Environmental Conservation Graduate Students Organized Successful 2021 EcoGSS Symposium

Environmental Conservation Graduate Students Organized Successful 2021 EcoGSS Symposium

Environmental Conservation Graduate Student Symposium 2021 offered a full day of talks and a panel discussion focused on diverse fields of study within the Department of Environmental Conservation. The symposium was held on March 19th, 2021 and brought together 140 registered participants. Sessions included traditional talks, lightning talks, and one panel discussion. The invited keynote speaker, J. Casey Clapp, who received his Masters of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry at UMass Amherst and is the Forester for the city of Portland, Oregon, addressed “The Urban Tree and Me”. The symposium co-organizers included UMass Amherst faculty advisor Timothy Randhir and graduate students, Patricia Levasseur, Alexia Perides, Amanda Suzzi, Ayodele O’uhuru, Samantha Myers, and Grace Casselberry. The panel discussion was co-organized by three UMass Amherst Ph.D. students, Mahsa Farid Mohajer, Hossam Mahmoud, Suncica Milosevic, focusing on the importance of energy efficiency considerations, built environment, and climate change. Farid Mohajer moderated the session, and the panelists were, Ajla Aksamija (Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture...
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Awards Abound for NAHB Student Chapter in this Year’s Residential Construction Competition

Awards Abound for NAHB Student Chapter in this Year’s Residential Construction Competition

Our UMass NAHB student chapter just capped off the most successful year in its history. In this year's NAHB Student Competition, in which teams have to create a proposal for a housing development, the UMass team came in 8th place. This was the highest the chapter has ever placed. In the proposal, the UMass team had to create a site plan, construction schedules and estimates, a sales and marketing strategy along with a detailed financial analysis of the project. Additionally, the UMass chapter was awarded 2nd place for the Outstanding Student Chapter Award. The NAHB Outstanding Student Chapter Award recognizes NAHB student chapters at schools that go the extra mile to engage with their local HBA, the community, and student body of their schools. The strong relationship between HBRAWM and the UMass chapter was a major factor for this award. The members of this year’s team included Hunter Apteker, George Boccelli, Hayden Cantoni, David Ibrahim, Robson Stewart, and Winnie Wang (see also image...
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Ryan Fawcett’s work on citizen forestry featured on WGGB

Ryan Fawcett’s work on citizen forestry featured on WGGB

With all of the recent high wind events leading to tree damage and power lines, have you ever wondered how to prune trees in your yard in order to avoid downed limbs all together? Ryan Fawcett is a graduate student at UMass Amherst. His research focuses on teaching volunteers how to prune trees. It’s part of a recent movement and push for citizen science, which includes citizen forestry and it could actually save money in the long run. “When these trees are young, we can have volunteers prune trees as opposed to having to pay for experienced arborists,” Fawcett said. Read full article... Link: Citizen forestry on the rise as volunteers work to prevent future tree damage ...
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BCT Spring 2021 Lecture Series Announced

BCT Spring 2021 Lecture Series Announced

The BCT program has announced its lecture series for the Spring 2021 semester. All lectures are free and open to the public (via Zoom). AIA and USGBCI CES credits are available. You can find these events in our calendar or you can subscribe to the entire series in your calendar application using this link (ICS). Reposted from: http://bct.eco.umass.edu/news/bct-spring-2021-lecture-series-announced/...
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Communicating in crisis— creating narratives that inspire change

Featured in the Washington Post, CNS researcher examines how we talk about crises and offers tips to better our narratives and inspire change Images of overcrowded hospitals, maps of wildfire destruction, real-time twitter updates of political upheaval. It seems that over the past year, stories of crisis and catastrophe follow us everywhere we go— so much so that the term “doomscrolling” (the act of almost obsessively consuming news of suffering and injustice on social media) gained global popularity. Many of us feel overwhelmed, not knowing how to create positive change.    Ezra Markowitz, Environmental Conservation, recently published an article in the Washington Post discussing what decades of social-science research tell us about the effectiveness of different approaches to catastrophe story-telling. In particular, he details four ways to improve how we talk about crises and encourage powerful action.  From "After 2020, we need to talk about how we talk about catastrophe:"   First, avoiding overt crisis and catastrophe frames does not mean playing down the urgency of...
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