“Making a Difference” an SES Curated Display

Located in the Integrated Sciences Building Atrium through August 2021.

“Making a Difference” was created to recognize the various projects happening throughout the SES community that make a difference for our Earth and sustainability. The Exhibit highlights eight projects that showcase one of the School’s eight Areas of Excellence. The projects represent the diversity and collaboration of departments, faculty, and staff that are members of SES. The following are the eight featured projects:

Excellence in Clean Energy 

Creating Opportunity: Building a Massachusetts Battery Energy Storage Innovation Ecosystem
Dwayne Breger, Director, UMass Clean Energy Extension

UMass Clean Energy Extension surveyed leading academic researchers, and principals and entrepreneurs at a broad range of Massachusetts-based battery ventures to evaluate the status and potential of the Commonwealth’s battery energy storage (BES) innovation ecosystem.

You can learn more about the project here.

Excellence in Earth & Ocean 

Microbiology of Axial Seamount
Jim Holden, Professor and Department Head, Microbiology

The goal of this project is to determine how microbes live within the ocean crust in the absence of sunlight and oxygen on the chemicals and minerals emitted from a deep-sea volcano. 

Learn more about the James F. Holden Lab here.

Excellence in Climate & Resilience 

Thresholds and envelopes of rapid ice-sheet retreat and sea-level rise: reducing uncertainty in coastal flood hazards
Rob DeConto, SES Co-Director and Professor, Geosciences

This project provides national and local policy-makers and stakeholders with an assessment of possible levels of future sea-level rise; the frequency of specific flood heights being exceeded; an assessment of how those frequencies and storm-surge heights might evolve in the future; and quantified measures of the uncertainty in the projections.

Learn more about Rob DeConto here.

Excellence in Society, Community & Culture 

The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging Cultural Heritage in Climate Action
Elizabeth Brabec, Professor, LARP and Director, UMass Center for Heritage and Society

The Climate Change and Cultural Heritage Working Group was formed to help mobilize the cultural heritage community in order to meet the challenges of climate. 

Read the full report here.

Excellence in Biodiversity & Ecology 

Climate Change Refugia Conservation
Toni Lyn Morelli, USGS Research Ecologist, Northeast Climate Science Center and Adjunct Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation

The Refugia Research Coalition brings together resource managers, conservation practitioners, and researchers to reduce the impacts of anthropogenic climate change by focusing conservation on climate change refugia --areas that remain relatively buffered from contemporary climate change over time.

Learn more about Toni Lyn Morelli here.

Excellence in Soil & Water 

How vulnerable is carbon stored in floodplains to climate change?
Carolyn Anderson and Marco Keiluweit, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Focused on the East River floodplain in Colorado, this work investigates how snowmelt and flooding impact carbon in floodplain soils, through interactions with both minerals and microbes.

Learn more about the Keiluweit Lab here.

Excellence in Food Systems & Security 

Whole Harvest Project: Capturing more, utilizing more, feeding more people

Rachel Berggren, MS Sustainability Science graduate student

Contributors are seeking to understand farm food loss, with the aim of developing mechanisms through which institutions can provide a market for secondary produce and play a leading role in partnership development, education, workforce development and capacity building in the regional food system.

Learn more about UMass Dining sustainability initiatives here.

Excellence in Built Environment 

MASS TIMBER: Massive Building Panels Made From Massachusetts Wood
Peggi Clouston, Professor, Building and Construction Technology Program

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a massive panel product made from orthogonal layers of solid-sawn lumber. Because of its composite nature and engineered layup, CLT provides the possibility of a substantial market for underutilized and lower quality tree species.

Learn more about Peggi Clouston here.