates an imperative to develop renewable energy infrastructure. However, that infrastructure poses significant threats to natural systems because of the large area of land required. Public outcry over new developments and about the current siting process indicate that the old regulatory process may be outdated and in need of reform. This thesis seeks to bridge the divide between ecology and law when it comes to wind energy siting. Using the state of Vermont as a case study, it suggests a new proactive, energy planning process for wind energy that would use spatial analysis and public involvement to help identify areas where wind turbines would have the least possible impact on ecological and social systems in the state.

A better understanding of public concern, landscape scale spatial modeling of ecosystem services, and a new, proactive energy planning process could pave the way for a smoother and more effective siting process for wind energy in the state.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RSENR Thesis Seminar & Defense: Jeffrey Krebs

Time: 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Modeling the Effects of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on Carbon Storage in Northern New England Forests

By Jeffrey J. Krebs

Seminar: 1 p.m., Aiken 311
Defense: 2:00 p.m., Aiken 311

Jennifer Pontius, Ph.D., RSENR, Advisor
Jon Erickson, Ph.D., RSENR Department Chair
Paul Schaberg, Ph. D., RSENR Department & U.S. Forest Service
Timothy Perkins, Ph.D., Plant Biology Department

The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA, Adelges tsugae Annand) is an invasive insect that threatens to eradicate native eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.) across the eastern United States. In southern New England and southern Appalachian forests, HWA-induced hemlock mortality has impacted carbon (C) flux by altering stand age, litter composition, species composition, and coarse woody debris levels. However, no one has examined how total C storage and sequestration may be impacted by these changes. Further, while projections are that HWA will ultimately impact hemlock across its entire geographic range, the majority of studies have been limited to southern New England and Appalachian forests where HWA infestation has been ongoing. To address these gaps, we examined how HWA might alter C dynamics in northern New England forests over the next 150 years using the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) and Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data to model C storage and successional pathways under three different scenarios: preemptive harvesting of hemlock, HWA-induced hemlock mortality, and a control mimicking natural stand development absent disturbance. Our 150 year simulation showed that, while all treatments differed significantly in C storage in the short term, there was no significant difference between HWA infestation and presalvage treatments by the 75th year. Both result in a significant decrease in total C storage, with greater impacts on stands with higher hemlock densities. However, net C losses over the next 150 years are significantly higher for the presalvage scenario, indicating that allowing HWA infestation to progress naturally through a stand may result in the least impact to long-term C sequestration for the region’s forests.

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UVM Food Systems Summit

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Davis Center
Description: The UVM Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world. The 2014 Summit will take place June 17-18, 2014, at UVM.

The Summit is designed to optimize engagement between scholars and practitioners outside of academia. As such, the Summit is open to the public, the organizers are actively seeking participation from regional nonprofits and government, and all sessions include time for Q&A and engaged dialogue with the audience.

Please join us for this unique food systems event! Register now!

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