Olympia, WA, United States
Olympia, WA, United States

The Evergreen State College is an accredited public liberal arts college and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. It is located in Olympia, Washington, USA. Founded in 1967, Evergreen was formed to be an experimental and non-traditional college. Faculty issue narrative evaluations of students' work rather than grades, and Evergreen organizes most studies into largely interdisciplinary classes that generally constitute a full-time course load.Evergreen offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Bachelor of Science, Master of Environmental Studies, Master of Public Administration, and Master in Teaching. In 2012, there were 4,509 students, 4,193 of whom were undergraduates, and 240 faculty members. Wikipedia.


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A group of 50 industry experts, including CH2M, came together from backgrounds in water supply, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, to develop a new report, A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure: Innovative Pathways, Smarter Spending, Better Outcomes. The report, released by the Evergreen State College's Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, is the first attempt to construct a regional shared vision for the future of water infrastructure in the Northwest, and highlights how the Northwest region's water utilities can generate solutions by adopting new investment practices for billions of dollars in annual spending, guided by long-range vision and strategy. In line with the trend toward innovation in today's digital age, the report highlights the role that technology is playing in improving cost-performance, by providing a higher level of situational awareness and the ability to dynamically operate and maintain systems using sensors in real time. "Technology allows you to collect data remotely and keep track of the condition of a pump or pump station to tell you the best time to do maintenance or repair, or to replace those assets," noted CH2M Senior Vice President and Global Practice Director for Strategic Consulting Scott Haskins in the report. "As things get older the costs go up for capital replacement, so you want to do the right things at the right time to achieve the lowest lifecycle cost." The full report introduces a robust portfolio of new water infrastructure solutions, expanding the choices available, and opening new opportunities for innovation. Many of these approaches save money for the local utility, and offer sustainability benefits across the environmental, social and economic triple bottom line. "While America turns its focus toward two assets essential to our prosperity, as we celebrate National Drinking Water Week this week and National Infrastructure Week next week, the time is now to talk about how we can utilize these solutions for the future. The price tag of failing infrastructure is far too great to think about these critical resources for just two weeks out of the year," said CH2M State & Local Governments President Greg McIntyre. To continue the conversation, CH2M will sponsor the A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure webinar this June, facilitating the sharing of the vision developed on the West Coast and continuing the focus on water and infrastructure. When you visualize your career future, do you picture working on global iconic infrastructure programs? If so, you're in luck – CH2M is hiring! Explore these exciting opportunities. CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients needing world-class solutions in environmental; industrial and advanced facilities; transportation; and water markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World's Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ch2m-evergreen-state-college-center-for-sustainable-infrastructure-visualize-a-future-for-water-infrastructure-300454530.html


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- The time it takes for a leaf to decompose might be the key to understanding how temperature affects ecosystems, according to Kansas State University ecologists. Using leaf litter data in streams from 1,025 publications, a team of international stream ecologists, including Kansas State University's Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor, and Lydia Zeglin, assistant professor, both in the Division of Biology, found average leaf litter decomposition rates are less than half of what the metabolic theory of ecology would predict. The research, which measured how sensitive leaf litter is to increases in temperature, is published in Global Change Biology. "The theory of how organisms respond to temperature says organisms will move at a faster rate at higher temperatures," Dodds said. "That relationship for single organisms -- whether it's a lizard or bacterium -- has a certain rate of increase with warmer temperatures. According to our study, the rate of decomposition will still happen faster with a rise in temperature, just not as fast as we expected." The team evaluated data from publications that measured leaf litter in streams and rivers and determined that leaf litter breakdown rates may increase 5-21 percent if the average water temperature warms about 1-4 degrees Celsius. This finding is counter to the metabolic theory estimates of a 10-45 percent increase with the same increase in temperature. Dodds said understanding the relationships among temperature, leaf decomposition and running water can help ecologists better predict how the carbon cycle will react with future climate adjustments. Since plant materials store a lot of the world's carbon, and streams and rivers help transport plant material around the world, leaf litter decomposition in streams can be a big contributor to atmospheric carbon. According to Zeglin, when leaves fall in running water, they can be transported to the ocean, and as they move through the water they will breakdown more completely. If leaves enter the soil and are preserved, carbon from those leaves is more likely to be sequestered and not as easily release into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. "Streams put a good amount of CO2 into the atmosphere, so the rate that those leaves breakdown is an indicator of how much carbon goes into the atmosphere," Dodds said. "The longer carbon is retained and stuck in leaves, as opposed to being respired as CO2 by either the microbes or the invertebrates that eat the leaves, the better." By combining all the research data available and pulling out all the variables, the ecologists saw trends that indicated that organisms can adjust to changing environmental conditions and the breakdown rates may change slightly but shouldn't shock the system. "To some degree, biological communities are going to adjust themselves to environmental change," Dodds said. "Either the organisms will adapt to the changing temperature or different organisms that are effective at warmer temperatures will take their place. If those organisms change the rate that plant material is broken down, more CO2 will return to the atmosphere more quickly." The research team came up with the idea to extract data from thousands of already published studies and compare the breakdown rates of leaves from around the world at a National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research, or LTER, workshop. The data came from research papers on streams around the world, including LTER sites. The team found the papers using scholarly search engines such as Google Scholar or Web of Science. "This meta-analysis shows that while there is variation from site to site in the relationship between temperature and decomposition, the compilation of information from the work of thousands of individual scientists allows us to better understand the global trends," Zeglin said. In addition to Dodds and Zeglin, the research team included Jennifer Follstad Shah, University of Utah; John Kominoski, Florida International University; Marcelo Ardon, North Carolina State University; Mark Gessner, Berlin Institute of Technology in Germany; Natalie Griffiths, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee; Charles Hawkins, Utah State University; Sherri Johnson, U.S. Forest Service; Antoine Lecerf, Université de Toulouse in France; Carri LeRoy, Evergreen State College in Washington; David Manning, Ohio State University; Amy Rosemond, University of Georgia; Robert Sinsabaugh, University of New Mexico; Christopher Swan, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Jackson Webster, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


News Article | June 2, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Students leave The Evergreen State College campus in Olympia after a threat prompted a student alert and evacuation on Thursday, June 1, 2017. The announcement posted on the school's website Thursday asked everyone to leave the Olympia campus or return to residence halls for further instructions. The post did not provide other details. (Tony Overman /The Olympian via AP) OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A small college in Washington state closed abruptly Thursday in response to a threat following a recent series of protests that have drawn national attention to student allegations of racism on the progressive campus. It comes as many defenders of the First Amendment say they see signs that free speech is losing ground as a priority at U.S. colleges and is being used as a political weapon to silence opposing viewpoints. Law enforcement thought the threat was credible enough to forward to Evergreen State College in Olympia, and school officials decided to close the campus, Sandra Kaiser, Evergreen's vice president for college relations, told reporters Thursday. Kaiser did not know the source of the threat or whether it was tied to recent protests at the college. Officials said on the college website Thursday evening that someone called the Thurston County Communications Center at 10:25 a.m. Thursday claiming to be armed and on the way to campus. Officials say the call was made from an unknown telephone number to the communications center's regular business phone line and not their 911 lines. Officers were "visible and present" on campus Thursday, and school officials were waiting to hear from law enforcement when they could "give the all clear," Kaiser said. On Thursday evening, officials said the campus would remain closed on Friday although officials said a search of campus buildings determined no one was actively posing a threat. The threat follows protests over a white professor opposing an April event in which organizers asked white students to leave campus for a talk about race issues. It was a reversal from the longstanding annual "Day of Absence," in which minorities traditionally attend programs off campus. Biology professor Bret Weinstein, who has taught at Evergreen for 15 years, wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal saying he was called a racist because he had "challenged coercive segregation by race." Weinstein said a group encouraging another group to go away was "an act of oppression in and of itself," The News Tribune reported. Evergreen State said participation has always been optional. "White students have never been required to leave campus, for Day of Absence, or any Evergreen activity," the college said. Advocates say the effort helps increase social awareness, but critics call it divisive. Some students called for Weinstein to resign, and conservative media pointed to the furor as an example of intolerance on college campuses, where protests have derailed multiple appearances by controversial figures. The University of California, Berkeley, was criticized for canceling an appearance by conservative commentator Ann Coulter in April and another by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos in February. It canceled Coulter's speech amid threats of violence, fearing a repeat of clashes ahead of the Yiannopoulos event. Berkeley, the birthplace of the U.S. free speech movement in the 1960s, has become a flashpoint for the extreme left and right since Trump's election. It is one of dozens of U.S. campuses where speeches have been disrupted or canceled by student protests in the past year. Weinstein told Seattle news station KING-TV that he held a class in a downtown Olympia park May 25 after being told by the college's police chief that "it's not safe for me to be on campus." An administrator confirmed that police advised Weinstein it "might be best to stay off campus for a day or so," the station reported. Addressing the protests, the college said on its website that demonstrations May 23 and May 24 were nonviolent. It also said: "Everyone on our campus has the right to feel safe. Free speech must be fostered and encouraged. Every faculty member, student, and staff member must have the freedom to speak openly." A Republican state lawmaker is proposing cutting state funding to Evergreen State after blasting the recent protests. Rep. Matt Manweller said he wants lawmakers to privatize the public school that the Legislature created in 1967, The News Tribune reported. Some Democrats, who control the state House, have rejected the idea. Evergreen is a "great institution" that should continue getting state money, Rep. Beth Doglio, an Olympia Democrat, told the newspaper. "Students there are working to make it a more inclusive, diverse campus."


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 137.24K | Year: 2016

The Visualization for Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems project helps environmental scientists produce visualizations for their own research and for presentation to other scientists and stakeholders including decision makers. A critical finding of work to date is the extent to which scientists use visualizations not only to explore data in new ways and present results, but also to work with stakeholders to jointly produce information that can be used during decision-making processes. The role of scientific visualization in the co-production of knowledge is as yet untested, even though this involvement could be critical in creating acceptable solutions, information, or technology. This proposal recasts VISTAS to co-produce visualization tools, i.e., exploring how negotiations between the users? needs and technological capacity shape the type of visualizations used and tools implemented, change or modify the research questions posed by scientists, and impact how results are interpreted so communities can respond to critical ecological challenges, including climate change. This is a unique experiment and collaboration among social-, computer-, and environmental scientists, with non-scientist stakeholders, to co-produce data visualizations for use in decision making. Social science methods will be used to explore knowledge co-production coupled with technology innovations that lead to community decision making to solve problems of climate change adaptation. The extent to which distinctions between scientific visualization for scientists and non-scientists need to be made will be determined, and unique visualizations will be developed jointly with project collaborators. The goal is to determine the influence of visualization on the co-production of knowledge among scientists and stakeholders on critical decisions related to climate adaptation.

This project involves both computer scientists and social scientists. Computer science: VISTAS, a C++ scientific visualization application with significant GPU processing, helps environmental scientists produce images that allow them to ?see? the effects of topography on ecological phenomena. For this award, new visualization techniques will be developed, visualization and visual analytics research that enables effective presentations to decision makers will be conducted, and technical support for environmental- and social scientists will be provided. If time and funds permit extensions to the current software that render it both more usable by primary and secondary users, and more maintainable and extensible directly by primary users will be provided: VISTAS engineers will proceed with a longer term strategy of migrating from C++ to Python, which will enable more effective and flexible user interface development, end user programming of data or visualization plug-ins, and use of emerging and existing Python and R libraries for visual analytics. The social science inquiry will help determine how the co-production enables usable software that answers the needs of both environmental scientists who generate large difficult to interpret data sets as well as decision-makers who must balance multiple demands as they make important choices. Case studies with three collaborators will be conducted as they work with stakeholders to co-develop usable information; these are structured through a comparative pre/post-test design with three phases to explore changes in how participants view and communicate scientific results before and after involvement in visualization development. In the baseline phase VISTAS social scientists will work with participants to document their current understanding of their data, expectations for the visualization and analytic products, and ability and tools used to communicate science to others including non-scientists. During the development phase case participants will be observed as they work together to create the visualization and analytic products. The post-assessment phase seeks to determine changes in understanding of data and ability to communicate science as a result of participation in visualization development. The usability of different types of visualizations and analytic tools, identifying the characteristics that contribute to or distract from usefulness, will also be explored. Information will be collected primarily through semi-structured interviews with participants (collaborators and stakeholders). Existing scales measuring environmental attitudes and preferences for science in decision-making and general attitudes toward science will be used so comparisons with larger national and international samples can be made. In addition, scoping and development meetings will be observed to determine how shared understanding of user needs is developed and then framed as a visualization problem.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 119.98K | Year: 2012

The objective of this project is to develop a cybersecurity lab environment (EDURange) that is open to the public and allows creation of custom exercises in a live-fire setting. It is designed to provide students with an active learning environment focusing on analysis skills rather than on training based on a pre-packaged set of tools. Preparing cybersecurity exercises is a major obstacle in many academic programs but the proposed environment is simple enough that faculty with limited knowledge of cybersecurity can employ it in the classroom. The exercises are accompanied by tutorials linked to learning objectives. EDURanges design, its lab scenarios and scoring system, reward the effort that students spend on analysis and reverse-engineering.

The proposed project focuses on: (1) the construction and deployment of cybersecurity scenarios in local and cloud environments; and (2) using the scenarios as an assessment tool for both students in the course of their studies as well as an independent benchmark for other cybersecurity training curricula.

EDURange scenarios are well-documented and of varying difficulty and complexity to make them attractive to a wide range of academic programs and institutions. The scenarios are hosted in a publicly available cybersecurity testbed and in a cloud environment. The project includes outreach activities at the annual SIGCSE conference.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Dimensions of Biodiversity | Award Amount: 523.00K | Year: 2015

The deep sea is more than 90 percent of the inhabitable space on Earth, yet life there is largely a mystery to science. Ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are marine predators found in all oceans, inhabiting both deep and shallow seas. Although fragile and difficult to study, they are biologically important, in part because they appear to have been the first group of animals to split off from all other organisms during evolution, even before sponges and jellyfish. Over evolutionary time, many marine organisms have transitioned their home ranges to and from the deep sea despite the tremendous differences between these two habitats, including light, temperature, and hydrostatic pressure. Such habitat shifts required dramatic genetic and physiological changes to these animal lineages over time. The relationships between comb jelly species indicate that species from a variety of different families have evolved to live and thrive in the deep sea. This project will compare closely related deep and shallow species at biochemical, physiological and genetic levels to understand how these transitions came about. It will answer questions about the fundamental mechanisms of animal evolution and develop publicly available tools for analyzing genomic data sets. It will result in the training of cutting-edge techniques for two PhD students, a postdoc, two masters students, and numerous undergraduates. Public outreach involving biodiversity in the deep sea and gelatinous animals will help educate and inspire appreciation of marine life.

The main objective of this project is to understand evolution and diversification using cutting edge molecular analyses to investigate the deep-sea habitat as the generating force of novel biological adaptations. Ctenophore specimens will be collected using blue-water SCUBA in surface waters and remotely operated submarines in the deep sea to generate complementary physiological and genomic data across the full phylogenetic and functional diversity of ctenophores. With samples taken across a range of habitats from shallow tropical waters to temperate bathypelagic zone, the team will measure physiological capabilities and sequence transcriptomes and genomes. This project will develop novel algorithms to identify genes involved in depth adaptation and examine the genetic events that underlie physiological tolerances and adaptations to high hydrostatic pressures in the deep sea. To confirm the theory-based predictions of how gene sequence affects the properties of enzymes, proteins will be expressed and characterized in the lab. Collaborations between the students, postdocs and PIs involved in this project will substantially enhance an interdisciplinary workforce trained in both classical and cutting edge skills needed for contemporary biodiversity investigations.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 596.64K | Year: 2011

This project is designed to award 20 annual scholarships to financially-needy undergraduates with demonstrated academic potential. Student success is centered on a strong, supportive learning community; regular seminars on career and graduate school placement, research, and industrial applications; and partnerships with research universities.

Within the disciplines of laboratory-based biology and chemistry, the project has the following objectives:
(1) Increase enrollment of underrepresented groups in laboratory-based biology and chemistry programs.
(2) Increase retention and baccalaureate degree completion of biology and chemistry students.
(3) Increase the number of graduates who continue studies in these fields.
(4) Integrate student support, especially advising and career development, within these academic disciplines.
(5) Provide undergraduate research and industry internship opportunities.
(6) Demonstrate collaboration between faculty and student services staff.

Intellectual merit: The institution has high quality undergraduate biology and chemistry programs that are taught within interdisciplinary learning communities. A committed project team and superior laboratory and instructional resources provide a rich academic environment. The project includes creative and effective services for scholarship recipients that include pre-fall institutes; regular seminars; field trips; and internship and research opportunities.

Broader impacts: A thorough and flexible recruitment/selection plan ensures broad participation from underrepresented groups (students of color, women, persons with disabilities, first generation, and low-income). Specifically, outreach activities to local and urban high schools and community colleges are designed to attract more diverse students to biology and chemistry at the college. The project is continuing and improving a successful track record in placing students in graduate schools and industry. Project leaders are disseminating findings in journals, at professional meetings, and through a network of institutional research professionals.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCES IN BIO INFORMATICS | Award Amount: 275.03K | Year: 2011

The Evergreen State College and Oregon State University (OSU) are awarded grants to collaborate on the VISTAS project to develop visual analytics software that will enable scientists to better understand and communicate about large and complex environmental problems spanning spatial and temporal scales. The research will help scientists understand relationships among ecological processes at the same and different scales, develop new testable hypotheses, and explain research results. The project has three objectives:

1) Conduct Ecology Informatics research to enable the required visual analytics and implement a proof of concept software tool: VISualization of Terrestrial-Aquatic Systems (VISTAS).
2) Co-develop VISTAS with environmental scientists who will use VISTAS in studies spanning spatial and temporal scales.
3) Apply social science methods to study the co-development and usability of VISTAS and its visual analytics.

The project leaders will also convene a six-member panel, The Northwest Computer Science Consortium to Enhance the Study of Climate Change, which will advise VISTAS scientists and developers, and enlist the CS research community in R&D applicable to environmental science.

The VISTAS project will broadly impact environmental science research with a long term vision to improve evidence-based practice of natural resource management with visual analytics. The project will assure dissemination, technology transfer, and sustainability of research results and tool development and will specifically include:

1) Technology transfer of results beyond normal dissemination channels (scholarly publication and presentation), i.e., communication of results to natural resource managers and policy makers, producers of scientific software, information managers serving scientists, and computer scientists (thus encouraging basic research in areas that would benefit scientific software development and lead to new technology useful in science and beyond).
2) Presentation of scientists use of VISTAS to natural resource managers and policy makers, and to professional masters students.
3) Involving undergraduate and graduate students in research, and enhancing environmental science and computer science education at our institutions with materials from this work.
4) Continuation of past successful dissemination of interdisciplinary educational materials and integration of visualizations from this work into an existing program for middle school girls.
Because methods to transcend time and spatial scales are not well understood, this project will determine if visualizing natural phenomena in new ways helps scientists develop intuition and hypotheses at multiple spatial scales -- formulating new insights about ecosystem services, and patterns and processes, in complex environmental systems. As important visualizations also help scientists communicate insights to non scientists.

Additional information about the project is available on the web: http://blogs.evergreen.edu/vistas


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: TUES-Type 1 Project | Award Amount: 147.57K | Year: 2011

This collaborative project between Evergreen State College and the University of Washington is creating, validating, and disseminating a science process and reasoning skills test (SPARST) to assess students acquisition of such skills as experimental design, data analysis, graphing, and scientific writing. SPARST is being designed to help biology faculty: a) gauge the skill level of incoming students, b) revise undergraduate curricula to better address the teaching of skills along with content, c) create a national network for sharing skill-teaching practices and resources, and d) improve the general science literacy of both science majors and non-majors.

Intellectual Merit: Since there are few tests of this type available within the biological sciences, SPARST will help inform faculty of their effectiveness at helping students develop these skills and will help students become better prepared to enter graduate school or careers in science.

Broader Impact: SPARST is being tested at several institutions and revised iteratively in order to create a valid and reliable test for distribution. The test will be free and available on-line as multiple choice and short-answer questions. It is designed to be graded online; responses to short answer questions will be compiled for ease of grading and faculty will be provided with a validated grading rubric. Faculty who implement SPARST will be provided with a free, descriptive diagnostic of their students abilities that will indicate how well each student performed on the subset of scaled questions in each science process skill area and how the facultys class compares to similar biology classes at an anonymous subset of similar institutions.

This project is being jointly funded by the Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education as part of their Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education efforts.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: FED CYBER SERV: SCHLAR FOR SER | Award Amount: 240.69K | Year: 2015

The EDURange project, a collaboration between Evergreen State College and Lewis and Clark College, will support faculty teaching cyber security by providing hands-on exercises, a student-staffed help-desk, and webinars. These resources will be designed to be easy to deploy and will be interactive, competitive and collaborative to ensure student engagement. The availability of these resources will make it easier for computer science faculty with little prior background to teach security across, and will increase the number of schools teaching cyber security concepts. As a result this project will produce more students with the analytical skills required to secure computing assets in the Pacific Northwest and in turn will help to ensure American technical competitiveness in the future.

The resources will be linked to the concepts and learning outcomes defined in the IEEE/ACM CS Curricula 2013 report. Support for these resources will be provided by a student-run help desk and a user interface that will allow faculty to modify exercises to fit the content and level of difficulty of their classes. Background material will be provided for students to make the exercises applicable to a variety of computer science classes. These resources will fulfill four important needs: (1) expanding and disseminating technology ? improving exercises using EDURange, a flexible, cloud-based teaching infrastructure, (2) faculty development ? helping them use hands-on security exercises in their classrooms and providing curricular resources, (3) student engagement ? developing their skills, leveraging their talent and knowledge, and mentoring them to become the next generation of teachers and researchers, and (4) education research --investigating the acquisition of analytical skills.

Assessment of the resources will focus on four activities: (1) a quantitative evaluation and summary of how often and how widely the resources are used, (2) a qualitative assessment of how well exercises map or express the cyber security knowledge units of CS2013, (3) an assessment of faculty experience using the resources in their courses, and (4) an evaluation of the experience using the resources by security faculty, professionals, and students.

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