Student Spotlight

July 18, 2016

Emory PhD student, Sam Peters, awarded Borlaug Fellowship for research on greenhouse gas emissions of sustainable farming techniques

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded PhD Student Sam Peters the Norman E. Borlaug Fellowship for his dissertation research on the greenhouse gas emissions of sustainable farming techniques. With the funding, Sam intends to extend his current examination of living mulch systems to the EMBRAPA research center in Petrolina, Brazil under the direction of Dr. Diana Signor. He will measure and analyze the emissions of maize living mulch systems through the winter growing season of 2017-2018. "I'm very excited to bring my research to a global scale and thankful for the opportunity Borlaug has provided me," says Sam. He is advised by Dr. Eri Saikawa. 

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April 12, 2016

Screening of Klein’s “This Changes Everything” Documentary 

As part of Emory’s 3rd annual Climate Week, students hosted a screening of Naomi Klein’s recent film about climate change, and economic and social inequality. Open to the public, community members from Atlanta and students from Emory convened to hear Klein’s message of intersecting systems and the importance of a new economic order to avoid climate chaos.  


April 2, 2016

Climate Salon, TED Talk

Blog post about the event written by Emory undergrad, Mae Bowen:

"Climate Salon broadens community perspectives on the effects of climate change

To cap off Climate Week 2016, the Emory Climate Organization partnered with TEDx Emory to host Climate Salon. The event, hosted by the AEPi Fraternity, featured four student speakers who aimed to engage the audience on varying topics related to climate change. The goal was to gather interested students and community members in an informal and comfortable setting to learn about the issue and engage in a dialogue about the challenges and solutions.

After mingling over wine and cheese, attendees heard first from Amy Hou, a junior in the college double majoring in Environmental Sciences and Economics. Hou is a member of Emory’s student government and the catalyst behind the new Undergraduate Sustainability Group, which led her to share her experiences engaging students on sustainability. She said, “it was really empowering to share my experience with a community of like-minded students, and hopefully we opened some minds throughout the course of the [climate] week as well.”

Hou was followed by college freshman Zola Berger-Schmitz, leader of Emory’s Seize the Grid campaign which is a Sierra Club effort that challenges college campuses to become 100% carbon neutral by 2030. She is no stranger to activism, having lobbied policymakers in her home state of California before taking on energy issues in Georgia. Berger-Schmitz stated that while “there are unique policy challenges that make it difficult to change the energy climate” in Georgia, Emory can be a leader in the state by investing in more solar energy. Regarding the Climate Salon event, she said “It was interesting to hear so many different perspectives from the speakers, all of whom had some sort of expertise in a specific environmental issue or area that they felt was greatly impacted by the global warming epidemic.” 

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Naomi Maisel, college senior majoring in Anthropology, next inspired the audience with a lesson on the relationship between agriculture and climate change. She taught us that, “global agriculture is at once a cause of climate change, due to increased greenhouse gas emissions from meat production, chemical usage, and poor land and soil management, and at risk from climate change, due to changing CO2 levels and increased climate variability.” Maisel was excited to have the chance to speak at the event on such an important issue. She said, “This is an issue I am especially passionate about, as it effects every single human being in the world, every single day. As such, it is an issue that I believe needs to be made apparent to as many people as possible so as to call to action those who will strive to secure a healthy and consistent global food supply for our generation and generations to come.”

The event ended on an optimistic note, with business school senior Taylor McNair sharing his journey to environmental advocacy. He surveyed over 100 Emory students and found that while belief in climate change was nearly unanimous, more than half of the students were apathetic when it came to climate action. However, McNair cited the recent historic climate change agreement in Paris as a reason for hope. If 195 countries can agree something needs to be done, we should feel inspired to take climate action too.

The Climate Salon was “an awesome event,” said McNair, “that showcased four really unique perspectives on climate issues, many that people don't often think about, in a relaxed and conversational environment--exactly what this type of issue needs to bring it to the forefront of people's agendas.” "


March 30, 2016

Change the System, Not the Climate: An Environmental Justice Panel

Students from Emory, Agnes Scott and Spelman College hosted a night to talk about recent environmental injustices and student solutions. Students learned about and discussed the Flint water crisis, the Bhopal disaster, community organizing in Detroit, and the Greenlandic Inuit peoples and climate change. 

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March 28, 2016

Climate Change Art Exhibition

This event kicked off Climate Week and showcased a gallery of climate-related photos that consisted of submissions by Emory students, as well as, some taken at the Climate Talks in Paris from the "Humans of COP" series. A talk was also given on the role of art in expression and social justice and partiipants were even able to create climate art of their own to take with them.

"...with love and respect, nature timelessly outlives our humanity." Great caption from Emory student, Amaya Phillip's, photo

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March 28-April 1, 2016

Emory Climate Organization (ECO) puts together Climate Week Events

Emory students engaged in an interdisciplinary study of climate change have turned their interest into action, inviting the campus community to learn more about the global crisis through Climate Week.

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November 30 - December 11, 2015

Emory Delegation attended UN Climate Conference in Paris

Two faculty members and nine students represented Emory at the UN Climate Conference in Paris. The students, part of the interdisciplinary class, "Paris is an Explanation", shared their experiences here.

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November 29, 2016

Emory Master's of Development Practise (MDP) students organize 2015 Atlanta Climate March

550 participants descended upon Atlanta for the People's Climate March Atlanta that was part of the Global Climate March led by the People's Climate Movement and Avaaz. It was in anticipation of the COP21/CMP11 Climate Talks in Paris that began November 30, 2016 and demonstrators in the march demanded action for climate change from local and world leaders.

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February 2014

Ice storm and disaster response

Second year MDP student Renee Barron is a member of Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization comprised of veterans and first responders. When an ice storm hit the Southern US in February 2014, Team Rubicon deployed to Augusta, Georgia to assist with clearing debris and repairing damage to homes. Renee conducted assessments, prioritized work orders and served as the planning chief to make sure the operation ran efficiently. The team used GPS technology to integrate data on storm impacts and household vulnerability that enabled the identification of areas where assistance was most urgently needed.

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October 2013

Climate change, agriculture and food security

MDP Director Carla Roncoli and MDP graduate Nafisa Ferdous served as trainers/facilitators for the Qualitative Research Track at a Gender Training and Strategizing Workshop, held at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya on October 22-25, 2013.  The Workshop was organized by the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) program and attended by about 80 representatives of NGO, universities, and government agencies from all over the world. Nafisa served as an intern with CCAFS during summer 2013, conducting research in Western Kenya, and is currently working as CCAFS Gender and Social Learning Consultant. Read more about Nafisa’s work here.

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October 2, 2013

Examining the global seasonality of norovirus

Working with Dr. Karen Levy in Emory's Environmental Health department, and Dr. Ben Lopman, an expert on the epidemiology of norovirus at the CDC, MPH student Sharia Ahmed carried out a systematic review to characterize the global seasonality of virus.  She found that 52.7% of cases and 41.2% of outbreaks occurred in winter months, and 78.9% of cases and 71.0% of outbreaks occurred in cool months.  She published her findings in PLoS One.

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February 24, 2011

Health and climate benefits of biogas sanitation

Working with Dr. Justin Remais, Environmental Health-Epidemiology MSPH student Radhika Dhingra carried out research examining the greening of China's indoor fuel use. She found that anaerobic digesters could reduce greenhouse emissions while improving health in rural China, and published her research in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Summer 2011

Addressing climate change impacts in India

Rollins School of Public Health MPH student Kathy Tran interned with the Indian Institute of Public Health in Gandhinagar to investigate the potential climate change adaptation strategies by conducting a heat vulnerability assessment. The assessment was a cross-sectional household survey that sought to identify risk factors, exposure-outcome associations and adaptive measures specific for this region of India. Collaborating with Dr. Jeremy Hess, Kathy focused her research on slum dwellers, who are highly vulnerable to heat exposure.

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