Category: Non-Tufts Events (page 1 of 31)

Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities conference recap

conference logo

I was lucky enough to attend the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities conference at the University of Georgia, Athens, in the beginning of November. The 2018 theme, Arts Environments: Design, Resilience, and Sustainability, explored the relationships between artistic processes and environmental practices.

A recurring topic discussed in panels and plenaries was art as a way to communicate science. Art can inspire a sense of wonder, thereby imparting value on parts of the world we regularly ignore and degrade. Combining artistic and scientific research methods fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. However, employing art as merely a design tool runs the risk of translating ideas without recognizing art as its own investigative process.

To create a culture and center for combining art and science, equal time must be spent on social, active, and reflective steps, which form a cycle and build off of each other. For example, a social event where members of a university meet each other across disciplines and roles should precede an activity where people develop relationships through shared projects. Then, intentional time to reflect on the process allows for growth and change.

Below are a few sessions that I found especially inspiring:

Artful Rainwater Design:

This speaker gave numerous examples of how sculpture, landscape design, and infrastructure can be used to both conserve water and to help people visualize and appreciate the water cycle. Art is used as a strategy for humans to collaborate with the environment.

High Tide: Public Landscape Art Installation by Carolina Aragon in Boston’s North End

https://www.umass.edu/magazine/fall-2016/time-and-tide

Carolina Aragon described her approach of “making very pretty things about very scary topics.” Through a study using social science data collection techniques, she discovered the importance of site-specificity, or making art in a location that directly addresses the experiences of the population in that location. The sculptural installation illustrates future sea levels in a Boston neighborhood.

Tyler School of Art. Dye Garden

https://tyler.temple.edu/blog/natural-dye-garden-temple-community-garden-fibers-and-material-studies-program

Students, faculty, and administration worked together to create a visible, functional garden at the Tyler School of Art, part of Temple University. Textile and other art students will use the garden to dye materials and learn about social practice, gardening, and the history of certain plants, especially cash crops’ ties to slavery and race.

If you are interested in how art is used in research, consider attending next year’s conference, titled “Knowledges” at the University of Kansas.

The Silver Lining for Climate in Politically Uncertain Times

Content based on the 150th Environmental Studies Lunch and Learn given to professors, staff, and students at Tufts University. Every week during the academic year, the Lunch & Learn lecture series features speakers from government, industry, academia and non-profit organizations to give presentations on environmental topics. This is a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge beyond the curriculum, meet other faculty and students and network with the speakers.

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are welcome to attend this lecture series, which is co-sponsored by the Tufts Institute of the Environment and the Tisch College of Civic Life.


Climate Strategy During the Trump Years
Kenneth Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

The presidency of Donald Trump poses significant uncertainty about the extent to which the United States will continue to make progress on addressing climate change. Ken Kimmell will explore how the incoming administration might rollback policies that have been put in place to address climate change, and make it more difficult for future administrations to address the issue. He will also discuss the progress that is being made in states and regions of the country and the improving economics of clean energy. He will highlight the strategies that the Union of Concerned Scientists and others are likely to employ to limit the damage to our climate objectives and build upon the progress that is being made.

Like many of us, Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)—a leading science-based nonprofit that combines the knowledge and influence of the scientific community with the passion of concerned citizens to build a healthy planet and a safer world—see the “dark cloud” surrounding the new political climate; however, Mr. Kimmell is hopeful that its “silver lining” will come in the form of positive change from the people.

In his talk at Alumnae Lounge this March, Ken discussed the darkness in terms of threatened democracy and a “very confused citizenry.” The new administration has been riddled by what Mr. Kimmell refers to as a “factless presidency,” upheld by “alternative facts” and dominated by the belief that climate change is a hoax. Meanwhile, Congress is increasingly captive to special interests that wish to deregulate industries and thwart protection of the environment and human health. And, every day an increasing amount of fake news is published in the media, leading the public to lose trust in the institutions of media, government, and academia to try to “separate fact from fiction.”

At the same time, climate change continues to be a reality faced by many. The Paris Agreement, a global agreement between 197 signatory countries to address and reduce climate change, makes ambitious goals for the U.S. Kimmell explains that this agreement has not been ratified through the Senate and with the new administration’s determination to repeal and prevent climate policy, it will be a great challenge to meet the goals set by the Paris agreement. The administration’s “scorched earth” tactics to dismantle comprehensive climate policy create a long lasting impact on the viability of climate policy. These tactics work hand-in-hand with the government’s “censorship of science” to created what Mr. Kimmell refers to as “Climate Denial 3.0,” in which people do not argue whether or not climate change exists, but instead feel that this determination and proceeding action cannot be made before further “debate and dialogue.” There is a real possibility more funding will be granted to the fringe theories in this “continuing debate,” creating propaganda that sows doubt instead of producing policy upheld by over 20 years of federally-collected data on climate change.

While it may seem a bleak future for the climate movement, Kimmell sees a silver lining in “opportunities to resist, build power, broaden the environmental movement, and revitalize it.” He observes that with “lightning speed, resistance is forming.” People are ready and organizing to mobilize, protect, and expose injustice in changes to federal policy. He also sees the court room as a safety net built into our government, as its decisions and actions are based in factual evidence for actions taken. While the federal government is lagging behind in climate leadership, many cities and states are taking initiative to create climate strategies and goals for increased reliance on renewable energy, clean energy job creation, carbon pricing, cap and trade, zoning codes for smart growth, diversion of food waste, and investment in public transport.

With all this to contend with, what can we do as residents, citizens, students, and academics? Kimmell advises us to lead by example within our institutions, mentioning as an example UCS’s recent divestment from fossil fuels. Another way to make change is to join local movements of resistance and get more civically engaged, contacting your members of Congress and local representatives. There are also national opportunities to stand up in resistance, including the March for Science—focusing on how science and academia can publish, communicate, and engage to reach the groups who need their help—and the People’s Climate March—working to acknowledge the issues of climate, justice, and jobs—both of which are coming up at the end of April.

We have the power to make our voices heard on climate change—a universal issue that “reaches across all people, animals, and landscapes,” and impacts disproportionately the health and security of low-income communities and communities of color. It is important that the environmental movement work with environmental justice communities to elevate the priority of climate change and resist deliberate inaction and oppression collectively.

 

Conference Scholarship, BuildingEnergy (Boston, MA)

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) is now accepting scholarship applications for students to attend the BuildingEnergy Boston Conference + Trade Show on March 8th, 2017. Current voc/tech, college, and graduate students passionate about renewable energy, sustainable building, and high-performance design are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. We are calling upon members of our extended community to help us spread the word to qualified students.
Application Deadline: November 30, 2016
Apply Online

The #MCBC2016 Countdown is ON!

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There are just 4 days left ’til the 2016 MassCommute Bicycle Challenge!

Here’s how you can gear up:

Sign Up the new webinar:  “Bike Commuting Decoded” (space is limited, we recommend signing up in advance)

Just in time for MCBC, we’ve partnered with our friends at MassBike to host a free webinar on Thursday, May 12th from 12:00-1:00 to explore the nuts & bolts of bike commuting. If you, or someone you know is part of the 60% of Americans who are interested in bike commuting but feel too concerned to start, this is the event for you.
Learn from the experts and ask questions about how you can make biking a part of your daily commute, during Bike Week and all year round!

Nominate Someone (or yourself!) for a Wheelie Award!

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The Wheelie Awards are a special way to recognize and honor cyclists who ride with a unique level of dedication and excitement. For example, do you know someone who rides their bike like a minivan? Nominate them for the Pack Mule Award! Know someone who fell in love while cycling? Nominate them for the Bicycle Love Story Award! You get the idea.

One winner will be selected in each of the following categories to win a special prize provided by the sponsor of that award ($200+ value!).  Award decisions are based on online written submissions, as well as accompanying photos and videos sent via email.

This year’s Wheelie Award Categories include:

…and last but not least…

Make Sure YOU (and/or your team) are Registered for the Challenge! 

If you registered for the Challenge in 2015, we still have all of your information. Just log back in with your email and password or click on the “Returning Users Login” button, and you’re good to go! If you are a new participant, or if you missed us in 2015, you will need to register through the MCBC website.

*Be sure to select “Tufts University” as your institution!

**If applicable, please indicate your employer in your registration settings so that the miles you log count towards your company’s totals!

Questions?
Email: MCBikeChallenge@masscommute.com

On Social Media? Let’s Connect!
Facebook: @Masscommutebicyclechallenge
Twitter: @MCBikeChallenge
Instagram: @MCBikeChallenge

Job Networking Fair, Harvard College Conservation Society, (Cambridge, MA)

We are the Harvard College Conservation Society, and we would like to invite you to attend our Job Networking Fair on Saturday March 5th, 2016. The purpose of this fair will be to connect Harvard University and other Boston-based students interested in careers in conservation with each other, and with scientists and conservationists from NGO’s such as the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, the Oceanic Society, and Women for Wildlife.

The fair will have three major components:

  1. Talks and panel discussion centered around presentations by women from the ‘Women for Wildlife’ network, accomplished biologists and conservationists, and representatives from major international NGO’s.
  2. Discussions in small classroom-type settings, for students Boston-wide interested in pursuing jobs or summer internships in the conservation field.
  3. A networking lunch with information distribution for groups interested in giving out contact information and or work application opportunities.

Let us know if members of your group are interested in the event so we can be sure to expect the right number of people, and also whether you would be interested in reserving a table for your group at the reception.

Event Date: Saturday March 5, 2016
Contact harvardconservation@gmail.com to attend
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