Ecologist studies Great Lakes

January 26, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgNotre Dame research assistant professor Sheila Christopher earned a $155,358 grant from the University of Michigan Water Center, which focuses on environmental issues specific to the Great Lakes, to study environmental solutions in Lake Erie. Christopher, who works with Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ECI), said her research will focus on creating a computer model to represent the effectiveness of two specific farmland-drainage management practices, the two-stage ditch process and the tile drain management process, to combat fertilizer runoff into the Great Lakes, which supply 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. “The goal would be to identify if these new and innovative management practices can help reduce nutrient pollution at a large scale, as compared to more traditional practices,” Christopher said. “And also by using this watershed scale [computer] model … we’ll be able to transfer the technology to other research groups, not only in the Great Lakes, but other watersheds around the country and even the world.” These management processes relate to the use of fertilizer in farming and the way farmers deal with excess fertilizer, Christopher said. Biology professor Jennifer Tank, who directs the ECI, saidsuch runoff fertilizer could greatly affect the aquatic ecosystem. “In order to have productive agriculture, we need to apply fertilizer, and oftentimes we apply too much fertilize,” Tank said.  “That ends up in our streams and rivers, and the streams and rivers transport those excess nutrients downstream, often to sensitive water bodies.” Researchers address the problem of nutrient pollution on a smaller scale by looking at alternative ways of managing the land, according to Tank. “We’ve been working on different management strategies and testing out different management practices that might reduce the impact of agricultural fertilizers,” Tank said. However, this small-scale research fails to address bigger problems like those in the Great Lakes, so Christopher stepped in, Tank said. “We hired Christopher as a research assistant professor … to take the field data that we’ve been collecting and the positive results that we’ve been getting at the smaller spatial scale … and then scale that up to whole water shed,” Tank said. “And then her goal is to put that into a water shed model to see if we can impact or improve the state of the Great Lakes Tributary.” While nutrient pollution occurs all over the world, this grant focuses specifically on the impact on the Great Lakes, according to Christopher. “The Great Lakes are used for tourism, for drinking water, [and] for fisheries, and we need to maintain and keep these lakes healthy. In order to do that, we have to look upstream,” Christopher said. The ECI brings together the efforts of about 40 different Notre Dame faculty members from several different disciplines to focus on issues regarding environmental change, Tank said. “The three areas that the Environmental Change Initiative focuses on is the impact of climate change on the environment, the impact of invasive species on the environment, and the impact of land use on the environment, mainly focused around fresh water,” Tank said. “The [Environmental Change Initiative] provides this umbrella initiative or organization that organizes faculty around these grand environmental challenges that really are facing society as a whole.” Contact Katie Sisk at [email protected]last_img read more

Exclusive Video! See Michael Shannon in Eric Bogosian’s ‘Godhead’

January 18, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgTo celebrate the publication of Eric Bogosian’s 100 Monologues, a slew of actors are performing excerpts on camera. The ever-growing roster includes Sam Rockwell, Jennifer Tilly, Tate Donovan, Stephen Lang, Jessica Hecht, Dylan Baker, Yul Vasquez, Richard Kind and David Zayas. Their work can be viewed on Bogosian’s new website The book, which comes out in May, collects all of Bogosian’s monologues, originally performed as part of his six off-Broadway solo shows (Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; Pounding Nails in the Floor with my Forehead; Wake Up and Smell the Coffee; Drinking in America; Funhouse; Men Inside) and selections from his play Talk Radio. To give you a taste of Bogosian’s project, the award-winning writer/actor offered an exclusive look at Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon playing a heroin addict in “Godhead.” Check it out below. Michael Shannon Star Filescenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

As COVID-19 resurges, Johnson pleads with UK: Obey the rules

October 19, 2020 0 Comments

first_img#usesoap Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the British people on Wednesday to obey rules imposed to tackle a rapidly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, cautioning that otherwise a tougher lockdown could follow.New cases of COVID-19 are rising by more than 7,000 per day in the United Kingdom though Johnson is facing growing opposition to lockdown measures which have wrought some of the worst economic damage in at least a century.After a reprimand from the speaker of the House of Commons, Johnson defused a rebellion in parliament over the way such onerous rules were imposed by promising angry lawmakers more say over any new national measures. Topics : But at a briefing in Downing Street flanked by his chief medical and scientific advisers, Johnson acknowledged the opposition to his curbs on freedom but said the British people should follow lockdown rules.”I know that some people will think we should give up and let the virus take its course despite the huge loss of life that would potentially entail,” Johnson said.”I have to say I profoundly disagree and I don’t think it’s what the British people want. I don’t think they want to throw in the sponge, they want to fight and defeat the virus,” he said.Britain, which has the worst official COVID-19 death toll in Europe, is facing a rapid acceleration of outbreaks across the country, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said. Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said the outbreak was not yet under control.Swathes of the United Kingdom and millions of citizens are subject to local restrictions brought in to try to slow the second wave of COVID-19 infections. Britain has reported more than 42,143 deaths from the virus – the world’s fifth highest total.”If the evidence requires it, we will not hesitate to take further measures that would, I’m afraid, be more costly than the ones we put into effect now,” Johnson said.Lockdown backlashJohnson, who has had to apologize after getting muddled over local lockdown rules on Tuesday, is facing growing anger within his own Conservative Party over the most severe restrictions in peacetime history that are destroying swathes of the economy.In a rare intervention by the chief officer of the House of Commons, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle scolded Johnson for making rules in a “totally unsatisfactory” way.”The way in which the government has exercised its powers to make secondary legislation during this crisis has been totally unsatisfactory,” Hoyle told parliament.After Johnson’s government offered concessions, lawmakers passed the extension of the Coronavirus Act, which hands the government emergency powers to introduce restrictions, voting 330 to 24 in favor.As Johnson grapples with both COVID-19 and dissent in party ranks, the economic damage was laid bare. The United Kingdom’s economy shrank by a record 19.8% in the second quarter of 2020 – meaning it contracted more than any other Group of Seven economy in the first half of 2020. last_img read more