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Pollinator Census

first_imgCalling the class roll is a time-tested way for teachers to start the school year, but when Georgia students head back to school this year, some of them will complete a roll call of their own.Honeybees? Present. Leafcutter bees? Here. Swallowtail butterflies? Yo.Georgia students and teachers at 50 school and community gardens across the state will launch the inaugural Pollinator Census Project this August. The data will shed light on pollinator populations in Georgia and how well the native ground cover — the ‘Snow Flurry’ aster — can support them.The counting starts when class reconvenes, but the project actually began last May when Becky Griffin, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension community and school garden coordinator, crisscrossed the state to visit participating schools and deliver insect study kits and flats of ‘Snow Flurry’ asters. This aster is a native plant that blooms in the fall and is known to support a number of pollinators. “This is a really great citizen-science project that will include students in 41 counties across the state,” Griffin said. “It’s a win for us because we’re going to gather great, widespread data about pollinator health and how this native plant helps to support pollinators. “The teachers win because they’re being recognized as part of this study and it’s a great way to help their students relate the science they’re learning in the classroom to the real world.”Over the summer, teachers and students cared for the aster patches. They have agreed to watch them for 15 minutes once or twice a week for four weeks and to record the types of pollinators they see visiting the plants. Griffin believes they should have all the data recorded by Nov. 1.In exchange, UGA Extension will provide lesson plans and learning materials to help students learn about the role of pollinators in the ecosystem and to help them identify the different types of insects common in Georgia landscapes. Teachers will receive pollinator identification training in August as well as training on how to integrate the census project into the new Georgia Standards of Excellence curricula. “My agricultural science class at East Paulding High School is taking part in the Georgia Pollinator Census Project to foster a deeper understanding about beneficial pollinators and their importance to the functioning of our ecosystem,” said Kyle Chapman, agricultural science teacher at East Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia. “Additionally, the project will offer students the opportunity to collect and submit data that has real-world applications, which, I think, will have more of an impact and increase their engagement.”Like many of the citizen scientists working on the Georgia Pollinator Census Project, Chapman became involved with UGA Extension’s pollinator protection efforts in 2016, when he registered the East Paulding High School Pollinator Garden with the UGA Extension Pollinator Spaces network.Griffin launched the Pollinator Spaces Project, a program that recognizes gardeners and landscapers who create oases for pollinators using the state’s plan, “Protecting Georgia’s Pollinators,” as a guide. So far 84 private and public gardens have registered as pollinator-safe habitats.Participating schools and gardens include: Cass High SchoolLifesong Montessorti SchoolSouth Central Middle SchoolMontessori of MaconAlfred Eli Beach High SchoolLyerly Elementary SchoolGriffin ApiarySoiled Community GardenYelton GardenBraman GardenHB Stroud Elementary SchoolHillsman Middle SchoolSt. Joseph Catholic SchoolChalker Elementary SchoolStill Elementary SchoolWest Side Elementary SchoolReed Creed Interpretive ParkBrooks Elementary SchoolMcGuffey Nature CenterAcademe of the OaksFrazier Rowe ParkHenderson Park Community GardenOak Cliff Elementary SchoolPaideia SchoolDouglas County Cultural Arts CenterEffingham College and Career AcademyAlmost Heaven GardenFayette County Education GardenForsyth Central High SchoolMatt Elementary SchoolVickery Creek Elementary SchoolMaynard Jackson High SchoolBrookwood ElementaryRadloff Middle SchoolSummerour Middle SchoolNew Mountain Hill ElementaryRed Oak SchoolChatsworth Community GardenChatsworth Elementary SchoolTheme School Pollination StationEast Paulding High SchoolMcGarity Elementary SchoolHealthy Life Community GardenOrrs Elementary SchoolJeffersonville Elementary SchoolJames E. Bacon SchoolBrookwood SchoolCity Park SchoolDalton Middle SchoolRoan School The census project is the next step in getting Georgians involved in protecting pollinators.For more information on how to protect the state’s pollinators and for updates on the Georgia Pollinator Census Project, visit ugaurbanag.com/gardens.last_img read more

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LIRR Train Kills Man in New Hyde Park

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Long Island Rail Road train fatally struck a man at the New Hyde Park station on Friday morning.LIRR service was temporarily suspended in both directions on the Main Line between Jamaica and Hicksville following the incident shortly before 11 a.m.The identity of the victim was not immediately available.MTA Police are investigating the incident.There were no passengers aboard the train at the time, according to the LIRR.last_img read more

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Strategic alignment exercise

first_imgby: Scott McClymondsThe more I work with financial institutions, the more I find that the greatest catalyst to profitability, growth, and member loyalty is leadership’s ability to align strategy, people, and systems.This also happens to be extraordinarily difficult for most organizations, and it isn’t because leaders aren’t smart, passionate, energetic, and full of ideas.Most leaders I observe are flying around from meeting to meeting, working on numerous initiatives simultaneously, and putting out daily fires. That frequently squeezes out any time they may have to focus on strategic issues like corporate identity, customer needs, employee engagement, and communication.But pause, you must. Here’s an exercise to do in that quiet moment. It will help you gauge where you are. continue reading » 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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WHO warns about rising rates of drug-resistant TB

first_imgFeb 27, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO), in a survey released yesterday, said the global number of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) cases rose to a new high and is particularly worrisome in China and in former Soviet Union countries. Some of the former Soviet Union countries reported some of the highest XDR TB rates, the WHO said. Of nine countries in that region that reported MDR TB data, about 10% of all MDR TB cases were XDR. The 142-page report, available on the WHO’s Web site, is the fourth global report on drug-resistant tuberculosis surveillance. The report includes data, collected between 2002 and 2006, from 90,000 patients with tuberculosis in 81 countries, according to a WHO press release yesterday. CDC fact sheet on TB The WHO puts the price tag to control TB in low- to middle-income countries in 2008 at $4.8 billion, with $1 billion allocated toward MDR TB and XDR TB efforts. However, it said the world faces a $2.5 billion-funding gap, including $500,000 million for MDR TB and XDR TB. 500,000 drug-resistant cases a yearBased on its survey findings, the WHO estimates that there are almost 500,000 new cases of MDR TB each year, which represent about 5% of the 9 million cases of all new TB types. The highest rate occurred in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where 22.3% of all new TB cases were the MDR TB type, the WHO statement said. Other hot spots include Moldova (19.4%), Donetsk in the Ukraine (16%), Tomsk Oblast in the Russian Federation (15%), and Tashkent in Uzbekistan (14.8%). In the United States, the rates of MDR TB are rapidly decreasing, according to the WHO report. See also: Other evidence suggests that the association between HIV and MDR TB may be related to environmental factors, such as transmission in congregate settings, rather than biological factors. Though the association requires more study, infection control improvements in healthcare facilities and prisons, for example, may help address these coinfections, the WHO reported. MDR TB is defined as TB that resists at least two key drugs that are considered first-line treatment for people who have TB infections—isoniazid and rifampicin, according to the CDC. XDR TB is described as a form of the disease that is resistant to the first-line TB drugs as well as the two most important second-line drugs (a fluoroquinolone and an injectable agent—amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin).center_img TB programs across the globe need to immediately improve their ability to rapidly diagnose all TB cases and treat patients until they are cured, Raviglione said, “which is the best way to prevent the development of drug resistance.” For the first time the WHO’s TB survey includes an analysis of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB), revealing that 45 countries have recorded cases of the virtually untreatable disease. However, the WHO said in the press release that few countries have the equipment to diagnose XDR TB, so that number may not reflect the true global picture. Data from China also indicate that MDR TB is widespread, the WHO reported. The survey revealed that china has the world’s highest burden of cases. According to the WHO’s estimation, China had 130,548 new cases in 2006, more than 25% of the global burden. For example, 13 years after the Baltic countries of Estonia and Latvia were labeled drug-resistant TB hot spots, substantial investments and sustained efforts to control the disease have stabilized MDR TB rates and lowered TB case notifications, the WHO reported. Feb 26 WHO press release on drug-resistant TB report The WHO pointed to some gaps in worldwide drug-resistant TB data. Only six countries in Africa were able to provide the drug resistance data, though the region has the world’s highest incidence of TB. The problem is that many of the countries lack the equipment and personnel to identify drug-resistant TB, the WHO said. Global assault neededMario Raviglione, director of the WHO’s Stop TB department, said in the news release that urgent global efforts are needed to contain the spread of the disease. “TB drug resistance needs a frontal assault. If countries and the international community fail to address it aggressively now we will lose this battle,” he said. The WHO’s findings also pointed to a link between HIV infection and MDR TB. For example, data from Latvia and the Ukraine found twice the level of MDR TB in patients coinfected with TB and HIV, compared to patients without HIV.last_img read more

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Warsaw packed

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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Energy company combines buy-in and longevity swap in £1.2bn deal

first_imgThe two buy-ins were arranged with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) and totalled £350m, covering around £250m of pensioner liabilities in the Scottish Hydro-Electric Pension Scheme (SHEPS) and some £100m of liabilities in the Scotia Gas Networks Pension Scheme (SGNPS). The longevity insurance, via Legal & General, covered a further £800m of pensioner longevity risk in the SHEPS.The insurance deal is the first to use L&G’s UK-based “pass-through” structure to transfer longevity risk to the end reinsurer, Hymans Robertson said.Graham Laughland, chair of trustees for the SHEPS, said the scheme had been able to save money at each stage of the process through Hymans Robertson’s and legal adviser CMS’ efficiency and tailored approach.“Club Vita’s market leading longevity analytics gave the trustees great confidence in assessing both the value of the transactions and the amount of longevity risk that has been successfully removed from the scheme,” he said.Meanwhile, Tony Fettiplace, chair of trustees for the SGNPS, said PIC had been “flexible and innovative” in helping the scheme follow the collaborative approach and achieve its aims.In a report published yesterday, Hymans Robertson claimed demand for buy-in transactions – in which part of a scheme’s liabilities are transferred to an insurer – was set to quadruple in the next 15 years. The consultancy estimated that as much as £700bn of liabilities and assets could be offloaded by UK pension schemes by 2032, equivalent to £50bn a year. The figure was based on a growing demand from schemes, with a significant proportion reaching self-sufficiency in the next 15 years.James Mullins, head of risk transfer buyout solutions at Hymans Robertson, said: “Pension schemes should be proactive and gradually chip away at the problem through a series of well-timed buy-ins, to take advantage of the high insurer appetite and optimal pricing we’re seeing in the market today.”He added that insurer appetite to take on DB pension risks would likely increase this year as they sought to meet their targets. However, he warned this would not necessarily last.“As more and more schemes consider insuring their risk, insurers will be increasingly less able to keep up with demand,” Mullins said. “When this happens they will be more likely to give priority for their best pricing to pension schemes that have already completed a buy-in. This is because those pension schemes have demonstrated they have the knowledge, experience, governance and general readiness to carry out these transactions. So pension schemes who take proactive steps to chip away at the problem by capturing opportunities to complete a series of buy-ins will be in a strong position in years to come.” UK energy company SSE has hedged £1.2bn (€1.3bn) of longevity risk via a combination of buy-ins and longevity insurance.The deals relate to two of the defined benefit (DB) pension schemes it sponsors. According to the company’s latest annual report, its DB schemes had £4.4bn in assets between them.Hymans Robertson, which acted as project and lead adviser on all the transactions, said this was the first time a scheme had combined insurance buy-ins and longevity swaps.The consultancy said: “It creates a blueprint which we expect others will follow, tailoring transactions to pension schemes’ individual circumstances.”last_img read more

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The SamueLNG Conference Postponed Until Later in the Year

first_imgImage source: Damen Shiprepair DunkerqueThe one-day SamueLNG Conference, scheduled for 25-26 September in Saint-Nazaire, France, has been postponed and will take place, at a later date to be announced, at the same venue.The event, which is the culmination of the EU co-funded project S/F SamueLNG, will present the main challenges and results from the project, including:The role of LNG as an alternative marine fuel;The LNG retrofit of Dragages-Ports’s vessel Samuel de Champlain – an 8,500m3 Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger – from Marine Gas Oil to a dual-source fuel engine system;LNG bunkering studies, including: a risk assessment and mobile bunkering solutions for smaller ports;Environmental Impact Assessment studies.During the event, delegates will have the opportunity to visit the retrofitted Samuel de Champlain and to hear first-hand from those involved in the reconstruction and operation of the dual-fuel dredger.The organizers of the event will be announcing the new date for the event soon.last_img read more

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OAS welcomes CELAC as new regional mechanism for political coordination and agreement

first_img 10 Views   no discussions Share Share NewsRegional OAS welcomes CELAC as new regional mechanism for political coordination and agreement by: – December 5, 2011 Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Jose Miguel Insulza. Image via: Oas.orgWASHINGTON, USA — The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, welcomed efforts by countries in the region to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which will surely constitute itself into an efficient mechanism for regional political coordination and agreement.The head of the hemispheric organization expressed hope that this new mechanism will enrich dialogue at the inter-American level, since countries in the region will have an entity through which to agree on positions and bring up issues with better coordination at the inter-American and global levels. He emphasized that all countries in CELAC are OAS members, a fact that generates natural coincidences between this mechanism and the Organization, considering that member states’ foreign policies are naturally the same on the various issues to be discussed in both spheres.Insulza said that once CELAC begins operating he will establish contact with its pro tempore Secretariat in order to analyze the wide range of possibilities for cooperation between the two entities.Caribbean News Nowlast_img read more

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Australia’s climate stance sparks ‘anger’ at UN summit

first_imgThe haze from bushfires obscures the sun setting above the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia on Dec. 6. REUTERS/JOHN MAIR/FILE PHOTO Australia wants to use carbon creditsassigned to developed economies under the Kyoto Protocol, a precursor climateaccord, to meet its greenhouse gas targets under the Paris accord. The talks aim to agree outstandingdetails of how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to avoid catastrophicglobal warming ahead of a crucial implementation phase next year. MADRID – Campaigners slammed Australiaon the final day of a United Nations climate summit on Friday as its policy ofusing old carbon credits to count toward future emission targets emerged as amajor sticking point in negotiations.center_img Britain, Germany, New Zealand andothers have ruled out such an approach, saying it undermines the spirit of theParis deal while Costa Rica, Fiji and others have criticized Australia’sstance. On Tuesday, the 2020 Climate ChangePerformance Index rated Australia as one of the worst performers among 57-highemitters, with it earning 0 out of 100 possible points for its policies.(Reuters)last_img read more

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Prince produces Power-packed finish

first_imgJessie Harrington has steadily brought Phantom Prince back to peak form and he picked up a decent prize for landing the McHale Coranna Handicap Hurdle at Ballinrobe. Backing up a solid Punchestown Festival effort with a good second at Limerick, the 6-1 chance responded to all of Robbie Power’s urgings to go one better, seeing off the slightly unlucky Marchese Marconi by a length, with Argentino third. Power said: “He made a big improvement on the better ground at Limerick and the cheekpieces just sharpened him up today. Press Associationcenter_img “I just felt in Limerick I missed the cheekpieces and they have done the trick. He is definitely a better horse on better ground.” Power and Harrington doubled up when Rock The World made an impressive fencing debut in the McHale Fusion 3 Plus Beginners Chase. The 13-8 favourite jumped like an old hand at the head of affairs and wasn’t hard pressed to beat Abbey Lane by 18 lengths. Definite Earl was the outsider of the small field that lined up for the McHale Fusion 3 Novice Hurdle, but Robbie Colgan was positive on him from the outset. He looked in trouble when favourite Ibsen loomed up on the home turn, but Definite Earl found plenty of pressure and pulled away again to score by a length and three-quarters as a 13-2 chance. Royal Boru was another enterprisingly-ridden winner, this time in the McHale F5500 Baler Handicap Hurdle. Gillian Callaghan’s charge showed no ill effects from a Perth fall by jumping with aplomb in front, and Keith Donoghue kept enough up his sleeve to justify 9-4 favouritism. The Gatechecker (evens favourite) was a costly failure on his jumping debut, but he improved on that to place second at Killarney and he kept his forward momentum by pipping Too Many Notes in a head-bobbing finish to the McHale Fusion Vario Maiden Hurdle. last_img read more

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