read our news

March 08, 2018
UW–Madison Entrepreneurs Win 2018 Energy and Sustainability Challenge


Entrepreneurial students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison recently took home cash prizes for new innovations in energy technology and environmental sustainability.
Participants in the Wisconsin Energy & Sustainability Challenge (WESC), all current or former students in the UW–Madison College of Engineering, presented their ideas at the Energy Hub Conference on Friday, February 23, for a chance of winning the Dvorak Energy Prize, which recognizes excellence in developing a technology applicable to energy, and the Global Stewards Sustainability Prize, which rewards ideas with an environmental or sustainability focus.
The annual competition pushes students to develop concrete ideas, including complete technical and business plans, that have the potential to transform the way we use energy and natural resources.
Winners of the $5,000 Global Stewards Sustainability Prize were Aaron Olson and Mehrdad Arjmand of “NovoMoto”. NovoMoto is a for profit social enterprise that is providing clean, renewable, and sustainable electricity to communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. NovoMoto combines quality solar products, a locally sourced distribution and service network, and an innovative customer financing model to make significant social impact.
Winning second place and $1,000 were Kevin Barnett and Merve Ozen of “Pyran”. Pyran has developed chemical reaction technology to produce the chemical 1,5-pentanediol from renewable wood and crop wastes, providing a low-cost and renewable means of producing a chemical currently used to make everyday paints and plastics.
The Global Stewards Society’s Sustainability Prize is administered through SAGE. SAGE Director Carol Barford was a judge in the competition. 



February 15, 2018
Holloway Receives Award for Mentoring Undergraduates in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities

Professor Tracey Holloway has been selected to receive the UW's 5th Annual Award for Mentoring Undergraduates in Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities. The award consists of a certificate, recognition at the Friends and Family reception, and $2,000 of university expendable funds for professional activities. A large number of very strong nominations were received and only a small percentage of nominees will receive awards. Congratulations, Tracey!


January 29, 2018
Gibbs Publishes Paper in Nature Climate Change

A major reduction in global deforestation is needed to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss. Recent private sector commitments aim to eliminate deforestation from a company’s operations or supply chain, but they fall short on several fronts. Company pledges vary in the degree to which they include time-bound interventions with clear definitions and criteria to achieve verifiable outcomes. Zero-deforestation policies by companies may be insufficient to achieve broader impact on their own due to leakage, lack of transparency and traceability, selective adoption and smallholder marginalization. Public–private policy mixes are needed to increase the effectiveness of supply-chain initiatives that aim to reduce deforestation. We review current supply-chain initiatives, their effectiveness, and the challenges they face, and go on to identify knowledge gaps for complementary public–private policies.



January 13, 2018
Jonathan Patz Delivers TEDx Oshkosh Talk "Climate Change is Affecting Our Health. Is There a Cure?"

Public health is being impacted by climate change via many pathways - from alterations in infectious disease transmission to water-source compromise, malnutrition, air pollution, and other factors. This talk includes recent analyses that show how mitigating global warming provides extensive health opportunities, as well as major savings in healthcare costs.


December 11, 2017
New Gibbs Paper Published

UW professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, Holly Gibbs, co-authored a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides novel insight into how voluntary corporate sustainability policies can conserve tropical forests. The study’s authors estimate that sustainability certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)significantly reduced deforestation in Indonesian plantations — but that the actual area conserved was surprisingly small. These findings demonstrate the potential value of certification as a tool for conservation, while highlighting what changes are necessary to improve on-the-ground impacts.


November 29, 2017
Congratulations to SAGE's Newest PhD, Dr. Tyler Lark!

Tyler's advisor is Professor Holly Gibbs. 

November 22, 2017
Tyler Lark's PhD Defense on Wed, Nov 29: AMERICA'S FOOD- and FUEL-SCAPES


Please join us for Tyler Lark’s exit seminar next Wednesday at 1:30pm in room 1115 of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (1552 University Ave., Madison WI).  Tyler  is a PhD candidate in the Nelson Institute’s Environment and Resources graduate program.
The title of his presentation is “America’s Food- and Fuel-scapes: Agricultural Land-Use Change Across the United States”.  
The talk should be of interest to anyone curious about land conservation, biofuels, or US agricultural policy.  
A sneak peek is available here.


read our news

November 15, 2017
Seth Spawn Presents New Research at the 2017 America's Grassland Conference

GLUE researcher Seth Spawn presents new research at the 2017 America's Grassland Conference, where he and Tyler Lark participated in press event with the president of the National Wildlife Federation about their work tracking cropland expansion and carbon emissions.  Read the summary of the preliminary results here and see map of results here.