News from within the SENSE network
Inge de Graaf’s research focuses on the current and future projected impacts of human water use on freshwater resources worldwide. She has become a leading expert in large-scale groundwater modelling by developing one of the first global-scale groundwater models and by connecting, at that scale, groundwater dynamics to streamflow. As a major scientific outcome, she demonstrated the impact of groundwater pumping on environmentally critical streamflow and the alarming trends that will evolve if we do not change our current groundwater use.
Climate change severely impacts farmers in developing countries, and the consequences for our food supply are increasingly felt. This issue features prominently on the agenda of the climate summit in Egypt from 6 to 18 November. Waterapps is a long-term weather app developed by WUR, which helps farmers adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.
Can minerals help extract the greenhouse gas CO2 from the air? PhD student Emily te Pas (WUR) is investigating the potential of spreading crushed silicate minerals on agricultural land. ‘This is still pioneering at this stage. It is important to collect data: does it work and is it safe?’’
It has long been known that humanity is exceeding planetary boundaries for nitrogen use. Scientists have now mapped those exceedances regionally for the first time. Whereas countries in north-western Europe and parts of India and China are emitting far too much nitrogen, there is actually room for intensification of nitrogen use across much of Africa and South America. The research was published today in the scientific journal Nature.
There’s a lot of buzz around citizen science for sustainability. Engaging scores of people who collect and share data to contribute to scientific projects is a popular method. But what’s the impact? That’s a question often ignored, or answered with assumptions and speculations. An IHE Delft-led paper that presents the first systematic review of how citizen science impact can be captured recently received an Honorable Mention Award from the journal Sustainability Science.
Professor Joyeeta Gupta wins the prize for her world leading contribution to solution focused climate research. The award is bestowed annually in the name of Piers Sellers, the former astronaut, climate scientist and Leeds alumnus, by the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds.
With his project on electrochemical ‘water polishing’, ETE assistant professor Jouke Dykstra has been awarded a VENI grant in the NWO talent scheme Veni, Vidi, Vici. This grant is aimed for excellent scientists that have successfully finished their PhD within the last three years. His project, Removal of toxic anthropogenic solutes in drinking water treatment by electrochemical polishing, aims to clean drinking water from low-level contaminants, that are still present after the conventional treatment technologies. The grant offers a personal budget of € 280.00000 for four years of work. Dykstra: ‘We will use the grant to develop the technology as well as a simulation model to further fine tune the knowhow and methodology.’
How to develop research that integrates various aspects of sustainability? How to critically assess the inclusion of sustainability in the work of others? Where to find a network of people working on sustainability-related topics in your own field?
If you are looking for answers to these questions, our SENSE Advanced Sustainability Course is the right place for you.
This course is the second course to be developed with SENSE funding for course development.