• A small number of leaky natural gas wells produce large emissions of greenhouse gases

    Thursday, Aug 1, 2019
    by Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Wells that extract natural gas from underground often leak large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the air. A team of Princeton University researchers has found that, in one of the biggest gas-producing regions, most of these emissions come from a tiny subset of the wells, a finding with major implications for how to control the problem. 

  • Fewer fish may reach breeding age as climate change skews timing of reproduction, food availability

    Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019
    by Joseph Albanese for the Princeton Environmental Institute

    Climate change may be depriving juvenile fish of their most crucial early food source by throwing off the synchronization of when microscopic plants known as phytoplankton bloom and when fish hatch, according to Princeton University researchers. The long-term effect on fish reproductivity could mean fewer fish available for human consumption. 

  • More farmers, more problems: How smallholder agriculture is threatening the Western Amazon

    Monday, Jul 15, 2019
    by B. Rose Kelly, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

    A verdant, nearly roadless place, the Western Amazon in South America may be the most biologically diverse place in the world. There, many people live in near isolation, with goods coming in either by river or air. Turning to crops for profit or sustenance, farmers operate small family plots to make a living.

    Unfortunately, these farmers and their smallholder agriculture operations pose serious threats to biodiversity in northeastern Peru, according to a team of researchers led by Princeton University.

  • Sea slugs use algae's bacterial ‘weapons factory’ in three-way symbiotic relationship

    Thursday, Jun 27, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    Delicate yet voracious, the sea slug Elysia rufescens grazes cow-like on bright green tufts of algae, rooting around to find the choicest bits.

    But this inch-long marine mollusk gains not only a tasty meal — it also slurps up the algae's defensive chemicals, which the slug can then deploy against its own predators.

  • Redding explores the brightening future of solar power in the Philippines

    Wednesday, Jun 26, 2019
    by Morgan Kelly, Princeton Environmental Institute

    As a tropical nation spread across more than 7,600 islands, the Philippines seems like the ideal location to implement localized solar power for the 16 million Filipinos lacking reliable access to electricity. But as Princeton senior Erin Redding discovered, providing lasting energy solutions requires much more than a willing populace, low-cost technology and ample sunshine.

  • Rapid Switch project to assess practicality and pace of global climate strategies

    Monday, Jun 24, 2019
    by Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Princeton University convened an international research team June 11-13 to begin a five-year effort to frame a realistic global response to climate change that accounts for massive economic development in countries, including India and China.

  • Ramaswami, researcher of urban sustainability, appointed inaugural director of M.S. Chadha Center for Global India

    Thursday, Jun 20, 2019
    by Pooja Makhijani, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies

    Anu Ramaswami, an interdisciplinary environmental engineer who is recognized as a pioneer and leader on the topic of sustainable urban systems, has been named professor of India studies, civil and environmental engineering, and the Princeton Environmental Institute, and the inaugural director of the M.S. Chadha Center for Global India. She will assume her new duties at Princeton on Aug. 1.

  • Alcatraz Island is unlikely place of learning for students of energy innovation

    Monday, Jun 17, 2019
    by Molly Seltzer, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    On Alcatraz Island, students from Princeton University peered across the San Francisco skyline from a solar rooftop. Their visit to the historic prison’s electricity microgrid was one stop on a spring break trip to see emerging energy technologies, part of a new course on energy innovation and entrepreneurship.

    “Before this class I didn't even know what the energy sector looked like,” said Diego Fierros, a senior studying mechanical and aerospace engineering. “It was a giant engineering conglomerate.”

  • Course explores the Millstone River, Princeton’s backyard wilderness

    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    by Morgan Kelly, Princeton Environmental Institute

    An 8-foot deer shape cut from a discarded mirror stood along one wall of the Lucas Gallery at 185 Nassau St. on the Princeton campus, its humanoid body reflecting the people gathered around a table set with native New Jersey plants, a sun-bleached turtle shell and discarded bottles stuffed with secret messages.

  • Princeton senior Lohmann explores Nauru, where the environmental future is now

    Monday, May 20, 2019
    by Morgan Kelly, Princeton Environmental Institute

    When planning his stay on the remote Pacific island of Nauru last year, Princeton senior Jack Lohmann had expected that a place often portrayed as a post-environmental dystopia would present challenges. Being besieged by feral dogs the moment he left the airport was not one he had anticipated.

    "Packs of wild dogs roam the island and a lot of people are terrified," Lohmann said. "They come snarling and barking wherever you walk. The ones by the airport are particularly bad."


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