News

To Frack or Not to Frack

On the Duke Research Blog, Maya Iskandarani writes about alumnus Daniel Raimi's new book The Fracking Debate: The Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties of the Shale Revolution. At a talk co-sponsored by the Duke Energy Initiative and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Raimi shared some of the insights he gained in traveling the country to investigate the community-level impact of the shale revolution in the U.S. 

Energy Data Analytics Lab Team Takes Top Prize at 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium with Electricity Access Project

A Bass Connections team that includes the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions T. Robert Fetter took top honors for work using machine learning and visual object identification to assess electricity access at the 2018 Duke Research Computing Symposium on Jan. 25.

National Academies’ Gulf Research Program Awards $5.3 Million to Enhance Environmental Restoration Outcomes and Improve Oil Spill Risk Assessment

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grant awards for seven new projects totaling $5.3 million, including an award to a team of researchers led by Lydia Olander of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Five of the projects involve developing or testing new technologies or methods for monitoring or evaluating environmental restoration projects to improve future restoration efforts.

Duke-Led Team Receives Funding to Assess Progress on Gulf Ecosystem Restoration

A team of researchers led by Lydia Olander of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions has received $1,335,798 to conduct research on Gulf of Mexico ecosystem restoration. The grant is funded by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Pruitt was Headed to Ultra-Efficient Japanese Coal Plant ($)

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last weekend was slated to visit a Japanese plant that claims to be the world's most efficient coal-fired power producer. Japan is making a historic shift back to coal use after abandoning nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Jackson Ewing, facutly fellow with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions told ClimateWire that "Pre-Fukushima, Japan was planning to scale up nuclear to the range of 60 percent of its total energy generation by the end of the century. With the disaster, they've not only had to scuttle the expansionary plans, but they've had to considerably dial back the existing nuclear power that they have on the grid."

Christy Ihlo Bypasses a “Traditional” Career Path to Pursue her Passion in Tanzania

Christy Ihlo took a huge, but carefully calculated, risk leaving her post as a policy associate at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions to pursue her passion for international conservation with an NGO in Tanzania. She went as an unpaid six-month intern for the African People & Wildlife Fund. Now she has been hired, with a great promotion, to direct their monitoring and evaluation efforts, a growing sub-field in international conservation. Her story is about developing skills, weighing—and then taking—risks, and building a career in an unexpected way.

Author Examines Both Sides Of The Fracking Debate In New Book

In his new book, “The Fracking Debate: The Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties of the Shale Revolution,” Daniel Raimi examines both sides of the oil and gas development issue. In an interview with NPR, Raimi discusses how the book tackles basic questions about the industry, from the environmental impacts to the health impacts. Raimi will be doing a book talk and signing on Thursday, January 25, on the Duke University campus in an event hosted by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke University Energy Initiative.

How Blended Finance Can Help Global Fisheries Recover

There is power in returns, writes Tim Fitzgerald in Forbes. At its core, that’s the notion behind blended finance, or the strategic use of philanthropic funds and development finance to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets. Blended finance takes advantage of different types of capital, and their varied structures, risk preferences and desired investment outcomes, to grow the overall size of the pie dedicated towards critical conservation challenges. A new report just released by Environmental Defense Fund’s Fishery Solutions Center and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions asserts that blended capital approaches offer a new opportunity to fill the all-too-common finance gap that has hampered the recovery of many of the world’s fisheries.

Murray Named Director of Duke University Energy Initiative

Nicholas School of the Environment faculty member Brian Murray has been named as director of the Duke University Energy Initiative, a university-wide interdisciplinary hub for energy education, research, and engagement. Murray has served as interim director of the Energy Initiative since January 2016, in addition to his position as director of the Environmental Economics Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. As Energy Initiative director, Murray will continue to serve as a faculty member at the Nicholas School of the Environment. He will also be a faculty affiliate with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke Science and Society Initiative.   

Data Infrastructure Investments Could Increase Effectiveness of Reservoir Management

One of the largest repositories of historic reservoir data in the United States is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Its districts have been amassing data on hundreds of reservoirs for decades, but, like many other water data gathers in the United States, it cannot always use its own information to support broad-scale decision making. In a new report by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Lauren Patterson and Martin Doyle of the Nicholas Institute and Samantha Kuzma of the World Resources Institute point out that the federalist structure of the Army Corps and other U.S. agencies has often led to wide variation in data management, requiring development of protocols for standardizing and integrating those data. Pointing out that water management transcends political boundaries—requiring data sharing within and between agencies at the scale of watersheds or river basins—they describe the challenges of and opportunities for using the Army Corps’ historic reservoir data to understand how reservoirs are performing as environmental and societal needs change.