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Monday, February 15th
3:45 PM

Lean Six Sigma & Sustainability

Brion Hurley

Lean and Six Sigma are improvement methodologies that have helped organizations and businesses save money, improve delivery performance, reduce inventory and improve quality for decades. These techniques can also be used to help reduce negative impacts on the environment (energy, waste and landfill usage), and improve government agencies, education systems, nonprofits, healthcare, and more.

3:45 PM - 12:00 AM

Monday, February 22nd
3:45 PM

WETLANDS NOW! What are wetlands and what does USEPA Region 2 do to protect them?

Marco Finocchiaro, Environmental Protection Agency

Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous benefits for people and for fish and wildlife. Some of these benefits include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, sustaining cultural uses, and storing floodwaters. In this presentation, Marco Finocchiaro will introduce us to how USEPA Region 2 accomplishes national wetland program goals, including increasing the quantity and quality of these valuable resources, through establishing standards for reviewing discharges that affect wetlands, conserving and restoring wetland acreage, and improving wetland condition in partnership with other federal agencies, as well as states, tribes, local governments.

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Monday, March 1st
3:45 PM

What can history tell us about the future? Using recent observations and paleoclimate proxies to constrain equilibrium climate sensitivity

Kate Marvel, Columbia University

Despite improvements in computing power, climate modeling, and basic theoretical understanding, the Earth’s physical response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide remains uncertain. Can observations be useful in constraining this theoretical quantity? We have high-­‐quality information on recent trends: greenhouse gas concentrations have increased since the industrial revolution, and the planet has warmed in response. But I will argue that this recent history provides only weak constraints on the eventual climate sensitivity: observations of a transient climate are poor predictors of a future equilibrium state. Reconstructions of past equilibria both colder (the Last Glacial Maximum) and warmer (the mid-­‐Pliocene) than the present provide stronger constraints, suggesting that the extremely high climate sensitivities of some state‐of‐the‐art climate models are unrealistic. I’ll present a framework for facilitating apples-to-apples comparisons of past and future climate and discuss how to understand, reduce, and communicate the uncertainties associated with future climate response.

3:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Monday, March 8th
3:45 PM

Primate Conservation & Endangered Species Hunting in Madagascar

Cortni Borgerson, Montclair State University

Ever wonder, “Who hunts endangered species and why?” Borgerson’s research demonstrates the importance of understanding human incentives when designing conservation action. Dr. Cortni Borgerson is excited to share with us her efforts working with local communities to better understand and improve food security in areas of high biodiversity, so that we may simultaneously support forests and the people who live within them.

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Monday, March 15th
3:45 PM

Seeking Sustainability for Computing

Stefan A. Robila, Montclair State University

The talk will provide two perspectives on how sustainability is considered in computing. First, the impact computing has on energy consumption and on the environment will be discussed through the prism of past and prior research projects. Computing currently drives advances in all areas of science and engineering, generates efficiencies in industries, and dominates the creation and delivery of entertainment. Computing is also a significant consumer of energy accounting for 3% of the global usage. Data centers account of a third of this consumption, yet also provide a case where efficiencies in system design have limited the energy use increase despite considerable growth in computational efficiency. Second, the sustainability of scientific software and data will be discussed. Scientific computing is often driven by applications and libraries created by small research groups that aim to share their work, improve the replicability of the results and provide a tool for a larger research community. Faced with limited funding, lack of academic recognition, and waning interest, such efforts however are often unsuccessful in creating, maintaining and sustaining quality software. Aspects on how software and data products can be sustained will be discussed.

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM