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

Trump is doing a great job in office

first_imgThe economy went nowhere under Obama. He stunted the economy’s growth with higher taxes and Obamacare. Do you remember the summer of recovery, I think it was 2009? It never went anywhere. There were no gains in the economy under Obama.I don’t like Trump’s talk regarding women. So far I haven’t heard of one affair while he was in office. Hey, Ray, two of your idols, Kennedy and Clinton, continued their infidelity throughout their administrations. Do you remember Clinton and Lewinsky?Regarding Dreamers, Trump offered a deal to Chuck (Schumer) and Nancy (Pelosi). They wouldn’t take it because they need an issue for 2018.Donald Trump isn’t a man of character. However, he wants to make America better and he is doing a great job.Dave EdwardsHalfmoonMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes I read Ray Harris’ April 9 letter and just laughed. President Trump has done more for this country in 13 months than Obama did in eight years. Hey, Ray, the only collusion found so far is between Mrs. Clinton and the Russians. There has been no collusion found between Trump and the Russians, none. Do you wear your Hillary 2016 sweater each night watching MSNBC? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Sep. 30

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThanks Proctors for SpongeBob showWe enjoyed a wonderful Proctors season opening on Sept. 25, with SpongeBob SquarePants.It looked like many subscribers opted out of seeing this show, and they missed a really fun evening.The costumes were excellent, and music and dancing as good as any of the shows. It was like seeing a giant, live cartoon. Perfect evening. We spoke with other adults around us. None of us had ever seen a SpongeBob show, and we all enjoyed it immensely.Thank you, Proctors, for bringing it to town.Anita WaltherSchenectadyUnhappy with Pop Warner board actsI’m the president of Schenectady Belmont Pop Warner.We are a nonprofit football and cheerleading organization.The federation board for the whole Pop Warner league has refused to give my organization any help with a full football schedule and is forcing one of my teams to travel to New Jersey (over 2-1/2 hours away) every weekend with no help with transportation or funding. We get notified of a weekend out-of-state game on Thursday nights. How do they expect a non-profit organization to be able to afford to make this travel every weekend?We are not a travel team, nor did we sign up for a full schedule of away games out of state. This is not what Pop Warner is about.We’re asking for something to get done about this because the federation has done nothing but avoid taking any responsibility for what’s going on. Parents are outraged over not knowing when and where their children will be playing and also with the distance they are trying to force us to accept. They tell us either take it or don’t play.Michael DavisSchenectadyLearn the realities of climate changeMr. Gaetani’s Sept. 25 letter displays an interesting mix: he agrees that Earth’s climate is changing, but denies that we, as an industrial human society, have anything to do with it.Atmospheric carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas, has increased by over 45 percent in the past few hundred years.About 36 billion tons are added to the atmosphere each year, mostly by burning fossil fuels.More greenhouse gas can hardly do anything but warm the globe. Mr. Gaetani, though, doesn’t believe it, as though that’s a viable argument against the new IPCC report (www.ipcc.ch) that was written by hundreds of climate scientists and based on the work of many thousands.He also doesn’t believe that there is anything we can do about it, although Chapter 2 of the report is entirely devoted to just that subject, as are hundreds of other studies. Mr. Gaetani also suggests that reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is “ludicrous.”Strangely, exactly that is happening anyway, at an increasingly rapid pace.One can hide in conspiracies and fantasy if one wishes, but learning and reality are more interesting, and safer.Kurt HollocherSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Mariano, Salcido, Firman, Williams named to All-ACC team

first_imgNo. 1 Syracuse’s Nick Mariano, Sergio Salcido, Scott Firman and Ben Williams were named Thursday morning to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team. Both Mariano and Salcido earned the same honors in 2016.Firman, a senior close defender who switched from long-stick midfielder at the start of the season, has held the opponent’s top threat to 2.58 points per game. Those players average 3.76 points per game. He has caused 13 turnovers and picked up 25 ground balls, moving into sixth place in program history for caused turnovers.Mariano, a senior midfielder, leads SU with 29 goals and 43 points. He’s riding the 10th-longest goals streak in the country with his 12-game hot streak. The Tewaaraton Award nominee is on pace to lead the Orange in goals for the second straight season. He has earned All-ACC honors both of his years at SU after transferring from Massachusetts.Salcido is on pace to break Syracuse’s record for most assists by a midfielder in a single season. He has 28 dimes and 12 goals, looking for his second 50-point season in a row after barely seeing the field before his redshirt junior year. Salcido, a former walk-on, has two of the top-nine single season assist totals among midfielders. He is a Tewaaraton Award nominee.Williams, the senior faceoff specialist, became the program’s all-time faceoff wins leader (626) and ground balls leader (330) this season. He has won 138-of-250 (.552) of his chances at the X and collected 66 ground balls this year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo.1 seed Syracuse will play No. 4 seed North Carolina on Friday at 6 p.m. in the ACC tournament opener. SU (11-1, 4-0 ACC) has not lost since Feb. 25 and finished undefeated in conference play.2017 ACC Men’s Lacrosse All-ACC TeamA – Jack Bruckner, Sr., DukeA – Justin Guterding, Jr., DukeA – Luke Goldstock, Sr., North CarolinaA – Zed Williams, Sr., VirginiaA – Michael Kraus, Fr., VirginiaM – Sergio Perkovic, Sr., Notre DameM – Sergio Salcido, R-Sr., SyracuseM – Nick Mariano, Sr., SyracuseM – Ryan Conrad, So., VirginiaD – Cade Van Raaphorst, So., DukeD – Austin Pifani, Sr., North CarolinaD – Garrett Epple, Sr., Notre DameD – Scott Firman, Sr., SyracuseSSM – Tate Jozokos, Sr., North CarolinaLSM – John Sexton, Jr., Notre DameF/O – Kyle Rowe, Sr., DukeF/O – Ben Williams, Sr., SyracuseG – Danny Fowler, Sr., Duke Comments Published on April 27, 2017 at 11:44 am Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Chord on bungee ride snaps moments before riders are launched into air

first_imgTwo men are lucky to be alive after a vital cord snapped on the bungee ride they were on moments before they were to be launched into the air.The incident occurred Saturday at the Cobra Adventure Park in Panama, Florida.Video of the incident shows the two riders seated in the “Vertical Accelerator” as the ride operator prepares to launch them into the air, suddenly the elastic rope on the left side of the ride, shreds to pieces and lands on the ground next to them.The riders were removed from the ride and the ride was briefly shut down.As of Monday, the ride was reportedly open and inspectors have been called to the park to check the ride.last_img

President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort temporarily lays off workers

first_imgThe coronavirus pandemic has caused states and cities to issue closures on multiple businesses in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach is now one to begin halting business. According to a notice posted this week to a state website Mar-A-Lago will be temporarily laying off 153 workers because of the new coronavirus.The club’s director of human resources, Janine Gill, said the furloughs are temporary, but it is not clear when regular operations will resume again.Those who have been laid-off include bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, drivers, attendants, housekeepers, servers and valet attendants.last_img

Interacting with council: Youth volunteer group faces time crunch in trail building project

first_imgRSS Student Brogan Pastro was the face of Rossland’s Interact at Tuesday night’s council meeting and did the group proud by presenting a well-spoken, well-thought-out presentation and request for City Council’s assistance in their latest project. Looking for approval to fundraise and physically build one of the trails outlined in the City’s Active Transportation Plan, the group is now facing a scheduling time-crunch with looming exams and summer holidays.   As is typical for delegations presenting at council, the issue will not come back before council for decision for two weeks. With their volunteer labour force ready to go this weekend or next before scheduling become difficult, the group’s project site is in limbo as they wait for a response from council and may be pushed into the summer or early fall for completion.   The Interact club, with a dedicated core of 12 to 15 members keen to see the trail building project through, are a volunteer committee in partnership with the Rossland Rotary Club. Their simple yet noble goal is to strive for the betterment of the world community. Each year the group takes on a project with the aim of alternating years between international and local projects. Last year’s project involved travelling to Roatan in Honduras to volunteer at an AIDS clinic.   “This year we’re keeping it local,” said Pastro, “because Rossland is such an active community our club felt it should involve the great outdoors. Trail building seems like a natural project fit.”   Connecting with City Staff as well as Stu Spooner, head of the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (KCTS) as well as developer of the City’s Active Transportation Plan (ATP) a couple of years back, the group had two trail segments suggested as appropriate for them to take on:  trail number 18 (the Old Railgrade Road – Butte Street segment) and trail number 22 ( the Eighth Avenue – Columbia Kootenay Road connector).    Breaking the Old Railgrade Road-to-Butte Street trail into two segments and working on either end (each can act as functional mini-trails on their own) appears to be the better choice of the two. The centre section would require some higher end trail work through the rock cut that would be beyond the basic labour the volunteer group provides, so it was suggested they come at it from either end. Ultimately, the City will complete the centre section.   Although not entirely without legal and land use issues, Spooner has already been negotiating the proposed sections with landowners.   When questioned by council as to why they chose trail projects that were both listed as low priorities in the ATP, it was discovered that that very fact was one of the significant reasons they did suggest these two trails.   Marilyn Nelson, the RSS facilitator of the club, jumped in and opined that “because of its low priority, it won’t likely get done soon by the City if Interact doesn’t undertake it. They both lend themselves to a lot of manual labour, don’t require heavy equipment and most trails don’t need expert trail builders. It’s all grunt work which we’re very good at–plus its costs an amount of time that fits our schedule. Those three criteria were really important in selecting those sites.”   The full trail was costed out in the ATP as a $9,350 job. Cutting down the length of the trail for the Itneract club’s contribution is expected to come in closer to the $7,000 mark.   Getting council to approve the project in a time that works for the club now appears to be the major remaining hurdle. As per Council policy, however, recommendations brought forward by delegations are to be addressed at the following council meeting. In this case that next meeting will come in two weeks on the 6th of June. That date, of course, is beyond the two ideal work weekends for the club.   Remaining stoic, however, as he learned that getting started on the project in the next few weeks would be unlikely, Pastro acknowledged that the club would make the project happen through the summer or next fall if need be.   “Of course Interact will be dedicated to their work, but I wanted council to be aware that it can be very difficult to coordinate a work force around family holidays as those have likely been in place long before a list of volunteers and dates. We wouldn’t like to get ahead of ourselves in undertaking a project that we cannot accomplish. That is contradictory to the way interact works and our work ethic.”   Councilor Jill Spearn noted that it would be possible for council to potentially hold a special meeting to approve the recommendation once staff had a chance to look at and deal with any potential issues around land use or legalities. No immediate decision was made in that regard, however, and Pastro was advised to stay in touch with the City Planner.   The decision is likely to come back to council in two weeks.last_img read more

Local economy looks good, but clouds on horizon

first_imgParks said it was clear to her that Ventura County’s Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources initiatives approved by voters in the late 1990s to limit growth are responsible for the county’s population growth rate declines. “Without SOAR, we would have seen thousands of new homes in the open spaces around our cities,” she said. “SOAR is helping maintain our quality of life and a strong economy.” Watkins did not discuss what effect SOAR might be having on the population but did point to an aging population and an exodus of younger people seeking jobs and cheaper housing elsewhere. The high cost of local housing will continue to drive away high-paying jobs, he said. As an example, his report pointed to Technicolor’s recent announcement the company is moving hundreds of manufacturing jobs out of the county. The report also noted that Countrywide Financial’s growth over the past real estate boom has greatly contributed to economic growth, so any decision it might make to relocate jobs or merge with another company could have serious economic consequences locally. OXNARD – This year should be a good one for Ventura County’s economy, with rising employment and incomes, but there are several potential problem areas, according to economists who presented their economic forecast for the area last week. “We are seeing very low population growth and very strong economic growth in Ventura County,” said Bill Watkins, executive director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project and a former research economist at the Federal Reserve. Watkins presented the project’s report on the Ventura County Economic Outlook 2007 at a seminar in Oxnard attended by 400 business and government leaders. Linda Parks, chairwoman of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, attended and said she was glad to hear the county’s economy was prospering along with a low population growth rate – less than 1 percent in 2006 – that she advocates along with preserving open space. Amgen and other technology companies should help the county continue to prosper, the report said, and Watkins predicted the county’s economic growth rate would be 3.9 percent in 2007 and 4.1 percent in 2008. He predicted the county’s job growth rate would be 1.8 percent in 2007. And he noted there are large numbers of county residents who commute to jobs in Los Angeles and might be able to fill new jobs created locally. “So far at least, the county is pulling off the economic hat trick of strong economic growth in the presence of weak population growth,” he said. As for housing, “Realtors are having a terrible year,” he said. But he added the county is facing nothing like the drop of home values in the 1990s and predicted housing prices would rise in 2008. The median price for a Ventura County home was $565,000 last month. He said the county’s high cost of housing is a threat to the local work force, with growing numbers of residents priced out of home ownership. He showed a picture of a tin-roof shack and quipped that if it were in Montecito, in Santa Barbara County, it would sell for $2 million. The pressure on the rental market has pushed rents to record heights – up 6.1 percent in 2006 to a new peak of $1,523 in the county for a two-bedroom apartment. In the Thousand Oaks area, rents were up 8.5 percent last year to an average of $1,637 a month for a two-bedroom. As for housing construction, he predicted that after a low of 1,900 permits for 2007, new housing production would climb, exceeding 2,500 new housing units in 2009 and 2,800 in 2010. Preliminary figures indicate Ventura County’s population grew more slowly last year than even Santa Barbara County. [email protected] (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Coega secures R1.8bn investments in 2013/14

first_img16 May 2014The Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape secured just over R1.8-billion in investments from 10 clients across a range of industries in 2013/14, it was reported on Thursday.Christopher Mashigo, business development executive manager at the Coega Development Corporation, said the IDZ’s growth over the past three years had been “beyond remarkable”, given the current investment climate.The 10 investors are:SAMRT (automotive) – R400-million invested.Qtech Moulding (automotive) – R23-million invested.Digistics SA (procurement and food) – R20-million pledged.ID Logistics (logistics) – R35-million invested.Afrox SA (chemicals) – R300-million invested.No. 1 Corporation (agro-processing) – R40-million pledged.ITPASA (manufacturing) – R30-million invested.Ulba Tantalum Africa (chemicals) – R200-million invested.Poweway/Sungrow JV – Inverters (renewable energy) – R127-million invested.Powerway/JA Solar JV (renewable energy) – R666.6-million invested.ITPASA and Powerway/JA Solar JV are already operational in the IDZ.“About 60% of these investments will be at some point of commencing or commissioning within this calendar year,” Mashigo said.“This means we are establishing a trend in the IDZ that new investors sign in one year and are on the ground in the next, as is case with some new IDZ investors, such as DCD Wind Towers, Famous Brands and Air Products.”The 10 new investors are expected to create over 900 jobs in the future, having already created 16 444 jobs in the last year.“The IDZ is becoming a springboard into the local and international retail sector, and talks to why we actually have IDZs in the first place,” Mashigo said.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Andre Agassi Finds Few Places of Comparison in Modern ‘Aggressive’ Field

first_img andre agassiDaniil Medvedevtennis First Published: September 29, 2019, 11:20 AM IST New York: As a tennis player, Andre Agassi defied comparison. And as a retiree, the eight-times Grand Slam champion would rather not try himself.Reflecting on his career on Saturday, at the Longines Global Champions Tour in New York, Agassi said the game today had simply changed too much for him to find an analog among the sport’s current top performers. “The truth is, some of them do what I did – but they do other things too,” said Agassi, pointing to reigning Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic as someone “who can take the ball early and redirect pace or control points from the middle of the court,” but also brings an added defensive edge.”These guys, they can do everything I did on a return, except they have even a little more coverage.”When I was really at my best, it was a risk to play aggressive … (today) people play aggressive.”Having shifted his post-tennis career toward business and philanthropy, Agassi appeared on Saturday as the appointed “ambassador of elegance” for the luxury watch-maker Longines, the title partner of the competition, with which he has formed a kind of symbiotic relationship.Most notably the former world No. 1, who described his exit from tennis as “like Christmas,” said the partnership helps him pursue the cause of youth education.”It seems to push my buttons,” said Agassi, talking with passion about the latest advancements in technology for childhood literacy.But he acknowledged moving from the pro sport isn’t quite so simple for everyone.”I don’t know if you can prepare somebody for it because it all depends on what it’s meant to them and how much of their identity is tied up in it,” said Agassi. “When you do something for the first third of your life and then you have two thirds of your life to go, it can be a tough transition.”He heaped praise on Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, this year’s U.S. Open villain turned unlikely hero who gave eventual champ Rafa Nadal a run for his money in a five-set final thriller.”A guy like that stays healthy, he’s probably the best 6’6″ mover we’ve ever seen in tennis,” Agassi said of the 23-year-old. “He knows when to press, when to put a little urgency into your game and he knows when to sort of let you implode.”His tennis IQ is really high, his offensive skill set is there, his defensive skill set is there. So he’s got everyone’s attention.” Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more