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Steinbrenner Institute Overview
The Environment @ Carnegie Mellon
What do you need to know about climate change?
Steinbrenner Institute

From Neil's Desk

What do you need to know about climate change?

Annual Environmental Colloquium

On April 7, the  Steinbrenner Institute held it’s second annual Environmental Colloquium.   The day started with an engaging panel discussion titled:  Keeping Environmental Science (and funding!) in the Federal Dialogue.  The session was moderated by Faculty Director, Neil Donahue, and the panelists included:
  • Tim McNulty, Associate Vice President, Government Relations
  • Baruch Fischhoff, Howard Heinz University Professor in History and Social Sciences
  • Matt Weinstein, Assistant Vice President, College Development
  • Jennifer Sobol, Director, Foundation Relations
  • Barbara Granito, Strategic Director (Science Ambassadors (Science Ambassadors)
The message is that there are very viable sources of funding still available from both the public and private sectors but we: a) must do a better job in being empathetic and personalizing (‘put a human face on’) the benefits of our research; and, b) we must build more diversified and strategic coalitions.
The second event of the day was an exercise that allowed PI’s to ‘pitch’ (in 3 minutes with no visual aids) their research idea to development experts including:
  • Jennifer Sobol and Shaina Sine - University Advancement, Foundation Relations
  • Deborah Desjardins - University Advancement, College Development
  • Anna Siefken - Scott Institute, Innovative and Strategic Partnerships
  • Shane Shaneman - Engineering Research Accelerator, Government Relations
  • Barbara Granito – Science Ambassadors
Although this was our first attempt at the type of event, it was very well received with convincing ‘let’s do this again!’

Colloquium Poster Winners

The poster sessions session highlighted the day with 29 entries competing for 2, $1500 Travel Awards.

Researcher: Jonathan Callura, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Title: Development of Novel Adsorbents for Sustainable Separations of Rare Earth Elements
Abstract: Rare earth elements (REE) are widely used components of high-tech equipment, from consumer products to sustainable energy systems. The goal of this work is to develop functionalized adsorbents to extract REE from unconventional aqueous sources. These materials may provide a sustainable alternative to the currently monopolized global REE supply chain.
Collaborators: Dr. Clint Noack, CEE; Kedar Perkins, CHEM; Dr. Newell Washburn, CHEM; Dr. David Dzombak, CEE; Dr. Athanasios Karamalidis, CEE

Researcher: Michael Craig, Engineering and Public Policy (Steinbrenner Fellow)
Title: Effects of grid-scale electricity storage on system carbon dioxide emissions in a decarbonizing power system
Abstract: How grid-scale electricity storage will affect system CO2 emissions between the near-term and deep decarbonization is unclear. We quantify the effect of storage participating in reserve and/or energy markets on CO2 emissions as a power system decarbonizes. We preliminarily find that storage reduces CO2 emissions well before deep decarbonization.
Collaborators: Dr. Paulina Jaramillo, EPP; Dr. Bri-Mathias Hodge, NREL


A special thanks to our judges:
  • Kathy Lachenauer, Associate Dean for Advancement (CIT)
  • Rick Siger, Director for Strategic Initiatives
  • M. Shernell Smith, Assistant Director, Dean of Student Affairs Office

Sustainability Weekend

 ‘Sustainability Weekend’ is a student driven initiative developed to spark conversations around all aspects of sustainability including social injustice, community development, corporate social responsibility, environmentally friendly purchasing, entrepreneurship, and many more.  The second annual conference was held on April 6-8, 2017 and themed ‘My Individual Impact.’  The goal was to relate sustainability topics down to a personal level and have the audience understand intersections of these aspects within their daily lives. Panel discussions included:
  • ‘Entrepreneurship and Sustainability’: Local entrepreneurs spoke about their experience starting an organization with an environmental mission;
  •  '412 Food Rescue’: A representative from the Pittsburgh chapter explained efforts being done in local area to limit food waste;
  • ‘Industry Pioneers’: Professionals described personal sustainability efforts in their respective jobs, and gave students advice for beginning careers in the sustainability field; and,
  • ‘Community Engagement’: Local organizations, such as Riverlife and Sierra Club Pittsburgh Chapter, spoke about local efforts being made to support for community development.
The keynote presentations for included:
  • ‘Social Injustice: Gentrification in Pittsburgh’: Majestic Lane, a representative from the Pittsburgh City Government, addressed Gentrification in Pittsburgh, highlighting social injustice on a local level;
  • ‘The Intersection Between Human Behavior and Technology’: Eric Bear, Chief Experience Officer at Curb, explained how technology can shape behavioral efforts in sustainability; and,
  • ‘The Corporate Individual’: Ben Cuozzo, Project Manager at GRID Alternatives, shared insights on how to have an individual impact within a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Mission.
Read more here.  And, congratulations to Courtney Thier and the Team!

Meeting of the Minds

The Meeting of the Minds poster event for undergraduate research was held on May 10 in the Cohon University Center. Congratulations to the winners of the Environmental Awards.
Winner:  "Plastic Pavilion,' Robert Esposito and Seong Yeun Kim (Architecture)
Runners-up:  "Hillside Hydro-Portable Hydroelectric Generator," George Harter (MechE) and Huner Hartshorne (Business Administration) AND "Handprinter: Quantifying Our Positive Environmental Impact," Alexander Frazier, Ningjun Gao and Meghana Valluri (Dietrich College)
We are pleased to have the opportunity to share the efforts of the Steinbrenner Institute with you and we look forward to any feedback that you might provide .. especially with regard to our new educational goal to make every CMU graduate climate fluent!
Copyright © 2017. Steinbrenner Institute. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research
5120 Scott Hall
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

PLEASE CONTACT: Deborah Lange, (412) 268-7121, dlange@cmu.edu






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Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research · Carnegie Mellon University · 5120 Scott Hall · Pittsburgh, Pa 15213 · USA

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