Day: April 8, 2013

TRI University Challenge

EPA is looking to academic institutions to help build a diverse portfolio of practical and replicable projects that benefit communities, the environment, academic institutions, and the TRI Program. EPA welcomes the submission of any project proposal that advances the knowledge, use and understanding of TRI data and related information. In reviewing project proposals, EPA intends to place priority on these key project themes and objectives:

  • Pollution Prevention & Sustainability: Promote the use of TRI as a sustainable development tool and the adoption of pollution prevention (P2) technologies.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Cultivate relationships among stakeholder groups and improve the communication of TRI-related information.
  • Technology and Data Mashups: Investigate the use of new technologies or analytic methods to integrate TRI data with other datasets to unlock the broader potential of TRI data.
  • Environmental Education: Explore replicable ways to integrate TRI information into college and university classrooms.

To learn more about TRI data, applicants can use the myRight-To-Know and TRI Explorer tools. Additional TRI tools and factors to consider when using TRI data can be found on the TRI Data and Tools webpage.


Anyone who is affiliated with an accredited college or university is welcome to apply. Proposed projects may range from one semester to multi-year research or coursework. Applicants may include, but are not limited to:

  • Undergraduate/graduate students with faculty leadership
  • Academic faculty and researchers
  • Ph.D. candidates

Application Process

  1. Complete the Partner Application Form.
  2. Send completed application to the TRI University Challenge at by 5 p.m. on May 13, 2013.

For more information, visit

Call for Abstracts: Industrial Water Reuse Conference

The WateReuse Association is accepting abstracts for a new Industrial Reuse Specialty Conference to be held December 9-10 in Long Beach, CA. The conference will include discussions of sustainability policies, technology, best practices, and case studies for industrial users that receive municipally treated recycled water, as well as those performing on-site reuse or internal recycling. Abstracts are due May 3 and authors will be notified June 28 regarding the status of their abstract.

Topics of Particular Interest include:

  • Water Reuse by Industry Sector
  • Trends in Industrial Water Use and Reuse
  • Commercial and Industrial Water Reuse
  • Reuse Technology
  • Regulation of Water and Industrial Reuse
  • Financial Incentive Programs for Industrial Reuse
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Contracting and Implementing Industrial Reuse

To view the Call for Abstracts, click here.

To submit an abstract, click here.

Chicago On-Track To Break Ground On Elevated Parkway

Read the full story at ArchDaily.

Chicago is set to be the next U.S. city to park-ify on one of its abandoned rail-lines. First proposed back in 1997, the 2.7 mile, 13-acre Bloomingdale Trail and Park is proposed for a stretch of abandoned railway trestle dating from 1910, which has been lying unused since the turn of the century. And, even though it is already being compared to New-York’s High Line, the planners are adamant that the park will be an entirely different animal to its New York cousin.

Open access publishing article in today’s New York Times

Read the full story headlined “Scientific Articles Accepted (Personal Checks, Too)” in the New York Times.

A parallel world of pseudo-academia, with prestigiously titled conferences and journals that will print seemingly anything for a fee, has the scientific community alarmed.

See also Nature’s special report on the future of publishing, which includes an article about predatory scholarly open access publishers. Particularly useful is the article’s checklist to help researchers identify reputable publishers.

Another good resource is Jeffrey Beall’s Scholarly Open Access blog and its associated list of probable predatory open-access journals.

NBA Teams Encourage Fans to Go Green During Leaguewide Green Week

Read the full story from the Green Sports Alliance.

For the fifth straight season, the NBA has teamed with the Natural Resources Defense Council to celebrate Green Week from April 4-12. In partnership with league sponsor Sprint, the NBA is working with its franchises to support initiatives that increase awareness and promote sustainable action by fans.

As part of the leaguewide effort, the NBA is launching its new Mosaic tracking program to allow all 30 NBA teams to track, analyze, and identify cost savings opportunities within their environmental footprint. The 67 contests held during Green Week will offset all electricity use in collaboration with renewable energy supplier Sterling Planet, which will help avoid the release of more than 10 million pounds of carbon into the atmosphere.

In addition, official on-court apparel provider adidas is outfitting every player with 100% organic cotton shooting shirts. Players and coaches will also be donning other NBA Green gear to help promote the initiative. Another league sponsor, Sprint, is working with the league to promote electronic waste recycling with their “Pledge to Recycle”- by pledging to recycle old mobile devices, fans will be entered in a contest for a chance to win a grand prize trip for two to the 2013 NBA Finals.

JoVE now accepting submissions for new environmental sciences section

JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) is now accepting articles for its new section JoVE Environment. JoVE Environment will launch in September and will be a multidisciplinary section encompassing all aspects of green methodology and environmental sciences. Currently, JoVE is accepting submissions to this section for articles on renewable energy, sustainable materials, environmental engineering, ecological health, marine biology, ecology, agricultural sciences, and geosciences among others.

JoVE is a peer reviewed scientific journal that pairs scholarly text with professional videos. This revolutionary journal allows scientists to publish cutting edge methodologies and innovations in a video-based format that is conducive to new levels of reproducibility and transparency.

“We are especially looking forward to launching JoVE Environment because it is a section that will impact all areas of science,” says Deputy Editorial Director of Physical Sciences Alexa Meehan. “JoVE Environment is long overdue as both academic and industry research have moved towards more environmentally conscientious practices for some time now. This section will give the environmental sciences a platform to effectively present research approaches and will offer an unparalleled forum to disseminate “greener” technology.”

Founded in 2006, JoVE has published over 2200 video articles in seven scientific disciplines. The journal publishes peer-reviewed manuscripts accompanied by professionally made videos. The journal is currently accepting submissions to JoVE Environment; for more information please e-mail

About JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments:

JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, is the first and only PubMed/MEDLINE-indexed, peer-reviewed journal devoted to publishing scientific research in a video format. Using an international network of videographers, JoVE films and edits videos of researchers performing new experimental techniques at top universities, allowing students and scientists to learn them much more quickly. As of April 2013, JoVE has published video-protocols from an international community of nearly 6,000 authors in the fields of biology, medicine, chemistry, and physics.

American Chemical Society announces first Presidential Climate Science Challenge Grants

The American Chemical Society (ACS) today announced awarding the first grants in a new initiative intended to increase understanding of the science underpinning global climate change among thousands of people around the country.

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Ph.D., 2012 president of ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, said that 11 of the Society’s local sections will receive the first ACS Presidential Climate Science Challenge Grants. The local sections, which are smaller subdivisions of the Society, will use the grants in implementing innovative ways to encourage use of the ACS Climate Science Toolkit to engage a wide variety of audiences. Shakhashiri, a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced the recipients during the ACS’ 245th National Meeting & Exposition, being held here through Thursday.

The ACS Climate Science Toolkit is a web-based resource that explains the chemistry and physics of climate change. Launched last December, it was one of the major initiatives of Shakhashiri’s term as ACS president.

“We can anticipate significant impacts and better understanding in this critical area by thousands of people as a result of this ground-breaking program,” said Alan W. Elzerman, Ph.D., of Clemson University, who chaired the selection committee. “We feel very strongly that this program has started something very useful and powerful that we would hope will continue as a vehicle for ACS leadership on this topic.”

Shakhashiri explained that the mechanisms of climate change are based on fundamental concepts that may not be familiar to scientists working in disciplines unrelated to climate change. They need a robust understanding themselves in order to help others who are not scientists understand the issues relevant to maintaining a livable climate.

“These inaugural grants will encourage ACS members to take up the mantle as scientist-citizens and reach out with climate science information to their colleagues and others,” said Shakhashiri. “These include teachers, college and university faculty, industrial scientists and business leaders, civic and religious groups, professional science and educational organizations, and elected public officials at all levels and in all branches of government.”

The grants, $3,000 each, were awarded to the following ACS local sections: Central New Mexico; Dallas-Fort Worth; Illinois Heartland; Iowa; Kalamazoo, Mich.; New York; Northern W.V.; Portland, Ore.; Puerto Rico; Puget Sound; and Wakarusa Valley in Kansas.

In addition to Elzerman, the selection committee included Jerry A. Bell, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Lucy Eubanks, Clemson University; Larry Krannich, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Kathleen Schulz, Ph.D., Business Results, Inc.

A symposium focusing on the ACS Climate Science Toolkit and scientists’ responsibility to communicate climate science to the public will be held at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in 206-207 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as part of the ACS meeting. The sessions, which include almost 12,000 presentations on new scientific discoveries and other topics, continue through Thursday.

Study: Microalgae produce more oil faster for energy, food, or products

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

Scientists this week described technology that accelerates microalgae’s ability to produce many different types of renewable oils for fuels, chemicals, foods and personal-care products within days using standard industrial fermentation. The presentation was part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting, with 12,000 presentations on advances in science and other topics, continues here through Thursday.

Walter Rakitsky, Ph.D, explained that microalgae are the original oil producers on earth, and that all of the oil-producing machinery present in higher plants resides within these single-cell organisms. Solazyme’s breakthrough biotechnology platform unlocks the power of microalgae, achieving over 80% oil within each individual cell at commercial scale while changing the triglyceride oil paradigm by their ability to tailor the oil profiles by carbon chain and saturation. The ability to produce multiple oils in a matter of days out of one plant location using standard industrial fermentation is a game-changer. Solazyme’s patented microalgae strains have become the workhorses of a growing industry focused on producing commercial quantities of microalgal oil for energy and food applications. Rakitsky is with Solazyme, Inc., of South San Francisco, Calif., one of the largest and most successful of those companies, which in 2011 supplied 100 percent microalgal-derived advanced biofuel for the first U.S. passenger jetliner flight powered by advanced biofuel.

Reducing waste of food: A key element in feeding billions more people

Read the full story at

Families can be key players in a revolution needed to feed the world, and could save money by helping to cut food losses now occurring from field to fork to trash bin, an expert said here today. He described that often-invisible waste in food—4 out of every 10 pounds produced in the United States alone—and the challenges of feeding a global population of 9 billion in a keynote talk at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Engineering Algae to Make the ‘Wonder Material’ Nanocellulose for Biofuels and More

Read the full story at Science Daily.

Genes from the family of bacteria that produce vinegar, Kombucha tea and nata de coco have become stars in a project — which scientists today said has reached an advanced stage — that would turn algae into solar-powered factories for producing the “wonder material” nanocellulose. Their report on advances in getting those genes to produce fully functional nanocellulose was part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, being held here this week.