MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE (MARI)


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WELCOME

Climate change and sea level rise is increasingly on the agenda of the public, the media, and decision makers in the public, private and social sectors of society. Focus is almost solely on the hazards and the potential disasters we might be facing. However, other changes such as the rapid increase of the species extinction rate and the fundamental changes to the nitrogene and Phosphorous cycles pose equally important challenges to the sustainability of the global human society. MARI at Old Dominion University is therefore taking a comprehensive view on global change and is focusing on the solutions, the options we have to mitigate the impacts of global change, and to adapt to the changes. Read more ...


MARI Mission Statement

Our Mission: To convene societal agents and faculty to inform and facilitate transformations towards sustainability and to further our understanding of the challenges posed by recent rapid changes, including land use changes, biodiversity loss and extinction, climate change and sea level rise, and the impacts on the Earth's life support system; ... Read the full mission statement ...


MARI & SDGs

In 2015, the United Nations agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims towards seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In most countries and internationally, stakeholders at governmental, non-governmental and business levels are actively participating in implementing the 2030 Agenda. MARI is engaged in activities that supports and facilitates such transdisciplinary efforts, with a focus on participatory modeling efforts. MARI also aims to increase the number of ODU faculty supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with collaborative research and there are opportunities for students to engage in activities. Interested faculty and students should contact hpplag at odu.edu. Read more ...


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GUIDING QUOTES

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”       — Upton Sinclair, in ”I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”       James Baldwin.


NOT TO BE MISSED

October 17, 2018: Dr. Elizabeth Brake on Why Price Gouging is Immoral: Recovering from Disasters. Read more ...


In his Summer 2018 column, the MARI Director asks “Can we change our priorities to reduce the mounting threats to the ocean?” Read the column ...

The Spring 2018 column identifies “Modern Climate Change — A Symptom of a Single-Species High-Energy Pulse.” Read the column ...

See all the contributions to the “On the Edge” ...


STUMBLED ACROSS ...

Read the statement of 60 writers, politicians and academics on climate change conversations in The Guardian, who state that “We are no longer willing to lend our credibility to debates over whether or not climate change is real. It is real. We need to act now or the consequences will be catastrophic.”

August 1, 2018 was Earth Overhoot Day. Read more, for example, in the Huffington Post ...

See ten books about climate change that many should read here ...

Getting the Picture: A Climate Education Resource ...

See the quotes on climate change compiled at http://www.pauledawson.com/quotes/ ...

August 2, 2017 was Earth Overshoot Day. Read more here ...


ANNOUNCEMENTS


New course on Sustainability Leadership: The IDS/BIOL/OEAS 467 Sustainability Leadership Course was taught in the first of the 2017 and 2018 Summer sessions. It will be regulary taught together with the graduate version BIOL/OEAS 567 in this Summer session. Creating a more sustainable society presents a serious challenge and at the same time an enormous opportunity. In this class, students discovered what makes a leader for sustainability. They considered a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course takes a transdisciplinary problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the wicked problems in sustainability science. The course includes service-learning projects, in which students worked in small groups on developing solutions for real-world wicked problems from a leadership point of view. The projects included mandatory one-week work periods in Florida. The course is a core course for the interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership.


Interdisciplinary IDS/BIOL/OEAS 466 Course on Mitigation and Adaptation Studies. The course was taught in Fall 2016 and Springs 2017 and 2018. Since Spring 2018, it is a 'W' course. It is being taught together with a graduate version BIOL/OEAS 566 in each Spring term. The course gives an introduction to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change, sea level rise, and land use, and discusses adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course covers the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. The course is a core course for the interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership.


New interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership: This interdisciplinary Minor focuses on conservation solutions in the context of our quickly changing planet. A goal of this new program is to develop the next generation of conservation leaders with the ability to critically review underlying paradigms and to initiate paradigm shifts where they are needed in conservation roles, such as in local, state and federal agency and non-profit sectors, to more suitably address the challenges of sea level rise and climate change. The core of this 15 credit minor is built around two courses on Adaptation Studies and Sustainability Leadership. The course on Sustainability Leadership is a service learning course. One additional course is an elective, which can be selected across disciplines to suit a wide-range of conservation interests. An internship is the capstone of this minor. For more information, see here.


In the 2016 Summer term (June 27 — August 6, 2016), the graduate course “Decisions, Biases, and the Creation of Knowledge” studied how personal, community and cultural biases impact the creation of knowlegde and the use of it in decision making.


ACTIVITIES


Toward Sustainability Literacy: MARI supports the efforts made by the iCREST.education Inititaive of the International Centre for Earth Simulation (ICES), which “is aimed at bringing Earth Sustainability Literacy elements of the Foundation’s program to the worldwide system of high schoolers and schools. In so doing, it hopes to encourage good planetary stewardship and improved public health, safety and wellbeing through student learning and engagement” There are opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in activities supporting these efforts. Interested students should contact hpplag at odu.edu for more information.


Orientation Workshop for Interns in Conservation Leadership: On June 28-29, 2018, an orientation workshop is held for the 2018 students, who will complete their Minor in Conservation Leadership with an internship at a facility of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at the First Landing State Park or the Elizabeth River Project. The workshop covers a wide range of topics introducing work ethics and rules at federal and state agencies and NGOs to practical details on how to interact with stakeholders in the public and career perspectives.


Service Learning and Sustainability Leadership 2018: As part of the Sustainability Leadership class taught in Summer 2018, the students carried out three service learning projects for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Everglades National Park in the area of the Florida Bay near Key Largo. The students researched the impact of human pressure, sea level rise, and climate change on the American crocodile with main focus on Joe Bay and developed adaptation strategies to ensure a future of the American crocidile in a rapidly changing coastal environment. This Service Learning Class is a mandatory course for the Minor in Conservation Leadership ODU offers in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Supporting The British Virgin Island in Hurricane Recovery: During the workshop on “Implementing and Monitoring the SDGs in the Caribbean: The Role of the Ocean”, which was organized as part of a NASA grant to ODU in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in January 2018, a workshop delegation was invited by Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to participate in the handing over of a first of 3,000 soursop trees the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is providing to the British Virgin Island in support of hurricane recovery. Read the Inside ODU article ...


UPCOMING EVENTS


  • Dr. Elizabeth Brake: Why Price Gouging is Immoral: Recovering from Disasters: The Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at Old Dominion University invites you to a lecture by Dr. Elizabeth Brake on “Why Price Gouging is Immoral: Recovering from Disaster” on October 17th at 5:30 pm. The lecture will be in Batten Arts and Letters room number 1012.
    There seems to be something intuitively wrong with price gouging. Even its name, “price gouging,” suggests that there is something problematic about it. Defenders argue that price gouging benefits the vulnerable by increasing supply of scarce necessities; in response, it has been criticized as exploitative, inequitable, and vicious. Dr. Brake will show that price gouging is not defensible, but not for the reasons people typically think. She will argue that price gouging violates a duty of easy rescue, and it would do so even were it equitable and not exploitative.
    This event has been co-sponsored by ODU's Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute.
  • The Fall 2018 CCPO and ODU Resilience Collaborative Seminar Series on Mondays at 3:30 PM has a number of presentations of relevance to resilience and sustainability. For up-to-date information see the Seminar Program ...
  • For meetings of the Hampton Roads Adaptation Forum, see the dedicated web page at https://sites.wp.odu.edu/HRAdaptationForum/.
  • Role of the Ocean for SDGs: MARI is engaged in the development of a White Paper on the role of the ocean for the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) in Caribbean Small Island Developing States.

SELECTED RECENT EVENTS


  • CoPe Scoping Workshop: The CoPe program organized three Workshops with the goal “to imagine Coastal Research Hubs, structured using a convergent science approach, at the nexus between coastal sustainability, human dimensions, and coastal processes to transform understanding of interactions among natural, human-built, and social systems in coastal populated environments.” The workshops took place in parallel on September 26-28, 2018 in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Diego.
  • 4th Blue Planet Symposium: The 4th Blue Planet Symposium organized be the GEO Blue Planet Initiative was held on July 4-6, 2018 in Toulouse, France. Find out more ...
  • The Role of the Ocean for SDG Implementation and Monitoring: A workshop on “Implementing and Monitoring the SDGs in the Caribbean: The Role of the Ocean” was organized in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in January 2018. For more information, see the Workshop and Project Web Page. The workshop brought together 42 participants from seventeen countries represetning a broad range of stakeholders from governments, government agencies, regional and international NGOs and UN agencies, businesses and academica in an effort to identify and articulate knowledge needs for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Caribbean Small Island States (SIDS) and matching those needs to knowledge, tools, and data. In collaboration with Hon. Minister Saboto Caesar, MARI is taking the lead in follow-up activities to fully develop and implement the geo-space for SDGs in SIDS. Read the Workshop report ...
  • Humboldt Foundation Fellow talked about Adaptation around the Baltic Sea On November 3, 2017, Prof. Dr. Gerald Schernewski (read more) talked at ODU about “Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region: Consequences for coastal areas and adaptation examples.” The abstract is available here. The event was organized by the Alumni Council of the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and MARI at Old Dominion University.
  • For more past events, see here ...