News

Congratulations to Alex Karambelas on successful completion of her qualifying exams in the Nelson Institute Environment & Resources Program. (March 2015)





Alex Karambelas was accepted into the prestigious Young Scientist Summer Program (YSSP) at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Vienna, Austria. Alex will spend three months at IIASA this summer, using computer models of air quality to examine the interaction of rural and urban air pollution sources across South Asia (March 2015) .






SAGE Alums (Jami Morton, Claus Moberg, and Matt Luedke) with Tech Startup win Nelson Institute Prize. (read the story) (March 2015)



Recent article published by Annemarie Schneider in Environmental Research Letters also highlighted in Science 6 March 2015, Vol. 347 no. 6226 pp. 1048-1050, DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6226.1048

 In Brief: This week's section
"Asia's cities swell as population surges"

Over the past decade, East and Southeast Asia have experienced an urbanization boom unlike any the world has ever seen. From China and Japan to the Philippines and Indonesia, the urban population of 17 countries in East and Southeast Asia increased from 738 million people in 2000 to 969 million in 2010. But the rate of expansion of urban land area—2% annually, on average, over that period—did not keep up with the rate of population change, which was about 2.8% per year, according to a 4 March report in Environmental Research Letters. Instead, Asia's teeming metropolises are cramming ever more humanity within existing city limits—confounding predictions that the cities will greatly expand their footprints as migrants flood in. “The assumption from past research has been that cities of all sizes will eventually decline in density,” says author Annemarie Schneider, a geographer at University of Wisconsin, Madison. “This study reveals the opposite.” The trend may seem obvious to Asian cities straining to provide basic services for burgeoning populations. But for urban planners, the findings, Schneider says, could change “how officials plan and adapt to urbanization in the future.” (Mar 2015)




Greg Nemet wins Romnes Faculty Fellowship! Romnes awards recognize exceptional faculty members who have earned tenure within the last six years. Selected by a UW Graduate School committee, eight winners receive an unrestricted $50,000 award for research, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
The award is named for the late H. I. Romnes, former chairman of the board of AT&T and former president of the WARF Board of Trustees. (read the UW News story) (March 2015)




Could squirmy livestock dent Africa’s protein deficit? Read the UW News article about Valerie Stull and Rachel Bergmans' research on the use of mealworms as an inexpensive microlivestock that can provide an easy source of protein for humans.




Tyler Lark presents "Conservation and Biofuel Policy Implications of Recent Cropland Expansion in the United States" at the Nelosn Institute's Student Brownbag Seminar
Thursday, 12:30PM on February 12th
Room 15 Science Hall (Feb 2015) 


Tracey Holloway will serve as chairperson of the 2015 Energy Summit, the signature event of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI). This year’s Summit will address “Air & Energy: the Path Ahead for U.S. States,” and will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2015 (registration to open later this spring). The 2015 Energy Summit will facilitate discussion on complex issues facing policy-makers, industry , researchers, and the public in coming years. This one-day meeting will include expert panels representing perspectives of industry, regulators, researchers, and other stakeholders. For more information, please see the Wisconsin Energy Institute website
(Feb 2015)


New study by Holly Gibbs et al. published in the journal Science highlights the contributions of the industry-led Soy Moratorium in reducing the amount of deforestation linked to soy production in the Brazilian Amazon.
The study was led by a team of colleagues in the U.S. and Brazil. Brief summary of the findings: 
• Annual mapping of soy expansion shows that prior to the Soy Moratorium, about 30% of soy planted in the Amazon was directly replacing forests, but this fell to less than 1% by 2014.  Direct conversion continues in the Cerrado, where the Moratorium does not apply. 
• Brazil's environmental governance has been suggested to be effective enough to justify ending the Moratorium.  However, our results illustrate that the government policies are not an adequate replacement.  
• For example, 25-30% of Amazon deforestation occurs within CAR registered properties, with half of that occurring within designated Legal Reserves.  Less than half of illegal deforestation is penalized, and loopholes make it difficult to avoid those purchase properties that are embargoed. Less than 2% of soy farmers have intact Legal Reserves.
• Property-level analysis of soy farms across Mato Grosso demonstrates that soy farmers are 5x more likely to violate the Forest Code than the Soy Moratorium.  
• Current soy area could expand by 600% in the Amazon biome under the Moratorium restrictions.
(UW News Press Release, NWF blog)
(Jan 2015)


New article released in Landscape & Urban Planning
Annemarie Schneider's new research assessing the urban transformation in Western China has been published in this month's issue of Landscape & Urban Planning. The work, funded by a NASA Land Cover-Land Use Change grant, focuses on the post-reform period (1988–2009) in four major metropolitan areas: Chengdu, Xi’an, Kunming, and Urumqi. The analysis exploits recent land change maps, satellite images, socioeconomic data, and master planning documents, and draws on a variety of spatial and statistical measures to estimate urban patterns through space and time. Check out the full article here for more information. (Jan 2015)


Events


Weston Roundtable Lecture Series

The Weston Roundtable is a weekly lecture series with on- and off-campus leaders in sustainability science, engineering, and policy. The unique, discussion-heavy format aims to build a community around policy-relevant sustainability science and engineering topics. The weekly 4:15-5:15 PM meeting includes a 40-45 minute presentation, followed by 15-20 minutes of discussion. Each meeting is preceded by coffee, tea, cookies, and conversation. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Location: 1106 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Avenue, unless otherwise noted

Patrick Reed26 Mar: Patrick M. Reed
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University

"Discovering Tradeoffs, Vulnerabilities, and Stakeholder Dependencies in Complex Environmental Systems" Over the past decade our speaker’s research group has worked to implement his “many-objective visual analytics” (MOVA) framework for management of complex environmental systems. This framework helps decision-makers discover key system tradeoffs, vulnerabilities, and dependencies. The goal is to transform decision-makers’ abilities to pose and explore multiple competing problem conceptions. Professor Reed’s presentation will demonstrate key computational innovations in the MOVA framework, using multi-city urban water portfolio planning in the Southeast US, and will highlight recent assessment of the vulnerability of space-based rainfall observations to coordination failures and infrastructure collapse.


View all Weston speakers
View WEBCASTS

Contact Carol Barford for more information


For email updates of SAGE events, email Mary Sternitzky with "Join SAGE Friends List" in the subject line.

Are you a SAGE alum? (Or interested in where we go after UW?) Visit our Alumni page, and send us your current info!

Updated: 3/24/15

SAGE is a Research Center of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Contact us with feedback, questions or accessibility issues


Copyright © 2015 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System