This Wednesday, the Environmental Internship Symposium will happen in Heller G1 at 6:30pm! For more information, please view the flyer below.
December 5, 2013
November 20, 2013
November 18, 2013
The Russian government and the Greenpeace organization are arguing over the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Arctic. The rig is owned by Gazprom, a Russian state-owned company. The base of the rig is so heavy that it cannot be moved, and it sits about 20 meters (66 feet) deep on a seabed.
The issue with the rig is not its structure. Instead, it is the possibility of a spill in the Arctic waters. Campaigners say that “the nature here is unique,” as the animals, such as polar bears, walruses, and narwhals, have nowhere else to go if there is a spill. The arctic ocean has two narrow entrances to the remaining oceans: one by Iceland and the other by Alaska. Therefore, there is little mixing with other seas, causing oil spills to stay in the Arctic. Also, an oil spill would be catastrophic because of the low temperatures in the north. In tropical waters, oil becomes absorbed readily by bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms do not live in cold waters, so the oil would stay in the Arctic for about 100 years. Companies also do not have the technology to collect spilled oil under ice.
Gazprom claims that they have extremely safe measures intact. The rig is in shallow water, enabling the wellhead to be inside the rig. There is also a cut-off system that offloads the oil into tanks. There are detections on the tanks to detect movement, and if there is too much movement by a factor such as ice, oil stops flowing. The company also claims that they could clean up a spill under the ice by using icebreakers. Two icebreakers are near the rig, which would enable skimmers to enter the water and clean oil if needed.
The safety measurements are not enough for Greenpeace activists, who repeatedly attempt to climb the rig in protest. By climbing the rig, the activists are creating risk to the rig’s possibility of spilling. Workers have even started to spray the rig with fire hoses while the activists attempt to climb up, but the activists claim that the use of inflatable boats and lightweight ropes deters them from being a threat.
This year, when 30 Greenpeace activists attempted to climb the rig, the FSB, Russia’s federal security service, pulled the activists off, pointed guns at them, and opened fire onto the water. The activists are now in jail with charges of “piracy as part of an organized group.” The Netherlands, where the Greenpeace ship that went to the Arctic is registered, is currently challenging the arrests with an argument of the “Convention of the Law of the Sea.”
View the full article here.
November 13, 2013
The diagnosis of ADHD has skyrocketed over the past few decades, causing a shortage in low-dose generic medications. A large percentage of people diagnosed with the disorder likely have no neurological problems at all, and the common diagnosis is likely because of sociological factors. Parents expect more from their children which causes children to need to focus more intently.
A study was done at Michigan State University to find a genetic basis of the disorder. Using both fraternal and identical twins, researchers concluded that traits of hyperactivity and inattentiveness are highly inheritable. There are different regions of the brain where ADHD genes affect neuronal circuitry, showing that there is a physiological feature of the disorder.
Although ADHD is physiological, many patients that have the medication do not have the disorder. Policies such as the Individuals With Disabilities Education act in 1991 and the Food and Drug Administration Act in 1997 allow drug companies to market to the public. The rates of diagnosis in eastern America are also higher than the rates in the western part of the country, giving more evidence of the sociological influences that cause ADHD diagnosis.
When President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, diagnoses began to skyrocket even more. The diagnosis is on the rise because the way our societies define disorder continues to change. Schools used to punish kids who wouldn’t sit still, but now schools support these children with medications and therapy. As Joel Nigg says in the article, “When people don’t fit in, we react by giving their behavior a label, either medicalizing, criminalizing it or moralizing it.”
Medications can hurt people as well as help them, and the increasing diagnosis of ADHD may do both.
October 7, 2013
The Meet the Majors Pumpkin Roast is coming up this Wednesday, and you may be wondering what will actually be roasted. It has recently been leaked that one pumpkin will be roasted with quinoa and one with cheese, apples, and bread! So whether you are vegan, gluten-free, or neither, you will have something delicious to eat. Come over to SCC 313 from 5-6 pm this Wednesday to have your pick of one or both of the stuffed pumpkins while hanging out with students and faculty in the Environmental Studies program! Other snacks and juice will be provided!
September 30, 2013
The Environmental Studies UDRs, Adam Krebs and Esther Mann, are hosting an Environmental Studies Meet the Majors Pumpkin Roast on Wednesday, October 9 at 5 PM in SCC 313. It will be a unique opportunity for students to learn more about the area of study and celebrate the fall by eating roasted stuffed pumpkins. Vegan and Gluten-Free options are available so that everyone can enjoy the delicious foods, and anyone who is interested is more than welcome to come by.
Faculty members Dan Perlman and Brian Donahue will be attending as well as URDs Adam Krebs and Esther Mann. They are asking for RSVPs, but drop-ins are welcome. If you have any questions or concerns about the event, the major, or the minor, send one of the UDRs an e-mail and they would be more than happy to help you out!
September 9, 2013
In collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, the Office of Study Abroad and the Division of Science, Brandeis is offering an exchange opportunity for students interested in studying biology, chemistry, physics, math, materials, environmental science and computer science beginning in spring 2014. The undergraduate program offers many courses that will fulfill Brandeis major/minor requirements and a number of elective courses not offered at Brandeis that would complement any science curriculum.
The IISc is a vibrant campus with an active undergraduate student body and is a “living laboratory” for students interested in biology and environmental science. Students will live on campus with their Indian classmates and along with classes taught in English by Indian faculty, will have the opportunity to collaborate in research projects in one of the many labs on campus. Bangalore is a growing metropolitan city located in southern India and is known as the Silicon Valley of India, making it a unique destination for students in the sciences.
Following the spring semester program, select students from the IISc will come to Brandeis to participate in summer research projects with Brandeis faculty.
Applications will be accepted on a space available basis until October 15th! For more information visit the program website here or contact Amber Thacher in the Office of Study Abroad.
May 7, 2013
Check out this great opportunity to learn more about our ecosystem and get credit!
Topics in Ecology,BIOL134
Considers the physical, chemical, and biological processes that make wetland ecosystems critically important to human welfare and biodiversity. Focuses on New England wetlands, including their natural history, management, and conservation. Field trips are an integral part of the course. Weds, 9-11:50am. See course listing for further detail. Limited to 25 students.
April 26, 2013
This year, ENVS will be hosting both a reception and a mini-commencement (along with American Studies and Education Studies). The Environmental Studies Reception will be held from 3pm to 5pm, Friday, May 17th at the International Lounge (Usdan), and food will be provided. Your beloved faculty will be there and they are looking forward to saying their farewells and meeting your families. The department’s mini-commencement will be held on Sunday morning (at 8am), at Sherman Hall. We will be hosting this ceremony along with the Education Studies and American Studies programs. Keep in mind that tickets are not needed for both the reception and the mini-commencement, so invite as many people as you want! See you there, Seniors!
April 3, 2013
* Brandeis Earthday April 23! Stay tuned for Announcements, including Carbon Nation Film Showing!
* Save the Date! Environmental Internship Symposium, May 2 6:30-8:30pm
ENVIRONMENTAL INTERNSHIP & RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
Recommended for all students hoping to do an internship. Come to support your friends, hear about exciting work, meet internship supervisors and learn about the many opportunities!
For further info please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org