Spring Semester in Review

August 3, 2022
Dear friends -  

Spring 2022 was a time for change, growth, and plenty of activity as staff, leadership and many faculty worked to develop a vision for the new Institute for a Sustainable Future.

Throughout the semester, our faculty continued to successfully pursue ground-breaking multi-disciplinary research at state, national and international scales. They have provided crucial scientific contributions on issues facing our state and nation and moved forward in supporting sustainability and development in several countries around the globe. I encourage you to take a few moments, wherever you are, to see how we continue to move forward and raise the profile of Purdue’s dedication to critical challenges we face in areas including environment, climate, food-energy-water security, and sustainability.

-Matthew Huber
Visioning for New Institute
Ensuring that the new institute reflects the needs and interests of the faculty has been the guiding principle for planning done this spring. Upon being appointed by EVPRP Theresa Mayer, new institute director Matthew Huber, professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, worked with the leadership teams from the Center for the Environment, Climate Change Research Center, and Center for Global Food Security to lay out a plan to engage with faculty, as well as internal and external stakeholders, during the spring 2022 semester.

The goal of the visioning process was to make sure the needs and activities of members from all three centers were supported during the transition while providing numerous ways that individuals and groups could provide ideas and feedback about what the new institute should and could achieve.  This happened through dozens of one-on-one and small group discussions, online surveys, and two types of visioning sessions run by outside consulting group, TDI. Based on those discussions, and drawing on the long history of the various centers, the leadership team and staff are currently in the process of co-developing a new structure for the institute and are standing up research communities, special initiatives, and strategic research teams to facilitate faculty success.

We look forward to the official launching of the new institute. 
Spring 2022 Events
The spring semester was full of events, including a presentation on academic Twitter, an animal agriculture symposium, a great lecture by Cornell University biologist Dr. Alison Power, and discussions on Environmental Justice and flooding in Indiana.

Click here to read a brief synopsis of the Center's Spring 2022 events.
In the News

Here's a sampling of recognized faculty work on key environmental challenges from this semester.
Building Back Bigger or Degrowing Local Food?

Affiliates Andrew Flachs (ANTH) and Ankita Raturi (ABE) collaborated on a recent Focaal blog post on SSRC-funded research into local food systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full post here.
A Bridge to Renewable Energy

Rakesh Agrawal (ChemEng, EEE) discussed how shale gas can be used as an effective bridge towards renewable energy by avoiding the energy-intensive separation of heavier gases. Read it here.

Engineering the unknown: EEE students help communities restore water quality

Purdue EEE students, led by faculty affiliate 
Andrew Whelton (CE, EEE), helped test water quality and restore flow in sites affected by natural disasters like January's Marshall Fire in Colorado. Read the full piece here.
How Food Safety Became Professor’s Driving Passion

Amanda Deering (Food Science) was featured in this Purdue Agriculture profile highlighting her career journey, current work, and contuing passion for food safety and food science. Read the full article here.

Environmental Justice Efforts Funded

The National Academies’ Gulf Research Program awarded $3.7 million for 13 projects supporting more equitable outcomes to climate hazards, including "Incorporating Equity and Social Vulnerability into the Design of Flood Risk Mitigation Strategies," led by David Johnson (IE, PoliSci). More here.
Contaminated Leafy Greens Turn Purple

Affiliates Lori Hoagland (HortLA) and Linda Lee (EEE, AGRY) were featured in a Purdue Ag article about new detection methods of cadmium contamination of leafy greens. Click here to read the full article.
Seed Grants
Nine climate-focused projects received seed grant funding at the close of 2021. Winning projects were highly multidisciplinary, with PIs and Co-PIs coming from numerous colleges and departments around Purdue. Click here for information on each of the winning projects.
Travel Grants Awarded
This past spring, individual grants up to $500 were given to 13 grad students and postdocs to defray travel costs and increase their ability to present their research at conferences around the country. Over $5000 in travel funds were awarded across ten different departments and four different colleges. 
Featured Publications

Faculty affiliates, their students and postdoctoral scholars authored numerous publications in the first half of the year. See below for a selection of these articles.
Compliance under control: Insights from an incentive-based conservation program in rural Bolivia
Ecological Economics

Zhao Ma (FNR), Jonathan Bauchet (AgEcon), Tara Grillos (Poli Sci), Brooke McWherter (FNR), and others collaborated on a recent publication analyzing compliance in an incentive-based conservation program in Bolivia. Access the article here.
Lessons in resilience: Binna Burra’s rise from the ashes
Good Tourism Blog

This article from Jonathon Day (HTM) discusses five lessons in resilience that can be applied by any tourism business, drawing from the recovery of Australia’s Binna Burra Lodge following a wildfire and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the article here.
Vapor-selective active membrane energy exchanger with mechanical ventilation and indoor air recirculation
Applied Energy

A new article from David Warsinger (ME) examines a novel membrane HVAC system that would require significantly less energy to treat and circulate outdoor air, thus helping mitigate the spread of diseases in indoor spaces. Access the article here.
Using Multiple Isotopic and Geochemical Tracers to Disentangle the Sources of Baseflow and Salinity in the Headwaters of a Large Agricultural Watershed
Journal of Hydrology

This article, co-authored by affiliates Marty Frisbee (EAPS), Marc Caffee (EAPS, Physics & Astro), James Camberato (AGRY), and Greg Michalski (EAPS, Chem), uses a combined geochemical and multiple isotope approach to identify sources of baseflow and salinity in the Wabash River. Read more.
User Perception of Public Parks: A Pilot Study Integrating Spatial Social Media Data with Park Management in the City of Chicago

A new article from Yiwei Huang (HortLA) and grad student Zhixin Li explores the potential of integrating social media data in the form of user-generated content to the future of park management in the city of Chicago over the summer months of 2021. Access the article here.
Want to learn more? Click here to visit our website
© 2017 Purdue University, An equal access/equal opportunity university