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R.I.T. tackles gender equity, and thanks Daniel; we'll miss you


Good Morning and welcome to the Friday Trail Mix from the Innovation Trail team.

Marie Cusick filed a report on the devastation at Breezy Point for New York Now. A preview of her full story is in the post below.

Governor Cuomo has read the Riot Act to the utilities companies, and it's scary.

Check back later today for Matt Richmond's story on how the insurance sector is looking at new products to deal with hydraulic fracturing in New York state.

The Rochester Institute of Technology is to spend $3.2 million of National Science Foundation funding in the next five years to address a gender-determined wage gap and an exodus of female faculty. The Innovation Trail's Kate O'Connell has more.

An internal review by RIT shows the university is behind the curve when it comes to the number of women on the faculty, especially in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math.

Margaret Bailey, the principal investigator at RIT and a professor of mechanical engineering, says the award will help the Institute tackle its gender inequality.

“It’s a very important award for RIT. It’s a place that has grown up and certainly its roots feel a bit masculine. So RIT has some challenges that they deal with.”

Bailey says the funding will enable RIT to address salary gaps and the high exit rate of female staff as well as offer mentoring.

She says the number of female students is also low, and this program is the start of building a more diverse student body.

A coalition of faculty, students and fellow travelers have written to the UBuffalo board of trustees urging them to close the embattled Shale Resources and Society Institute, writes Jon Campbell. Our own, leaving- us-today reporter Daniel Robison* did some terrific reporting on the controversy surrounding the Institute and you can review his work here.

New York's co-working spaces are opening their doors for people trying to keep their projects going during the rebuilding process in the city. (gigaom.com)

This development sure would have come in handy for all the folks paying $5 a smartphone recharge in New York City right now. (technologyreview.com).

A federal bankruptcy court ruling may open the way forward for this Syracuse white elephant. (syracuse.com)

The DEC has ramped up efforts to combat the invasive aquatic plant, hydrilla. (ithaca.com)

The CSM asks whether Sandy is a game-changer in the climate change debate.

* As I indicated earlier in the post, this is the last day on the Innovation Trail reporting team for our Buffalo journalist, Daniel Robison at WBFO. Daniel is the last reporter to have been with the Innovation Trail project from its beginnings in 2010. Daniel has acquitted himself admirably in his coverage of issues in Western New York for the project. He is moving on to new challenges in a role at the University of Oregon, Eugene and we are very sorry to be losing his expertise. Innovation Trail wishes Daniel all the best for the future, and gently urges him to pursue his passion for history, and keep up his personal writing. Thanks for all your work Daniel and best wishes from your Innovation Trail colleagues.