Tuesday, February 24, 2015

President Obama announcing @dpatil as the first Chief Data Scientist


At Strata 2015, nice shout out for data, science, weather, climate.

Weather Brains discussion - Agriculture Commodities

Weather Brains discussion - Agriculture Commodities



While I have been a long time listener of the show, last night I participated as a guest in my first Weather Brains hangout.  Weather Brains is a weekly podcast that is pure weather geekery, with no agenda other than the open-ended questions geared towards the interests of the invited guests.  I try to listen every week, either on the live broadcast or through the archives  as shows are posted for viewing shortly thereafter.  If you are not truly a weather geek there is no reason to tune in, but as weather is a subject that touches everyone in a unique way, the interest in the weekly discussion is generally pretty high.  Recent episodes have addressed a wide variety of topics including (of course) the recent extreme cold and ice in the US, model scoring, a discussion from past AMS president Dr. Marshall Shepherd, and aviation/transportation weather, among other subjects.  For last night’s discussion, I tried to focus most of my contributions around the close relationship at the confluence of weather/climate, agriculture and global commercial activity.

The conversation touched upon some of the tools and recommendations that aWhere develops and provides to our customers in the global agriculture sector, how I became interested in this field including my graduate work at Rutgers, and ways in which companies in the food and beverage sector (including organizations such as Mars and Coke) utilize weather and climate information as a source of competitive advantage.  Throughout the chat, we touched upon the general state of the weather and climate services enterprise several times, which I described as healthy. From the number of companies that have emerged in the agritech and weather information services space to the amount of investment capital that has entered this sector over the last 1-2 years, I feel that the current position of our field is quite strong.  In addition, the conversation allowed for my perspectives of climate science as data science, and specific financial instruments that commodity risk managers can access and utilize towards efforts to manage price volatility as a result of weather-driven markets.  Most people understand the relationship between weather/climate and agriculture on the surface, but many don’t dig deeper to uncover how valuable it is when using our data as a cornerstone in fundamental analysis of global commerce.  This goes beyond what is happening the field, as the analysis expands into topics such as plant disease, nutritional requirements, water stress, foreign exchange rates and geopolitics.  The use of financial futures and options as tools to manage the risk is available to a wider sector of participants than just the traders, and should be used accordingly.

I think that I was able to provide a slightly different perspective for viewers and listeners.  This discussion was more about ‘applied weather intelligence, as opposed to weather forecasting, and this is a good thing.  The applied wx intelligence arena is the space where aWhere plays, so we are well positioned to provide new tools to the commodity risk management community, which includes traditional traders, but also encapsulates small farmers, food security analysts, food and beverage companies, and information service providers.  Not everyone in the sciences of climate and meteorology go into forecasting or basic research, and I think that I highlighted just one of many alternatives that students should be aware of.  As weather and climate touch virtually every aspect of society in some way, the options for the next generation of scientists are far wider than what we may have seen in the past.

It was fun participating in the discussion (video below), and I would be happy to become a ‘repeat guest’ in a future episode.  And thanks to the always-entertaining James Spann (@spann) for hosting, in between real-time forecast activities.





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rutgers Journal Club in Evolution, going on its 12th year

Rutgers Evolutionary Biology

Journal Club in Evolution, Spring 2015:
THEME: Speciation at small to large scales


Journal Club in Evolution Spring 2015 will be on SPECIATION,
and include reading of the classics, the experimental, and the natural...

They say there are three things you should never ask a biologist:
 1. What is a species?
 2. What is a population?
 and
 3. What is an individual?

Despite this, we will tackle the first question this coming semester
by reading classic and recent papers on speciation and species concepts
at organismal levels from the potentially earliest, simplest life
(viruses), to unicellular bacteria and eukaryotes, to more complex organisms such as
plants and vertebrates.

We will start with classic papers in species concepts by Ernst Mayr
and others, then go on to experiments and field-studies of speciation
processes.  We will cover the whole breadth of the organismal tree,
from asexual to sexual organisms, and also include hybridization,
polyploidization, colonial organisms, and parasites...

The journal club is now going on its 12th year, and
generally has 10-20 students and faculty attending on a regular basis.
This is both an informal discussion event open to all interested
faculty, postdocs, and students, as well as a graduate class (graduate
course name 'Advanced Evolution', 1 credit; 16:215:550).

If you are interested in joining us for credit, or just to show up
and discuss when you have time, make sure you are subscribed to the
Evolution mailing list at Rutgers, which we use for our announcements.
If you need to sign up for the mailing list, sign up here:
https://email.rutgers.edu/mailman/listinfo/evolution_ru.
If you want to sign up for credit as a graduate student,
e-mail us for a Special Permission Number so you can register.

The journal club will be scheduled when the most registered graduate
students and others can attend, so we can maximize attendance. So sign
up for credit now or send us an e-mail that you want to attend, and then
we will send out a scheduling Doodle poll in early January after
which the actual day and time will be announced.

With best wishes,
Lena Struwe & Siobain Duffy

--
Dr. Lena Struwe | Associate Professor & Director, Chrysler Herbarium |
Rutgers University | Dept of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
| Dept of Plant Biology and Pathology | 237 Foran Hall | 59 Dudley Road |
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | USA | struwe@aesop.rutgers.edu |
phone (848) 932-6343 (NEW!) | fax (732) 932-9441 | www.rci.rutgers.edu/~struwe/

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Industrial Ecology as a Source of Competitive Advantage

This came in via the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies & the International Society for Industrial Ecology (IE).  The current issue is very timely, and I am particularly interested in this series of papers as a way to asses the progress that has been made in transferring the conceptual tenets of IE to practice.  The Journal of Industrial Ecology can serve as a springboard to push much needed ideas and technologies into the commercial environmental sustainability arena, and the now that the articles are currently available for download (for a period of time), this is a great opportunity for the ISIE to demonstrate the importance of their work. 

I think that IE as a whole has had a difficult time transitioning from lab/theory to practice, as many commercial initiatives that are framed under the IE rubric are oftentimes not exploiting the best available technologies and methodologies (ie, synthetic biology, sensors, advanced analytics, etc).  Hopefully, this issue can help to draw attention these ideas and project to a wider audience.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industrial ecology has contributed important innovations to the pursuit of sustainability in business. Life cycle assessment and the use of life cycle thinking more broadly, industrial symbiosis and the exchange of resources among neighboring factories, loop-closing, material flow analysis, design for environment are innovations with the potential to reduce environmental impacts and to generate financial benefits for companies. Yet the case that these intriguing approaches actually contribute to corporate competitive advantage has not been made.

In “Industrial Ecology as a Source of Competitive Advantage,” a special feature of the new issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology, cutting edge research is presented on how, when and why the use of industrial ecology by business can lead to cost savings, enhanced profits and a variety of more intangible business benefits.


Some highlights from the issue include:

• Johnathan DiMuro and colleagues from the Dow Chemical Company use replacement cost methodology and life cycle assessment (LCA) to systematically document the financial and environmental benefits of a constructed wetland at a Union Carbide Corp. plant in Texas.
• Christoph Meinrenken and colleagues from Columbia University and Pepisco present a tool that uses data mining and machine learning to rapidly generate product carbon footprints (PCFs) for PepsiCo and combine them with business key performance indicators on a routine basis in its strategy and business planning.
• Mark Finster and Michael Hernke of the University of Wisconsin develop a typology of strategic benefits related to competitive advantage that are enabled by industrial ecology concepts and methods, drawing on examples from Grohe, Interface, Maersk, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever.
• Samuel Short and colleagues from Cambridge University explore the relationship between industrial ecology and business model innovation through a case study of British Sugar, the UK's largest sugar producer.
• Connie Hensler of Interface tracks the 20-year evolution of Interface's use of LCA as a tool guiding the company toward more-sustainable practices in carpet manufacturing.
• Mona ManYu Yang and colleagues of AU Optonics present a case study of how AU Optronics Corp., a global leader in thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays, differentiated itself from its peers and competitors by implementing IE approaches, most notably carbon footprint (CF) management and dematerialization.
• Joo Young Park and Hung-Suck Park present a case study of an industrial symbiosis involving a municipal waste-to-energy incinerator and the Hyosung chemical company in South Korea showing economic and environmental benefits of the project as well as an assessment of the competitive advantages for the participants.
Articles will be freely available online for a limited time at jie.yale.edu/comp-adv.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Call for Papers: IEEE/GRSS Data fusion in remote sensing

IEEE/GRSS Magazine Special Issue on Data Fusion 

in Remote Sensing


Data fusion is one of the fast moving areas of remote sensing image analysis. Fusing data coming from different sensors, at different resolutions, and of different quality is compulsory to meet the needs of society, which requires end-user products reflecting environmental problems that are naturally spatial, multiscale, evolving in time and observed at a discontinuous frequency.
This special issue will present a series of overview and tutorial-like papers about the latest advances in remote sensing data fusion. The focus of the contributions to the special issue will be on reviewing the current progress, on highlighting the latest trends that have been proposed in the literature to answer the needs of multisensory processing, and on pointing out the strategies to be thought to answer the information deluge which will come with the latest missions launched (or to be launched). Particular attention will be paid to the questions of multiresolution, multisensor, and multitemporal processing, while still covering the problems of missing data reconstruction and data assimilation with physical models. Consistently with the approach and style of the Magazine, the contributors to the special issue will pay strong attention to tuning the discussion level to a correct trade-off between ensuring scientific depth and disseminating to a wide public that would encompass remote sensing scientists, practitioners, and students, and include non-data-fusion specialists.
The topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
  • Multisensor, multimodal, and multiresolution fusion
  • Missing data reconstruction
  • Multimodal interaction
  • Data assimilation
  • Application to urban studies, 3D reconstruction, vegetation modelling, climate change, etc.
  • Valorisation of future missions providing complementary sensors
Guest editors
Dr. Gabriele Moser, University of Genoa, Italy, gabriele.moser@unige.it
Dr. Devis Tuia, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, devis.tuia@epfl.ch

The Call for Papers can be found here:
http://www.grss-ieee.org/grss-magazine-special-issue-on-data-fusion-in-remote-sensing/



 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rutgers Journal Club in Evolution Fall 2014 schedule

For all Rutgers students, the following post highlights the fall semester schedule for the Journal Club in Evolution.


*****************************************************************
Hi everybody,

The Journal club in Evolution will continue as usual, once a week. .  We
will meet on**TUESDAYS at 12:35-1:55 PM in 145 ENR(14 College Farm Road).

This week we are starting with a short intro by Lena and Siobain:
Basic geology and paleontology for evolutionary biologists (Lena Struwe)
What is evolvability? (Siobain Duffy)

The topic this year is *The Evolution of Evolvability from the
pre-Cambrian to today*.  For much of the semester we will continue
pairing modern papers with chapters from a popularizing book: *Wonderful
Life by Stephen Jay Gould*. Towards the end of the semester, we will
work solely with papers chosen by students on the topic of the evolution
of evolvability. These papers could discuss any aspect of and any
meaning of evolvability in biological systems: mutational dynamics,
epigenetics, macroevolution, response to climate change, etc. See below
for a more detailed syllabus.

The journal club is now going on its 11th year, and generally has 10-20
people attending on a regular basis. This is both an informal discussion
event open to all interested faculty, postdocs, and students, as well as
a 1-credit graduate class. If you want to sign up for credit as a
graduate student, e-mail us. We suggest you get the book now if you want
to attend on a regular basis.  Any edition is OK.

If you are interested in joining us for credit, or just to show up and
discuss when you have time, make sure you are subscribed to the
Evolution mailing list at Rutgers, which we use for our announcements.
If you need to sign up for the mailing list, sign up
here:https://email.rutgers.edu/mailman/listinfo/evolution_ru. Anybody
can sign up for the mailing list to keep up to date on evolutionary
events and information.

With best wishes,
Lena Struwe & Siobain Duffy


The syllabus so far:

Week 1, Sept 9: introduction
Basic geology and paleontology for evolutionary biologists (Lena Struwe)
What is evolvability? (Siobain Duffy)
(NO ASSIGNED READING, Start reading the book!)

Week 2, Sept 16: Wonderful Life, chapter 1: The Iconography of an
Expectation
tree vs. ladder-thinking; finding and understanding the past
(paleontology, etc.)
Presenter: Ariel Kruger

Week 3, Sept 23: Wonderful Life, chapter 2: A background for the Burgess
Shale
Cambrian explosion, before and after; Preservation of living things as
fossils
Presenter: Samantha

Week 4, Sept 30: Wonderful Life, chapter 3, first part: Reconstruction
of the Burgess Shale: Toward a New View of Life (skipping the part of
the chapter called "The Burgess Drama")
transformation and evolution of new life forms, key innovations, origin
of major clades
Presenter: Ariel

Week 5, 7 Oct, : Wonderful Life, chapter 3, last part: Reconstruction of
the Burgess Shale: Coda
punctuated equilibrium, extinction and speciation, ecology in
paleontological ecosystems
Presenter: Natalie H

Week 6, Oct 14: Wonderful Life, chapter 4: Walcott's Vision and the
Nature of History
how ladder- and cone-thinking can fool scientists
Presenter: Lauren Frazee

Week 7, Oct 21: Wonderful Life, chapter 5: Possible Worlds: The Power of
"Just History"
alternative histories & mass extinctions
Presenter: Samantha

Week 8, Oct 28:  Contemporary criticism and support for punctuated
equilibrium theory
Readings TBA
Presenter: Natalie Howe

Week 9, Nov 4:  Evolution of evolvability
Readings TBA
Presenter: Ron

Week 10, 11 Nov:  Evolution of evolvability
Readings TBA
Presenter: Kelly

Week 11, 18 Nov:  Evolution of evolvability
Readings TBA
Presenter: Kelly

Week 12, 25 Nov:  Evolution of evolvability
Readings TBA
Presenter: Hua

Week 13, 2 Dec:  Evolution of evolvability
Readings TBA
Presenter: Hua

  Week 14, 9 Dec: Evolution of evolvability
Readings TBA
Presenter: Matt Strom

--
Dr. Lena Struwe | Associate Professor & Director, Chrysler Herbarium | Rutgers University | Dept of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources | Dept of Plant Biology and Pathology | 237 Foran Hall | 59 Dudley Road | New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | USA | struwe@aesop.rutgers.edu | phone (848) 932-6343 (NEW!) | fax (732) 932-9441 | www.rci.rutgers.edu/~struwe/




Monday, August 18, 2014

AeroSpace Ventures tenure track position, CU Boulder

************This is still open************

 

Posting Information

Posting Title AeroSpace Ventures tenure track position
Campus Boulder
City Boulder, CO
Position Type Faculty
Posting date 11/21/2013
Closing date
Full/Part Time
Background Check Required? Yes
Job Summary
Posting Description The University of Colorado Boulder (CU) invites applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in support of an exciting new initiative called CU AeroSpace Ventures. CU has a well-established reputation as a world leader in space, geosciences, and aerospace engineering. CU AeroSpace Ventures brings together related departments, institutes, and centers along with government labs and industry to create knowledge and develop new technologies to observe, measure and better understand Earth and our space environment. The primary units involved are the Departments of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences along with CU institutes: Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES). The Boulder / Denver area is home to the government labs of NCAR, NOAA, NREL, USGS, and National Solar Observatory (NSO), all in close proximity of campus.
Candidates who specialize in developing engineering solutions for Earth and space science research or who perform scientific research in Earth or space science with an emphasis on instrumentation or aerospace vehicles are of particular interest. We seek applicants from any relevant area of focus who complement existing department and institute strengths while bridging geosciences, space, and aerospace engineering. The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to develop an innovative and robust research program, as well as have the vision and potential for excellence in both classroom teaching and student mentoring.
The position is nominally at the level of Assistant Professor, but more senior ranks may be considered for exceptional candidates with suitable experience. The home department will be determined based on the hired candidate’s research and teaching alignment. Applicants will be expected to pursue multidisciplinary research across departments, college and campus, and to establish interactions with the various geoscience and space-related labs and companies in the Boulder/Denver area and across the nation. Women and underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply. This is a 9-month tenure-track position, rostered in any one of the three departments and jointly with either LASP or CIRES.
A PhD in an appropriate engineering or science field is required at the time of appointment, and post-degree experience is preferred. Teaching experience and familiarity with government funding activities is desirable.
The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans. Alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting the ADA Coordinator at: hr-ada@colorado.edu or 303-492-6475.
The University of Colorado conducts background checks for all final applicants.
Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2014, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. See more at the Jobs at CU web site.
Minimum Qualifications A PhD in an appropriate engineering or science field is required at the time of appointment.
Required Competencies/Knowledge, Skills and abilities
Desired Qualifications
Special instructions to applicants Applications are accepted electronically at https://www.jobsatcu.com. Applications must include a cover letter which specifically addresses the job requirements and outlines qualifications, curriculum vitae, statement of research interest, statement of teaching interest, and the names, daytime phone numbers, and email addresses of four professional references.
Job posting contact Patti Gassaway
Job posting contact telephone
Job posting contact email patti.gassaway@colorado.edu
Job Posting Number F00952
Quicklink for Posting http://www.jobsatcu.com:80/postings/75536

Monday, August 11, 2014

Environmental Informatics session at AMS 2015

 

31st Conference on Environmental Information Processing Technologies

Call for Papers
The theme for the 2015 AMS Annual Meeting is “Fulfilling the Vision of Weather, Water, and Climate Information for Every Need, Time, and Place”. People, businesses, and governments depend increasingly on weather, water, and climate information matched to their specific needs. We are converging on a day when such information is integrated into nearly every decision or action people take. This revolution in highly targeted, customized information - delivered when and where it is most useful - will make our lives safer, more productive, and more enjoyable.  The challenge for our community is this: collaborate and innovate to develop – and ultimately deliver – actionable, user-specific weather, water, and climate information across all spatial and temporal scales in support of our nation’s safety, health, and prosperity.  The meeting will explore the many topics required for our community to implement this vision.

Following this theme, the 31st Conference on Environmental Information Processing Technologies (EIPT) is soliciting papers that demonstrate successes and advances in interactive computing tools; technologies and observing systems; data management and communication related to advances in observations, modeling, new technologies and media; cyber infrastructure; and applications that address the ability to provide information to a wide audience at any time, for any purpose.
The theme also allows for exploration of an array of topics including effective strategies for communication; social and policy theory; adaptation; mitigation; intervention; emergency response; and public behavior or perceptions. Further, the timeliness of the topic and its broad accessibility to the scientific, stakeholder and public communities should make it particularly appealing to many segments of our traditional AMS community, as well as nontraditional communities.
Papers addressing issues related to all forms of information processing technologies in the environmental sciences – including research institutions, private sector, government and education – are also being accepted.

Student Award Opportunities
TBD
Program Chair(s)
For additional information please contact the program chairperson, Nazila Merati (e-mail:nazila.merati@gmail.com).