Which Nature is Your Nature?

Cultural understandings of nature vary widely, but global conservation efforts often fail to consider multiple perspectives regarding nature. Researchers have suggested a framework through which to better understand cultural conceptualizations of nature through language. By incorporating this framework into their correspondences, scientists may be better equipped to communicate their findings, and policy makers will have a platform from which to promote more inclusive legislation.

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Planting Trees for your Next Flight: Studying Behavior Around Carbon Offsetting

Want to fly without the carbon guilt? Offsetting programs let you pay to plant trees to take that carbon from the air, and researchers are studying how social factors and global policies might influence these environmentally-minded behaviors.

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The Color of Water Policy

What’s your favorite color – blue, or green? Water policy has focused traditionally on blue water (ground or surface water released into the atmosphere by evaporation), but there’s more to the water-use equation. To understand water use and availability more broadly, researchers are now considering the value and availability of green water (that which is released back to the atmosphere by plants). In this paper, green-water use and availability is investigated at a global scale, leading the authors to advocate for inclusion of green water into water policy considerations.

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Learning from Yesterday, Planning for Tomorrow: Predicting the Future Impact of Climate Change in Michigan

Climate change is scary. Michigan researchers are empowering their community to prepare for it by predicting how extreme heat and precipitation events may impact public health in the future. Policy makers can use these findings to protect the most vulnerable members of the community!

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Preserving Culturally-Important Xochimilco Wetlands Requires Policy and Personal Change

Created by the Aztecs in 500 CE for agriculture, Xochimilco is an area of culturally important wetlands in southern Mexico City. Despite its cultural and economic importance, this area is experiencing wetland degradation and loss due to urban development and water quality issues. Even with a high level of local concern about wetland degradation, little effort will be made toward conservation without a change in public policies regarding local infrastructure and development.

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What’s the future? Addressing the Global Plastic Pollution Problem through Blockchain Technology

You may have first heard about blockchain technology over this past year as the price of different cryptocurrencies swung wildly and made news. OpenLitterMap aims to tackle the global plastic pollution problem through their reward system utilizing blockchain technology called Littercoin. Littercoin rewards people for contributing open data about litter they come across in their cities, reporting information such as litter location, type, and even brand information. Global plastic pollution is a massive problem that requires large scale solutions to solve, and OpenLitterMap’s techy approach might just do it.

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Left on REDD: International conservation policies fail to respond to local context

What happens when a groundbreaking international conservation program causes national inequity? As one participant states, “we all have a common interest in keeping trees. The question is how? And for that we need to recognize the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples.”

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