Environment @ Brown

cropped-6.jpgLeslie Lab member Megan Palmer (Brown Class of 2014, Biology) penned a personal essay for Heather’s senior seminar, Engaged Environmental Scholarship and Communication, reflecting on her independent interdisciplinary research and capstone coursework in Biology and Environmental Science. 

Technically, there’s no camping on Block Island. But over the second weekend of the fall semester, my Coastal Ecology + Conservation class, including Professor Leslie, our teaching assistant Kara, and fourteen undergraduates, loaded up two trucks with tents, sleeping bags, and coolers full of homemade vegetarian food and trekked to the little island thirteen miles south of the Rhode Island mainland. Read more….

Erica Goldman, Assistant Director of Science Policy Outreach at COMPASS, blogged this week on ways academic scientists balance policy engagement with their teaching and research activities. I am honored to be called out as an example. Read the post here…. and check back soon to learn about this spring and summer’s field work in Baja.



Amphipod, courtesy of http://www.shore11.org/node/13325

Amphipod, courtesy of http://www.shore11.org/node/13325

A new study by Jeremy Rich and colleagues reports that anammox, a key process in the nitrogen cycle, is barely present in Narragansett Bay even though it’s a major factor just a little farther out into Rhode Island Sound. Scientists traced that to differences between bay and sound sediments, but that raises new questions about what’s going on in the Bay to account for those. Read more….

Slide1On Wednesday, April 30, in Salomon Hall 001 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Brown will host the Beneath the Waves Film Festival. This is a showcase of several short, independent films about ocean science and conservation. Most of the films were created by scientists, students, and lovers of the ocean who had a powerful story to tell. The films are curated and selected by the Beneath the Waves Film Festival (www.beneaththewavesfilmfest.org), and EEB graduate student Robbie Lamb is acting as host for the screening.
The films will be followed by a discussion led by panelists Jon Witman, Heather Leslie, and Jen Galvin. We hope to see you there!

The Voss Environmental Fellows Program is delighted to announce the five recipients of the 2014-2015 fellowships. Celebrate the accomplishments of the current cohort and Brown’s commitment to engaged scholarship, training, and practice by joining the Fellows and friends at the Urban Environmental Lab garden on Wednesday, April 30 from 4 to 530 pm. RSVP to Heather_Leslie(at)brown.edu

Leslie Lab undergraduate researcher and Voss course participant Megan Palmer published an op ed earlier this year in The Providence Journal on the merits of offshore wind power. Read it here. 

P3260150A lot of research shows that temperature can strongly influence species interactions and sometimes shape the appearance and functioning of biological communities. That’s why a newly published finding by Leslie lab alum and Fulbright scholar Emily Lamb, along with Heather and Emily’s co-mentor, Dr. Jenna Shinen of the Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas (ECIM) in Chile, that changes in temperature did not alter the competitive balance of power between two rival species of Chilean barnacles is an ecological surprise.

Read more…

Voss Environmental Fellows funds Brown juniors to undertake use-inspired research summer projects. Fellows are co-advised by Brown or Brown-MBL faculty member and the end user of the research, with the goal of producing new knowledge that is both scientifically valid and useful in improving environmental policy or practice. The program is open to students and faculty from all departments, and students receive a $3500 stipend and modest research fund.

The application (due February 14, 2014) requires a well-developed project concept, so we encourage applicants to start finding mentors and developing a project early. Learn more about the work of past Voss Fellows at http://blogs.brown.edu/bef/, and contact Program Director Prof. Heather Leslie with questions.

Click here to read the reflections of Leslie lab alums Harriet Booth and Katherine Siegel on their undergraduate engaged research projects. Harriet and Katherine, both Class of 2013, were members of the Leslie lab and participated in Heather’s upper level course on Engaged Environmental Scholarship and Communication in Spring 2013.

To learn more about the course or opportunities to participate in engaged research through the Voss Environmental Fellows program, contact Heather_Leslie(at)brown.edu

Brown undergraduates learn about the coastal ecology and human history of the bay from John Torgan, Coastal and Marine Program Director for the RI chapter of The Nature Conservancy

Brown undergraduates learn about the Bay’s natural and human history from John Torgan, director of Ocean and Coastal Conservation for the RI chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

In Fall 2013, 14 Brown University undergraduates are investigating the diversity of ways that humans are connected to and part of ecosystems in coastal Rhode Island. Through the seminar-style course Coastal Ecology and Conservation (ENVS 0455/BIOL 0455) taught by Prof. Heather Leslie and graduate teaching assistant Kara Pellowe, students are learning core ecological principles and how they are translated in the context of conservation in the Ocean State.

This course is writing intensive, as students gain experience writing in a variety of forms relevant for environmental science, including personal essays, research proposals, blog posts, and field reports. Students also experience engaged scholarship, as they have opportunities to interact with conservation professionals from both the non profit and government sectors and to shape their independent research projects in ways that are salient to real-world environmental problem-solving.

For example, in collaboration with staff from The Nature Conservancy, students have had the opportunity to contribute to coastal habitat restoration on Block Island and explore the diversity of marine life in upper Narragansett Bay.

Check back for news of the class’s guide to the urban coastlines of the Bay later this year!

Next Page »