‘Sound science-based advice’

Elena Irwin, pictured, CFAES Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and faculty director of Ohio State’s Sustainability Institute, has been named one of the 47 members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board.

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CFAES sustainability news, May 28, 2021

Nature can save humanity from climate doom—but not on its own

Wired, May 25; featuring Daniela Miteva, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

Appreciate, don’t fear, the ‘bugs of history’

Farm and Dairy, May 24; featuring Joe Boggs, OSU Extension

Scientists urge restoration of federal gray wolf protections

Associated Press and Holland (Michigan) Sentinel, May 15; featuring Jeremy Bruskotter, School of Environment and Natural Resources

CFAES’ Lal wins World Food Prize

The honors keep growing for Rattan Lal. The CFAES Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science—recipient of the Japan Prize last year and the World Agriculture Prize and the Glinka World Soil Prize in 2018—was today awarded the World Food Prize.

The award, its website says, recognizes “the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.”

Gebisa Ejeta, chair of the award’s selection committee and a 2009 recipient of the award, said, “The impact of (Lal’s) research and advocacy on sustainability of agriculture and the environment cannot be overstressed.”

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She works to help bumbles bee well

Doing good for bumble bees takes finding out what’s bad for them.

Sarah Scott, a CFAES entomology doctoral student, is studying how the fuzzy, buzzy, black-and-yellow pollinators get exposed to heavy metals in their environment—and what it can mean to their survival.

Scott, at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, poses near hives housing bumble bees’ domesticated cousins. (Photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

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Earth Day: Planting ‘the seeds of a revolution’

Ohio State’s fifth Environmental Film Series continues on Tuesday, Feb. 11, with a look back 50 years ago at the first Earth Day, and a look ahead at the planet’s future—what Earth Day 50 years hence may hold. “Earthrise and Earth Days,” set for 7–8:50 p.m. on the Ohio State Columbus campus, features a screening of the 2010 American Experience documentary Earth Days: The Seeds of a Revolution, brief recollections by two people who helped plan Ohio State’s first Earth Day activities in 1970, details on the university’s Earth Day activities this year, and a Q&A and discussion.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Find full details.

What you might have missed on Black Friday: Feds release dire climate report

“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future.” So begins the overview of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which the White House released late last week — on Nov. 23, the big Black Friday day of shopping. Read the full report (excellent, searchable website).

The report’s chapter about the Midwest notes, for example, that “Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances.”

If you’re a member of the media and would like to interview someone about the effects of climate change in Ohio, including on agriculture, contact Aaron Wilson, who’s a climate specialist with CFAES’s OSU Extension outreach arm and a senior research associate with Ohio State’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. He’s at wilson.1010@osu.edu, 614-292-7930. (Photo: Polar bear crosses a melt pond in the high Arctic Ocean, Getty Images.)