Panel Says U.S. Not Ready for Inevitable Arctic Oil Spill

first_imgAs eagerness to explore the Arctic’s oil and gas resources grows, the threat of a major Arctic oil spill looms ever larger—and the United States has a lot of work to do to prepare for that inevitability, a panel convened by the National Research Council (NRC) declares in a report released today. The committee, made up of members of academia and industry, recommended beefing up forecasting systems for ocean and ice conditions, infrastructure for supply chains for people and equipment to respond, field research on the behavior of oil in the Arctic environment, and other strategies to prepare for a significant spill in the harsh conditions of the Arctic.The report “identifies the different pieces that need to come together” to have a chance at an effective oil spill response, says Martha Grabowski, a researcher in information systems at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, and chair of the NRC committee.Even in the absence of oil and gas exploration, the Arctic’s rapidly intensifying traffic—whether from barges, research ships, oil tankers, or passenger cruises—makes oil spills increasingly likely. So “the committee felt some urgency” about the issue, says geologist Mark Myers, vice chancellor for research at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The report, sponsored by 10 organizations ranging from the American Petroleum Institute to the Marine Mammal Commission, focused primarily on the United States’ territorial waters north of the Bering Strait, including the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Cleaning up oil in the Arctic is particularly tricky for a number of reasons, the committee notes. The extreme weather conditions are one problem. The lack of many kinds of data—high-resolution topography and bathymetry along the coasts; measurements of ice cover and thickness; distributions in space and time of the region’s fish, birds, and marine mammals—is another. And if an emergency happens, there’s no infrastructure in place—no consistent U.S. Coast Guard presence and no reliable supply chains to support a rapid response.On top of that, there is little real-world information about how the Arctic’s own oil (rather than an amalgam from an oil pipeline, as is now tested) will behave in the Arctic’s heavily stratified water column, which could prevent deep spills from reaching the surface. Then there’s the lingering question of how effective chemical dispersants or oil-munching microbes are in the frigid Arctic environment. And virtually nothing is known about how oil and sea ice will interact. “Ice really changes everything,” Myers says. Some oil might make its way into the ice, only to later become liquid again when the ice melts; some might remain trapped beneath it, moving with the ice—or possibly not. “We have very few observations of the under-ice environment,” he says.The report calls for upgrading oil spill response infrastructure, additional studies, and more coordination between agencies, industry, academia, and other Arctic nations. Grabowski also emphasized the need for standardization—of data collection and sharing, of oil spill exercises and responses.Who would coordinate all of this and who would pay for it remain unsettled questions. Grabowski notes that she and her panel members recommend public-private partnerships, interagency coordination, and working with, for example, local communities to develop trained response teams in local villages. “But in terms of an overall framework,” she says, “I think that that is a wide-open question. And obviously connected to that is a resource question. We can identify lots of ideas for a framework but without adequate resources that causes a real difficulty.”Still, amid the flurry of Arctic-related reports that have papered Washington, D.C., in the last few years, the committee hopes its recommendations will stick. By digging “deep into the science,” Myers says, “we felt it was going to be a good authoritative source which people can use to help make decisions.”“This is a study that’s both broad and deep,” Grabowski adds. “In terms of whether anyone picks this up and runs with it—that’s another step.”last_img read more

How to Evaluate a Job Offer

first_img How to do your research How to ask the right questions You’ve done your research and determined your priorities. It’s time to step into the negotiation process. It’s possible that you’ll conduct the negotiation in person or over the phone, or that you’ll simply write out negotiation points via an email. So how to negotiate? Here are four easy steps to negotiate your final offer based on Glassdoor’s How to Get a Job toolkit. Do your research. Back up whatever you’re asking for – usually it’s a higher salary, but it could also be a better benefits package – with solid facts and statistics. Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth tool can also help you ground your salary ask in an appropriate range.Know what’s on the table. Keep in mind the entire benefits package in your negotiation (as well as enticing perks the company offers to everyone) and remember that you can negotiate benefits, too.Ask, don’t demand. Remember that the company does want you – they offered you the job, after all – so you have the cards stacked in your favor. Use language that shows you’re on the same team as the hiring manager to start off negotiations, like “can we talk about which benefits are negotiable?” and “what are the prospects for salary raises and promotions in this position?”Know your breaking point. Think back to the list of priorities you made. Be aware that it’s unlikely you get everything you ask for in a negotiation. At the same time, if the highest salary and benefits package that they can give you is still below your target, it might be time to walk away. During the job search process, you only have so much time to thoroughly research every company. Now that the real possibility of working somewhere is on the table, it’s time to take a thorough dive into assessing if it’s a good fit. This starts with asking yourself the big questions about whether the job is truly right for you. “I have seen clients take a job where the fit—in the context of their skills and talents with the job—was excellent. But in the end, these jobs didn’t work out because the company’s culture did not jive with their own moral compass,” Elizaga says. Questions you might consider include: Are the day-to-day responsibilities of the job waking up excited every morning to do? Does the company itself have a strong future, or has it been performing poorly in recent years? During my interview and visit to the company, did I feel like the company’s atmosphere and culture were conducive to my style? What will my opportunities for growth in this role be? Am I okay with the length of commute and expected working hours each week? You might also find that during the course of asking yourself these questions, you don’t have enough information to answer some of them. These are the questions that you should reach out to the company, or do your own independent research on, to clarify. Beyond these detailed questions, it’s important to just check in with yourself and feel what your gut is telling you about the job. “While data is important, you also want to trust your gut,” said Mikaela Kiner, an executive career coach and CEO of uniquelyHR, to Glassdoor.“During your interviews, were you hopeful things would work out? Or, would you have been relieved if they chose someone else? Don’t dismiss concerns, even if they were just fleeting thoughts,” she added. After submitting your resume, cover letter, and coming in for interviews, you’ve finally been offered a job. You’ll probably have a chat with the hiring manager or recruiter, have an offer letter sent to you, and be able to take a look at the contract. But this doesn’t mean the terms of the offer are final yet. It’s now up to you to carefully evaluate the information you’ve been given, decide if it’s right for you, and negotiate your way to an optimal offer. After your conversation with one person at the company, they might have you either convinced it’s a sparkling utopia, or that you should be running away from the company at top speed. Every person has their own unique experience in a workplace. That’s why it can be so helpful to gain a broader perspective by reading online reviews of employees’ experiences, like through Glassdoor’s company reviews.  Check the benefits How to determine your non-negotiables Now that you have a clearer picture of what’s important to you in the job hunt – and where you still need information – it’s time to do some digging. Here are some avenues of research that will help you get the information you need to make an informed decision: Scour the contract and offer letter If there are any points you can’t determine from your independent research, the company itself is the next place to start. Often, the company will be more than happy (and even encourage you) to arrange for you to speak with current employees. This call is an opportunity for you to get a sense of the company’s culture, and if what you saw in the job description actually matches reality. When the job description said 40-hour workweek, is that really true, or will you often be expected to stay late? How are meetings run at the company? Are there annual performance reviews? Does the company’s upper management regularly interact with employees? Ask the right questions, and you’ll receive a wealth of important information about culture and fit. Read online reviews While the salary might not be exactly your target, it’s important to evaluate it in the context of the benefits offered. “It may be that the salary is $5,000 lower than you had hoped for, but the full package being offered counterbalances it,” said Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr, an automated recruiting platform, to Glassdoor. “What does the total package contribute to your personal and financial needs? Sometimes, a job that at first glance looks like it’s paying less can actually provide more financial security than a job with a higher salary.” Also keep in mind the benefits and perks that aren’t written in the offer letter or contract, but are available to every employee. Take Uline for example, whose corporate headquarters has a salon, a 24-hour fitness center, walking trails, ponds, a mother’s room for women nursing – just to name a few of the benefits. Or consider Power Home Remodeling, which spends millions of dollars to bring its entire staff to Mexico each year. Check the company’s website and Glassdoor benefits – the extra perks might just make the job worth it. Calculate whether the salary matches what you should be paid for your level of experience and education. center_img As a starting point for your salary negotiations, it’s important to frame what your target is. A helpful tool for this is Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ tool, which calculates the salary you should reasonably expect in today’s active U.S. job market based on your experience and other personal details. For many companies, you can also find on Glassdoor the salary range of people in the same position at that company. Once you’ve gotten your final offer from the company, you make a final assessment of whether it meets your criteria and priorities. If it doesn’t, at least you’ll now have a clearer sense of what you’re really looking for in your job hunt. If it does, congratulations! You got the job and the salary that you wanted.   What is a job offer? Now that you’ve done your research (and your research hasn’t deterred you yet from taking the job!) you have a solid foundation to go into negotiations with. What’s left? Prioritizing what you can compromise on, and what’s a deal-breaker. For all the criteria you’ve identified as valuable to you during your questioning and research process – such as salary, commute length, ability to work from home, or opportunities for international travel – make a list of them in varying order of importance. Are there any you simply can’t do without? Are there some you’re willing to compromise on? If so, how much are you willing to compromise? This exercise will help you set the bottom line for your negotiations, and delve deeper into whether this position is really a good fit for your career goals. Even better, you can proactively start this list before you even start the job search. “I recommend my clients make a list of what they are looking for even before they begin searching for a job,” said Amy M. Gardner, Certified Professional Coach with Apochromatik, to Glassdoor. “If you’ve done that, go back to the list you created and evaluate the offer against the factors you initially listed.”  How to negotiate the final terms of the offer The first place you want to get information from is the contract and/or the offer letter. These can give you highly important details like whether there’s a minimum amount of time you must stay at the job, how far in advance you need to notify the company before quitting, and how many days of vacation and sick leave you’ll get each year. Speak to people at the company Learn More! Now that we’ve distilled the basic steps you need to take to assess any offer, and how to begin a negotiation with a potential employer, you should be set to go. If you’d like to learn more about how to negotiate like a pro, check out these additional resources:10 Things To Double Check On An Offer LetterHow to Assess a Job OfferHow to Negotiate Your SalaryHere’s How To Negotiate Flexible Work Hours4 Benefits You Can Negotiate (and How to Do It!)Should You Always Negotiate Your Salary?8 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offerlast_img read more

Microsoft has laid out plans for the opensource r

first_imgMicrosoft has laid out plans for the open-source release of .NET Core, and how it fits into .NET 2015 and the company’s overall strategy..NET Framework program manager Immo Landwerth explained the strategy in a blog post, giving an overview of .NET Core, how it will be released open-source and what role .NET Core will play in both .NET 2015 and Microsoft’s overall cross-platform and open-source development plans. According to Landwerth, .NET 2015 will be a unified implementation of .NET Native and ASP.NET, combining the two under a common JIT runtime, the .NET Compiler Platform and NuGet packages..NET Core is comprised of the Windows Store App Model and ASP.NET 5 App Model on top of a unified base class library and runtime adaption layer, with a .NET Native runtime and CoreCLR security model at its base. Landwerth stated that .NET Core will see agile releases and faster upgrades to keep them enterprise-ready, and will serve as the foundation of Microsoft’s open-source and cross-platform efforts.“The .NET Core platform is a new .NET stack that is optimized for open-source development and agile delivery on NuGet,” he wrote. “We’re working with the Mono community to make it great on Windows, Linux and Mac, and Microsoft will support it on all three platforms.” IBM Watson Analytics goes into betaIBM has announced that its predictive and visual analytics tools for businesses is now available in beta. Watson Analytics automates data preparation, predictive analytics and visual story telling.It is available as a cloud-based freemium service, and can be accessed from any desktop of mobile device.In addition, IBM also announced the Watson Analytics Community to share news, best practices, technical support and training.More information is available here.last_img read more