New Resilient Cities LibGuide published

The librarians at the Prairie Research Institute Library have developed a new guide to assist communities with becoming more resilient in the face of a changing climate and other threats. The guide includes information on:

  • strategies for identifying and responding to many barriers to resilient communities, including climate change, natural disasters, landscape and ecosystem, and infrastructure;
  • funding sources;
  • agencies and organizations that can assist;
  • current research at the University of Illinois; and
  • case studies.

For a list of other guides developed by the Institute’s librarians, visit

Posted in Climate change, Funding opportunities, Great Lakes region, INHS, Institute Highlights, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Library resources, Tools, Water | Leave a comment

Call for submissions: Michigan Journal of Sustainability Special Edition on Climate Adaptation in the United States

The Michigan Journal of Sustainability is seeking high-quality work for inclusion in a special edition of our online, open-access, peer-reviewed Journal focused on strategies being taken, research underway, or promising practices to help different sectors and scales of society prepare for and build resilience to climate change. This Journal emphasizes the translation of academic sustainability research into formats that are useful and usable to practitioners and policy makers. As such, we invite abstracts that bridge the science-policy divide as it pertains to helping society adapt to existing and projected future impacts from disasters, climate variability, and long-term climate change. This special edition of our Journal is slated for release online in early 2015.

For this special edition, the Michigan Journal of Sustainability will accept timely, innovative, and informative articles translating scholarly research on efforts to prepare society and social-ecological systems more broadly, for climate change. Due to the crosscutting nature of the climate adaptation field, we strongly encourage articles that explore multi-disciplinary collaborations and articles that attempt to bridge sectoral or disciplinary divides.

Manuscripts for consideration in this special issue are due November 3, 2014 and should be submitted online at

View the complete call for papers at

Posted in Calls for papers/presentations, Climate change, INHS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Open access | Leave a comment

A new species of round-eared sengi (genus Macroscelides) from Namibia

Download the paper.

While studying the systematics and taxonomy of round-eared sengis (genus Macroscelides), we identified an unusual specimen from remote northwestern Namibia in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences. To determine if this represented a different species, we made 9 collecting trips with 5,616 trap-nights of effort that produced 16 voucher specimens (including the original specimen) of the unusual sengi. These specimens are distinguished from other Macroscelides species by morphological metrics (they are smaller), external features (rusty-tinged pelage, large subcaudal gland, and lack of dark skin pigment), and by  divergence at 3 independently segregating DNA loci. These traits are the basis for the description of a new species of Macroscelides that seems to be confined to gravel plains associated with the distinctive reddish colored Etendeka geological formation of northwestern Namibia.

The new species appears to be reproductively isolated from congeners, because portions of its distribution are sympatric with that of the Namib round-eared sengi (M. flavicaudatus), and we found no evidence of hybrid individuals or gene flow. The new species is allopatric with the Karoo round-eared sengi (M. proboscideus), which is found about 500 km to the south. The new species,along with M. flavicaudatus, is endemic to Namibia. With this 3rd species in the genus, there are now 19 recognized extant species in the order Macroscelidea.

Posted in Biodiversity, INHS | Leave a comment

Climate Matters

The U.S. Geological Survey has begun publishing a new newsletter. Climate Matters will disseminate information on current activities in the USGS Climate Research & Development Program.

Posted in Climate change, Government information, Publications | Leave a comment

Two New Reports on the Greater Sage Grouse and the Gunnison Sage Grouse

Via the RFF Library Blog.

Comparison of Patterns of Genetic Variation and Demographic History in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus): Relevance for Conservation (The Open Ornithology Journal, 2014, v7) / by Robert M. Zink

[From a Greenwire article by Scott Streater and Manuel Quiñones, sub. req'd] …[The study] used data in existing genetic research and other population studies and found that [the Greater] sage grouse do not appear to be suffering the genetic degradation or inbreeding that would be expected in a species struggling with dwindling habitat and population numbers…

Too Little and Too Late: Inadequate Regulatory Mechanisms and the Plight of the Gunnison Sage Grouse 
WildEarth Guardians | Rocky Mountain Wild / by Erik M. Molvar and Meghan Mueller

[From Press Release] In a detailed analysis released today by WildEarth Guardians and Rocky Mountain Wild, state and local regulatory efforts to protect the Gunnison sage grouse were found to be inadequate to protect the bird from urban sprawl, poorly managed grazing, oil and gas development and other threats. These efforts do not provide a workable alternative to Endangered Species Act protections for the species, which hovers on the brink of extinction throughout its two-state range.

“While Gunnison and San Miguel Counties are at least making an effort to protect the Gunnison sage grouse, most counties in the range of the species are doing little or nothing to prevent the ongoing destruction and fragmentation of Gunnison sage grouse habitat,” said Megan Mueller, Senior Scientist with Rocky Mountain Wild. “Taken together, the protections put in place so far are far too little to guarantee that Gunnison sage grouse will persist even at today’s low population levels.”

In order to be considered adequate to protect an imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act, local and state regulations need to demonstrate science-based effectiveness as well as a certainty that they will be implemented…

Posted in Endangered species, INHS | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Funding opportunities, ISTC, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in Institute Highlights, ISTC, ISWS, Water | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in Climate change, Funding opportunities, INHS | Leave a comment

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:

Posted in INHS, Publications, Training opportunities | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Institute Highlights, ISTC, Web sites | Leave a comment