News

Webinar to explore sustainability, carbon emissions of buildings

The Global Building Network will hold a webinar on sustainable buildings, titled “Operational Carbon vs. Embodied Carbon in Buildings,” from 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 19. The speaker, Rahman Azari, is an associate professor of architecture in the College of Arts and Architecture and a co-funded faculty member of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment.

Wind Energy Club prepares to compete in Collegiate Wind Competition

The award-winning Wind Energy Club, a group of 22 Penn State undergraduates, is preparing to compete in the United States Department of Energy's Collegiate Wind Competition in June. This year, the team is researching, designing and building a wind turbine for deployment in “highly uncertain times, with a large degree of unknown risks and delays,” matching the competition's theme of adaptability.

Climate dynamics seminar to discuss university role in combating climate change

Erica Smithwick, distinguished professor of geography at Penn State, will discuss a vision for a university-wide climate consortium and Penn State’s role in combating climate change during a seminar on April 21.

EarthTalks: Sir Dieter Helm to discuss carbon pricing as tool to reach net zero

Sir Dieter Helm, professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and Fellow in economics at New College, Oxford, will discuss the need for a carbon price as a means of lowering emissions, at a talk on April 19 via Zoom.

Virtual symposium to reflect on past and future of polymer science

A two-day virtual symposium featuring speakers from academia and industry will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on April 14 and 15, and will discuss the past and future of polymer sciences. The symposium is free and open to the public via Zoom.

EarthTalks: Head of nuclear engineering looks to stars for clean energy

Jean Paul Allain, professor of nuclear engineering and head of the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State, will discuss the recent progress made in nuclear fusion, emerging technologies and the remaining challenges to realizing energy generation from a star here on Earth at 4 p.m. Monday, April 12.

Growing Impact with Lauren McPhillips and green stormwater infrastructure S1:E2

Green storm water infrastructure uses the power of plants and soils to improve water quality. More than that, Lauren McPhillips discusses how making stormwater infrastructure green is saving cities money, impacting environmental justice, and cooling urban heat islands with aesthetically pleasing gardens.

EarthTalks: Author David Victor to discuss making climate policy work

David Victor, professor of industrial organization and innovation and co-director of the Deep Decarbonization Initiative at the University of California San Diego, will discuss the choices and technology available to make climate policy work at the next EarthTalks at 4 p.m. Monday, April 5.

Smart materials could pose solution for big-data bottleneck in future cities

An interdisciplinary research team at Penn State recently published a perspective article in Science highlighting smart materials that can sense environmental changes and respond accordingly — without externally transferring data — as one avenue to help manage enormous amounts of data generated by robust sensing networks.

Seminar to discuss landscape diversity, food sovereignty in Indigenous Australia

Rebecca Bird, professor of anthropology at Penn State, will discuss the importance of controlled burning as a way for Indigenous communities to increase dietary quality and foster environmental justice and autonomy during a seminar at 11:15 a.m. March 24.

EarthTalks: Chief sustainability officer to discuss initiatives at Penn State

Paul Shrivastava, chief sustainability officer, director of the Sustainability Institute and professor of management at Penn State, will discuss how Penn State is attempting to institutionalize sustainability at the University, in Pennsylvania and around the world, at a talk on March 29.

What’s the hype about 5.8%? I’m worried about the other 94.2%

A recent analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that annual carbon emissions declined by 5.8% in 2020 because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. From a historical perspective, a 5.8% reduction is huge—nothing like it has occurred in our lifetimes. But from a COVID-19 perspective, how can it be so small?