Mexico Joins IIASA
On June 16, 2014, IIASA announced that Mexico had become its newest member country. The newly formed Mexican National Committee for IIASA, which includes the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), will serve as Mexico’s National Member Organization (NMO) to IIASA. It will join 21 other national science organizations that fund and govern IIASA. More information can be found on IIASA’s website.
Former USNMO/IIASA Chair Simon Levin Wins the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
Simon Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University, has received the 2014 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Levin was Chair of IIASA’s Governing Council from 2003 until 2009, Vice-Chair from 2009-2013, and Chair of the USNMO/IIASA throughout this time.
The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is one of the first international premier awards for environmental science, environmental health, and energy. Simon Levin received the prize "for his research revealing the complexity of, and relationships between, species and ecosystems. His work has been fundamental in the crafting of environmental policies and advancing the study of complex ecosystems – the myriad relationships and interactions in nature." More details can be found on the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement website.
IIASA's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Upcoming Review Deadline - November 1, 2014
IIASA’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is an annual program that provides funding for several postdoctoral researchers for a 12-24 month period. Applications are accepted all year round, with specific review dates announced on the website. Application details can be found on IIASA's website.
The program serves to:
- Encourage and promote the development of young researchers.
- Offer young researchers the opportunity to further their careers by gaining hands-on professional research experience in a highly international scientific environment.
- Enrich IIASA’s intellectual environment and help achieve research program goals.
- Successful candidates are expected to conduct their own research within one of IIASA's research programs or special projects on topics related to IIASA's agenda.
Recent winners of IIASA’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program from the United States include Wendy Francesconi, from the US Department of Agriculture, and Daniel Jessie, from the University of California. Francesconi is the recipient of the newly established Peter de Janosi Fellowship, which supports one post-doc each year. More details can be found on the IIASA website.
IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Each summer, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), located in Schloss Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria, hosts a selected group of graduate students, primarily doctoral, from around the world in its Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). Participants are able to develop and expand their research topics and partake in a worldwide network of specialists with broad interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives. Since the program’s conception in 1977, more than 1400 participants from over 70 countries have collaborated with IIASA researchers and engaged in scientific research of regional and global importance. More details can be found on IIASA’s website.
IIASA is known for its interdisciplinary research, combining natural and social sciences with integrated assessment techniques and advanced mathematical methodologies, with a goal of providing policy insight on issues of regional and global importance in the following fields:
GLOBAL PROBLEM AREAS: Energy and Climate Change, Food and Water, and Poverty and Equity
PROGRAM AREAS: Energy, Transitions to New Technologies, Advanced Systems Analysis, Ecosystem Services and Management, Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases, Evolution and Ecology, World Population, Risk Policy and Vulnerability, and Water
For the summer of 2014, eleven graduate students from U.S. institutions were selected to take part in the YSSP.
|2014 YSSP Participants and Program Areas|
- Robert Barron, University of Massachusetts: Energy
- Etienne Fluet-Chouinard, University of Madison-Wisconsin: Water
- Guilherme De Paula, Yale University: Transitions to New Technologies
- Margaret Garcia, Tufts University: Risk Policy and Vulnerability
- Jessica Gephart, University of Virginia: Evolution and Ecology
- Danielle Haak, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Advanced Systems Analysis
- Jon Nordling, University of Maryland: Ecosystems Services and Management
- Adriana Reyes, The Pennsylvania State University: World Population
- Thanicha Ruangmas, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases
- Daniel Suarez, University of California-Berkeley: Risk Policy and Vulnerability
- Jie Zhang, University of Maryland: Ecosystems Services and Management
IIASA Research Contributions to IPCC 5th Assessment Report
IIASA researchers were major contributors to the third part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 5th Assessment Report, “Mitigation of Climate Change,” which was released on April 13, 2014. Fifteen IIASA researchers served as authors and reviewers of the Working Group III report, including IIASA’s Deputy Director Nebojsa Nakicenovic, who served as a lead author. In addition to this extensive involvement by its researchers, IIASA also serves as the repository for two IPCC databases: the IPCC Scenarios database and for the historical database on energy and emissions. For more details, please visit the IIASA website.
U.S. NMO Collaborates with the Russian NMO
The U.S. NMO is working closely with the Russian NMO to foster international research collaborations between the two countries. In April 2013, Alexey Gvishiani, the Russian NMO Deputy-Chair, visited California to meet with Don Saari and representatives from the U.S. NMO. In June, Don Saari and Simon Levin, the former U.S. NMO Chair, visited Russia and met with the Russian NMO. A number of complex, global systems problems were discussed that are of interest to the two NMOs. These include the Eurasian economic space project being explored by IIASA and the Russian NMO, and systems analysis of global health and infectious disease questions. A number of options are currently being pursued.
Worlds Within Reach: From Science to Policy
IIASA’s 40th Anniversary Conference was held October 24-26, 2012 at the Hofburg Congress Center in Laxenburg, Austria. The conference examined the many sustainability and development challenges such transformations impose and explore options for resolving them. It explored new ‘future worlds’: Worlds that accommodate our collective needs and aspirations, while living within, and respecting, planetary boundaries. For more information on the conference please visit the 40th Anniversary Conference website.
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|Global Energy Assessment|IIASA launched its Global Energy Assessment (GEA) at Rio+20 in 2012. The GEA involved 500 scientists, energy experts, and policymakers from all regions of the world. This important assessment outlines a range of viable sustainable development pathways, and strategies and policies that support the attainment of GEA objectives, including the UN SE4All goals.
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|Climate Policies Can Resolve Energy and Air Pollution Challenges|
Policies to protect the global climate offer the most effective entry point for achieving energy sustainability, simultaneously reducing air pollution and improving energy security. By integrating climate and energy policies, major synergies and cost co-benefits can be realized. The findings are published in Nature Climate Change, in a commentary authored by IIASA’s David McCollum, Volker Krey, and Keywan Riahi. More.
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|World Energy Outlook 2012 Air Pollutants Scenarios|
IIASA researchers contributed to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2012 with an assessment of global emissions of major air pollutants under three different scenarios. IIASA’s report, based on the GAINS model, projects emissions to 2035 for 25 regions and demonstrates the synergies between climate change and air pollution control policies.
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|Feasible Emission Scenarios to Limit Temperature Rise|
A comprehensive re-analysis of GHG emission pathways finds that in scenarios that limit temperature change to below 2°C, emissions peak before 2020 then fall to 41-46 GtC and continue to fall. Global emissions are currently 48 GtC and rising. The study, co-authored by IIASA’s Keywan Riahi and published in Nature Climate Change 23 October 2011, aims to inform the identification of short-term emission targets compatible with the 2°C limit.
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|Education - A Key Determinant of Population Growth and Well-being |
Future trends in global population growth could be significantly affected by improvements in both the quality and quantity of education, particularly female education. Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed, according to research by IIASA’s Wolfgang Lutz and Samir K.C. published in Science (29 July 2012). More.