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Ascendium Education Group (formerly known as Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates) has invested heavily to advance postsecondary success for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students. Since 2012, Ascendium has awarded over $10.2 million in Dash Emergency Grants to 63 two- and four-year institutions. Through Dash, colleges administer emergency aid (EA) grants to meet students' unanticipated expenses so that more of these students stay on track for completion. These small grants, often $500 or less, can make the difference in whether a student is able to remain in school. Ascendium contracted with Equal Measure in late 2017 to create a set of tools to help the field codify the process of awarding emergency aid. Emergency Aid for Higher Education: A Toolkit and Resource Guide for DecisionMakers is the result of more than 10 months of research, interviews, focus groups, and webinars with Dash Emergency Grant recipients that elucidated current best practices, and gaps, in administering EA programs.
CIVICUS - World Alliance for Citizen Participation;
The Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator is a youth-led and multi-partner global programme dedicated to accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It brings together a pioneering and truly inspiring generation of 26 young and diverse leaders to address the world's major challenges. These leaders create impact by sharing powerful stories, analysing data, forming robust partnerships and ultimately holding governments accountable for their SDG promises.
This brief shares key outcomes, reflections and recommendations from the young people who have taken part in the Youth Action Accelerator programme. It suggests ways of ensuring strengthened and more meaningful youth engagement across partnerships, policies and programmes, specifically in the areas of resourcing, health, climate change and technology.
High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP);
The ocean is a dominant feature of our planet, covering 70 percent of its surface and driving its climate and biosphere. The ocean sustains life on earth and yet is in peril from climate change. However, while much of recent attention is focused on the problems that the ocean faces, the ocean is also a source of potential solutions and innovation. This report explores how the ocean, its coastal regions and economic activities can provide opportunities in the fight against climate change.
CLTS Knowledge Hub;
This issue of Frontiers of CLTS explores current thinking and practice on the topic of tackling slippage of open defecation free (ODF) status. It looks at how slippage is defined and identified, and at different patterns of slippage that are seen after ODF is declared. Although a considerable amount has been written on how to establish strong Community-Led Total sanitation (CLTS) programmes that prevent slippage from happening, this issue looks at how to reverse slippage that has already taken place. Note however, that at a certain level, strategies used to reverse slippage and those used in advance to set a programme up for success to prevent slippage occurring overlap.
From the literature, there is little documented evidence on how slippage can be reversed; evidence and guidance tend to focus on prevention. This review begins to address this gap. Implementers are encouraged to use the proposed patterns of slippage framework and slippage factors section to understand the type and extent of slippage experienced, then use the examples in the section on tackling slippage to identify potential slippage responses.
In addition to a review of current literature, in depth interviews were carried out with key informants at global, regional and country level. Key informants were selected purposively to identify experiences and innovations in tackling slippage from across the sector.
Issue 14, September 2019
Pew Charitable Trusts;
The transshipment of catch, which allows fresh fish to get to market sooner, is a vital but largely hidden part of the global commercial fishing industry. Transshipment involves hundreds of refrigerated cargo vessels, or carrier vessels, roaming the oceans, taking in catch from thousands of fishing vessels and transporting it to shore for processing. While transshipment touches a wide range of seafood products, most is made up of bigeye, yellowfin, and skipjack tuna. Salmon, mackerel, and crab also account for a substantial portion of transshipped products.
Frontiers in Marine Science;
Better scientific knowledge of the poorly-known deep sea and areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is key to its conservation, an urgent need in light of increasing environmental pressures. Access to marine genetic resources (MGR) for the biodiversity research community is essential to allow these environments to be better characterised. Negotiations have commenced under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to develop a new treaty to further the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in ABNJ. It is timely to consider the relevant issues with the development of the treaty underway. Currently uncertainties surround the legal definition of MGR and scope of related benefit-sharing, against a background of regional and global governance gaps in ABNJ. These complications are mirrored in science, with recent major advances in the field of genomics, but variability in handling of the resulting increasing volumes of data. Here, we attempt to define the concept of MGR from a scientific perspective, review current practices for the generation of and access to MGR from ABNJ in the context of relevant regulations, and illustrate the utility of best-practice with a case study. We contribute recommendations with a view to strengthen best-practice in accessibility of MGR, including: funder recognition of the central importance of taxonomy/biodiversity research; support of museums/collections for long-term sample curation; open access to data; usage and further development of globally recognised data standards and platforms; publishing of datasets via open-access, quality controlled and standardised data systems and open access journals; commitment to best-practice workflows; a global registry of cruises; and lastly development of a clearing house to further centralised access to the above. We argue that commitment to best-practice would allow greater sharing of MGR for research and extensive secondary use including conservation and environmental monitoring, and provide an exemplar for access and benefit-sharing (ABS) to inform the biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) process.
Native Americans in Philanthropy;
From 2002 to 2016, large U.S. foundations gave, on average, 0.4 percent of total annual funding to Native American communities and causes, although the Alaska Native and American Indian population represents 2 percent of the total U.S. population. This report provides the latest data on foundation funding for Native Americans, alongside important historical context that has contributed to the unique experiences and challenges Native Americans face today. The report also consolidates advice and feedback from philanthropic and Native leaders, who reflect on successful work and practices in partnering with Native organizations and communities.
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution;
Intermediate-duration archival tags were attached to eight blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus; four females, three males, one of unknown sex), and five fin whales (B. physalus; two females, one male, two of unknown sex) off southern California, USA, in summer 2014 and 2015. Tags logged 1-Hz data from tri-axial accelerometers, magnetometers, and a depth sensor, while acquiring Fastloc GPS locations. Tag attachment duration ranged from 18.3 to 28.9 d for blue whales and 4.9–16.0 d for fin whales, recording 1,030–4,603 dives and 95–3,338 GPS locations per whale across both species. Feeding lunges (identified from accelerometer data) were used to characterize "feeding bouts" (i.e., sequences of feeding dives with
Coastal upwelling ecosystems around the world are defined by wind-generated currents that bring deep, nutrient-rich waters to the surface ocean where they fuel exceptionally productive food webs. These ecosystems are also now understood to share a common vulnerability to ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH). In the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), reports of marine life die-offs by fishers and resource managers triggered research that led to an understanding of the risks posed by hypoxia. Similarly, unprecedented losses from shellfish hatcheries led to novel insights into the coastal expression of ocean acidification. Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) scientists and other researchers in the CCLME responded to the rise of OAH with new ocean observations and experiments. This work revealed insights into the expression of OAH as coupled environmental stressors, their temporal and spatial variability, and impacts on species, ecological communities, and fisheries. Sustained investigations also deepened the understanding of connections between climate change and the intensification of hypoxia, and are beginning to inform the ecological and eco-evolutionary processes that can structure responses to the progression of ocean acidification and other pathways of global change. Moreover, because the severity of the die-offs and hatchery failures and the subsequent scientific understanding combined to galvanize public attention, these scientific advances have fostered policy advances. Across the CCLME, policymakers are now translating the evolving scientific understanding of OAH into new management actions.
Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy;
For more than a decade, states and cities across the country have served a leadership role in advancing science-informed climate policy through city, state and multi-state efforts. The rapid pace by which state climate policy is emerging is evidenced by the number of new laws, directives and policies adopted in 2018 and the first half of 2019 alone. Currently, there is an active ongoing dialogue across the U.S. regarding the intersection of climate and equity objectives with efforts targeted at addressing needs of disadvantaged communities and consumers. This climate/equity intersection is due to several factors, including recognition by many cities and states that climate change is and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations and will exacerbate existing stressors faced by disadvantaged communities and consumers. Research indicates that a greater proportion of environmental burden exists in geographic areas with majority populations of people of color, low-income residents, and/or indigenous people. It is well known that certain households (including some that are low-income, African American, Latino, multi-family and rural) spend a larger portion on their income on home energy costs. States and stakeholders are realizing that a transition to a low-carbon future by mid-century will require significantly increased participation of disadvantaged communities and households in the benefits of climate and clean energy programs.
Royal Society Publishing, The;
Cultural transmission of behaviour is important in a wide variety of vertebrate taxa from birds to humans. Vocal traditions and vocal learning provide a strong foundation for studying culture and its transmission in both humans and cetaceans. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) perform complex, culturally transmitted song displays that can change both evolutionarily (through accumulations of small changes) or revolutionarily (where a population rapidly adopts a novel song). The degree of coordination and conformity underlying song revolutions makes their study of particular interest. Acoustic contact on migratory routes may provide a mechanism for cultural revolutions of song, yet these areas of contact remain uncertain. Here, we compared songs recorded from the Kermadec Islands, a recently discovered migratory stopover, to multiple South Pacific wintering grounds. Similarities in song themes from the Kermadec Islands and multiple wintering locations (from New Caledonia across to the Cook Islands) suggest a location allowing cultural transmission of song eastward across the South Pacific, active song learning (hybrid songs) and the potential for cultural convergence after acoustic isolation at the wintering grounds. As with the correlations in humans between genes, communication and migration, the migration patterns of humpback whales are written into their songs.
We analyzed coastal sediments of the Santa Barbara Basin, California, for historical changes in microplastic deposition using a box core that spanned 1834–2009. The sediment was visually sorted for plastic, and a subset was confirmed as plastic polymers via FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectroscopy. After correcting for contamination introduced during sample processing, we found an exponential increase in plastic deposition from 1945 to 2009 with a doubling time of 15 years. This increase correlated closely with worldwide plastic production and southern California coastal population increases over the same period. Increased plastic loading in sediments has unknown consequences for deposit-feeding benthic organisms. This increase in plastic deposition in the post–World War II years can be used as a geological proxy for the Great Acceleration of the Anthropocene in the sedimentary record.