Phone banks call for clean energy

first_imgIn preparation for the upcoming 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Repower Indiana will be on campus this week encouraging students to get involved with the movement toward a more environmentally-conscious America.“Repower Indiana is a clean energy campaign, funded and organized by the Alliance for Climate Protection,” Bobbie Stewart, communications director for Repower Indiana, said. “We want to inform people about the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy, as well as advocating for clean energy legislation.”Repower Indiana will be organizing phone banks where students can call Indiana residents, asking them to support clean energy legislation. Phone banks will be available from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today in room 310 of DeBartolo Hall and Wednesday in the Gold Room of LaFortune Student Center.“People will be coming by and learning more about … how they can be involved with clean energy events around Notre Dame,” Stewart said. “During the phone banks, Repower volunteers will be calling community citizens and asking them to help reach out to [Indiana Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar] to pass clean energy legislation.”A clean energy bill is expected to reach the Senate floor in the near future, and Stewart said the Indiana senators’ votes in support of this legislation are far from guaranteed. “We’re hopeful, it’s really hard to tell … Lugar is at least focused on conservation,” she said. “There’s some concern amongst the legislators that it will actually cost Indiana money, which we don’t believe is the case.”Stewart said she sees student involvement in the campaign and influence over the legislature as especially crucial.“Their impact, it’s far, wide and critical. There’s a recent poll of youths asking if they believe the country should be transitioning to a clean energy economy, and the answer was overwhelmingly high,” she said. “Over 70 percent was yes.”Notre Dame students, in particular, have an important voice, Stewart said.“Their vote and their voice matter,” she said. “It’s time to stand up and exercise that voice for an issue that will be affecting you today and tomorrow.”Stewart said Notre Dame students should be invested in climate protection for the same reasons as other Americans, but that students have even more at stake as members of the younger generation.“Just like anyone else, in the state, in the country, they stand to benefit from jobs that would receive funding from a clean energy initiative,” Stewart said. “The most important reason to transition is for a clean planet for future generations to come.”“One reason students are really motivated is the question of what’s going to be left for them in 30 or 40 years,” she said.Stewart said it is important for students not to underestimate the difference they can make in the push for a cleaner America. She considers the role of Indiana residents, especially students, central to ensuring for a clean energy bill to get passed by the Senate.“Again, I’d say we’re hopeful, but a lot of it depends on Hoosier engagement, people like Notre Dame students.”last_img read more

SMC professor named Cottrell Scholar

first_imgDr. Kathryn Haas, assistant professor of chemistry and physics at Saint Mary’s, was named a 2016 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement in February. The Cottrell Scholar program awards $100,000 to 24 scientists to support research and teaching efforts, the program website stated.The money from the award will allow her to hire undergraduate students to work during the summer, providing them with research opportunities, Haas said.“It’ll allow me to purchase equipment and materials that I need — chemistry costs a lot of money. It’ll also help me to travel and to pay for students to travel as well,” she said. “For example, last summer I went to Stanford to use their synchrotron, and it was such a cool experience in this really awesome research environment, and I want to bring students there. This grant is going to allow me to do just that.”Haas said receiving the award has been “very validating.”“It’s amazing to be part of this community of people that are focused on science education,” she said. “I have access to some amazing mentors and networks that I would never have had without this recognition. I feel like I am part of a community that’s really changing science education in the world, and I’m doing it from Saint Mary’s College. We’re doing a lot of good things here, and it’s finally bringing light to that, so it feels really good.”Haas said her research focuses on copper’s interaction with the human body.“I studied copper in graduate school, and my background is in studying how metals interact with biological systems, particularly how they affect human health,” Haas said. “Copper is an essential element, and I just kind of fell in love with it. I’ve been studying it ever since.”Haas said she is looking forward to expanding her research and sharing her findings with the public.“We will publish our finding in journals,” Haas said. “Copper is involved with diseases, antibiotics and it’s essential for every single cell to live. So, we are trying to understand how our body works.”Haas said she hopes her continued research will shed light on how the body’s cells and proteins work to handle copper.“Copper has broader applications in things, like understanding antibiotic activity and understanding neurodegenerative diseases, but also in any kind of genetic disorder that is related to the misdistribution of copper,” she said.Tags: chemistry, copper, Cottrell Scholar, Physics, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more