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Our Mission

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The mission of the Center for Energy and Environment is to develop technology for improved energy systems and to advance fundamental science that promotes understanding of the impacts of energy technologies on the environment and human health.

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Recent News

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August 1, 2018

Group ‘cleaves’ oxygen from surface of metal oxide, enhancing reactivity

Metal oxides have been shown to be effective catalysts in converting greenhouse gases to useful chemical fuels, for example transforming carbon dioxide into methanol. The lab of Ellen Matson, CEE member and assistant professor of chemistry, has cleaved oxygen atoms from the surface of polyoxovanadate metallic clusters, increasing their ability to react with gaseous substrates such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Pictured here are Matson and PhD student Brittney Petel, lead author of the paper describing the discovery. 

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July 18, 2018

Hot town, Summer Sustainability Fellows in the city

The University of Rochester’s inaugural Community-Engaged Summer Sustainability Fellows work with CEE member Katrina Smith Korfmacher, associate professor of environmental medicine, to analyze health equity aspects of the City of Rochester’s ongoing Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA). Korfmacher also directs the Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC), which works to address environmental health problems in the community.

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April 20, 2018

Tiny microenvironments hold clues to ocean nitrogen cycle

According to new research by Thomas Weber, an assistant professor of Earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester, small microenvironments in the deep ocean may hold key clues to the global cycling of nitrogen in seawater. Weber and his co-author Daniele Bianchi, an assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at UCLA, show that small microbes that remove nitrogen from the water exist in these microenvironments and are more widespread than previously thought. Using this data, they developed a computer model that changes the way we think about the marine nitrogen cycle.

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News Archive

Mind The Gap: Becoming Better Science Communicators

Photo of Keynote Speaker Madeline Sofia

Madeline K. Sofia, PhD
Assistant Producer, Science Desk
National Public Radio

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
University of Rochester, Rush Rhees Library,
Humanities Center, Conference Room D

Madeline Sofia is an assistant producer on NPR's Science Desk, and specifically for Joe's Big Idea. The goal of Joe's Big Idea is to tell scientific stories that explore the minds and motivations of researchers, and highlight the scientific process. Joe's Big Idea is also involved in helping young scientists become better scientific communicators. These scientists are part of a world-wide group known as Friends of Joe's Big Idea, or FOJBIs. Madeline is in charge of connecting the FOJBI community and facilitating their growth as communicators. FOJBIs regularly volunteer at outreach events, hold science socials, and contribute to blogs.

Before working at NPR, Madeline received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rochester Medical Center. She studied Vibrio cholerae, a fascinating 4 billion-year-old, single-celled organism that's evolved to outsmart the human immune system — and cause cholerae.

Presented as the keynote address of the Center for Energy & Environment's third annual symposium. The keynote address is open to all members of the UR community.

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3rd Annual Symposium of the Center for Energy & Environment

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URBEST Better Research Communication Through Improv

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

University of Rochester, Rush Rhees Library
Hawkins Carlson Room

This workshop will likely push you beyond your comfort, so sign up if you want to see what you are capable of. Learn techniques to engage your audience, distill and clearly share your research, and have some fun. Instructors are trained in the Alan Alda Improv approach to communicating research to a non-specialist.

Sessions run 9 am - 12 pm OR 2 pm - 5 pm. Each session can accommodate 30 participants. Pre-registration is required.

The keynote address, Mind The Gap: Becoming Better Science Communicators, at 1 pm is open for attendance without registration.

Please direct RSVP and any special accommodation requests to Jenn Steward at