ECo Newsletter

The ECo Newsletter is intended to inform, excite and engage on all things environment and sustainability at Georgetown and beyond. This week, we share the recipients of our ECo fellowships, highlight research and sustainability work, and invite you to join us by applying for our internship openings.
Research Highlights
Image: solarseven /iStock / Getty Images Plus
NSF Awards Georgetown University $12.5M to Establish Institute for Emerging Virus Research
The National Science Foundation has awarded Georgetown University $12.5 million to lead a global team of scientists in establishing a collaborative institute designed to advance research and education around viral emergence—the process of viruses jumping from animals to humans. “The days of ‘quiet periods’ between epidemics are over—from this point on, we’re headed from COVID-19 straight into monkeypox, into the next public health crisis,” says Georgetown assistant professor Colin Carlson, PhD, director of the Institute and co-founder of Verena and ECo Faculty Affiliate. “Our goal is to build the data and tools we need to know what’s coming tomorrow—and maybe, actually, be ready next time.” Read the Release >>
ECo Affiliate Physicists
Unlock Longstanding Mysteries
What do mudslides, concrete, and water with cornstarch have in common? They each contain a mixture of particles and fluids and can transition from flowing liquid to solid when pressure is applied, an extensively-studied but stubbornly mysterious process called “shear thickening.”

Viscous shear thickening can create blockages in industrial processes could be more sustainable. A detailed model to describe this process can result in more efficient, less water-intensive, and easier to manipulate concrete, 3D printers, additive manufacturing, and more. 

Jeffrey Urbach, Dan Blair and Georgetown co-authors just took a significant leap unlocking the mystery: their study investigating cornstarch, water and glycerol at a microscopic level provides the first detailed quantitative measurement of independent motion of particles and fluid during this process.

Their unexpected findings for how particles and fluids stop, start and flow has global implications in addition to industrial benefits, since such models can even help us to understand how and where geophysical events like erosion and mudslides might occur. Read more about the study at >>
Postdoctoral Research & Teaching
Silvia Danielak
Silvia's book project examines the evolution of UN peace operations in the context of urbanization, climate-induced hazards, and spatial technology, especially through the lens of peacekeepers' involvement in infrastructure building.
Oswaldo Villena
This project will help to predict food availability by estimating the fundamental thermal niches—optimal, minimum, and maximum temperatures—of crop pests and diseases to anticipate when and where they could damage food supplies.
Derek Goldman
The co-Founding Director of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and Professor of Theater and Performance Studies is developing an initiative with vibrant curricular and public programming elements at the intersection of arts, performance and the environment.
Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò
The Associate Professor of Philosophy combines Black radical tradition, philosophy of language, social science, materialist thought, and histories of activism and activist thinkers in his explorations of environmental and climate justice.
Shelby Gresch, Ashanee Kottage and Keaton Nara are this year's post-baccalaureate fellows. ECo post-bacs design and implement environmental and sustainability projects on campus and in our local and global communities. Read about our 2022 post-bac fellows >>
View All 2022 Fellows
Updates from the
August 19, 21, 22, 10:30-2:30, Copley Lawn: GREEN hosts this Green Commons-funded pop-up shop to resell lightly-used residence hall items (fridges, shelves, etc.) collected from the Move-Out Drive that the Office of Sustainability led in the past Spring. During the Drive, OoS collected almost 68,000 pounds of materials, which was donated to local charities.

August 23, 12 pm-3 pm: We can’t wait to welcome you to our new workspace and participate in new student orientation events. Stop by our office (1420 36th Street NW) to meet members of our team or catch us at our table at the Welcome Back, Jack event.

Early September: The Office will publish the draft sustainability plan we've been working on throughout the summer for community comment in public sessions to be announced in the coming weeks.
Sign up for planning updates
Summer Reading
Picks from ECo affiliate faculty for short, fascinating and salient summer reads
The Master of Science in Environment & Sustainability Management (MS-ESM) will welcome its inaugural cohort with an orientation where we introduce students to Georgetown, ESM faculty and courses, and host a sustainability related scavenger hunt and welcome reception.
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.

Become an ECo Intern. Earth Commons internship positions are available as Common Home editors, student program and communications assistants. 
Apply Now
Make the Plan. The Office of Sustainability invites you to participate in sustainability planning to help chart the course toward a sustainable future for Georgetown and our community.
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