News

2018 PEP Fellow Matthew A. Lackner, and 2017 PEP Fellow Erin D. Baker, co-write an essay in The Apopka Voice on offshore wind industry in the U.S.

Matthew A. Lackner, 2018 PEP Fellow, and 2017 PEP Fellow, Erin D. Baker, write an essay in The Apopka Voice on why they believe the offshore wind industry in the U.S. is about to dramatically expand. They say a combination of support from state governments, a developing market that is lowering prices and technological advances are the drivers of this trend.

Michael A. Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow, quoted in Daily Gazette and the Republican on record 2018 rain season in Amherst

Michael A. Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow, says in Daily Gazette and the Republican that 2018 was the second rainiest year to date since 1836 in Amherst when records began being kept. He says 63 inches of rain fell. "This anomalously high precipitation in 2018 is part of a longer-term trend. It's getting wetter across the Northeast U.S.," he says. The wettest year on record was 1888. Rawlins says three of the four most rainy years as measured in Amherst occurred since 2008. The trend fits with what climate scientists have been predicting in a warming world. Rawlins also penned column on this rain record for WWLP

Research by 2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer, on napping and memory for small children featured in Education Dive

Research conducted by 2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer, featured in Education Dive, indicates missing a nap for small children significantly and negatively reduced memory in several areas, including motor-skill development and regulating emotions, is cited in a news story. The story says even if children in preschool and kindergarten don't require a nap, they should at least have some quiet time during the day. It also says up to 60 percent of 4-year-olds still need naps. Also featured in WTVMWashington Post and The Morning Sun.

2017 PEP Fellow, Erin D. Baker, quoted in Utility Drive story on the bids for offshore wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts

Erin D. Baker, 2017 PEP Fellow and associate dean for research and Armstrong Professor in engineering, says in Utility Drive, technological advances that are driving down costs are a key element in recent high bids for offshore wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts. "So, to them, developing [offshore wind projects] is more profitable, therefore they are will to pay more for them," she says. Baker also notes that leasing is just one step in the extensive permitting process developers will have to navigate.

2015 PEP Fellow, Michael A. Rawlins interviewed on WWLP news story about the impact of this year's rainy weather on the Quabbin Reservoir

In a WWLP news story, Michael A. Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow and associate director of the Climate System Research Center, says this year's rainy weather has filled the Quabbin Reservoir to its limit of 412 billion gallons of water. That is 35.4 billion gallons or 8.6 percent above the average for Dec. 1 measurements taken during the past 14 years. Rawlins says this could signal trouble for next spring when excess water could lead to flooded basements, septic system failures and flooding.

2018 PEP Fellow, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey publishes Conversation essay on harsh outcomes of sexual harassment complaints

In an essay published by The Conversation, 2018 PEP fellow Donald Tomaskovic-Devey and a colleague from the UMass Amherst Center for Employment Equity report that employees who file sexual harassment complaints often face harsh outcomes, with 65 percent losing their jobs within a year and 68 percent reporting some form of retaliation by their employer. In their report, "Employer's Responses to Sexual Harassment," co-authors 2018 PEP fellow, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, and PEP Steering Committee Member, M.V. Lee Badgett, along with a colleague analyzed over 46,000 harassment claims sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state Fair Employment Practices Agencies from 2012-16. These cases represent only a small amount (0.2 percent) of the estimated 25.6 million experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace that occurred over this same five-year window. Their research was also featured in a story on WFCR.

Michael A. Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow, comments in Daily Gazette news story on effect of this year's wet weather on local farmers

Commenting in a Daily Gazette news story about how this year's wet weather has affected local farmers, Michael A. Rawlins, 2015 PEP fellow and associate director of the Climate Systems Research Center, says it has been the second rainiest year to date – measured from January through November – since 1836 in Amherst when records began being kept. He says 59 inches of rain fell. "Heavy precipitation is becoming more intense and more frequent across most of the United States. Particularly in the Northeast...These trends are projected to increase in the future," Rawlins says.

2018 PEP Fellow, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey and PEP Steering Committee Member, M.V. Lee Badgett co-authored report on consequences of filing sexual harassment complaints featured in Wall Street Journal and Business West

Employees who file sexual harassment complaints often face harsh outcomes, with 65 percent losing their jobs within a year, and 68 percent reporting some form of retaliation by their employer, according to new research from the UMass Amherst Center for Employment Equity. In their report featured in Wall Street Journal and Business West, "Employer's Responses to Sexual Harassment," co-authors 2018 PEP fellow, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, and PEP Steering Committee member, M.V. Lee Badgett, along with another colleague analyzed over 46,000 harassment claims sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state Fair Employment Practices Agencies from 2012-16. These cases represent only a small amount (0.2 percent) of the estimated 25.6 million experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace that occurred over this same five-year window. Read more herehere and here. Tomaskovic-Devey and colleague were also interviewed for a program on WGBY.

2016 PEP Fellow, R Thomas Zoeller, writes piece in Environmental Health News on the long-term health implications of our current chemical policy

R Thomas Zoeller, 2016 PEP Fellow, writes in Environmental Health News about the long-term health implications of our current chemical policy. He argues that most consumers are not aware of the chemicals to which they are exposed, many of which have not been tested for human safety. He goes further to explain that the prolonged exposure to chemicals has serious implications for human health, and that these practices persist largely due to their profitability. He concludes by suggesting a reevaluation and revamping of our presently unsustainable and harmful chemical policy.

Michael Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow, discusses one of the wettest fall seasons on record for New England

As meteorological winter begins this week, climate scientists at UMass Amherst observe that the fall season just ended – September through November – was the wettest fall ever recorded at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, the second wettest in Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island and the fourth wettest in Boston, according to National Weather Service observations. Michael Rawlins, 2015 PEP Fellow, and a colleague add that observations show total precipitation at Amherst from January through November was the second highest recorded there since observations began in 1836. The record highest amount fell in 1888. For the current January through November period, 59.02 inches of precipitation was recorded in Amherst, just 1.1 inches shy of that. Coverage can be found on WAMC, WBUR, and in the Republican.

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