News Highlights

French Professor and Researcher Visits with Sustainability Programs, Including iCons

Picture of Cécile Renouard

Story from UMass News: The UMass Amherst Energy Transition Institute (ETI) recently hosted professor and researcher Cécile Renouard, president and co-founder of the new Campus of the Transition in France, while she was on a limited tour of U.S. college campuses to build collaborations and investigate innovative ways to incorporate equity and other social issues into sustainability education and in living labs.

What's In a Name?

Image of Messier 14. Courtesy of NASA.

UMass iCons is an academic program deeply entrenched in the ethos of exploration and innovation. Therefore it should not be surprising that the inspiration for the 14th cohort's name originates from the final frontier of exploration: space.

UMass iCons Program Launches 14th Cohort with Focus on Urban Climate Change

Picture of students brainstorming real-world problems to solve

The 14th cohort of the UMass iCons Program, 72 diverse students spanning 29 majors across seven colleges, was launched on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

iCons' Jared Starr shares insights with The Guardian on Elon Musk's environmental journey

Pic of Musk from The Guardian

Story from The Guardian: Elon Musk was once an environmental hero: is he still a rare green billionaire?

Elon Musk was once lauded as a sort of green Tony Stark – the genius inventor who leads a double life as superhero Iron Man – for single-handedly tackling the climate crisis one Tesla at a time, helping to forge a clean energy future and pushing for new taxes to drive down fossil fuel use.

iCons Students Present at Department of Energy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Picture of iCons students on TOP team in DC

Story from UMass News: A team of students from the UMass iCons Program presented “Improving Access to Electrical Power for Climate Resilience,” a project conducted in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, at the Justice Week 2023 conference in Washington, D.C., in early November.

UMass iCons’ Idea Slam Tackles the Challenge of Unstainable Chocolate Production

picture of the Idea Slam signage

On October 25, 2023, current and aspiring students in the Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) Program teamed-up to present innovative solutions addressing the issue of unsustainable chocolate production in Colombia during the annual iCons “Idea Slam.” This initiative was led by Dr. Marianny Yajaira Combariza ’03G and Dr. Cristian Blanco-Tirado ’03G, esteemed professors at Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia, who are also UMass Amherst Chemistry graduate alumni.

Sasha Adkins Named 2023-2024 iCons Teaching Fellow

Picture of Sasha Adkins

Story from UMass News: The UMass Amherst iCons Program has announced that Sasha Adkins, senior lecturer in environmental health sciences, has been named the 2023-24 iCons Teaching Fellow. The award provides funding for faculty to join the iCons teaching team while receiving professional development funds. Selected faculty learn to teach student-driven courses with inclusive values while bringing their own expertise and unique experiences to the iCons Program.

Edward Marram and Karen Carpenter Gift to Support New Academic Track on Food-Water-Climate

Picture of Karen and Ed

UMass Amherst has announced a donation from Edward Marram ’59, ’61G and Karen Carpenter to support the launch of a Food-Water-Climate track within the UMass Amherst Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) Program. This gift will enhance the program’s ability to address critical challenges in the areas of food security, water resource management and climate change.

U.S. Census Bureau Recruits UMass iCons Program Students to Work on Equitable Access to Electrical Power

Picture of iCons students on TOP team

Story from UMass News: Students from UMass Amherst’s Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) Program were recently recruited by the U.S. Census Bureau’s The Opportunity Project (TOP) for a 10-week sprint challenge called “Improving Access to Electrical Power for Climate Resilience,” which is helping the Department of Energy (DOE) to more equitably address lapses in the electrical grid during emergency situations.

Longtime iCons Instructor Jared Starr Leads Study Linking America's Wealthiest to 40% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Picture of Jared Starr

Story from UMass News: A new study, led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, reveals that the wealthiest Americans, those whose income places them in the top 10% of earners, are responsible for 40% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The study, published in PLOS Climate, is the first to link income, especially income derived from financial investments, to the emissions used in generating that income. The authors suggest that policymakers adopt taxes focused on shareholders and the carbon intensity of investment incomes in order to equitably meet the goal of keeping the global temperature to 1.5 C of warming.