[EnviSci] UCLA blog on NatGeo & Planet Forward/Weather Channel Video Contest

Dieckmann, Royce rdieckmann at ioes.ucla.edu
Wed Mar 16 14:36:43 PDT 2011

Dear Students,

Below please find information about an amazing opportunity to have your voices heard on important environmental topics by blogging about current events topics in environmental science! You will be representing UCLA and our major or minor, so it's important that you do a good job - but I know you will! (See the below message from Karen Lefkowitz, our IoES Communications Officer, and the examples and instructions for how to submit your blog entries - we need multiple submissions, so don't be shy!).

Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University, works with organizations like National Geographic and PBS. They currently manage a blog for Nat Geo and are interested in recruiting IoES student contributors.  Below are the discussion topics they'd like students to respond to:
Blog entries will be due by COB on Tuesday March 29 and they will be published on Wednesday March 30.

Here are some editorial notes and guidelines:

We believe that our current energy practices and related climate instability are problems that have solutions that can be evaluated based on their viability--whether it be their economic, scientific or political viability. We want to encourage a diverse set of voices in this debate because we believe this is the most effective way to solve these problems.

Your position--in the heart of the academic debate around these issues--puts you in a unique place to evaluate these solutions and come up with new ones.  We encourage your creativity and perspective.

Just as on any online community, we have community guidelines: http://www.greatenergychallengeblog.com/community-guidelines/
I doubt any of you will write anything that violates these basic tenants--just keep it civil and stay on topic.  We don't want empty rhetoric or random vitriol.


 *   Please keep the posts to 250-300 words.  We want to show a good breadth of perspective, but online audiences aren't going to read long posts, so get to the main argument in the first paragraph and use one solid example to support your point. If you can't make the point in 250 words, or you have a lot of additional resources, I can include those a page that will be linked to  (See Erin's post)
 *   When you send your post, please include an image and caption for the slideshow.  I think having this visual element will help draw attention to the post.
 *   When you link to supporting evidence, link within the text rather than as a footnote or parenthetical
And of course, please keep in mind that what you're writing will be on National Geographic, so double and triple check your facts and sources!

Links to previous entries:
Smarter Ways to Get From Here to There: http://www.greatenergychallengeblog.com/blog/2011/02/23/smarter-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there/

Perugia, Italy, is a city that has made a concerted effort to eliminate car traffic from the urban environs, with people moving around in a unique system of escalators and frequent, reliable mini-trains. How could this approach work in other cities, and could similar approaches be adapted for long-distance travel to reduce reliance on personal car travel.

How to Feed the World's Energy Poor: http://www.greatenergychallengeblog.com/blog/2011/03/09/how-to-feed-the-worlds-energy-poor/

Some 1.5 billion people around the world live without electricity, another 1 billion people have unreliable power and nearly half the global population relies on unhealthy and polluting wood, charcoal, and dung stoves for cooking. If energy services are delivered to them in the same fossil-intensive mix that has fueled the developed world, the increase in carbon emissions will be overwhelming and will negate any reductions that rich countries agree to. And  access to energy is needed to lift these peoples out of poverty. How can we spread the benefits of energy to all the world's people while protecting the planet we share?

see these 2 stories: "Fighting Poverty Can Save Energy, Nicaragua Study Shows<http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2010/11/101125-poverty-energy-efficiency-nicaragua/>" and "The Solvable Problem of Energy Poverty<http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100921-energy-poverty-cookstoves/>"

Please submit your blog entries on any of the above topics to:
Karen Lefkowitz
IoES Communications Officer
karen at ioes.ucla.edu<mailto:karen at ioes.ucla.edu>
Please note in the subject line "Planet Forward blog entry"
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Karen or myself!
Also, the Planet Forward  is accepting video submissions regarding energy innovations. From their website:

Planet Forward has teamed up with The National Science Foundation (NSF), Discover Magazine and NBC News to bring you "Changing Planet," a series of town hall meetings on climate change across the country.

You could get a chance to submit your energy innovation ideas to business leaders, politicians, journalists and experts in the climate and energy industry at a live town hall meeting on April 12 at George Washington University's Jack Morton Auditorium. And, there's a chance your video will be shown on the Weather Channel!

We're looking for short, TWO minute videos about your energy innovations. Contest closes at 6 pm EST on Monday, April 4, 2011. Please note: You must be an undergraduate currently enrolled at an accredited college to participate in this contest!
Please see the website for further information and rules:

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