Environmental Conservation Graduate is Water Hackathon Winner

Environmental Conservation Graduate is Water Hackathon Winner

“I had never participated in a hackathon before,” says Sarah Traoré, a graduate student in environmental conservation and the winner of the MIT’s recent Water Hackathon, “I thought they were usually for computer science majors.”   But when Traoré, a Fulbright scholar from Côte d’Ivoire, who is earning her master’s degree in water, wetlands and watersheds saw the hackathon’s call—to “bring the best minds together to solve challenges being faced in the field of water and find a technology and business solution for them”—she decided to sign up for the challenge. And it’s a good thing she did. Traoré, along with three team members from MIT, developed a program called RiskInfo that sends flood alerts and safety guidelines via a host of different media, including interactive smartphone app and text messages. Because not everyone owns a smartphone, or even a cell phone, Traoré and her teammates also figured out a way for RiskInfo to communicate with nearby digital billboards so that news of impending...
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2021-22 BCT Awards and Scholarships Announced

2021-22 BCT Awards and Scholarships Announced

Reading Day is traditionally when when we honor the current year’s group of BCT award and scholarship recipients. This is always an exciting part of the academic year because we can shine a light on outstanding student achievements and provide scholarship support. This year, we are doing things slightly different from pre-pandemic years: The recipients of the Outstanding Senior Award were honored at the annual ECO departmental picnic, which was held today at the Young Men’s Club in Hadley. Those were Nour Assaf and Tali Shoham, who you can see in the image below. All our other award recipients (who are mainly Juniors) will then be honored at an alumni event this fall. The complete list of the 2021-22 award and scholarship winners is shown below the image. Congratulations to all the recipients!!! We are tremendously proud of you all!!! Flanked by ECO Department Head Paige Warren and BCT Faculty Fernando Romero are Nour Assaf and Tali Shoham (Outstanding Senior Award winners) and Jocey...
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Climate Change and Mental Health

Climate Change and Mental Health

A recent report offers recommendations for building the field of psychology to better support people through climate crises Rising seas, monster storms, hotter summers, growing aridity: as if the environmental effects of climate change aren’t bad enough, the climate crisis is also a disaster for human health and well-being. Researchers have seen a rise in climate grief, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression, as well as rising interpersonal aggression and violence, impaired cognitive and brain function, premature births and low birth weight. The list goes on.   “Over just the past couple of years we’ve seen a rapid and much-needed shift in the recognition of the massive mental-health implications that climate change poses,” says Ezra Markowitz, professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst. “Policymakers, mental health organizations, the medical profession and even the general public are increasingly aware of the toll climate change takes on our health. But much more can and needs to be done to prepare. We’re already seeing these impacts and they are compounding...
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Researchers Gather Data on Predators and Prey

Researchers Gather Data on Predators and Prey

UMass Amherst-led team track the overlap between sharks and game fish An international team of researchers, led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has compiled a massive dataset that overlays years’ worth of information on the position, migration and interaction of sharks and game fish. This research has immediate relevance for anglers, who have been reporting increased contact with sharks over the years. The research, recently published in Ecological Applications and which relies on an innovative use of acoustic telemetry and machine learning, gives us the clearest window yet into complex ecological relationships and promises to be a useful tool in ongoing conservation efforts.   “It’s so rare to observe multi-species interaction in the ocean,” says Lucas Griffin, the paper’s co-lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in environmental conservation at UMass Amherst. That’s because species such as the ones the researchers focused on – great hammerhead and bull sharks, permit and Atlantic tarpon – can range over hundreds of square miles of open ocean. There...
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Summer 2022 Sustainable Building (Online and UWW) Courses are Now Available

Summer 2022 Sustainable Building (Online and UWW) Courses are Now Available

Our Summer 2022 online and UWW courses and programs are now available and you can start registering for those. See below for a listing of our courses, which start either May 19 or July 11. New this year is also a three-week credited “City-Lab” summer pre-college program for High School students in Newton, MA (in-person). You can learn more about this exciting opportunity here. You can always find our current UWW courses and enroll at this link (search for BCT or ECO under “Subject”): Find Courses and Enroll Courses Construction Estimating (BCT 314) – Any successful building construction project relies on accurate and consistent cost estimates. This course provides students with the skills and background to perform construction estimating, bidding, and cost management. Lectures will cover quantity take-off from construction documents and estimate costs for material, labor, equipment, overhead, and profit. Students are required to prepare and submit a formal bid which details an estimate for a building construction project. Furthermore, students will also...
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