Council Highlights in the news

- World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations Environment Programme stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. Celebrate World Environment Day (June 5) by attending the Green Living Project Film Premiere. They will host a Short Film Showcase and Party on Wednesday, May 30th to celebrate their exciting collection of the best global and domestic sustainability films! Find out more at

- Program Title: Arctic SEES (ArcSEES)

Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability

Proposal Due: September 14, 2012

Synopsis of Program:
In the twenty years since the Arctic Council first emphasized the need for science for sustainability in the high north, the Arctic environment and population has changed considerably. NSF's Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) investment highlights the changing Arctic as a priority area for research, “to meet the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet’s life support systems.” (From the National Academy of Science report on Sustainability Science and Engineering,
ArcSEES is a multi-year, interdisciplinary program which seeks both fundamental research that improves our ability to evaluate the sustainability of the Arctic human-environmental system as well as integrated efforts which will provide community-relevant sustainability pathways and engineering solutions. For this competition, interdisciplinary research will be focused in four thematic areas: the natural and living environment, the built environment, natural resource development, and governance.

It is recognized that there are gaps in our understanding of the rapidly changing environmental, social, economic, built and managed systems in the Arctic as well as their complex interactions. Fundamental research is needed to understand the integrated Arctic system in this era of rapid change, how sustainability is defined in that context, whether necessary data and statistical techniques are available to make this assessment, and the stability and predictability of the Arctic system state. ArcSEES encourages the informed observation, synthesis of data sets and development of theories, methodologies, network designs, physical infrastructure, models, tools, and educational approaches necessary to evaluate and communicate the sustainability, trajectory, and uncertainty of these systems and interactions.

In a rapidly changing Arctic, there is a demonstrated and immediate need for sustainability solutions (e.g., imperiled Arctic communities and threatened marine ecosystems). There is also a need for large, integrated efforts that bring together the expertise of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers to bear on community-specific problems. These larger, integrated efforts would promote understanding of Arctic systems and would develop optimized models, multiple stable state scenarios, sustainable pathways, decision matrices, visualization techniques and data infrastructure to aid decision making and communication, and structural, energy and communications technology solutions which would inform community practices, management, and policy for a more sustainable Arctic environment.

ArcSEES plans to support fundamental, pilot efforts and larger, outcomes-relevant research. All proposers are required to provide context for how the project advances science for sustainability and to identify the communities and real-world scenarios to which the research products are relevant. While community-based participatory research projects that engage Arctic resident and indigenous populations in the conception and implementation of the research are encouraged, ArcSEES also welcomes activities that entrain other classes of stakeholders and facilitate education through participation of tribal colleges and minority-serving institutions.

Since Arctic change and sustainability is of global concern and research on sustainability has potential global application, proposers may apply methodologies from more southern latitudes to the Arctic or upscale ArcSEES results to other regions. To encourage a more pan-Arctic or broadly international perspective, proposers may also develop synergistic collaborations with foreign colleagues and international programs. These collaborations may capitalize on already-funded sustainability or relevant research by a single partner country or by consortia of countries or seek to establish connections with communities around the Arctic. Similarly, proposers are encouraged to avail themselves of the capacity-building and to-date efforts of the multitude of US agencies currently working in the Arctic. Significant expertise, facilities, observing networks, and partnership with local communities, state organizations, and stakeholders have been developed to address Arctic social, environmental, and engineering systems under pressure from regional and global change. These resources can be used to translate observed change and community priorities into sustainability pathways for Arctic Alaskan and similar communities around the north and the rest of the globe.

In FY13, NSF is partnering with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Geological Survey (USGS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS), and a consortium of French agencies – including Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux energies alternatives (CEA), Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la MER (IFREMER), and Météo-France – to bring a broad range of expertise to bear on these research questions and underscore the importance of a cohesive approach to achieving resiliency in a shared environment such as the circumpolar Arctic.

- Maryland Gets its First 'Certified Sustainable' Community: Berlin

- The International Opportunities Fund is a joint funding call between the Belmont Forum and G8 Heads of Research Councils (G8HORCs) for approximately 20M Euros. The countries involved in this initiative, currently, are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India*, Japan, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Possibilities for collaboration for non-participatory countries and developing countries exist as well. The current International Opportunities Fund is aimed at supporting research in the areas of Coastal Vulnerability and Freshwater Security. Collaborative project of multinational research teams will be supported over a 2-3 year period.

(Please see the attached document)

- Climate Change Science: He'll Drink to That

- Nominations for Tawes and Coulter Awards close Friday, April 13

- The Planet Under Pressure conference being held in London (26-29 March 2012) is live streaming here: A daily news show is part of the streaming.

- University launches climate change center with China – BSOS to collaborate with Beijing Normal University (Diamondback Article, 28 February 2012)
Cooperation between UMD and BNU goes back to the year of 2005, when great progress was achieved in terms of research activities, especially in remote sensing technology and earth observation. With deeper collaboration between two universities, much cooperation at various levels has been developed. Exchanging visitors and students especially for graduate students in earth system sciences has occurred.
To develop more substantial cooperation, an agreement to establish a joint center on global change and earth system science was signed in October of 2011. The initial work of the Center is based on two major existing cooperative projects involving funding from both countries. The objectives of the Joint Center are to: Promote and strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of Global Change and Earth System Science; Share resources to facilitate the application of research projects and funding in China and the US; Cooperate and collaborate on a wide range of international research programs; Explore new strategies for Sino-US academic cooperation to train and cultivate young scholars and research leaders; Share the intellectual property rights resulting from research at the JOINT CENTER.

- City looks to work with environmental experts - ‘Green team’ to help College Park become EPA certified  (from the Diamondback, 6 March 2011) Busalacchi quoted in The Diamondback Wednesday, 30 November 2011

- Antonio Busalacchi was quoted in the University of Maryland's newspaper, The Diamondback, on his new appointment as chair of the university's new environmental council to solve global issues. The arcticle can be viewed here:

- UMD Press Release: UMD Creates New “Council on the Environment” , Appoints Busalacchi Chair (