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ISSUE #155

The Iron Fertilization Edition

Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

MIT News

Some scientists suggest that adding iron to our oceans will help to combat increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. A new study from MIT Joint Program Principal Research Scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz and others finds that the Earth’s oceans already contain just the right amount of iron; adding more may not improve their ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Chernobyl scientist still backs nuclear power for Australia's future energy mix

ABC Radio Australia

Jacopo Buongiorno, the TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy at MIT, is quoted in this article featuring Chernobyl scientist Anatoly Rozenfeld. Buongiorno comments on how nuclear could work together with renewables as part of Australia’s future energy mix.

Jessika Trancik on tech and research versus climate change

The Jim Rutt Show

Jessika Trancik, an associate professor of data, systems, and society, joins “The Jim Rutt Show” to discuss energy return on investment, the challenge of energy distribution and diversification, how renewable technology innovation could impact the developing world, and more.


Podcast: Energy economics and air pollution

Noelle Eckley Selin, an associate professor in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; and John Reilly, co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan; discuss energy economics, air pollution, and policymakers. This episode was produced in collaboration with TILclimate.


MITEI Events Calendar

View all of MITEI’s upcoming 2020 events.

Economy-wide deep decarbonization

Tuesday, February 25, 5:00-8:00 pm

The fourth of MIT's six Climate Action Symposia will discuss pathways to scalable, affordable low- to no-carbon fuels; the role of biofuels, hydrogen, and long-term energy storage; and large-scale capture of carbon dioxide and gigaton-scale utilization.

Watch the event livestream on February 25.
OK Vroomer: Millennials and car culture
Webinar: Thursday, March 12, 2:00-2:30 pm

In this Eno Center for Transportation webinar, Joanna Moody, the research program manager for MITEI’s Mobility Systems Center, will discuss how for many people, owning and using a car symbolizes social status and personal image, and how this symbolic value reinforces car consumption. In addition, she will discuss the key differences between age and generational effects and the tools that are needed to disentangle them, and summarize recent findings on whether or not millennials truly differ from previous generations in terms of their car ownership and use, as well as millennial attitudes toward cars and urban living.


MIT Energy Conference
April 2-3, 8:00 am-6:00 pm, Boston Marriott Cambridge

Tickets to the student-run MIT Energy Conference are now on sale. This year’s theme is “Decision 2020: Creating the landscape for our energy future.” Explore the energy decisions being made today that are on track to deliver the greatest impact over the next five to ten years.


MIT Climate Action Hack
Saturday, April 25, 10:00 am-6:30 pm, MIT Stratton Student Center

MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change is turning 5 years old and this all-day hackathon will help shape a new plan that will take MIT’s climate agenda forward. Students will spend all day diving into the different sections of the plan and imagine new ways MIT can contribute to driving down emissions and taking robust action on climate change.

At the end of the day, teams will present their ideas to members of the MIT Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC), which makes recommendations to MIT’s senior leadership about the plan. A jury of CAAC members will announce the winners, and all ideas will be taken into consideration.

This event is only open to MIT students.


EERE Energy Storage Internship Program 

May-September 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Energy Storage Internship Program offers 10-week, hands-on, practical internships at U.S. national laboratories. Participants will conduct research related to the development of newer chemistries, battery designs, and manufacturing processes needed to usher in changes in energy storage. Check out the eligibility guidelines. Applications and supporting materials are due by March 2.

Call for nominations: 2020 C3E Women in Clean Energy Awards 

The annual C3E Awards help to raise the visibility of women in the clean energy sector. The Awards honor mid-career leadership and achievement—and boost recipients’ careers. Awards are given in eight categories: advocacy, business, education, entrepreneurship, government, international, law and finance, and research. Each winner will receive $8,000 and national recognition at the annual C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium, which will be held at MIT this fall. Nominations are due by
March 11.

Call for applications: 2020-2021 Energy Fellows 
MITEI is now accepting applications for 2020-2021 Energy Fellows. MIT faculty members may nominate graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in recognition of keen interest in energy and excellence in research. Nominees may then complete the full application. The full applications are due by Friday, March 20.
UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) 

July 9-22, University of Illinois at Chicago

SISE is a two-week summer "boot camp" for future decision makers eager to join the sustainability and energy revolution happening around the globe. This year’s theme, “Resiliency: Climate Change and the Power of Data + Response”, considers what it takes to be resilient in the face of climate change. SISE Fellows will engage with a new energy mapping initiative being developed by the American Energy Society and identify best practices for activists and advocates committed to achieving climate justice by offsetting climate catastrophe. Apply by May 30.


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“[It’s]…important to highlight for people that their votes matter—and when they’re voting for and demanding climate policy, the reason for that isn’t just to bring about emissions reduction, [but also] technological innovation.”

Jessika Trancik, an associate professor of data, systems, and society, appears on a new episode of “The Jim Rutt Show.”

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Iron fertilization

The process of adding iron to Earth’s oceans to stimulate phytoplankton growth, which many scientists think may help to curb the increasing carbon dioxide emissions produced from the burning of fossil fuels. New research from MIT challenges this idea.

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