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Student reading on a bench on the Lake Matoaka pier
W&M's Parks Research Lab releases Campus Greenspace Map

For the past seven years, Dorothy Ibes has been using William & Mary’s outdoor space as a laboratory to understand the relationship between human health and human access to nature. 

Heather Kenny places a band on a bluebird
In a quiet world, research on noise and nesting bluebirds

Heather Kenny, a biology master’s student at William & Mary, has spent the past two years studying the parenting behavior of bluebirds. Specifically, she is working to understand how human-made noise influences nesting and productivity.

Earth week illustration with hand holding a plant
W&M, other universities collaborate on virtual Earth Week

The William & Mary community celebrated Earth Week virtually this spring, working with other Virginia universities to offer events accessible to the public through multiple online platforms.

Photo of the Trisuli River
Study shows wetter climate is likely to intensify global warming

Greater tropical rainfall may increase microbes’ release of CO2 from soils into air, according to a study conducted by an international team led by Dr. Christopher Hein of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

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Study calculates true cost of food waste in America

A new study by Zach Conrad, assistant professor in William & Mary’s Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences, finds that the average American consumer spends roughly $1,300 per year on food that ends up being wasted.

Cellular image of circles and swirls
Immune-system cells of fish are ingesting plastic…and then dying

The research lab of Patty Zwollo, an immunologist and professor of biology at William & Mary, has discovered that just as whales swallow plastic thinking it’s food, some cellular components of the immune system in fish “swallow” bits of microplastic that they mistake for invading pathogens.

Plastic debris on a remote Gulf of Alaska beach
'Grand Challenge' review stresses global impact of microplastics

Professor Rob Hale of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science is lead author of a new “Grand Challenges” paper commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest association of Earth and space scientists with more than 60,000 members in 137 countries.

A truck drives through flooding on a roadway
Sea-level report cards: 2019 data adds to trend in acceleration

The annual update of their sea level “report cards” by researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science adds evidence of an accelerating rate of sea-level rise at nearly all tidal stations along the U.S. coastline.

geologist Jim Kaste works with a couple of William & Mary undergraduates from a coring platform assembled from a couple of lashed-together canoes on Lake Matoaka.
Decoding Lake Matoaka’s sedimental history of the anthropocene

A team of William & Mary geologists led by Jim Kaste and Nick Balascio has mined the time-capsule sediment of Lake Matoaka to find evidence that traces the development of the Industrial Revolution and the Age of the Automobile.

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Using a CAREER award to turn over a new energy leaf

The energy generated by mimicking photosynthesis has the potential to one day power everything from our electric grid to rockets, says William McNamara, an associate professor of chemistry at William & Mary.

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Spring Green Fee projects announced

The William & Mary Committee on Sustainability announced which groups will receive a total of $74,466 to be dedicated to sustainability projects around campus.

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COLL 300 visitor discusses sustainability with students

Environmental activist Vandana Shiva, as part of her visit to give the COLL 300 lecture and participate in Earth Week activities, visited a class to discuss sustainability and decolonization.

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At the symposium: Insights into the monarch-milkweed relationship

Monarch butterflies are, along with honeybees, among the most charismatic insects of North America. David De La Mater has been researching the Eastern population of the butterflies, and most specifically Asclepias syriaca — the common milkweed.

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Researchers issue first-annual sea-level report cards

Researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science are launching new web-based “report cards” to monitor and forecast changes in sea level at 32 localities along the U.S. coastline from Maine to Alaska.

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Century-old botany records may hold key to monarch butterfly survival

Jack Boyle has been using the web to mine millions of century-old botany records to track abundance patterns of milkweed in America. His hope is to solve the puzzle of how innovations in agriculture have affected the natural habitat for monarch butterflies.

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Park Rx Day: celebrating nature’s profound power

Designed to engage students in the outdoors and broaden the impact of William & Mary’s Park Rx initiative, the event featured a nature walk, Integrated Science Center Greenhouse tour, interactive lecture and platform for student ambassadors to “prescribe” parks to their peers.

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Fall Green Fee projects announced

A total of $48,366 will be dedicated to sustainability projects around campus as the William & Mary Committee on Sustainability announces its Green Fee awards for the fall.

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From bees to LEDs, grants support sustainability projects across W&M

The William & Mary Committee on Sustainability this fall awarded more than $50,000 in funding to faculty, students and staff for sustainability projects on campus and in the local community through Green Fee grants.

Biodiversity promotes multitasking in ecosystems

A new study of the complex interplay between organisms and their environment shows that biodiversity is even more important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems than previously thought.

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Undergraduates embark on summer 'ZENternships'

Eight William & Mary undergraduates are engaged in a unique new research program led by VIMS that combines classroom experience with summer internships across the globe.

A Donut Hotter Than The Sun

The Future of Fusion Energy: How Just a Few Grams of Seawater Could Supply Megawatts of Energy

Trash into treasure: DormMania seeks to curb end-of-year waste

When students say goodbye to the campus for the summer, they often bid farewell to a good number of their belongings, too. Although many of these items have ended up in dumpsters in the past, a new, student-led initiative is working to reduce that waste this year.

W&M among country’s 'greenest' colleges

William & Mary is among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the country, according to a report published today by The Princeton Review.

Geology major Kat Turk ’16 and William & Mary paleontologist Rowan Lockwood
Un-beached whale

Cornwallis sank as he died, making a couple of revolutions on his way down, finally ending belly up and flippers akimbo, making a sort of “whale angel” on the ocean bottom.

Learning to tell the stories of science at William & Mary

Dorothy Ibes, the newest Mellon environmental postdoctoral scholar, will teach a spring semester class in science communications, an experience that she hopes will bring some of those stories to light.

Lionfish: It’s what should be for dinner

When Erin Spencer, an ecology major and marine science minor, began to brainstorm ideas for a senior honors thesis, she knew immediately that she wanted to study lionfish.

Emergency siren makes it a bad day for turtle trapping

A wetland ecosystems class caught turtles on Sept. 4 as part of part of a larger initiative. The Ecological Research as Education Network includes turtle censuses from 25 other schools in the United States.

The Bay Game: A simulation of the Chesapeake's health

Students in William & Mary’s Watershed Dynamics class convened in the basement of Tyler and assumed the virtual roles of stakeholders —land developers, farmers, watermen, and local regulators—to simulate the challenges inherent in Chesapeake Bay management.

Therkelsen Takes up Environmental Postdoc

In 2010 Jes Therkelsen begins a two-year residency on campus, teaching and experimenting with how scientists can use visual communication to better publicize their work.

Matching Grant for Environmental Program

Our most recent grant supporting the Environmental Science program comes with a matching requirement. We're seeking $1.6 million in private funding earmarked for the new postdoctoral program.

In praise of post-docs

William & Mary's interdisciplinary environmental program is expanding, thanks to a new post-doctoral fellowship program.

It's Better to Be There

From its base in the power center of Washington, D.C., the Global Environmental Governance Project engages the tough problems surrounding international environmental institutions and laws.

ChAP: Biofuel from aquatic algae

A number of researchers converge on a way to take algae and make it into fuel on an industrial scale.

Solving the Runoff and Development Mystery

An occasional leech comes with the territory when you're studying leaching and other aspects of stormwater retention, as does the occasional incident of equipment tampering.

The World Is My Laboratory

Political borders always struck me as artificial divisions given the interconnectedness of our global environment.

Quicksilver

From 1929-1950 liquid mercury leaked into the South River as it meandered through an industrial section of Waynesboro, near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Little Kenya, Big World: A Journey Through the Small and Big Environmental Institutions

You know you have reached Tumo Tumo, a small agricultural town in the foothills of Mt. Kenya, when the crude paved road turns into a sticky clay path and the van driving you to your destination slows to a crawl in an attempt not to veer off the steep winding road to the valley below.

An Alumna Gives Back

My motivation to attend William & Mary can be summed up in an image: a short, balding man with a dry sense of humor and a passion for all things feathered - Dr. Mitchell Byrd. His mentorship became one of the many benefits garnered in my four years at W&M.

What the Little Birds Tell Us

Nothing is as charismatic as a bluebird, that nearly universal symbol of happiness and well being.