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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…

Students at Leichty Middle School transplant seedlings into their new aquaponics system. Photo by Linda Chilton.

USC Wrigley Institute introduces aquaponics to local K-12 students

April 21, 2016

Although the term “aquaponics” was coined in the ’70s, the practice of cultivating food by using the by-products of one aquatic species as fertilizer for another has been used for almost a millennium. In…

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…

While environmental scientists and geologists play a key role in addressing issues like climate change, USC Dornsife scholars emphasize that understanding our natural environment crosses virtually every field of study.

Dornsife scholars discuss how research in the social sciences and humanities helps address global environmental challenges

April 15, 2016

With climate change in the news every day, many students entering college feel passionate about making their mark on creating a more sustainable future. But is it possible to be an environmentalist without majoring in geology…

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…

A microscopic image shows the type of phytoplankton and bacteria observed by USC researchers during a study of algal blooms. Photo courtesy of David Needham and Jed Fuhrman.

Microorganisms battle it out within algal blooms

March 8, 2016

An unseen war raging among the ocean’s tiniest organisms has significant implications for understanding the ocean’s role in climate change, according to a new study. USC Dornsife researchers David Needham and Jed…

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…

Matthew Kahn is currently a visiting professor of economics and spatial sciences at USC Dornsife but will come onboard full-time in August 2016. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kahn.

New faculty member brings passion for environmental economics

January 21, 2016

When Matthew Kahn was nine years old, in the early 1970s, he wrote a letter to then-President Gerald Ford to inquire about the details of Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now” economic program. “At a very young…

Frontline Scholar: Austin

Frontline Scholar: Austin

January 19, 2016

This first video in our Frontline Scholars series profiles Austin Reagan ’16, a double major in environmental studies and political science. Building on a family tradition of global consciousness and the opportunities…

Contrasting projections of 21st century precipitation from two of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models. The left panel shows a projection from Japan's Model for Interdisciplinary research on Climate (MIROC) and the right depicts projections from the United States' Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The MIROC model projects a drying over the western U.S. during the 21st century, whereas the GFDL model projects wetter conditions. Image courtesy of Lowell Stott.

El Niño and beyond: How to predict climate change

December 10, 2015

In 2014, the Pacific Ocean was primed for a strong El Niño season. Warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific led scientists to believe that conditions would provide…