WFSC/ABS co-sponsored seminar with Dr. Brian Fath “Investigations of sustainability and resilience using a network of networks approach” 

Dr. Brian Fath, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University and Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Modelling

“Investigations of sustainability and resilience using a network of networks approach” 

Friday 21st September, 12-1pm, HFSB 102

WFSC/ABS co-sponsored seminar with Dr. Fath. He will talk about his research in the area of systems ecology and network analysis applied to the sustainability and resilience of socio-ecological systems.

Abstract: Sustainability is a system-level property of the structure and function of the system in question.  Key features of sustainable systems are energy and material resource flows and waste recovery and the presence and maintenance of autocatalytic cycles that build, dissipate, and regenerate resource gradients.  A resilient system is one that is able to successfully navigate all stages of the adaptive cycle.  This view focuses on sustaining life processes rather than piecemeal solutions to specific symptoms.  In this study, network analysis is used to assess the impact of an invasive species on the food web in a series of Nebraska reservoirs.  The introduction of the invasive species is mediated by a social network of anglers moving from place to place.  Using this approach it is possible to promote management options to control the spread of the invasive species.

For more information on Dr. Fath please visit his website:

MSC Wiley Lecture Series at Texas A&M University presents: “The Environment and Our Posterity”


Wednesday, September 20th at 7 pm in MSC 2406

A panel discussion, moderated by Timothy M. Mulvaney from the School of Law and featuring panelist Dr. Wendy Jepson from the Department of Geography both at Texas A&M, covering the role of the US Constitution on climate change policy.

​Description: The Constitution of the United States notes in the preamble a concern for promoting the general welfare of ourselves and our posterity. In a world where the health of the environment threatens not only our welfare, but the welfare of generations to come, environmental protection is of vital importance. The Commerce Clause also affirms the right of the government to pass environmental regulation, as it gives Congress the authority “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes.” This clause was used to pass many federal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. However, the question remains as to what kind of action is appropriate for both the environment and the economy. Do some statutes to protect the environment cause undue harm to the economy? Does the harm done to our environment have a greater economic impact than the statutes passed to protect it? How far can our government go, and how far should they go, to regulate industries’ impact on the environment? The event is free and open to the public.

6th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching its 6th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a design competition that is open to colleges and universities across the country. EPA seeks to engage with students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.

Registration for the 2017 Challenge is open from September 1st through the 30th. Student teams must register in order to submit their entries by December 15th. Winners will be announced in the Spring of 2018. Each first-place team will earn a student prize of $2,000 to be divided evenly among student team members and a faculty prize of $3,000 to support green infrastructure research or training. Second-place teams will win $1,000 for student teams and a $2,000 faculty prize.

Water pollution associated with stormwater runoff requires infrastructure solutions that are innovative, resilient, and affordable. Today’s scholars are tomorrow’s design professionals. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will harness their creativity and knowledge to jointly advance the agency’s mission to protect public health and water quality.

Learn more at:

Video: Network Earth

Network Earth: This is why I love working in bio-inspired design! There are so many things we can still learn from nature to make our lives and communities better.

Video Visualization: Mauro Martino, Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel, Albert-László Barabási. Narration: Shamini Bundell

“In a world filled with complex networks, this data visualization explains how mathematical tools can both predict and bring order to potentially chaotic situations. This Nature Video from 2016 recently won a prestigious National Science Foundation Vizzie award.” The accompanying paper: Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel, Albert-László Barabási. “Universal resilience patterns in complex networks” , NATURE LETTERS (530): 307, 2016. doi:10.1038/nature16948

Article “Sustainability is unhelpful: we need to think about regeneration”

Article: Sustainability is unhelpful: we need to think about regeneration by Herbert Girardet published Monday 10 June 2013 08.23 EDT in the Guardian

“Sustainable development is a concept to which few people would object; most of us would agree that we should not live as if there were no tomorrow. But … [it leaves us with many questions:] How long is sustainable: 10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years? And who and what should be sustainable: households, cities, whole nations, the world economy? And who should benefit: current generations or all humans who will ever be alive? And where is the critique of the current economic system: can SD really occur under the rules of capitalism, where the refusal to put a price on nature’s services and on ecological and social externalities is a systemic problem?… The concept of regenerative development aims to fill this gap: it means that we need to develop comprehensive rules for an environmentally enhancing, restorative relationship between humanity and the ecosystems from which we draw resources for our sustenance.”