Stories for September
Local to Global Impacts
The Nicholas Institute provides thoughtful, timely analysis to decision makers at all levels—local, national, and global—to help meet the world's environmental and energy challenges. Our leadership to break down barriers to environmental progress is shown in our 2019 annual report, which describes projects on energy efficiency in North Carolina, oyster reef restoration in the Gulf of Mexico, and coral reef protection around the world.
Bonnie Joins Nicholas Institute
The Nicholas Institute is pleased to welcome Robert Bonnie as an executive in residence following a two-year Rubenstein Fellowship at Duke University. Bonnie specializes in issues related to climate change and natural resource conservation, with a focus on rural America.

Bonnie brings a wealth of expertise from nearly eight years of service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From August 2013 to January 2017, he served as undersecretary for natural resources and environment, overseeing the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service on a variety of natural resource issues. Prior to that, he advised Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on the environment and climate change.
Roadmap Charts Course
to Energy Efficient North Carolina
The Nicholas Institute has released a new guide to transform North Carolina into a more energy efficient state.

The North Carolina Energy Efficiency Roadmap, developed in partnership with the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), provides a comprehensive list of recommendations to implement new energy efficiency solutions and remove potential barriers. The document informs the statewide Clean Energy Plan, a key component of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80 to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a clean energy economy.
Bridge Spark Fund Promotes
Cross-Sector Solutions
The Bridge Collaborative has formally announced the launch of the new Bridge Spark Fund, designed to expand the pipeline of integrated solutions needed to solve today’s most pressing global challenges for people and nature.

The Bridge Collaborative is a partnership spearheaded by four founding organizations, including Duke University, that is committed to finding solutions across the health, development, and environmental sectors. Through the Bridge Spark Fund, the Bridge Collaborative will grant four $150,000 awards—two focused on impact in the United States, and two on impact in low- and middle-income countries—to advance solutions to the following cross-sector challenges:

  • Accelerating a low-carbon, clean air, and environmentally-friendly energy future for all
  • Transforming the global food system for health and sustainability
  • Improving sanitation and wastewater management to benefit people and nature

All eligible nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education (nonprofit or public), and government agencies interested in applying are invited to submit a pre-proposal by Oct. 4.
New Professional Development Opportunity Available to Duke PhD Students
A new, professional development program is now being offered for Duke PhD students keen on making a high impact in their careers.

The Duke Environmental Impacts Fellow Program (EIF) aims to fill a gap in traditional PhD training by providing an opportunity for students to consider the full variety of potential career paths they might follow, including nonacademic or nontraditional academic positions. The pilot program will offer trainings focused on leadership, teaching, communication, and engagement to enhance students’ critical thinking and leadership skills. At the completion of the program, participants will have a broadened view of their career options, and be prepared to be thought leaders inside and outside the academy.

The EIF program has been funded by the Office of the Provost, Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy, Pratt School of Engineering, Trinity College of Arts & Science, Divinity School, and the Nicholas Institute.

Rachel Karasik, Amy Pickle, Stephen E. Roady, Tibor Vegh, John Virdin, and Charles Di Leva

An analysis published with the United Nations Environment Programme identifying at least four potential pathways by which international policy responses can help coral reef states address local drivers of reef loss and enhance coral reef resilience (and potential for survival) in the face of climate change.

Drew R. Michanowicz, Samuel R. Williams, Jonathan J. Buonocore, Sebastian T. Rowland, Kate Konschnik, Shaun A. Goho, and Aaron S. Bernstein 

This report published in Environmental Health studies spatially accurate population data and its criticality for determining health impacts from many known risk factors.

Martin W. Doyle and Lauren A. Patterson

This technical paper published in The Journal of the American Water Resources Association reports on how reservoir operations must respond to changing conditions, such as climate, water demand, regulations, and sedimentation, and how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can reallocate reservoir storage to respond to such changes.

Victoria Plutshack and Jonathan Phillips

A Nicholas Institute policy brief that provides a snapshot of the relevant demand-stimulating lessons learned in the off-grid space as well as those that have been pursued by governments and utilities in the past order to help answer the critical questions: 

What is preventing rural customers from increasing their electricity demand? How can governments, utilities, NGOs, and companies come together to foster the greater use of energy services?
Upcoming Events

  • Carbon Simulation. Thursday, Sept. 19, 4:30 p.m.7:30 p.m., Berntsen Classroom, Fuqua School of Business.

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