Earth and Environmental Science

The many lives of charcoal

Catherine Nabukalu, an alumna of the Master in Environmental Studies program, worked with School of Arts and Sciences Professor Reto Gieré to track the charcoal supply chain through research in Nabukalu’s native Uganda.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Coral reef resilience

With coral reefs under threat from climate change, marine biologist Katie Barott studies how some corals may prove resilient to warming temperatures and acidifying oceans.

Katherine Unger Baillie

A missing link in haze formation

Hazy days don’t just block the view; they mean the air contains particulate matter that can compromise human health. Chemists have discovered a way that alcohols can balance out the formation of new particles, a finding that could improve the accuracy of air-quality forecasts.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Immersive stories to spur action on climate

Organized by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH), a two-day festival, “Environmental Storytelling and Virtual Reality” begins Friday, and will explore how virtual reality and other immersive storytelling might inspire action on climate change.

Katherine Unger Baillie

A second life for leaves

Taking a scientific approach to managing campus land, Facilities and Real Estate Services is partnering with soil scientists and ecologists to study how mulching plots with leaves fares for soil health and biodiversity.

Katherine Unger Baillie



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In the News


WHYY (Philadelphia)

When it comes to coronavirus, air pollution may put marginalized communities in danger

Anil Vachani of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the combined effects of air pollution and coronavirus on marginalized communities. “We’re certainly recognizing that exposure to chronic air pollution results in a number of adverse health outcomes which are increasingly recognized. It may even contribute to a whole host of other illnesses that we’re now understanding the links to, to poor air quality and air pollution,” he said.

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The Hill

R&D, not Greenland, can solve our rare earth problem

Research into rare earth metals by Eric Schelter, Patrick Carroll, Ph.D. student Justin Bogart, and alumnus Connor Lippincott of the School of Arts and Sciences was cited.

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Atlas Obscura

The secret lives of sand dunes

Douglas Jerolmack of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about sediment transport and sand dunes, which move in response to temperature and time and can travel several feet each year.

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Smithsonian Magazine

If Thanos actually wiped out half of all life, how would Earth fare in the aftermath?

Lauren Sallan of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed the hypothetical results of a mass-extinction event, like the one depicted in “The Avengers” movie franchise. “I think humans would figure out a way to [survive], provided that not all of the ecosystems collapse,” said Sallan.

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Boston Globe

Boxes, pouches, cartons, and envelopes — oh my!

Eric Orts of the Wharton School spoke about the environmental impact of packaging waste. “Lots of it will still go into a landfill, for no really good reason,” said Orts. “If you look at something like the distribution system of Amazon, it doesn’t seem that hard to shift this.”

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Philly affirms commitment to slashing emissions as study shows global increase

Christine Simeone of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy spoke about cities and states’ continued efforts in the fight against climate change. “In the absence of a national strategy, the state and local strategies actually become much more important,” said Simeone.

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