Environmental Research & Education Foundation RFP for Solid Waste Research

Environmental Research and Education Foundation
The Environmental Research & Education Foundation has announced an RFP for Research in Sustainable Solid Waste Management.  Research areas funded include waste minimization, recycling, waste conversion to energy, waste diversion strategies, and landfilling.  Past awards have ranged from $15,000 to over $500,000; proposals are due July 15.

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Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s One Billion Gallon Challenge Announces First Research / Technology Demonstration Grants for Illinois

Four water research projects were announced Friday, May 30 – the first steps toward a goal of saving one billion gallons of water in Illinois.

American Water Corp., Carus Corp., Loyola University and the city of Urbana have been awarded grants through the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s (ISTC) Sponsored Research Grant Program.

ISTC, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, established a One Billion Gallon Water Challenge earlier this spring. One of the components is to fund projects with businesses, industries, colleges, and municipalities that are focused on methods for reducing water use, treatment of wastewater or other process water for reuse, or other significant water-saving measures. Funded projects will be used as case studies by ISTC so that these approaches and technologies can be duplicated across the state.

The safety and accessibility of water supplies has been cited as a major concern by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The National Academy of Engineering named the quality and quantity of water as one of the Grand Challenges for Engineering.

“Our efforts are a deliberate strategy to demonstrate sustainable technologies that we hope will bring widespread economic and environmental benefits to Illinois,” said ISTC Director Kevin O’Brien. “Water is quickly becoming the life-blood to driving and maintaining economic growth.”

  • Carus Group Inc., of LaSalle, IL, received $63,446 to utilize technology to reuse treated process water used by their crystallizer vacuum system as non-contact cooling water. By recycling water in their systems, Carus has the potential to reduce its water use by 47 million gallons per year. Carus is a manufacturer of products for water treatment, industrial pollution control, and environmental remediation.
  • American Water received $75,000 to investigate an advanced leak monitoring technique to reduce water waste in its water distribution system in a pilot study in Mt. Prospect, IL. Continuous acoustic monitoring technology will be implemented to alert the utility to water leaks in the community’s infrastructure as they form, long before they become evident above ground. The technology is aimed at the reduction of 15 million gallon non-revenue water loss over the nine-month study period. If successful, American Water hopes this will be a model for use in other communities in Illinois. Economic analysis will also include secondary benefits such as reduction of leak repair costs and leak damage.
  • Loyola University of Chicago received $50,999 to pilot and evaluate a series of water conservation measures focusing on behavior-change campaigns for students and employees on campus and conservation retrofits in residence halls and laboratories. The university predicts annual water savings of at least 2.5 million gallons. They will also produce a Resource Tool Kit to assist other universities and institutions to conserve water.
  • The City of Urbana was awarded $3,000 to pilot smart irrigation controls which can sense when landscaping irrigation is beneficial. The project will compare areas having simple irrigation timers with areas outfitted with evapotranspiration controls (rain and freeze sensors). Their results could be used as a template for communities statewide.

Grant recipients were selected, in part, for their ability to demonstrate real water savings during fiscal 2015. Additional One Billion Gallon Water Challenge projects may be announced later this year.

The Center also is encouraging Illinois citizens, businesses, organizations, communities, and schools to join the Challenge by making a pledge to conserve water at the Billion Gallon Water Challenge website: www.istc.illinois.edu/water.cfm.

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Climate Science Centers and National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Centers Accepting Statements of Interest for Research Funding – Fiscal Year 2015

Seven of the eight U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (Alaska, North Central, Northeast, Pacific Islands, South Central, Southeast and Southwest) and the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center are seeking Statements of Interest and Proposals for funding in Fiscal Year 2015.

Projects are invited that support science priorities for each center, as described in the funding announcement. See announcement for eligibility of applicants. The submission deadline for Statements of Interest is June 17, 2014. To learn more, visit: https://nccwsc.usgs.gov/ResearchFunds.

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Training: Climate Smart Conservation Course Offered Beginning July 2014

Offered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center and based on the new guide, “Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice“, this course is designed to clarify climate adaptation for application to on-the-ground conservation. It will provide guidance on how to carry out adaptation with intentionality, how to manage for change and not just persistence, how to craft climate-informed conservation goals, and how to integrate adaptation into on-going work.

Course participants will learn to become knowledgeable consumers of climate information, tools, and models. The target audience includes conservation practitioners and natural resource managers working at multiple scales to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of their work in an era of climate change.

For more information, including course locations and dates, visit: http://nctc.fws.gov/NCTCWeb/catalog/CourseDetail.aspx?CourseCodeLong=FWS-ALC3195.

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New Behavior Change and Sustainability resource now available

The Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable has developed a new sector resource on Behavior Change & Sustainability. Subsections of the guide include consumer behavior; employee engagement; energy efficiency programs; measurement; research articles; and tools.

Behavior change and sustainability is one of GLRPPR’s four focus areas. The others are: green chemistry/green engineering; technical assistance; and sustainable electronics. Visit the GLRPPR web site for additional resources on a wide variety of sustainability topics.

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Draft Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan available for public input

The federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force has released a draft Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan for public input.

“Protecting communities around the Great Lakes and restoring this important ecosystem is a national and binational imperative,” said Task Force Chairman and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Today, we’re asking for input on our draft plan so it can be as effective as possible.”

The federal agencies provided extensive public input opportunities throughout 2013 to inform the development of the draft that is being released today. The new plan recognizes that states, tribes, municipalities, public-interest organizations, businesses, academia and other interests have a strong role to play in protecting the Great Lakes. The new plan covers FY 2015-2019. The document will guide actions to:

  • Clean up areas of concern and reduce toxic contamination;
  • Prevent and control invasive species;
  • Reduce polluted runoff that impacts nearshore health;
  • Restore habitat and native species; and
  • Address cross-cutting issues such as science-based adaptive management and climate change.

The draft Action Plan is available at http://glri.us/public.html. Input on the draft can be provided through the same web page or by e-mail at actionplan@glnpo.net. So the agencies can release the final Action Plan before FY15 (starting Oct. 1), the most helpful input should be submitted by June 30. Input may be submitted, however, throughout the summer.

The Task Force will host two public webinars to discuss the draft: June 9 at 1 p.m. Central at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/789861232 and June 10 at 10 a.m. Central at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/841679520.

The draft builds on the first Action Plan, covering FY10-14. Results from the GLRI in FY10-13 are available online at http://www.glri.us/pdfs/20140530-draft-glri-action-plan-2-reduced.pdf.

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Learned Society Attitudes Towards Open Access

EDP Open, the Open Access publishing arm of EDP Sciences, has released the results of a survey to appraise attitudes toward Open Access amongst learned society publishers. The survey was answered by 33 learned societies and the results were further supplemented by a focus group held at the annual UKSG meeting in Harrogate in April.

Key findings include:

  • Learned societies overwhelmingly agree that Open Access will inevitably place some learned societies’ journals into financial jeopardy.
  • Competing with large Open Access specialist publishers was also considered a significant challenge for learned societies.
  • Gold Open Access is the Open Access method that is least offered by learned society journals, however nearly two-thirds of learned societies indicated that they would like to be offering this option.
  • More than ever before, with so many journals being published Open Access of dubious origin, learned societies should look to endorse content with a stamp of quality and authority.
  • Collaboration between learned societies could help in the transition to Open Access, by pooling resources and sharing complex tasks.
  • Two-thirds of all learned societies are also looking for support on best approach to OA, and compliance with funder mandates.
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Rachel Carson, May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964

In honor of Rachel Carson’s birthday, here is a short list of books by and about Rachel Carson available from the University Library.

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About Rachel Carson…

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Neotoma Paleoecology Database

Just released: Neotoma Explorer 2.0, a new interface for searching, exploring, and obtaining paleoecological data stored in the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. Neotoma is an international database collaborative which covers the Pliocene-Quaternary time period. All data stored in Neotoma are publicly available and free to use. Explore this resource to learn more about finding, downloading, and contributing data.

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RFP from Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative

The Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers (ETPBR) Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) is seeking project ideas for potential funding in 2014. The ETPBR LCC is responsible for identifying, prioritizing, and supporting projects that will address the scientific uncertainties and needs that can inform better conservation. The Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative is dedicated to addressing the conservation challenges of a heavily agricultural landscape that stretches across the nation¿s heartland from southwest Ohio westward across to parts of eastern Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska and northward into segments of Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota.Climate change, shifts in land-use, urban expansion, agricultural changes, are all contributing stressors affecting the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers landscape.

Public institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.  Maximum award is $100,000, and the total allocation for the program is $200,000.  Application deadline is June 13, 2014.

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