Environmental expectations are high for President Barack Obama
It is President Barack Obama's first day in office and environmentalists around the world have high expectations for the man they believe is going to change the way environmental issues are looked at around the world, not just in the United States.
As the President said in his Inaugural speech: "each day brings new evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet".
Clean energy advocates are looking to Obama to make good on this statement. He has talked about green jobs and a new economic stimulus legislation for weeks now and environmentalists are hoping it is not too long before he puts these plans in place.
Some previews of the legislation currently pending in Congress show that funds will be set aside for needs like power transmission upgrades, along with priorities like funds to weatherize lower-income homes and public buildings, as well further investments in renewable energy technologies.
The Wall Street Journal's Environmental Capital blog noted that Obama's focus on energy was especially pronounced, considering that the issue was not mentioned once by a new president in seven inaugural addresses between 1980 and 2004.
Scientists working at an Antarctic base are hoping that Obama's new policies will include a stronger focus on how important science is to everyone in the world.
Obama did mention science in his speech, so it is hoping he will follow through on that.
"It's certainly very hopeful to have someone coming into office ... who is excited about science and supportive of it," said Amanda Savrda, a graduate student in geology at the University of South Carolina working with Barbeau.
"It seems to bode well for my future and the future of a lot of people in science," she said. Barbeau and Savrda are trying to work out exactly when the ocean formed between Antarctica and South America millions of years ago.
After eight years of George Bush, environmentalists are breathing easier today and putting their hopes on Obama.
Some of the most prominent people even gathered at one of the balls on Monday night to celebrate the 'greening of the White House'.
Al Gore hosted the event and celebrities like Will.i.am and Blair Underwood attended, and made their entrance on a moss green carpet.
"I think America voted for a big green step by voting for Obama," said John Legend, who was one of the scheduled performers.
Obama, unlike his predecessor, supports stiff, mandatory reductions in the gases blamed for global warming and he wants to create millions of new "green" jobs.
Even the scraps from the dinner at the ball will be composted.