|Tufts To Award DOW Challenge for 3 More Years|
Just a few weeks ago an entire Tufts team travelled to Berkeley, California to take part in the DOW Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge award ceremony. As a representative for TIE and the Provost's Office, TIE Director Antje Danielson was proud to see Tufts students' projects (in the areas of water policy and economics, energy technology and policy, and biomedical research) on-par with their peers around the world. In fact, the DOW organizers repeatedly told our delgation that they were impressed by Tufts' performance.
Because of the high quality of our past winners and our expertise in administering the grant, Tufts was chosen to be part of the Challenge for three more years. This will enable us to continue to award this highly competitive prize to our best students.
Congratulations again to the winners!
|Student Research in India|
By Libby Mahaffy (G11)
Negin Ashoori (E12) and Andrea Brown (E12) - supported by TIE and WSSS fellowships - traveled to the state of Tamil Nadu, India this summer as part of a research project on the environmental factors that influence diarrheal occurrences in rural and urban slums. Both advisees of Dr. Elena Naumova (TIE Faculty Co-Director and professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering), Brown's research is focusing on ground surface characteristics using soil sampling and GIS, while Ashoori is incorporating public health paradigms and both quantitative and qualitative data into her analysis.
|Women filling drinking water containers|Though the site is half a world away, Tufts University has a strong relationship with the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore; both students benefited from the support of public health professionals from CMC in their research. The local fieldworkers trained by the CMC researchers were especially helpful because, according to Ashoori, "they knew everyone in the community. They really made me and the study participants feel comfortable."
|Brown (L) and Ashoori interviewing participants|
Based on the ongoing study supported by the US-Indo Consortium with joint US Center for Disease Control & Indian Council of Medical Research funding, the interdisciplinary nature of the project has been tantamount to its ongoing success. Public health, water resources engineering and environmetrics are just a few of the disciplines represented. For Brown, this means her model "is going to be interesting - [it has] physical numbers as well as socioeconomic numbers." This approach may be unique for engineering, but it's necessary to tackle the complex issue of the causes of enteric diarrhea.
Ashoori and Brown plan to travel back to India for a second round of data collection in January. See a video of their recent work and follow their research at: http://tufts-waterresearch.tumblr.com
|Watch a video of the research here|
The US-Indo Consortium is a Collaboration Program on Environmental and Occupational Health and is a bi-lateral joint statement between India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Much has changed since I last wrote to you. Here at TIE, the most obviousis our physical space -- Miller Hall underwent renovations this summer to make room for six new Ph.D. students in the Water Diplomacy program. We worked hard to ensure that every step of the renovation was done in accordance with green building principles. If you're on campus, stop by anytime for a tour of our new space!
These physical changes reflect the growth of interdisciplinary, environmental, cross-school initiatives at Tufts. TIE now hosts five such programs in our Miller Hall space: Environmental Studies (ENVS), Water: Systems, Science, and Society (WSSS), Water Diplomacy, Masters of Conservation Medicine (MCM), and the Office of Sustainability (OOS). Even with the expansion, we have never been busier or our space more full!
For the sake of space, I'll mention briefly some other noteworthy developments:
Let me thank John Foster, E'52 for his longstanding commitment to the WSSS program and for making the WSSS practicum a reality, yet again.
The Tufts Environmental Alumni chapter has been organizing some wonderful events (I so enjoyed the Crane Beach trip!) and now all of the
steering committee's hard work has paid off in creating an official Alumni Shared Interest Group. We at TIE have enjoyed being a part of TEA's
development and we look forward to continued collaboration in the future.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tufts Institute of the Environment
|Alumni Contribute to Growing ENVS Program
By Colin Orians
This semester, several Tufts environmental alumni are returning to serve as lecturers in the Environmental Studies (ENVS) Lunch & Learn Program. ENVS began the Lunch & Learn program in the spring of 2011 and the program is gaining momentum -- attendance has already surpassed that of last year and we expect the program will continue to grow. This semester, we welcome several alumni, including Anthony Everett (A84), Randi Rotjan (G07), Adrian Dahlin, (A11), and Libby Mahaffy (G11). Each will provide insight into their careers and their specific interests related to environmental studies.
Another new initiative of the ENVS program is the ENVS Education and Career blog, created this past summer to connect students with internships and jobs, conferences, and career-related resources. If you'd like to give back to the Tufts community, we're looking for environmental alumni to sponsor internships for current students in their workplaces as well as share helpful, career-related resources.
Additionally, we are accepting alumni contributions to the blog, so if you have advice about career development in the environmental field, please contact Ann Greaney-Williams in the ENVS Program.
|From Central America to the State Department
An Interview with Abby Lindsay (MALD 09, G09)
By Libby Mahaffy (G11)
Currently the Environmental Cooperation Program Administrator in the Office of Environmental Policy at the U.S Department of State, Abby Lindsay (MALD 09, G09)was once a TIE fellow. During her time at Tufts, Abby focused on both national and international policy, completing a dual degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Climate and energy policy and Latin America featured prominently in her research. She spoke with Libby Mahaffy (G11) in June 2011 about her TIE-funded research and her current work on trade-related environmental cooperation in Washington.
Libby Mahaffy: What brought you to Tufts?
Abby Lindsay: I wanted to study with [Fletcher and UEP] because I was interested in both local policy and international environmental policy, how they relate and how they connect. UEP provided me [a foundation] of the local, state, and national implementation of environmental policies and planning, while Fletcher was focused on the international level, formulating international agreements and negotiations. I came in with an interest in Latin America so I fit [that interest] between the two programs.
My thesis and the TIE research focused on the Clean Development Mechanism and renewable energy within Central America, comparing the small developing states of Honduras and Costa Rica.
What made your research unique?
Anybody can do a thesis from Boston - looking within literature, e-mailing people, talking on the phone with people - but being able go down to Latin America made it unique -- it wouldn't have been the same project without having that. [Being able to physically] see the projects and talk with people; that enabled me to draw out a lot more information about the factors that determined renewable energy implementation.
[I faced a variety of challenges, such as] finding out that a PhD candidate at another university was doing the research very similar to what I was starting to do. That ended up being an asset because it helped me focus. Another major challenge was that I didn't realize how much information you could get about that topic; it was a challenge to distill and synthesize all the information. Then there was the challenge of doing field research in Latin America. As much as I tried to plan out all of my interviews and site visits before I went you just can't be 100% prepared; a lot of it [had to be] done while I was there. That's part of the fun of it as well.
What skills that you learned at Tufts have served you best?
Really asking those questions that can get at the heart of the matter, both what's happening and what the difficulties and barriers are. Talking with stakeholders and getting different perspectives gives you a better idea of how to address those challenges -- I do that with all of my projects now. Interviewing skills and the ability to run a multi-stakeholder process are skills that I incorporate into everything that I do; they help me do my job more effectively. My research experience also helped me to learn to consider different sides -- the legal side, the institutional side, the various environmental components, etc. -- when looking at environmental issues. I also learned a lot about the governments in Latin America and how they operate, which helps me in my job now, especially in my partnerships with those governments.
How did you end up at the State Department?
Through my first internship in graduate school, I came to the realization that I wanted to work on the U.S. side of our relationship with Latin America: our interactions, the formation of multilateral agreements [we've made], our negotiations, and the capacity building we give to other countries to help them be able to govern their own environments.
A friend had interned at the State Department and encouraged me to apply there for a summer internship in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science. I didn't see myself in the federal government at the time, but everything that I wanted to work on was [done] there. I had a great experience and I wanted to come back after graduation.
Fortunately, my interest aligned with a position that my [current] office (the Office of Environmental Policy) was looking to fill -- they wanted someone with on-the-ground experience in Latin America, a broad understanding of environmental issues, and experience with governments on the national and international levels. It was a great synergy between my interests and the Office's interests.
I work on trade and environment [now]: how environmental and trade policy intersect, [including] in the formation of new free trade agreements and in the implementation of existing agreements through environmental cooperation.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
There are a variety of areas I could see myself in. My overarching goals and objectives probably won't change - working on promoting good environmental governance and public participation in environmental decision-making; improving environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources; and building the capacities of governments to manage their own environment. There are a lot of possibilities; one thing I've learned is that you can try to plan your life, but it will eventually take you somewhere you don't expect!
Tufts Acquires Historical Documents
An Important and Remarkable Acquisition
By Regina Raboin
Earlier this semester an agreement was reached between Tufts University's Digital Collections and Archives (DCA) and the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ) designating Tufts as the repository for CHEJ's records and Lois Gibbs' papers.
These historically important collections will be used by Tufts faculty, students and staff to research any number of topics surrounding environmental justice, such as environmental grassroots movements, the Love Canal Homeowner's Association, environmental ethics and communication, and Lois Gibbs' involvement in environmental movements and education.
Young protestor at the Love Canal site c. 1978
The collection contains materials on toxic waste sites organized by state; community organizations that have elaborated or sought advice from CHEJ over the years; documentation of CHEJ's initiatives, events, and publications; files of reports, data, other information on a host of environmental justice issues; and consulting work conducted by CHEJ staff. There are approximately 300 linear feet of material in the collection.
While Lois Gibbs' papers have not been reviewed yet, the collection will contain materials from her time as leader of the Love Canal Homeowners' Association. This includes correspondence, clippings, flyers, and notes.
The materials are currently being stabilized and cataloged, and will be available for research once the work is complete. If you would like more information about these collections, contact Anne Sauer, Director and University Archivist, Digital Collections and Archives,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.627.2696
Article written by Regina Fisher Raboin
Science Research & Instruction Librarian
Tisch Library, Tufts University
"(PARK)ing Day" on Tufts Campus
By Anna Williams
|On Friday, September 16th, the students in the Anthropology seminar, "Cars, Culture, and Place," in conjunction with Tufts' Student Community Garden, brought Park(ing) Day 2011 to the Tufts campus. Park(ing) Day is an international event that started in San Francisco that raises the question, "What could you do with a parking space, other than park a car?"
The students used two parking spaces, one in the Pearson parking lot and one outside of Dewick-MacPhie dining hall to advertise the events. Professor Cathy Stanton parked her car in the space outside the dining hall, and students and passersby were asked to paint what they would do with a parking space on the car. Some of the responses included, "plant a garden," "start an enterprise," "have a barbecue," "play a game," and "start a discussion."
Students making art at the (PARK)ing space
In the parking space in the Pearson lot, the students of the Anthropology class played music, constructed a miniature garden, supplied a soapbox on which to stand and make speeches, and had a table and chairs to use the space as a place to hang out and spend time, illustrating some of the ways in which a parking space could be used.
Facts about cars and parking, such as "a car spends 95% of its time parked," and "there are 2800 parking spaces on the Tufts campus" hung from the surrounding trees, further advertising the event. This event brought to light the idea that public space is being used for the storage of private vehicles, and questioned whether there are other ways, evironmental or otherwise, to utilize the space.
|Tufts Institute of the Environment - Tufts Environmental Alumni
Miller Hall, Tufts University
210 Packard Ave
Medford, MA 02155
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