Sustainability scientists representing ASU at AAAS

The 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting will convene entirely online, February 8-11, with related pre-released materials available online now. The AAAS Annual Meeting will be conducted in English. Use the AAAS Virtual Platform to browse the video library of pre-recorded Spotlight Videos, view AAAS E-poster and Sci-Mic Podcast galleries, visit and learn at the Exchange, and more. Live virtual meeting will convene on this platform February 8-11.

Among the 20+ sessions and 43 papers by ASU presenters are the following sessions and presentations featuring sustainability scientists and scholars. More sessions are being added all the time; check the AAAS website for most current listings.

  • A New Evolution of Research Universities
    Research universities play a significant role in discovery, creativity, and innovation, but they face a number of barriers that make them less able to respond to the changing needs of society. In their recent book “The Fifth Wave”, Arizona State University President Michael Crow and William Dabars describe the emerging standard of research universities that will better align them with the needs of society in many ways, including contributing solutions to global problems.
  • Faculty Perspectives on COVID-19 Impacts
    Barry Bozeman is Regents’ Professor and Arizona Centennial Professor of Technology Policy and Public Management and research director of the Center of Organization Research and Design at Arizona State University. Known for his foundational contributions to science and technology policy, public management, organization theory and higher education policy, Dr. Bozeman will present new findings from a suite of fall 2020 interviews with faculty at research universities.
  • SmartFish International: A Case Study of Market-based Approaches Impact on Waste
    With interviews and document analysis we examined SmartFish International’s novel business model for reducing inefficiencies in small-scale fisheries in Mexico by reducing bycatch and increasing catch quality. We identified sources of waste, waste reduction strategies, challenges, key factors to successful scaling up of the model. Fishers were incentivized by access to higher paying boutique markets. But, this is linked to use of plastic, as these markets sell fish in portioned packets. Lekelia Jenkins.
  • Transnational COVID-19 Cases and Background: Mobile Technology Implementations
    A number of transnational COVID-19 mobile technology case studies focused on aims, value chains, technologies and user adoption based on voluntary or mandatory modes of implementation. The emphasis is on nation state experience with pandemics, the technology selection environment, form factors, application contexts (e.g. self-isolation, breaking with quarantine, health surveillance) and success or failure declarations within a dynamic ecosystems and human-technology interaction framework. Katina Michael.
  • Mars Infrared: Illuminating the Geologic History of Mars
    Geologists have studies Mars through multiple generations of infrared instruments mounted on orbiters and rovers. Infrared and other wavelengths have allowed us to reveal the current mineralogy and past geologic history of the martian surface. This talk will examine some of the key findings of infrared exploration, as well as what new questions these findings pose. Phil Christensen.
  • Microbiota Transfer Therapy for Autism: Multi-Omic Approaches and Lessons Learned
    Recent studies in human cohorts and mouse models have shown a link between gut microbiota and autism. We pioneered an autism-targeted, open-label clinical trial of a microbiota modification. Gastro-intestinal symptoms and behavior improved significantly, and most improvements remained two years after treatment. Using a multi-omic approach we are looking at microbes, pathways, genes, and metabolites, which likely lead to the trial’s success and can lead to biomarkers or targets for treatment. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown.
  • Application of a Cell Based Computational Model for Predictive Toxicology
    This presentation describes the development of a cell-based, computational model of “normal” early ovarian development in mice and applications for predictive toxicology. The CompuCell 3D model is divided into two phases for computational tractability, and simulates embryonic days 5.5 to 12.5, and 12.5 to postnatal day 2. The model will be used to demonstrate how toxicants may affect developmental processes that result in altered ovary morphology. Karen H. Watanabe.
  • ASU: Household Water Insecurity in the Global North
    This panel extends new scholarship that reveals water security in the Global North to be a myth, and explores what can be done about it. Taking a relational approach, we argue household water insecurity is a product of institutionalized structures and power, manifests unevenly through space and time, and is reproduced places many assume are water‐secure. Our research shows how “social infrastructure”—relationships, cultural norms, and informal institutions—can address people’s urgent needs for safe, sufficient water against the backdrop of gaps in public water provision. Research and policy roadmaps to build from this work will be discussed. Amber Wutich and Alex Brewis.
  • ASU: Going Interplanetary—a conversation about the future of humans in space
    Join scientist and author Andrew Maynard, artist Lance Gharavi, and astronaut Cady Coleman as they discuss their new podcast Interplanetary (produced by ASU and Slate), and the future of humans in space.
  • Phosphorus and Climate Change: A Vicious Circle
    Global freshwater is now believed to be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Around the world, phosphorus-driven freshwater eutrophication drives increased primary productivity and thus increases organic matter available for decomposition and consequent greenhouse gas emissions. In turn, greenhouse gases drive climate change, leading to increased phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment transport from land to water by amplifying runoff and erosion. James Elser and Matt Scholz will explore the links between climate change and phosphorus and highlight some emerging technological approaches deployed in North America and Europe to disrupt this ecologically destructive feedback loop.
  • COVID-19 Academic System Stress Test: Winners and Losers When Science Moves Home
    This session addresses the consequences of COVID-19 remote work for STEMM research, higher education and academic advancement. The pandemic stress test has interacted with, and exacerbated, existing inequities, and with both individual and collective costs for scientific innovation and productivity. This session brings together panelists with experience in addressing diversity in STEMM and interdisciplinary higher education. Organized by Stephanie Pfirman and moderated by Miki Kittilson, with respondents Maria Escobar-Lemmon and Steve Elliott.
  • Science-Dance for Inclusive Community Engagement, Education & Social Change
    Dance is an effective, accessible tool for the communication of science, especially in an era of information saturation, technology reliance, silos, and injustice. Science dance partnerships support embodied learning in schools, culturally-meaningful exchanges with marginalised groups, such as between refugees and researchers, and emotional engagement and social change, such as is needed to reverse biodiversity loss. This interactive workshop with three leaders of Science-Dance reveals the utility of science dance through hands-on exercises, reflective discussions, sharing of case-studies, and evidence-based tools. Attendees will gain a science dance toolkit and ways to apply it to their work to create a broader inclusive practice. Lewis Hou, Lekelia Jenkins and Liz Lerman.
  • Dynamics in Urban Ecosystems and Environments: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives
    Remote sensing, GIS, and other geospatial technologies, as enabling methods and techniques, have been widely applied in the past decades to address issues pertaining to urbanization, vulnerability, and sustainability. This session will discuss compelling and emerging topics surrounding the temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of urban ecosystems and human-environment interactions, as well as new orbital and sub-orbital observation capabilities, geospatial big-data and analytics for understanding urban ecosystems, environments, and sustainability. Elizabeth A. Wentz, Qihao Weng, James A. Voogt and Soe Myint.
  • Sustaining a Passion for Sustainable Materials: From Molecules to Manufacturing
    Single-serve plastic packaging continues to challenge our global ecosystem, where a lack of bio-degradation and the misplaced fate of plastics into our oceans suggest dire consequences. As polymer recycling rates remain extremely low, macromolecular material scientists, engineers, and industrial partners must nurture and sustain a passion for sustainability and proactively integrate green chemistry and engineering across the continuum of materials innovation. This session will will integrate ‘benign by design’ concepts coupled with the principles of green chemistry with topics ranging from life cycle analysis, material flow analysis, societal acceptance, and effective integration of sustainability into local economies. Timothy Long, Anice Anderson, Jennifer Russell, John Layman and Cor Koning.
  • The Impacts of Mobile Technology and Regulation in a Pandemic
    This session will address international technology and regulatory responses to COVID-19 within a public policy setting. The deployment of centralized and decentralized COVID-19 location tracking and automatic contact tracing applications developed by government and industry will be compared and contrasted in terms of their socio-technical-legal design. The adoption of COVID-19 apps will be discussed with respect to economic systems of governance, optionality, cultural sensitivity, social stigma and other issues affecting uptake such as accessibility, language, and usability. Katina Michael, Roba Abbas, Joseph Carvalko and Samuel Fosso Wamba.
  • Reducing Waste in the U.S. Seafood Supply Chain
    This session focuses on the global food-energy-water systems shaping the U.S. seafood supply, including seafood with international origins. This session will better quantify the amounts of waste, identify the drivers of waste, and describe strategies to increase efficiency of seafood production by reducing waste, energy, and water use in seafood supply chains. It will also report on perverse drivers in which reductions in one aspect of the food, energy, and water nexus leads to increases in another aspect. Lekelia Jenkins, Dave Love, Laura Moreno, Ben Belton and Hoyt Peckham.
  • Microbiome and Gut-Brain Interactions
    Unbalanced microbiomes threaten both human health and our economy in multiple ways. Recent and exciting advances in microbiome research and applied multi-omics technology have uncovered possible microbiome-driven mechanisms for gut-brain interactions which affect behavior, anxiety, and might be the cause of neurodegenerative disorders. This session will explore gut-brain interactions via the microbiome that are relevant to diseases such as anxiety, autism, and Parkinson’s disease. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Sarkis Mazmanian, Laura Cox and Emeran Mayer.
  • Computational Modeling of the Ovary: Applications for Predictive Toxicology
    The ovary is a complex, dynamic ecosystem regulated by hormones to produce eggs for reproduction. To date, animal studies make up the majority of the body of knowledge, but a growing area of research is the use of mathematical and computational models to provide theoretical frameworks for reproducible and repetitive biological processes. This session focuses on mechanistic models of the ovary and their utility for hypothesis testing, optimization, and prediction. Reproductive scientists will learn how mathematical models can benefit research, and quantitative scientists will see a science domain just beginning to use mathematical models to complement research. Karen H. Watanabe, Mary B. Zelinski and Zelieann R. Craig.