AGU Meeting: An Entrance into a New World by Dustin Kincaid

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 | Author:

Every year in December, hoards of Earth and space scientists from every discipline imaginable migrate to San Francisco, California for the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). In December 2016, I joined approximately 24,000 other scientists and science professionals for my first AGU experience.

Dustin Kincaid is a PhD student in the Department of Integrative Biology.

Dustin Kincaid is a PhD student in the Department of Integrative Biology.

If you didn’t balk at the number of attendees I mentioned, then you come from a very different world than me. I normally attend the annual meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS), a smaller gathering with a typical attendance of less than 1,000 individuals. The annual SFS meeting is familial, supportive, and focused on disciplines within my field of freshwater ecology. I know, or am one or two degrees of separation from, almost everyone at the meeting. And I leave the meeting feeling reconnected with good friends and colleagues and reinvigorated to do good science.

Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance by Cheng-Hua Liu

Friday, January 13th, 2017 | Author:

I would like to express my appreciation to Environment Science & Policy Program (ESPP) for supporting me to attend the 2016 ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meetings on November 6-9 in Phoenix, Arizona. To receive the ESPP Conference Travel funding is a great honor, and I am deeply thankful to the selection committee for choosing me.


Cheng-Hua Liu, (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences/ESPP) attended the 2016 ASA, CSSA & SSA International Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

The ASA, CSSA & SSSA International Annual Meeting is a well-organized interdisciplinary scientific conference, which offers an excellent opportunity for scientists from agronomy, crop science, soil science, and related disciplines to present their discoveries and learn about the latest research. The theme of this year, “Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance,” focuses on how people can optimize ecosystem and agricultural system resilience across local and global scales to overcome the extreme environmental conditions.

Re-framing the dreaded “networking” by Joseph Lee-Cullin

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 | Author:

Networking. This is a word that elicits a variety of responses; mine is a sort of *hiss* *shudder* *screech*. Not my forte, to say the least. In my experience, “networking” is this nebulous concept, yet it is of the utmost importance for students/researchers/professors. We in the scientific community, particularly students, are told repeatedly that networking is paramount and that our future success hinges upon this verb. As a summary, my education has emphasized networking something like the following:


Joseph Lee-Cullin, Geological Sciences and ESPP

BACHELOR’S DEGREE: “If you want a job, you’ve got to network. It’s all about who you know!”

MASTER’S DEGREE: “If you want to have professional collaborators and get a job, you’ve got to network. It’s not just what you know, but who you know!”

DOCTORAL DEGREE: “Goodness, man, have you networked yet?! Don’t you want to succeed in your career? GO NETWORK. GO!”

Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Monday, July 11th, 2016 | Author:

Ran Duan, PhD student in environmental journalism and ESPP

First of all, I would like to thank ESPP for supporting my trip to the conference at American University, Washington D.C. The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS)’s annual conference offers me a great opportunity to present my works and network with other scholars who also conduct interdisciplinary environmental research. My first presentation was titled, “Examining Hispanics’ environmental concern, the role of immigration factors and acculturation process.” This study applied the acculturation theory to the research of environmental concern within the Hispanic immigrants. By analyzing 795 responses of U.S. Hispanics, the paper concluded that the more acculturated Hispanics are, the less environmental concern they have. My second presentation was titled “Eco-friendly or economic? Examining of the reuse of clothes and shopping bags using the value-belief-norm theory.” This paper emphasized the importance of studying socio-psychological factors that drive and inhibit reuse behaviors, and I discussed how the reuse of reusable shopping bags and clothes are predicted by people’s altruistic beliefs, environmental values, social norms and etc.

From East Lansing to Fukuoka by Tony Van Witsen

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 | Author:

East Lansing Michigan to Fukuoka Japan–such a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g journey!  Train to Chicago, overnight in Chicago, flight to Toronto, second flight over Alaska and the Bering Sea to Tokyo, third flight to Fukuoka.  Cab ride to my AirBNB apartment with a driver who couldn’t find the place despite my maps and his, and was too proud to ask for directions.  But my apartment (once I found it) had the quietest air conditioner I have ever (not) heard.  Why don’t we have these in the United States?


Ohori Park

Ohori Park

ASM Boston 2016: A macroscopic view of the trending topics in Microbiology

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 | Author:
Sanjana Mukherjee (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) attended the American Society for Microbiology conference in Boston this spring.

Sanjana Mukherjee (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) attended the American Society for Microbiology conference in Boston this spring.

Carl Sagan once said, “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge”. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference- Boston 2016 housed 11,000 brilliant minds over a span of five days from 16-20 June 2016. The atmosphere at the conference was electric, with the meeting rooms buzzing with brilliant ideas and out-of-the box thoughts!

The conference started on a high note, with Bill Gates and Dr. Richard Besser spearheading the opening session where they highlighted the importance of global health and microbial sciences. The next few days went by in a frenzied blur, where I attended many seminars and sessions on a wide variety of topics such as hospital pathogens, global infectious diseases, diagnostic microbiology and outbreak investigations!  I also got an opportunity to attend a lecture by Dr. Donna Wolk, a pioneer in Clinical Microbiology, where she discussed her path to becoming involved in clinical microbiology and some revolutionary diagnostic research she had been involved in.

Making international connections can create a holistic view of fisheries around the world

Monday, June 20th, 2016 | Author:

When looking at graduate schools, I wanted a program that would give me the opportunity to have lots of international experiences. Dr. Bill Taylor’s lab at Michigan State University, where I just started my PhD, fits that criterion perfectly. While at MSU, I have been fortunate enough to participate in numerous international conferences and study opportunities. Through these experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Germany, Canada, and Italy, just to name a few countries.


So-Jung Youn (Fisheries & Wildlife) arrives at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, Korea

Going against the flow: Modeling stream temperature from above and below

Friday, June 17th, 2016 | Author:

Brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout support valuable recreational fisheries throughout the United States. Unfortunately, growth, reproduction, and survival of these fishes may be reduced as climate change increases air temperatures and water temperatures in cold water streams. Brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout are distributed throughout nearly 20,000 miles of streams in Michigan and support ecologically, socioeconomically valuable fisheries. Streams are projected to become warmer in the future due to climate change, but effects on growth, reproduction, and survival of these trout species are largely unknown. Thus, it is important predict the impacts of climate change on cold water stream ecosystems to develop management strategies that sustain healthy, fishable trout populations.

Andrew Carlson, doctoral student in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife

Andrew Carlson, doctoral student in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife

Achieving Social and Economic Development through Ecological and Organic Agricultural Alternatives by Jelili Adebiyi

Monday, June 06th, 2016 | Author:
Jelili Adebiyi (ESPP and Community Sustainability)

Jelili Adebiyi (ESPP and Community Sustainability)

ESPP provided me with part of the funding I used to attend the 3rd African Ecological Organic Agricultural Conference, which held between October 5 – 9, 2015, at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Lagos, Nigeria. The theme of the conference was “Achieving Social and Economic Development through Ecological and Organic Agricultural Alternatives.” The conference attracted over 220 participants from across 28 African countries, including farmers, pro-organic CSOs, African national organic coordinating bodies, policy-makers, private and public stakeholders, representatives of African Union Commission, and academics. International pro-organic development organizations and research institutions such as UNEP-UNCTAD, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM), FAO, Swiss Agency for Development (SDC) and the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) participated in the 5-day conference.

Tourism, Ecosystem Services, and Human Well-being by Min Gon Chung

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 | Author:
Min Gon Chung, ESPP and Fisheries and Wildlife

Min Gon Chung, ESPP and Fisheries and Wildlife

With the ESPP travel grant, I attended the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology’s (US-IALE) 2016 Annual Meeting in Asheville, NC. I presented a result of interdisciplinary research in Qinghai province (China), “Telecoupled interaction among tourism, ecosystem services, and human well-being.” This interdisciplinary research can be a kind of capstone experience in the ESPP because co-authors are from policy, geography, and natural resource science and determined how tourism and relevant policies interacted with ecosystem services and local economy. In addition, I had a chance to start a new project with collaborative researchers who met in this conference workshop. For 1-2 years, we will investigate how to strengthen our understanding of the relationships between ecosystem services and disturbance within the teleoupling framework. Because researchers have increasingly used “urban”, “ecosystem services”, “global climate change”, and “sustainability” in the conference, theses topics have become attractive issues in the next era for landscape ecology.