The objective of the team projects for this year’s IIES Grad Forum is to foster connections among grad students from around the globe. Because of this each team must have students from different universities and countries. The challenge questions are broad, leaving room for participation by students with a variety of research backgrounds. The intent is that people will bring their various expertise and backgrounds together to discuss the challenge question and to develop a short response that can be presented during the Forum.
Each team should consist of:
Students may form their own groups, may submit a partial group list or simply submit their name with the topic on which they would like to work. The organizing committee will then assist in the formation of groups by connecting people with similar interests. Where there is insufficient critical mass to form a group on a particular question, we may suggest participation in another group. More than one group can work on the same challenge question.
Teams should prepare a presentation on their "results" that can be given during the on-line forum in March. Presentations should be no more than 10 minutes in length with 5 minutes following for questions. The presentation can be given by one person with all participating in questions/answers or it can be a multi-person presentation. If visual material is part of the presentation (e.g. powerpoint, keynote) it should be limited to a maximum of 5 slides. One person should be responsible for sharing the presentation during the Zoom meeting.
IIES personnel will assist in setting up zoom meetings for groups to work together if required, but groups may organize and coordinate prior to the Forum in whatever way works best for them (e.g. WeChat may work better for people from some countries).
$200 for each team member
$100 for each team member
$50 for each team member
Mercury emissions and its global distribution remain among the most pressing issues related to trace metals. Can we predict the impact of global climate change on mercury cycling and how different regions might be impacted?
For decades researchers have tried to develop methods for determining bioavailability of trace metals in environmental media. Can we with any certainty establish a link between measurements of bioavailability and human impacts? What areas need further development for better predictions of human impacts?
Often refer to a group of yet unregulated chemicals for which there is increasing evidence of their negative impacts on ecosystems and for which we lack adequate techniques for removal from water and wastewater. What are the major challenges for evaluation of their impacts, given current analytical challenges? What research areas should be prioritized for environmental agencies to set up guidelines and legislation to mitigate their environmental risks?
Microplastics can be found in most environmental media (e.g. soils, sediments, water) in many parts of the world. At the same time, marine pollution by macroplastics is widespread and creates a real impact on marine ecosystems (e.g. see https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/bali-beach-trash-intl-hnk/index.html). Do we need to consider these problems as one in the same, can the methods of study from one field be useful in the other and can common mitigation strategies be used for both?
The pandemic has made us aware of the potential for transmission of new viruses and Sars-CoV-2 has been found in sewage waste systems. Are there new approaches to human waste treatment that can effectively eliminate viruses in waste waters and can these be put in place in less developed countries?
There are many proposals for bioremediation approaches to both organic and inorganic contaminants. However, many of these have been demonstrated in lab or pilot studies but not in real world situations. For a contaminant or group of contaminants of your choice, what are the leading candidate technologies for bioremediation and how feasible are they for large-scale application in various part of the globe? What new approaches might be more amenable to remote locations where infrastructure is lacking?
Developments in nanotechnology may provide the opportunity for better, less expensive, more effective removal of contaminants from drinking and waste waters. What new approaches are currently available or should be explored and are they scalable to large purification systems such as would be found in large cities?
Can a truly circular economy be developed for water, agri-food, energy (choose one)? If so, what would it look like? What new research is required to assess the feasibility of such as system or to bring it into being?
Modern electronic technologies have irrefutably advanced modern society, but they also pose emerging challenges. The generation of electronic waste has grown worldwide to 44.7 metric tonnes annually but only 20% of the waste is being properly recycled. At the same time, a tremendous quantity of e-waste is shipped to less developed countries, where substandard recycling of e-waste is associated with severe environmental and human health impacts. How can the principles of circular economy be applied to attenuate the impacts of High-Tech industrial sectors and to close the loop of the lifecycle of their products?
Agricultural land in many parts of the world has been impacted by traditional intensive practises and in some places by the overuse of fertilisers and pesticides. Can these soils be refreshed? Are there novel approaches to improve soil fertility and at the same time reduce contaminant uptake by crops? How might we involve local communities in developing and applying more sustainable/regenerative farming methods?
Groups may form an environmental topic of their choice. However, groups are strongly encouraged to develop a question that broadly encompasses several disciplinary backgrounds, covers at least three of the IIES “pillars” (i.e. environmental processes, environmental health, green technology and environmental policy) and one that includes aspects of basic and applied science as well as policy dimensions.
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This workshop will equip you with strategies to manage your nerves by offering ways to hold an audience’s attention, convey information and ideas clearly and respond to questions with authority and composure. You’ll have the opportunity to analyse your presentation style and explore ways of developing it.
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