Dr. Paul Falkowski & Dr. James J. McCarthy Win The Tyler Prize For Environmental Achievement.

Dr. Paul Falkowski & Dr. James J. McCarthy Win The Tyler Prize For Environmental Achievement.

The two professors are being commended for their work in understanding and communicating the impact of human activity on Earth's climate.
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The 2018 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement has just been awarded to Paul Falkowski and James J. McCarthy. This prize was first created by John and Alice Tyler who were very concerned for the state of the natural environment. In 1973, Ronald Reagan helped John and Alice developing this award. It has been administered by the University of Southern California since 1981.

During its 45 year history, there have been many people all across various environmental fields that have won because of their amazing research. In 2018, the prize was awarded to these dedicated scientists because of their work in understanding and communicating the impact of human activity on Earth's climate.The fact that two American scientists won this prestigious award speaks volumes.

Dr. Falkowski is currently a respected professor in the Marine and Coastal Sciences and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. He primarily focuses on phytoplankton, coral, and the production of aquatic organisms. Early on, he worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory as a staff scientist. There he developed the field of environmental biophysics.

Back in the 1970s Falkowski was actually one of the first scientists to figure out how phytoplankton communities change and impact global climate. Through his forty-two year long career, he has published over three hundred papers, edited and authored six books, and advised over one hundred graduate students.

Dr. McCarthy is a dignified Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University. He mostly focuses on the nitrogen cycle and he has generated new information about the effects of climate on biological systems. In his forty-seven year career, Dr. McCarthy has been both an author and reviewer to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-chair at their 2001 assessment and also was a lead author of the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Dr. McCarthy is also the former President of the American Association For the Advancement of Science.

Both professors have taken their students on sea voyages. Dr. Falkowski has been on over forty-five cruise expeditions over the years with regions including Antarctica and the Black Sea. While Dr. McCarthy was at sea with his students they helped generate new insights on how climate affects the production of climate and the marine organisms that consume plankton.

Dr. Falkowski and Dr. McCarthy will both officially be presented their awards at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 3rd, 2018. Congratulations!

Cover Image Credit: TylerPrize.Org

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To The Nursing Major

Is it all worth it?
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"You're going to feel like quitting. You're going to struggle. You'll have days where you'll wonder, 'what's it all for?' You'll have days when people attempt to break you down, or challenge your intelligence, skills and right to be where you are. You'll have moments when you question your own abilities, and perhaps your sanity - but you'll rise. You'll rise, because your strength as a nurse is not determined by one grade, one shift or one job - it's an ongoing journey of learning, honor, humility and a chance to make even the smallest difference in the lives of your patients."

Don't ever give up on achieving your dreams to be a nurse. Keep pushing forward, no matter how hard it is. Nursing is not an easy major. You will have very little, if any, time to do anything other than study. But just think about how great it will feel to connect with a patient, pray with them, and even save his or her life. This will make all of the late night studying, weekly breakdowns, countless cups of coffee, and tests so hard all you want to do is cry, worth it. To see a patient's face light up when you walk in his or her room will make your heart melt and you'll know you chose the right major.

The kind of nurse you will be isn't based on a test grade, it's based on your heart for the people you are caring for. You may have failed a class, but don't let that ruin you. Try again and keep pushing toward your goal. Don't allow others around you to drag you down and tell you you aren't good enough to be a nurse. Show them how strong you are and that you will never give up. There will be days when all you want to do is quit, I know I question my major more than once a week; however, there is a patient out there that needs you and your caring heart. You can do this, have faith in yourself that you can move mountains.

I will say that you definitely must have a heart for nursing. Personally, I want to be a Pediatric Oncologist and work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Just the thought of those precious children going through the hardest part of their lives, keeps me going so that I can be there for them. I want to be a light to my patients and their families during a dark time. When I feel like giving up, I just think about how many lives I have the chance to touch and I keep on going. So when you feel like giving up, just think about your future patients and how you can make a difference, even if its only for one person. I love the quote from Katie Davis that states, "I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. But I can change the world for one person. So I will keep loving, one person at a time." Even though this quote is about foreign missions, I believe it fits the mold for nursing as well. Nurses have the opportunity to change the world for people everyday. Just remember that, smile, don't give up, and keep pushing toward your goal.

Cover Image Credit: chla.org

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You Know Economic Capital and Social Capital, How About Energy Capital?

Gaining capital = gaining mobility.

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The most over-used phrase in America is "All you have to do is work hard to get ahead." Another one is the classic, "You can't have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic." Both of these exhausted ideas are busted by looking at the importance of economic and social capital.

Obviously, our capitalist system is not an equal one. One of the ways in which we're distinctly separated is by our economic and social classes. When we advance by making gains, we accumulate capital, which mobilizes us and enables us to more easily climb and gain more capital. The growth, then, is exponential. If we are born into a great deal of capital, it is immediately easier to gain more.

Economic capital is clear enough; we may call this wealth. It's about our money, our assets.

Social capital, on the other hand, is our position in society. It includes our network and the power of those with whom we hold relationships, our education, and the communities in which we are raised. For example, people raised by parents with college degrees have social capital because they are in positions to understand and help out with the processes of applications and financial aid and the dynamics of post-secondary education.

But there's another kind of capital that plays a role in our mobility. This is energy capital.

This is where my issue with the "minimum wage work ethic" concept arises. I've worked near-minimum-wage jobs. I've worked in fast food. And in every case, I am confident in stating that my coworkers and I worked extremely hard. When I worked at McDonald's, I would go home every day and collapse on the couch because it had taken everything out of me. Physically, my feet were killing me. Emotionally, I was exhausted and tense from being mistreated by customers who dehumanized me. And since I also wasn't making enough money to have extra economic capital, I had to dispense even more emotional energy once I got home to stress over finances.

One of the biggest critiques of fast food workers like myself is that we just need to work toward another job. Yes, that's very true. But the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was get on the job hunt; all I really wanted was to go to sleep. And since I had no connections (less social capital), this job search would take a lot more effort than someone who could contact a family friend.

Meanwhile, there exist people at the top who can make a great deal of money without working all that hard. Some can even get away with no work at all. Some can also then pay for cooks and nannies and housekeepers and wealth managers and tax professionals and tutors for their kids and plumbers and electricians and repairpeople and restaurants and so on and so forth. And they don't have to dispense nearly as much energy.

Now, I don't want to insist that energy capital is always linked to higher economic or social capital. Many people with a lot of economic and social capital work extremely hard. Similarly, there do exist people with no economic and social capital who are in that position because they expend no energy at all.

However, it is necessary to consider energy as an additional criterion in building the capacity for safety, power, and mobility in society.

This is also tied up with privilege. People in positions of privilege (i.e. men, white people, Christians, heterosexual and cisgender people, temporarily able-bodied people, etc.) need not expend the energy to consider stereotypes and prejudices on a day-to-day basis; they can focus all of their energy on their mobility, which already comes easier.

Extra energy is extra capital. Know where you're privileged.

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