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Sustainability News

Economist wins Tyler Prize for showing links between poverty, sustainable development and environmental health

Economist wins Tyler Prize for showing links between poverty, sustainable development and environmental health

May 5, 2016

Sir Partha Dasgupta noted a dichotomy in how people around the globe view the current state of the world. Speaking at the Tyler Prize Laureate Lecture on April 21 on USC’s University Park campus, he described the groups…

Frontline Scholar: Justin

Frontline Scholar: Justin

April 20, 2016

Justin Arana ’05 was searching for purpose in his life when he traveled to Mozambique. There he encountered firsthand the country’s water crisis and founded the nonprofit organization Water Underground to address…

A newly installed, 23kW solar energy system became active on March 17 and now delivers about 98 kilowatt hours of electricity per day to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Photo by Karl Huggins.

Solar energy system up and running at USC’s Catalina Island facility

April 11, 2016

At its Catalina Island home 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center basks in bright sunshine for more than two-thirds of the year on average. The center — a focal point for…

Enormous recycling markets like this one in Beijing exist throughout China. Plastic products, in particular, must be painstakingly hand-sorted before they can be reprocessed. Photos courtesy of Joshua Goldstein.

The transformation and social implications of China’s underground recycling industry

March 15, 2016

A curious graduate student living in Beijing in 1995, Joshua Goldstein was fascinated by the throngs of people who passed him every day on bicycles piled high with what appeared to be every kind of trash. One afternoon he…

The carbon dioxide-to-methanol process. Illustration courtesy of Surya Prakash.

Turning air into fuel: USC chemists convert carbon dioxide into methanol

February 1, 2016

They’re making fuel from thin air at the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. For the first time, researchers there have directly converted carbon dioxide from the air into methanol at relatively low…

Undergraduate students from the environmental studies program at USC Dornsife take their first foray into grant writing and find success.

Students pen winning environmental grant proposals

November 23, 2015

Being that California is in the midst of a historic four-year drought, the impending El Niño is welcome news. Though it’s highly unlikely that the climate system will end the state’s water woes, this…

The new Ph.D. program will capitalize on the world-leading faculty expertise in population, place and health that already exists at USC.

Population, Health and Place

September 29, 2015

Physician John Snow’s use of a map to discover the contaminated water source that spawned the deadly 1854 cholera outbreak in the neighborhood of Soho in London, England, is widely recognized as one of the earliest…

The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is the premier award for environmental sciences, environmental health and energy. It is administered annually by USC Dornsife.

Renewed Energy

April 30, 2015

Jane Lubchenco showed an animation of the world’s peak fishing areas as they were between 1951 and 1999. Darker spots — indicating areas of more concentrated fishing — were limited mainly to water near the…

As USC Dornsife’s first sustainability postdoctoral fellow, Jonathan Lawhead is building a bridge between philosophy and earth sciences as he addresses the philosophical implications of climate change and geo-engineering. Photo by Dan Knapp.

Issues and Interventions

January 13, 2015

Growing up in Reno, Nevada, Jonathan Lawhead was attracted to philosophy from an early age.  “Maybe it was living in a place where I was surrounded by so much probability,” he joked, before adding more…

The team, led by USC Dornsife’s Josh West, left, and Sarah Feakins, sampled water for later analysis at their labs. Here, Feakins and West haul water from the turbulent rivers of the Andes. Photo courtesy of Sarah Feakins.

Climate Change in the Amazon

December 10, 2014

USC Dornsife scientists headed to Peru’s cloud forests to study the roles of forests and rivers in carbon cycling. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a key greenhouse gas and scientists are eager to understand how carbon…