Nobel Laureate Beatrice Fihn to Give the Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture on the Fate of the Earth

Nobel Laureate Beatrice Fihn to Give the Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture on the Fate of the Earth

Join us on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at 7pm at The New School's Tishman Auditorium as The Nation Institute and the Gould Family Foundation present the third annual Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture on the Fate of the Earth featuring Nobel Laureate Beatrice Fihn. Acclaimed journalist and author of Command and Control, Eric Schlosser will introduce.

Beatrice Fihn is the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign coalition that works to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

The Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture Series on the Fate of the Earth was established to honor the memory of Nation Institute fellow Jonathan Schell and takes its name from his 1982 work on the consequences of nuclear war. It is an annual lecture of original work delivered by a speaker selected each year by committee, addressing topics written on by Schell during his life including environmentalism, nuclear disarmament, and peace but may include any important issue on which the future of humanity and other life on the Earth might depend.

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Urban Systems Lab Selected for Interdisciplinary Research Team Studying Stormwater Flood Risks in New York City

Urban Systems Lab Selected for Interdisciplinary Research Team Studying Stormwater Flood Risks in New York City

Hurricanes Florence, Maria, and Harvey are just a few of the devastating storms that have hit parts of the United States in the past year, leading to millions of dollars in damage, displacement, and death.  

In New York City, a new team of interdisciplinary researchers will work with NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency to carry out a $1.8M study of urban and compound flood risks associated with current and future extreme rain events.

New York City’s location and dense urban environment make it uniquely vulnerable to flooding. Hurricane Sandy dramatically demonstrated New York’s vulnerability to coastal flooding. In New York City, urban flood risk is compounded when rainfall and storm surge occur simultaneously. However, less is known about inland and precipitation driven flooding. The combination of more frequent extreme precipitation events, ongoing sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and land use change increasingly overwhelms the city’s stormwater conveyance systems, leading to both flooding and degraded water quality.

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Timon McPhearson to Give Keynote Address at URBIO 2018 in Cape Town

Timon McPhearson to Give Keynote Address at URBIO 2018 in Cape Town

Timon McPhearson, professor of Urban Ecology in the Schools of Public Engagement and Director of the Urban Systems Lab, will deliver the keynote address at the URBIO 2018 Conference in Cape Town on Thursday, September 13.

In the context of changing climate, rapidly expanding urbanization, and intersecting global drivers of social, ecological, and technological change, urban nature is being called on to deliver a vast array of “solutions” (like never before). It is simultaneously under immense pressure from the negative impacts of human-induced change. Timon’s presentation, titled "Mainstreaming Urban Nature-Based Solutions for Resilience in the Anthropocene," will:

  1. review global policy discussions relevant to mainstreaming urban Nature-Based Solutions (NBS);

  2. highlight key advances in understanding the complexity of social, ecological, and technological drivers that impact urban ecosystems and their functioning;

  3. offer a conceptual framework for considering how to further mainstream implementation of NBS; and

  4. examine the links between resilient ecosystems and resilient human communities considered fundamental to addressing both the health of urban nature and critical issues of social inequality in access to the benefits of urban biodiversity for improving urban livability, resilience, and sustainability.

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Timon McPhearson Named to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Timon McPhearson Named to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Timon McPhearson, professor of Urban Ecology in the Schools of Public Engagement and Director of the Urban Systems Lab. McPhearson was recently nominated by Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (where he’s a Research Fellow), to be an author for the sixth edition of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’sAssessment Report. He will contribute to a chapter focusing on the impacts of climate change on cities. The report will be published in 2021.

“The hope for this work is to provide cities with the best available scientific knowledge on how climate change will impact them, which cities are most vulnerable, and the opportunities for adaptation in the context of sea level rise, changing heat, and precipitation patterns,” says McPhearson. “Ultimately the goal of our chapter is to assess the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it.”

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Job opportunities in the USL

Job opportunities in the USL

USL is hiring several assistants at the graduate and undergraduate level.  For more information, or to apply, follow the links below: 

 

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Recent USL Publications

Recent USL Publications

Timon McPhearson co-authored an opinion piece with Thomas Elmqvist for Re.Think on how a “new urban knowledge” – and a little bit of tinkering – might help to address how cities and their regions can develop resilience in the face of a quickly urbanizing planet.

Katinka Wijsman co-authored a book review with professor of Anthropology Miriam Ticktin for Maria Puig de la Bellacasa's new book "Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds" in Hypatia. The review can be found here: http://hypatiareviews.org/reviews/content/337

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Call for Proposals - Dimensions of Political Ecology

Call for Proposals - Dimensions of Political Ecology

Katinka Wijsman, together with Melissa Davidson (ASU) and Erin Friedman (CUNY), is organizing a session at the Dimensions of Political Ecology conference in March in Lexington, Kentucky. Please consider submitting an abstract for the panel on "Political Ecologies of Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Events" by the extended deadline of December 7 to katinka.wijsman@newschool.edu. The call for proposals can be found here. 

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Graduate Research Opportunities at the Urban Systems Lab

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The Urban Systems Lab at The New School is pleased to offer up to two Graduate Research Fellowship positions and up to two Graduate Research Associate positions this year through our National Science Foundation (NSF) funded URExSRN project.   Fellowships are one-year renewable upon review to two years and may include stipend and/or tuition support. Associate positions are one-year positions and include partial stipend support.  

The NSF Graduate Fellowships and Associate positions provides stipend, tuition, and travel support for students to join the Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Related Events Sustainability Research Network (URExSRN).  The URExSRN is a five-year, ten-city, $12 Million funded project of the U.S. National Science Foundation to provide the fundamental science to guide urban decision-making for improving resilience to climate driven extreme events across ten U.S. and Latin cities, including New York City.  Given the very interdisciplinary nature of this project, students with ecology, environmental, planning, social science, design and other interests or experience would fit well in the project.  

Successful applications must be accepted or currently enrolled in a graduate program at The New School.  To apply simply forward all application materials to Urban Systems Lab Director Timon McPhearson (timon.mcphearson@newschool.edu), who also co-leads the URExSRN project. Deadline to apply is January 15, 2018.

USL to Host NYC Nature Goals 2050

USL to Host NYC Nature Goals 2050

On October 19, 2017 the Urban Systems Lab will host NYC Nature Goals 2050.  Nature goals articulate what people want from nature and why. In formulating this set of 2050 goals and a Declaration of Rights to New York City Nature, the aim is to start a discussion about the future of nature in New York City, at a time of momentous change. Two significant trends are affecting the city and will continue to do so: a projected population increase of more than 500,000 people over the next 15 years and a changing and less predictable climate. Given the challenges that these phenomena will bring to our city, it is essential to affirm the rights of all New Yorkers to the benefits that nature provides.

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Center for Architecture Presentation

Center for Architecture Presentation

On September 19, Katinka Wijsman served on a panel at The Center for Architecture in New York City titled "Everything Water 3.0 >> regional issues". Her talk "Politics of Infrastructure: Enhancing coastal resiliency in Suriname and beyond" discussed some of the political issues and challenges involved in coming to integrated regional approaches to coastal management issues. Fellow panelists included Henk Ovink (special envoy for international water affairs of the kingdom of The Netherlands), Claire Agre (principle, senior landscape architect at West 8), Kevin Bone (professor of architecture), and Arthur Umble (Stantec global practice leader). The panel was conveyed by author Tony Hiss, and organized by Donna Walcavage (Principal at Stantec).

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NYC Nature Goals 2050

NYC Nature Goals 2050

UEL director Timon McPhearson participated in the the NYC Nature Goals 2050 workshop, including contributing to a Declaration of Rights to New York City Nature. The aim of NYC Nature Goals 2050 is to start a discussion about the future of nature in New York City at a time of momentous change by addressing issues of biodiversity and habitat, water and air quality, coastal resilience, connectivity, and inspiration.  For the full set of goals and declaration, view the report

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Book Chapter on Sustainable Urban Food Production

     Book Chapter on Sustainable Urban Food Production

Urban Ecology Lab PhD student Katinka Wijsman published a co-authored chapter in the edited volume "Cities of Farmers, Urban Agricultural Practices and Processes", with the University of Iowa Press. The volume showcases the work of farmers, activists, urban planners and city officials in the United States and Canada who are advancing sustainable urban food production. More information can be found here.

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New Lab Members

New Lab Members

The Urban Ecology Lab welcomes three new members!

Katinka Wijsman is a PhD student at the New School for Social Research, where she studies global environmental politics, environmental justice and political ecology. Bart Orr is a PhD student in Public and Urban Policy at the New School. He is interested in the relationship between climate change adaptation and resilience policies and socioeconomic inequality.  Khila Dahal, a postdoc, is a GIS scientist by educational training and background. He earned his PhD in Geography from Texas State University in 2014.  

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Habitat III

Habitat III

Lab Director Timon McPhearson, postdoc Yaella Depietri, and PhD student Bart Orr will be attending Habitat III,  the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development,  October 17 -20 in Quito, Ecuador.  The schedule of events lab members will be participating in is below.  All events will take place in the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, Benjamín Carrión.  You can also view the full calendar of Habitat X Change events

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Launch of the UREx Project

The Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather-Related Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) consists of  50 researchers from 15 institutions facing the challenges of extreme weather and changing the way we think about urban infrastructure. The SRN team will develop methods and tools to assess how infrastructure can become more resilient, providing ecosystem services, in an effort to improve social well-being.  

You can see much more about our project on our website, recent press in NextCityClimate Wire, additional press here and here, project video, NSF announcement, and on our Twitter page @URExSRN