ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Researchers Discover iPhone Vulnerability Prompting Swift iOS 9.3.5 Patch From Apple.

Numerous reports today say Apple is urging iPhone owners to download the recently issued iOS 9.3.5 update after researchers discovered a recent spyware vulnerability that allows hackers unauthorized access to targeted devices. According to the AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/26), the vulnerability was first made public Thursday in a report published by Citizens and Research Lab, which found the security hole after the iPhone of a well-known UAE activist, Ahmed Mansoor, was targeted using a message-based method previously unknown to analysts. BGR Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Siegal), offering additional details on the “tantalizing message,” says that the malware-infected link promised “New secrets about torture of Emiratis in state prisons” and was originally sent via text to Mansoor’s iPhone 6. As a consistent target of previous hacking attempts – and what Yahoo! Sports Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Seitz) describes as a “notorious thorn in the side” of the UAE government, Mansoor was immediately suspicious of the message and instead of opening the link, forwarded it to researchers at University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab for further investigation. Yahoo! News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Menn) says that investigation led to their eventual discovery of the malware. If Mansoor had accessed the link as intended, reports ZDNet Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), hackers would have been able to track his movements, all electronic messages and phone calls, and even remotely control the camera and microphone on the handset. As today’s heavy coverage of the story suggests, the flaw is a significant find for researchers, who claim this could be one of the first discovered attacks of its kind when it comes to cyberweapons research. Lookout representative Heather MacKinnon recently told The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Uchill) “We’ve never seen a remote jailbreak vulnerability in the wild before.”Wired Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Newman) says an “established private cyberarms dealer” called NSO Group may have been working on behalf of the UAE, and “has been selling masterful spyware” to government actors for some time – most often producing code to take advantage of holes in Apple’s iOS system. Mansoor confirmed to the Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Peterson), “I’m a regular target for the authorities here,” he told The Post. “Every time they get new spyware, they seem to try it out on me.” The Daily Mail Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) , citing the AP, reports that not only was this an “unusually sophisticated piece of software” that took about two weeks to fully uncover, but ultimately incorporated software that “likely cost a small fortune” to produce. In fact, Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Menn) explains that similar remote exploit software can sell for as much as $1 million. According to Mashable Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Wong), however, NSO Group spokesperson Zamir Dahbash remained vague about the firm’s specific relationship with UAE officials, telling the New York Times recently, “The company sells only to authorized governmental agencies, and fully complies with strict export control laws and regulations.”

This latest breach is not only a major development for Apple, but according to Seeking Alpha Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/26), could point to a worrying trend in the cybersecurity domain. Although this particular event lasted just three days before Apple was able to distribute a fix, SA underscores that even these short-term security holes “can have majorly destructive impact” on users. And while there’s now way to know for certain how long similar exploits have been in practice (MacWorld Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Fleishman) suggests that prior to iOS 9, these specific attack methods were likely “deployed against individual targets” rather than achieving widespread use), Apple is advising users to execute the download as soon as possible. A report from TIME Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) today, insisting that users “Update Your iPhone Immediately” along with related CNET News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) coverage describing “Why you should update your iPhone. Right. Now,” each offer specific instructions on how to the download the latest 9.3.5 iOS update. Apple has also, through a spokesperson, assured Ars Technica Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) that its upcoming iOS 10 will incorporate a patch for the vulnerability. As for the patch itself,Mashable Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Wong) reports that it will operate by running an “arbitrary code with kernel privileges,” delivering a security boost that effectively blocks the malware from gaining unauthorized access to a device.

Higher Education

North Carolina’s Campbell University Opens Engineering, Nursing Schools.

WUNC-FM Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Chapel Hill, NC (8/24) reports North Carolina’s Campbell University has launched a nursing school and a school of engineering, “welcoming 96 engineering and 46 nursing students on the first day of classes.” Founding engineering dean Jenna Carpenter “said while other colleges often offer highly specialized programs for undergraduates, Campbell will offer a general engineering degree with concentrations in mechanical and chemical engineering.” The piece quotes Carpenter saying, “There’s been a push to sort of specialize students, even at the undergrad level, what I would call ‘boutique’ undergraduate degrees. The problem is there aren’t a lot of jobs out there, because employers come looking for mechanical engineers or chemical engineers.”

ED Cuts Off Federal Aid For ITT, Claws Back $153 Million.

ED’s announcement that it is cutting off ITT Educational Services’ access to Federal financial aid generated headlines in a number of national media outlets. Coverage focuses on accusations that the firm engaged in abusive practices and on the likelihood that the move will lead to the firm’s demise. The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Morgenson, Subscription Publication) reports that ED “imposed strict new rules on” ITT, “barring it from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid and ordering it to pay $153 million to the department within 30 days to cover student refunds if its schools close down.” The Times reports that Education Secretary John King “said the department took action to protect both ITT’s students and the taxpayers who are on the hook for losses when students default on their federal aid.” The piece quotes King saying, “Looking at all of the risk factors, it’s clear that we need increased financial protection and that it simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely on federal student aid funds.” The Times says the “beleaguered company” might not be able to weather the change because like much of the for-profit sector, it “relies heavily on government financial aid programs for students to fund its operations.”

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Binkley) reports that ED officials have enacted “a series of measures that could threaten the survival of the chain, which has been the subject of state and federal investigations focusing on its recruiting and accounting practices. Company officials did not immediately comment.” The piece notes that ED had already ordered the chain to pay $44 million “to cover student refunds and other liabilities in case the company closes” in June. The AP reports that King said, “It simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely on federal financial aid.”

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that the firm’s shares “plummeted 35 percent to an all-time low” on the news that “ITT is no longer allow to new enroll students who rely on federal loans and grants, nor can the company award raises, pay bonuses or make severance payments to its executives without the department’s approval.” The firm must also tell ED “of any significant financial or oversight events, including violations of existing loan agreements or substantial financial losses.”

The Indianapolis Star Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Briggs) reports that analysts are calling the move “a death sentence for ITT Technical Institute,” though ED officials are “offering assurances that the for-profit college chain’s students will be taken care of.” The Star reports that the “devastating restrictions” could put the firm “out of business within weeks.” The piece explains that the firm “must increase its reserves from $94.4 million to $247.3 million, or 40 percent of federal student aid the company received in 2015.” The move “sent shares of ITT plummeting 35 percent to $1.40,” and comes “amid a federal crackdown on for-profit colleges that already has caused Corinthian Colleges to close last year and Brown Mackie College to close all but four locations.”

Other media outlets covering this story include the Wall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Mitchell, Subscription Publication), BuzzFeed Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Hensley-Clancy), Progress Illinois Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), ABC News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), the South Bend (IN) Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25),MarketWatch Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), KWTX-TV Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Waco, TX (8/25), Inside INdiana Business Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), Inside Higher Ed Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), theOklahoman Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25), U.S. News & World Report Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Camera), and the Indianapolis Business Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25).

Lawmakers Question University Of Virginia Over Billions Set Aside.

The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Anderson, Svrluga, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that on Friday, Richmond, Virginia lawmakers will question officials from the University of Virginia over $2.2 billion that has been set aside by the school over the past decade while simultaneously raising tuition. state Sen. Scott A. Surovell said, “Most of us think if you run the government, if you run a surplus, you cut taxes. …Apparently, not U-Va. You just raise tuition some more.” According to the school officials, “the fund was assembled through sound financial management, using investment returns, health-system revenue, donations, operating cash and other sources,” adding that “the $2.2 billion does not include tuition revenue or state general funds and is not intended to fund ongoing operations.”

University Of Chicago To Freshmen: We Do Not Support “Trigger Warnings” Or “Safe Spaces.”

The Chicago Tribune Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Vivanco) reports that University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison told incoming freshmen in a letter that “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” Trigger warnings “alert students of sensitive material that might be uncomfortable, offensive or traumatic to them, such as discussions about race and sexual assault,” and safe spaces “shelter students from certain speakers and topics.”

From ASEE
ABET Update
The Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) Criteria Committee met in Baltimore last month to continue reviewing the EAC Criteria 3 and 5 Proposal. After spending months categorizing, summarizing, and evaluating each one of the hundreds of comments, the committee has taken that feedback into consideration and made a number of modifications to the content of the proposal.

The Engineering Area Delegation will review the proposal in late October, as it has the final approval authority for these proposed changes. The Delegation has three options: approve the proposed criteria as written and implement, delay final approval for one year and seek additional public comment, or reject the proposal.  More details are here.


Envisioning the Future of the Maker Movement
A new report from ASEE on this important development in engineering education.


Sustainable Development Primer for Higher Education Presidents, Chancellors, Trustees and Senior Leaders
This new primer describes the sustainability related, crucial roles and tasks for presidents, trustees, and senior leadership and explains how sustainability is a robust national trend in higher education

Research and Development

Nvidia Details Powerful New Processor For Self-Driving Cars.

eWeek Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Burt) reports that Nvidia is furthering its ambitions in the dynamic autonomous vehicle space, unveiling a new mobile processor that pairs its latest Denver 2.0 CPU and Pascal-based GPUs to power deep-learning applications that will make cars smart enough to recognize and respond to obstacles. Nvidia engineers unveiled the details of the company’s Tegra “Parker” processor at this week’s Hot Chips 2016 show, noting that the chip is aimed at automotive uses such as self-driving cars and digital cockpits in vehicles, although its potential applications are not confined to the automotive industry. The Denver 2.0 CPU is a seven-way superscalar chip designed for improved performance and power efficiency over its predecessors. Company officials said the Pascal GPU in Parker enables it to run deep-learning inference algorithms for self-driving functionality, and to run multiple high-resolution displays. Parker-based cars will communicate with cloud-based Pascal-powered supercomputers that continually update the chips to enhance accuracy and safety.

University Of Texas Team Develops Material For Low-Cost Adjustable Window Tinting.

Engadget Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/22) reports scientists at the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering in Austin, led by associate professor Delia Milliron developed “a new flexible smart window material” that can provide an adjustable tint to windows “and can easily be applied with a new low-cost, low-temperature process.” The material “is an amorphous solid made of chemically condensed niobium oxide,” which may be “applied to plastics” as well as glass. Milliron said that the new process might lead to “more efficient supercapacitors” as well.

Tech Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/23) reports the material could “pave the way for windows, sunroofs or even windshields” that could help “save on cooling and heating bills.” It has “a unique nanostructure that doubles the efficiency of the coloration process.”

NSF Grant To Help Researchers Use High-End Computing Resources.

The Urbana/Champaign (IL) News-Gazette Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Wurth) reports the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois won a $110 million five-year grant to support the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). The project links researchers “to high-end digital resources” in order to “maximize their use and advance scientific discovery.” The money will be used to fund “the expertise to support” the use of existing resources by researchers.

Facebook To Make Image Recognition AI Code Public.

USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Akhtar) reports Facebook is making public code and research on its computer image recognition AI, in a move aimed to advance the field of machine vision, “as the social network expands on users’ interest in sharing and interacting with photos and videos.” Facebook AI Research (FAIR) scientist Piotr Dollar said, “The more the community is using open source code, the faster it is improved and innovated on, which helps expand expertise and adds longevity to projects we feel are very important.” USA Today says Facebook is “racing to have an edge” in AI, seen as key to making its “ecosystem of services” more “intertwined with its users’ daily lives.” USA Today cites the report “Open Source Powers Enterprise Digital Transformation,” which found that companies that perfect an open tool have a shot to become the industry standard. Netflix’s Simian Army blog did this though its early use of Amazon Web Services, building a reputation as an “exemplary cloud-native application building company.”

University Of Delaware Program Helps Students Develop Business Ideas.

The Wilmington (DE) News Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/23, Goss) reports on the University of Delaware’s Summer Founders Program, led by Vincent DiFelice, who taught a 12-week course this summer for “less than 20 students working in teams on five prospective business and two social ventures.” Each student was paid a stipend to participate in “weekly sit-downs with successful entrepreneurs, along with educational sessions and ongoing progress meetings.” At the end of the course, the students gave presentations on their projects to “peers, mentors and potential investors.” In addition to class time, and meetings with experienced business owners and operators, they also “spent 50 to 60 hours per week meeting with potential customers, market testing their ideas and creating prototypes or beta versions” of products.

University Of Texas Team Develops Material For Low-Cost Adjustable Window Tinting.

Engadget Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/22) reports scientists at the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering in Austin, led by associate professor Delia Milliron developed “a new flexible smart window material” that can provide an adjustable tint to windows “and can easily be applied with a new low-cost, low-temperature process.” The material “is an amorphous solid made of chemically condensed niobium oxide,” which may be “applied to plastics” as well as glass. Milliron said that the new process might lead to “more efficient supercapacitors” as well.

Tech Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/23) reports the material could “pave the way for windows, sunroofs or even windshields” that could help “save on cooling and heating bills.” It has “a unique nanostructure that doubles the efficiency of the coloration process.”

Harvard Researchers Develop “Squishy” Robot.

The Christian Science Monitor Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Dussault) reports that “Harvard researchers have engineered the first robot that is both autonomous and completely soft-bodied.” The robot “runs on hydrogen peroxide and was designed to look like a small octopus,” and “researchers say, is a major step toward developing functional robots that don’t need hard skeletons or rigid moving parts.”

US Military Soliciting Help From Fashion Designers, Textile Experts For New Protective Suits.

The Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/24, Ellis) says the US military “is soliciting help from fashion designers and textile experts to assist in redesigning the protective suits soldiers wear against chemical and biological attacks.” The US Department of Defense’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense “has launched a competition dubbed ‘Proof-The Chembio Suit Design Challenge’ and is offering a total of $250,000 to finalists and semifinalists.”

NSF Awards Grant To TAMU System For Solar Technology Research In Partnership With UT.

The Bryan College Station (TX) Eagle Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Kuhlmann) reports that “the National Science Foundation awarded Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University – Central Texas and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station four-year, $400,000 grants aimed at confronting the challenges that prevent the technology from being widely adopted.” The Texas A&M University System has partnered with The University of Texas to work on the NSF-funded solar research initiative.

Global Developments

German Chancellor Merkel Visits NATO Cyber Center In Estonia.

Defense Daily Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Abbott) reports German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) during a visit to Estonia this week, where she was briefed on “cyberspace as a new domain,” and the need to cooperate on cyberdefense. The CCDCOE is a knowledge hub that “focuses on interdisciplinary applied research and development concerning cyber security,” including “consultations, training, and information-sharing among NATO members, allies, and partners in cyber defense.” Merkel also met with Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and President Toomas Hendruk Ilves.

Industry News

Monroe: August Could Have Been More Transparent Regarding Smart Lock Vulnerability.

In a CNET News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Wollerton) piece, Chris Monroe reports software engineer Jmaxxz gave a presentation at the Defcon technology security conference earlier this month, in which he highlighted vulnerabilities in smart locks manufactured by August in a live demonstration. The vulnerabilities allowed individuals who already had guest access to hack the software to “enroll a new key,” which could then be used even after their guest access had expired. Monroe criticizes August for failing to be respond to the issue “with the degree of transparency we would expect from a company working to make our homes safer.” Johns Hopkins University computer science professor Avi Rubin is quoted saying that, “Often, vendors are quick to deny vulnerabilities in their system and to attack the security researcher or threaten them with lawsuits. It’s nice to see that August admits that their issues exist and that they are fixing them. It would be nice to see an independent review that could confirm that the problem has indeed been fixed.”

Farm Machine Manufacturers Invest In New Tech Despite Sluggish Sales.

Iowa Farmer Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Edwards) reports that although farm machinery sales are down in 2016, “manufacturers continue to bring more technology to the market.” For example, Martin Richenhagen, AGCO’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, “said in a statement [earlier this year] that they are maintaining a strong level of investment in new products and technologies, as demonstrated by an increase in engineering expense planned for 2016 compared to 2015.” AGCO has introduced four new tractors, launched new automatic guidance technology, and opened the AgCommand telemetry API (Application Programming Interface).

Amazon Adds New Auto Industry Initiative.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Soper) reports Amazon.com is “pushing deeper into the auto industry and car-parts market” with a new website featuring descriptions of thousands of new and classic car models. Customers “can research but not buy” cars on the new Amazon Vehicles website. It’s designed “to complement the company’s other car initiatives,” which “let shoppers save vehicles in their profiles to make it easier to find parts they need” as well as “book and pay for routine auto maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotation, and battery installation.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Environmental Groups Push Obama To Block Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Henry) reports President Obama is being asked by green groups “to intervene in the construction of a controversial oil pipeline project in North Dakota.” On Thursday, 31 green groups sent a letter to Obama that “said the White House should deny and revoke the permits necessary to build the Dakota Access pipeline, a 1,168-mile project that would carry 450,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.” The letter “comes after the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota sued the Army Corps of Engineers over its approval of the project.” The environmental groups are hoping Obama will “deny new permits for the project, as he did with the Keystone XL pipeline project last year, and remove existing permits issued by the Army Corps.” E&E News PM Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Northey, Subscription Publication) reports Sen. Bernie Sanders yesterday voiced his opposition to the pipeline. In a statement Sanders said, “Like the Keystone XL pipeline, which I opposed since day one, the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline will transport some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet. … Regardless of the court’s decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped.” NPR Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) provides coverage of the protest against the pipeline by hundreds of Native Americans that have “set up camp at the site where the pipeline is slated to cross under the Missouri River.”

Iowa Utilities Board Does Not Immediately Vote On Pipeline Request. The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) reports the Iowa Utilities Board on Thursday declined “to say whether they’d halt construction of an oil pipeline beyond this week on the properties of 14 landowners.” The board heard over “two hours of arguments from attorneys for the landowners and the Texas-based pipeline company on whether to order a more permanent delay beyond Monday while a court considers a lawsuit they’ve filed that challenges the board’s authority to allow eminent domain for a privately owned pipeline project.”

California Passes Emissions Law To Drastically Cut Greenhouse Gas Levels By 2030.

The New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Medina, Richtel, Subscription Publication) reports that California lawmakers have passed legislation requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels through 2030. Gov. Jerry Brown has promised to sign the lay. Brown said the law “is a real commitment backed up by real power,” calling it a milestone in the state’s climate change efforts. California passed similar legislation in 2006 and is on track to meet its goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Volkswagen May Compensate Brand Dealerships Affected By Emissions Scandal.

ABC News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Steinberger, Dooley) reports on its website that Volkswagen has reached a preliminary deal to compensate 652 VW brand dealers affected by its diesel emissions scandal. The potential settlement amount has not yet been disclosed, but will involve cash payments to “resolve alleged past, current, and future claims of losses in franchise value,” VW said in a statement. TheWall Street Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Randazzo, Viswanatha, Boston, Subscription Publication) reports that Volkswagen on Thursday expressed confidence that it can make the three-liter vehicles fully compliant with US emissions standards, though not necessarily so with the two-liter models. VW attorney Robert Giuffra stressed the technical complexity of the task. The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Henry) also covers the potential settlement.

Judge Orders Volkswagen, Regulators To Find “Plan B” If Diesel Emissions Fix Cannot Be Made. The Financial Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, McGee, Waldmeir, Subscription Publication) reports that a US court ordered lawyers on both sides Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal to begin contingency negotiations in case 85,000 cars that violate EPA pollution rules cannot be fixed. The judge cited slow progress toward a fix.

Secondary Market Emerging For Used Electric Car Batteries As Home Energy Storage.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Martin) reports that according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, about 95 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries are expected to come out of cars by 2025, of which 26 gigawatt-hours will be converted to stationary systems as demand for both electric cars and solar rooftops increases. Used batteries for stationary use cost about half the cost of fresh batteries. BNEF analyst Claire Curry said, “There’s a sweet spot now where new batteries are still expensive for stationary use.”

Groups Challenge Federal Oil, Gas Leasing On Climate Grounds.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25) reports that in a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday in Washington, D.C., two environmental groups, WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility, argue the “federal government needs to consider the potential effects of climate change before allowing oil and gas drilling on public land.” The lawsuit challenges “almost 400 oil and gas leases the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently has issued in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.” The AP adds that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said ending fossil-fuel extraction on public lands would “wipe out thousands of jobs.” The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Cama) reports the lawsuit “seeks to block drilling on nearly 380,000 acres of public lands that were leased to oil and gas companies since 2015.” The groups contend “that the drilling unacceptably threatens the climate, public health and the integrity of the lands.”

E&E News PM Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Subscription Publication) reports in a statement WildEarth Guardians’ Tim Ream said, “President Obama seems to get climate change, but he has an unexplainable blind spot when it comes to leasing public lands to oil and gas companies. … The Obama administration leases a million acres of public lands a year to dirty energy companies but hasn’t bothered to disclose the inevitable climate pollution? That’s not just immoral, it’s illegal, and we’re going to stop it.”

The Denver Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Finley) reports BLM officials told the paper that “they are aware of the complaint.” The BLM said in a statement, “Although we do not provide comment on pending litigation, the BLM has been working over the last several years to update and modernize the rules governing its oil and gas program. … The BLM will continue to work with lessees and operators to implement best management practices and to promote safe and efficient operations and minimize impacts to the environment.” TheDeseret (UT) News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, O’Donoghue) reports Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma said, “The lawsuit by WildEarth Guardians and other keep-it-in-the-ground actions by the environmental lobby are exactly why Western Energy Alliance has taken an aggressive stand to remind (the Bureau of Land Management) and the Interior Department about the actual law which requires oil and natural gas leasing to move forward.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Hands-On Science In Elementary Schools Engaging Youths.

The Clarksburg (WV) Exponent-Telegram Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/25, Reneau) reports that at least 50 percent of science lessons in West Virginia elementary schools are “being taught in a more hands-on, engaging way…” due to a standard promulgated by the state’s Department of Education. Wilsonburg Elementary School Principal Laura Dick believes that is beneficial. “Working hands-on gives the students the opportunity to do things and experiment and observe,” Dick said. “It allows them to explore their environment and explore their curriculum, and gives them a chance to dive into what they’re studying.” Harrison County Schools Assistant Superintendent Wendy Imperial agrees, “Having something that they participate in hands-on helps them remember it,” Imperial said, and “[s]cience lends itself to hands-on activities.” Imperial added that such kinetic learning is not just for young children, because it is “important to use all our different senses and engage the students” in all grades if they are to be expected to learn effectively.

Thursday’s Lead Stories

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