Earthwatch comes to Allston

first_imgOn a recent rainy afternoon in March, a dozen people gathered in Allston, bearing a plan to turn a warren of offices into the new world headquarters of Earthwatch Institute.As early as April 26, more than 50 staffers from the nonprofit environmental group will occupy 15,000 square feet of a Harvard-owned building at 114 Western Ave. The move from suburban Maynard, Mass., opens new possibilities for Earthwatch, one of the world’s leading citizen science organizations.The move will mean lectures, open houses, and other outreach to the Allston and Cambridge communities. To kick-start that involvement, Earthwatch will offer fellowships for three Allston teachers to participate in one of its 100 international expeditions.The move also will mean re-energized collaborations with Harvard faculty, expanding a research relationship that goes back almost to the group’s founding in 1971. (The original Earthwatch headquarters were in Watertown, Mass.)“We certainly want to have a public face,” said Earthwatch CEO Ed Wilson, a British-trained geographer and former military officer. The group’s research projects on climate change, oceans, ecosystems, endangered species, and other issues could translate into a public lecture series, he said, and could prompt environmental education programs benefiting schools in Allston, Brighton, and Cambridge.The lease agreement between Harvard and Earthwatch highlights the University’s continuing stewardship of its Allston properties and active engagement with the Allston community. Last year, President Drew Faust pledged “aggressive and effective leasing of vacant or partially vacant Harvard properties,” and other measures to improve community vitality.While its main mission spans the globe, Earthwatch already is involved in Greater Boston. Scores of Boston Public School teachers and students have participated in its expeditions in the past several years to promote science literacy and global citizenship. Bringing experiential science opportunities to students and teachers can help to reverse science literacy shortcomings that are endemic in the United States, said Wilson, and even “change the way magic happens in the classroom.”During his 12 years with Earthwatch, he has sampled some of that magic firsthand, digging for mammoth bones in the Gobi Desert, for instance, and catching snakes in the Tian Shan Mountains of Central Asia.As for Harvard, Wilson said that Earthwatch’s new Allston address will mean greater access for the University to a worldwide network of 1,000 scientists and to new opportunities for collaborative research, funding, and student involvement.Wilson, CEO for the last five years, wants to reach out to the Harvard Business School to discuss ways in which the nonprofit sector can engage its corporate counterpart in solving environmental problems. “The changes we want to see in the world,” said Wilson, “are not going to come from government.”Earthwatch depends on volunteers, philanthropists, and foundation and corporate partners to fulfill its mission. Noted as a top charity by the U.N. Global Compact for engaging the corporate sector, Earthwatch delivers unique programs, together with leading multinationals such as HSBC, Cadbury Schweppes, Starbucks, and Ernst & Young.He also hopes that Earthwatch’s “very effective experiential teaching model” will be of interest to the Harvard Graduate School of Education.The group, which has about 150 employees worldwide and an annual operating budget of more than $25 million, creates opportunities for 4,000 global volunteers a year who become short-term (one to three weeks) research assistants on scientific expeditions in more than 50 countries. Earthwatch also has offices in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan, as well as field offices in China, India, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Kenya.Since 1971, Earthwatch has sponsored about 3,000 expeditions, distributed about $80 million in research funding, and has attracted more than 100,000 citizen scientists.“You need hands, and eyes, and ears, people who can take photographs and take measurements,” said Earthwatch founder Brian A. Rosborough, who joined the tour of 114 Western Ave.These international volunteers represent about half the number of Peace Corps volunteers deployed each year. “Not big numbers,” said Rosborough, but numbers big enough to prompt “ripple effects” that change minds and change policy. “Problems owned are problems solved.”He mentioned a hypothetical trip to Greenland, where global warming could be causing drastic changes, and how witnesses returning home could testify to the severity of the problem.Wilson called the volunteer model a powerful engine for change. “You can have all the science in the world. You can have journals stacked up to the ceiling,” he said. “But if you’re not getting people involved, it’s not going to take hold.”Rosborough said his group’s “strong relationships” with Harvard go back to the 1970s. The group’s first four test projects in 1971 involved Smithsonian Institution geologists. But Harvard researchers soon signed on too, including the late Roger Revelle, the first scientist to study global warming and an early inspiration for Harvard graduate and former Vice President Al Gore, a leading advocate of climate protection.The first formal Earthwatch-Harvard collaboration came in 1973, involving Harvard astronomer Donald Menzel, who studied a total eclipse of the sun from Mauritania in western Africa.After the move to Allston, said Rosborough, “Our presumption is that Earthwatch will develop close alliances to the academic community.”At the center of these new Earthwatch-Harvard-community opportunities is 114 Western Ave., a modern and modest three-story building that once housed the offices of public broadcasting station WGBH.During the two-month renovation, tiny offices and gridlike corridors will be replaced by workspaces without walls. The second-floor layout will be similar to Earthwatch’s present headquarters in Maynard, said Wilson. “This kind of open structure helps create a sense of community.”Reconstruction will be minimal, as walls and old carpets are removed, said architect Jeffrey W. Brown to the visitors, since “a lot of this project is demolition.”A conference room lined with windows will open onto a dining area that, despite its compact size, was once a cafeteria that fed 600 WGBH employees daily.Skylights, in place already, will brighten the atrium. “We were keen to get as much daylight in here as possible,” said Brown, whose offices are in Watertown. “We’re trying to make the place look way open.”Rosborough peered into a small break room, and thought of the Earthwatch staff.“It’ll be fun,” he said of the new Allston space, alive with possibilities for collaborations with Harvard and its neighbors. “It’s a big move for us.”last_img read more

ODPM signs up with Hermes in Leeds

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No Saints interest in Austin

first_img Southampton have also been mentioned as a potential destination, but Press Association Sport understands he will not be moving to St Mary’s this summer. Contrary to reports, Saints have not made a bid for Austin and they do not have any interest in the striker whose form recently led to a first England call-up. It is understood Ronald Koeman is not actively looking for a striker right now, with the Southampton manager’s priorities lying elsewhere. Southampton have already made two signings this summer, bringing in Spain international Juanmi from Malaga and Sporting Lisbon right-back Cedric. The 25-year-old is being strongly linked with a move from Loftus Road after impressing during an ultimately disappointing campaign for the west Londoners. Austin netted 18 goals in his maiden Premier League season and the QPR striker is reportedly attracting interest from a number of clubs , including Newcastle, West Ham and Chelsea. Southampton have no interest in signing Charlie Austin from QPR, Press Association Sport understands.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

NBA postpones draft lottery and combine

first_imgPierre-Louis declared for the draft on March 30, but will maintain his NCAA eligibility since he has not signed with an agent yet. Because he has not signed with an agent, Pierre-Louis can return to Temple if he does not get drafted. Rose declared for the draft and signed with Roc Nation Sports on Tuesday, he announced in a Twitter post. The NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The New York Times reported. The NBA Draft Lottery was supposed to occur on May 19 in Chicago while the NBA Draft Combine was scheduled to take place in Chicago from May 21-24.center_img The NBA announced it will postpone the NBA Draft Lottery and Draft Combine on Friday, according to a tweet from Shams Charania, an NBA Insider for The Athletic. Two Temple University men’s basketball players, senior guard Quinton Rose and junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis, have declared for the draft.last_img read more

Donegal Conradh na Gaeilge members seek TDs support for plan

first_imgConradh na Gaeilge members from Donegal met with local TD Pat The Cope Gallagher in Dublin to ask for support for an Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan which could create 2,000 new jobs.The ten-hour clinic at Buswells Hotel saw Donegal man Dónall Ó Cnáimhsí sit down with Deputy Gallagher to voice concerns around Irish language and Gaeltacht funding as Clinic Na Gaeilge came to Kildare Street.Local Conradh representatives from constituencies across Ireland travelled to the capital to meet TDs and Senators in a bid to secure funding of €5 million for the plan in Budget 2020. “Clinic na Gaeilge brings the voice of the Irish-speaking community to the seat of power where they can air the local issues that matter to them most,” said Dónall.“It was good to sit down with Pat and encourage him to secure investment in the Irish language and in the Gaeltacht as a priority for the Government in Budget 2020.”Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said the Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan had been agreed by 88 Irish language and Gaeltacht groups, and would create 2,000 new jobs.“It will also provide essential resources towards the language planning process, and afford the public many opportunities across the country to use Irish,” said Dr Comer. “Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Gaeltacht employment authority, has seen its capital budget slashed by up to 65% since 2008 and Foras na Gaeilge, the cross-border body promoting Irish, has had a €5 million reduction in funding since 2008.“It is time for the Government to reinvest in our Gaeltachts and in our language.”The event was held as part of Conradh na Gaeilge’s #SEAS19 (seisiúin eolais agus spreagtha) pre-budget campaign, which involves information and progress sessions on Irish language and Gaeltacht affairs.“Other Irish speakers have been phoning their local politicians, calling into their local clinics, and sending personal emails or tweets,” said Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Advocacy Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge.“Like Clinic na Gaeilge, this is all tremendously enormously important work before the Budget is decided. “We are stronger as a community when we work together on these core issues – ní neart go cur le chéile.”Other issues discussed with Oireachtas members included the urgency in publishing the Official Languages Bill 2019, the abolition of the Gaeltacht fees charged to students in teacher training colleges, additional investment in TG4, and a call for a comprehensive policy which links the teaching of Irish throughout the duration of the educational cycle, from pre-school to university.Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community.The Conradh has over 200 branches and numerous individual members registered around the world, who work to promote the use of Irish in their respective areas. Conradh na Gaeilge’s main aim is to promote the use of Irish as the standard language in Ireland.Further information on the Irish Language and Gaeltacht Investment Plan is available at Conradh na Gaeilge members seek TDs support for plan was last modified: October 1st, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fossils Destroy Human Evolution Story Again

first_imgThe old picture of human evolution is in tatters again.“Your face is probably more primitive than a Neanderthal’s.” That surprising headline on the BBC News summarizes the radical change in thinking of leading evolutionary paleoanthropologists about so-called ‘modern’ humans: i.e., those members of our genus Homo that have been unblessed by the self-serving species name sapiens (“the wise”).  If you read Richard Gray’s article without the assumption of evolution, you may find yourself questioning the sapience of some moderns.Historical depictions of human evolution have been based on the myth of Progress.Paleoanthropologists are changing the stories they have told the public for decades. They now think “our distinctive facial features may be far older than many anthropologists originally believed.“Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum used to believe that Homo heidelbergensis was intermediate between Neanderthals and modern humans. He and other evolutionists have changed their mind.Evolutionary paleoanthropologists, faced with contradictory evidence from fossils in Spain they dubbed Homo antecessor, ignored it. “At first, this apparent contradiction was hand-waved away.” This ‘species’ was dated far too early — up to 1.2 million Darwin Years ago. Scientists aren’t supposed to ignore evidence with hand-waving.Some of the discoverers of H. antecessor have “since become more cautious about their identity.” That’s because “It is still difficult to make direct comparisons between hominin skulls. For one thing, many are incomplete.” This allows fossils to be used as props for storytelling.“But even setting that aside, a phenomenon known as allometry means that changes in size also lead to changes in shape, because different body parts grow at different rates.“Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute believes that Neanderthals are “more evolved in their own direction than modern humans.” This implies that our faces are primitive by comparison. “In other words, the faces of modern humans may not be all that modern at all.” How’s that for a turnaround in evolutionary thinking?But then Hublin says, “The term ‘modern’ is somewhat misleading.” It could mean either ‘more primitive’ or ‘more evolved.’ If that is the case, does the word mean anything at all? Such a flexible adjective can mean anything an evolutionist wants it to mean, making it useful for propaganda purposes.The Neanderthal face appeared to continue growing, in contrast to the ‘modern’ human face that resorbs bone to present a flatter appearance. Now, though, this also appears to have been the case with Homo antecessor, which preceded the Neanderthals. No evolutionary trend, therefore, appears in the fossil record.The contradictory findings are leading some evolutionists to envision each ‘species’ of Homo evolving in its own direction, at its own rate. That new vision destroys any neat picture of ancestry. It also forces paleoanthropologists to make up mythical ancestors not represented by tangible fossil bones.Heidelberg Man now appears to have had a weaker bite than expected. Paul O’Higgins of the University of York thinks that Neanderthals’ large noses gave them a stronger bite force.But then, Gray writes, Chris Stringer published research proving that the sinuses of Neanderthals did not lie outside the range of those in modern Europeans. How different, then, were Neanderthals from us?Natural selection may have had nothing to do with the evolution of the human face. “Instead, it appears the large noses seen in H. heidelbergensis and later Neanderthals may have appeared ‘by accident’ through genetic drift [see “Stuff Happens Law” in the Darwin Dictionary], after they split from their common ancestor with modern humans” — that is, if they indeed split. How much of this labeling is a kind of historical racism, lumping any human who looked different from us in some way into a different ‘species’?In regard to Neanderthals’ prominent brow ridges, evolutionists have changed their story once again. O’Higgins now feels that brow ridges “provide no structural advantage.” This implies once again that natural selection had nothing to do with the trait.O’Higgins’ new story is that brow ridges signaled dominance, and that the lack of brow ridges gave modern humans a more flexible way of making facial expressions by raising their eyebrows. Paul Gray ends with this suggestion. But clearly this is just-so storytelling. Neanderthal women had brow ridges, too. Besides, there are many ways to signal dominance, such as greater height or larger muscles, or through behaviors that cannot be deduced from fossils. Even today, some dominant-looking males can behave like perfect gentlemen (Tim Tebow, for example), and small guys (or gals) can be fierce. For all we know, these ‘other’ members of Homo were kind, responsible members of loving families. We could be the brutes.Racist depiction of Neanderthal as less evolved than modern man.F. Clark Howell, “Early Man” book, Time-Life Young Readers Edition, 1968, p. 33In his new book Darwin’s House of Cards, veteran journalist Tom Bethell relates conversations he had with leading evolutionists. In chapter 12, he argues that ancestry cannot be determined from fossils, because we cannot witness family records, but only individual data points. Colin Patterson said, “The concept of ancestry is not accessible by the tools that we have.” Bethell had several important meetings with Richard Lewontin — a famous evolutionist, staunchly atheist and anti-creationist, yet honest enough to admit weaknesses in evolutionary theory. Bethell writes about his view on this point:In his book Human Diversity (1982), Harvard’s Richard Lewontin lent support to this idea [by Patterson]. “Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists,” he wrote, “no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor.“When I discussed this with Lewontin, he brought up a little noted contradiction in the search for ancestors: “If it is different enough from humans to be interesting, then you don’t know whether it’s an ancestor or not,” he said. “If it’s similar enough to be human, then it’s not interesting.” His argument, of course, applies to all fossils, not just to hominids. [Bethell, p. 140]Carried to its logical conclusion, evolutionary paleoanthropology becomes little more than divination with bones.Bethell’s point is worth pondering. Fossils don’t tell stories; people do! I highly recommend Darwin’s House of Cards. Bethell has had many personal conversations with leading evolutionists, from Karl Popper to Stephen Jay Gould and many others. He knows the Darwin literature well. He writes for the layman. This is a great compilation of evidence that Darwinian theory is all bluster and no substance. (Visited 291 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Wes Lunt leaves OSU

first_imgHow many f-bombs of joy has Todd Monken dropped in the last five minutes in hopes that the crown jewel of his recruiting time at OSU will meander south to Hattiesburg? I’ll set the over/under at 99.5.So I guess this means Clint Chelf will be the starter when OSU opens with Mississippi State in September which I’m fine with, but I have a feeling OSU fans are going to be looking back on this day with remorse for years to come.Could Gundy have handled things differently? Was there a faction between Walsh/Chelf/Lunt (there didn’t seem to be)? Does he just not like Legos?Whatever the reason, OSU is worse off (both for this season) and (mostly) the future without Wes Lunt.Farewell, 1s, every deep ball made us gasp — enjoy your success elsewhere, there will be much of it.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! It’s true, Mike Gundy announced late on Thursday afternoon that Wes Lunt was leaving Oklahoma State after one season of slinging it around. Here’s the official statement from Gundy:“We appreciate Wes and we thank him for everything he has done. He’s leaving on good terms and is making this decision based on what he thinks is best for his future.”And from Lunt:“This was not a decision I took lightly, but it is a decision that I felt was right for me. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the entire Oklahoma State University community. Specifically, I would like to thank the coaches, players, and the whole OSU football family. I wish the Cowboys the best of luck in the future.”I don’t know about you guys but I’m pretty bummed. I was in love with Lunt’s arm from day one and even though we were Choo-Chooin’ for the second half of last season Lunt (and his cannon) were always the future.last_img read more

10 months agoBournemouth boss Howe pleased with Mousset, Boruc in Cup defeat

first_imgBournemouth boss Howe pleased with Mousset, Boruc in Cup defeatby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournemouth boss Eddie Howe praised Lys Mousset and Artur Boruc after their Carabao Cup quarterfinal defeat to Chelsea.Substitute Eden Hazard struck in the 84th minute for Chelsea’s winner.Howe said, “One of the positives is our squad, there were players who hadn’t played regularly who did really well and it shows the strength in the squad.”I thought Lys Mousset did very well and that was his best performance for the club. Technically he reached a very high level and he’s a big part of our future.”Artur Boruc was outstanding, it doesn’t surprise me as he’s a player who always rises to the occasion and he thrives on the sternest tests.”He made a number of great saves and I don’t know how he saved the effort at the end [from Olivier Giroud].”He’s been a real professional off the pitch and has been a real support for Asmir.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

19 days agoJames delighted playing with ex-U9 pal Mount at Chelsea

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say James delighted playing with ex-U9 pal Mount at Chelseaby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReece James is delighted playing with Mason Mount at Chelsea.Growing up the year group below Mount, the two would often train and play together, a bond that has remained from Under-9s to the Champions League.”I’ve known Mason since he was nine years old so it’s great to be playing with him now in a Champions League game,” James told”It’s a dream come true. When I was nine or 10, he was in the year above but when we played at tournaments, we were in the same [year-born] age group so we’d play together then. We were good friends and we still are now.”It’s fantastic to see the young players coming through together and it just reflects on how good the Academy actually is. Frank helps us a lot, he wants as many young players as possible to play and he’s there to give you opportunities if he feels you deserve it.” last_img read more

Sinclair social worker didnt keep record of visits

first_imgAPTN National NewsAt the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry in Winnipeg, social worker Delores Chief-Abogisis spent her second day in a row on the stand Tuesday.She was grilled about details of her contacts with Sinclair’s family because many of her visits were not documented.Abigosis explained that due to the high caseload workers faced, it was difficult to maintain records of all contact and visits. She had trouble remembering much of her visits.She said she wasn’t aware of any maltreatment of the five-year-old Sinclair whose body was found in 2005 after being returned to her parents.last_img