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ECo Newsletter

The ECo Newsletter is intended to inform, excite and engage on all things environment and sustainability at Georgetown University and beyond. This month, we focus on research advancements by our Affiliated Faculty and a new Earth Commons partnership to support Georgetown's research capacity.

New Collaboration

The Earth Commons is now a Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit partner. The CESU is a national consortium of federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, state and local governments, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other partners working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship. Georgetown faculty can now take advantage of research and technical resources available through the network, and qualify for a lower indirect rate for CESU projects.

🌏 Learn more about CESU >>
🌏 Sign up for funding updates >>

Research

Environmental and sustainability research highlights from ECo Affiliated Faculty

Climate change increases cross-species viral transmission risk
Climate and land use change will produce novel opportunities for viral sharing among previously geographically-isolated species of wildlife. In some cases, this will facilitate zoonotic spillover, a mechanistic link between global environmental change and disease emergence. A new paper co-authored by Earth Commons Affiliated Faculty Dr. Colin J. Carlson simulates potential hotspots of future viral sharing and highlights an urgent need to pair viral surveillance and discovery efforts with biodiversity surveys tracking species’ range shifts, especially in tropical regions that harbor the most zoonoses and are experiencing rapid warming.

🌏 Read the paper in Nature >>
🌏 Read coverage on CBC >>
🌏 Read coverage on Salon >>
🌏 Read coverage on Turned News >>

 
The Ocean’s Biggest Garbage Pile Is Full of Floating Life
New Earth Commons faculty, Dr. Rebecca R. Helm, found that small sea creatures exist in equal number with pieces of plastic in parts of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which could have implications for cleaning up ocean pollution.

🌏 Read the paper in PLoS Biology >>
🌏 Read coverage in the New York Times >>
 
Mitigating climate disruption in time
This study co-authored by Georgetown's Dr. Gabrielle Dreyfus clarifies the need to pair decarbonization with mitigation measures targeting non-CO2 pollutants to limit near-term and long-term warming, and finds that cutting only CO2 emissions while failing to rein in methane, HFCs and soot will speed global warming in the coming decades and only slow it later this century.
 

Opinion

California—not Biden—is leading climate cooperation with China.
Earth Commons Affiliated Faculty Dr. Joanna Lewis gives a sense of the prospects for U.S.-China climate cooperation in a discussion with the Washington Post.

 

Join Us.

We need all of Georgetown's talent, momentum and purpose to secure a more sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants. Here are some opportunities to engage.
Green Commons.
 
We are accepting proposals for the Green Commons awards. The awards, co-offered by the Office of Sustainability, are aimed at sparking campus dialogue by co-hosting events; performances; and visiting researchers, writers and artists.
Apply Now
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Contact: earthcommons@georgetown.edu


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