• Education

    Why Can’t Higher Education Change?

    From a former colleague: Why is academia so conservative, risk averse, hidebound and deeply unwilling to make the changes necessary to serve students in the contemporary world, all the while claiming to be searching for new models for addressing the needs of our students in a fast-changing world? If higher education had a New Year’s resolution, it would be this: “This year we are going to really change. We are going to take risks, create a new model and keep up with the world around us.” This reads like an auditor proclaiming they “aren’t going to live by the rules anymore,” a historian vowing to “live in the present” and…

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  • Science

    How climate change may shape the world in the centuries to come

    It’s hard to imagine what Earth might look like in 2500. But a collaboration between science and art is offering an unsettling window into how ongoing climate change might transform now-familiar terrain into alien landscapes over the next few centuries. These visualizations — of U.S. Midwestern farms overtaken by subtropical plants, of a dried-up Amazon rainforest, of extreme heat baking the Indian subcontinent — emphasize why researchers need to push climate projections long past the customary benchmark of 2100, environmental social scientist Christopher Lyon and colleagues contend September 24 in Global Change Biology. Fifty years have passed since the first climate projections, which set that distant target at 2100, says…

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  • Science

    The science everyone needs to know about climate change, in 6 charts

    With the United Nations’ climate conference in Scotland turning a spotlight on climate change policies and the impact of global warming, it’s useful to understand what the science shows. I’m an atmospheric scientist who has worked on global climate science and assessments for most of my career. Here are six things you should know, in charts. What’s driving climate change The primary focus of the negotiations is on carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is released when fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – are burned, as well as by forest fires, land use changes and natural sources. The Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s started an enormous…

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  • Science

    An ample Great Barrier Reef coral offers hope amidst climate change

    A coral the size of a carousel is the widest known in the Great Barrier Reef. Found just off the coast of Goolboodi Island in Northeast Australia, this reef-building Porites measures 10.4 meters in diameter — earning it the nickname Muga dhambi, or “big coral,” from the Indigenous custodians of the island, the Manbarra people. In addition to its record-setting width, Muga dhambi stands a little over 5 meters tall, making it the sixth tallest coral in the Great Barrier Reef, researchers report August 19 in Scientific Reports. “It’s a stand-alone coral … and we don’t see many that size,” says marine scientist Nathan Cook of Reef Ecologic, a climate…

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  • Jobs

    37% of the K-12 workforce is considering a job change: Survey

    A new survey from MissionSquare Research Institute reveals the amount of strain COVID-19 has put on the education system — 37% of the K-12 workforce says that the pandemic has them considering changing jobs. “The teachers are not okay, that’s for sure,” Rivka Liss-Levinson, senior research manager at MissionSquare, told Yahoo Finance. She says that many U.S. teachers are at their breaking point.  Key findings from the survey show how much impact working through the COVID-19 pandemic has on teachers compared to their non-teaching counterparts in government jobs. The K-12 workforce is more likely than other government workers to feel stressed (52% vs. 35%), burnt out (52% vs. 34%), and…

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  • Science

    Ignoring climate change will yield ‘untold suffering,’ panel of 14,000 scientists warns

    Nearly 14,000 scientists have signed a new climate emergency paper, warning that “untold suffering” awaits the human race if we don’t start tackling global warming head-on, effective immediately. The new paper, published July 28 in the journal BioScience and led by researchers from Oregon State University, is an update of a 2019 paper that declared a global “climate emergency” and evaluated Earth’s vital signs based on 31 variables — including greenhouse gas emissions, surface temperature changes, glacial ice mass loss, Amazon rainforest loss, plus various social factors like global gross domestic product (GDP) and fossil fuel subsidies. Unsurprisingly, the authors of the new paper find that Earth‘s vitals have only…

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  • Education

    On Education, Joe Biden Is Making Sure “Nothing Will Fundamentally Change”

    When it comes to education policy, Joe Biden is following through on his promise that nothing will fundamentally change. While he expressed support for some progressive measures on the campaign trail, like ending the high-stakes testing mandate for K-12 and giving relief to higher education students and borrowers, his actions so far have led some to surmise that corporatists and reformers are running the show at the Department of Education. Secretary Miguel Cardona has taken a prolonged “Help is Here” tour, but urgent demands from students, parents, and teachers are going unmet. Here’s a breakdown of the administration’s handling of key education issues so far. The vast majority of Cardona’s…

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