Day: July 12, 2011

New Heat Exchanger to Save Energy in Computer Cooling Equipment

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today highlighted a new type of heat exchanger technology that performs better and uses less energy compared with the air-cooling technologies for computer chips currently on the market. This innovative technology, developed by DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories and dubbed the “Sandia Cooler,” is used to maintain operating temperatures for chips in large-scale IT systems such as data centers — where high efficiency innovations can lead to considerable energy and cost savings — and once commercially available, has the potential to be used in personal computers and other devices in the future. DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories is currently accepting applications from companies to license, manufacture, and market the device.

Computer systems must effectively remove heat to operate properly, but removing heat takes energy. This new type of heat exchanger displaces the heat produced by a computer chip more efficiently than traditional systems by using an improved rotating structure. Because this smaller, quieter and more efficient heat exchanger cools the chips in energy-intensive IT systems, it has the potential to significantly reduce the energy requirements of IT systems. An added benefit is that the performance doesn’t degrade over its lifespan like it can in current exchangers.

DOE identified heat exchangers as a crucial technology for research and development because they are used in many diverse applications. Heat exchangers are an essential component in equipment for homes and buildings such as heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters, lighting, refrigerators, personal computers, and many other appliances that generate heat as a by-product. With support from DOE, Sandia National Laboratories is developing similar heat exchanger designs to improve the performance of these everyday appliances. According to Sandia researchers, if the technology can be scaled up for wide use in appliances and other devices, it has the potential to reduce overall electric power consumption in the U.S. by more than seven percent.

Sandia National Laboratories is seeking applications from IT component manufacturers that are interested in licensing the technology for manufacture and commercialization. Interested companies are invited to review and respond to the solicitation through July 15, 2011. The solicitation can be found on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

A technical white paper on the Sandia Cooler technology is available for download.

Cities Soak up More Carbon Than We Thought

Read the full story at Good.

The climate change news beat is usually void of any uplifting stories, but a recent study by scientists in the UK offered a rare bit of positive news. It turns out that cities, typically considered to be carbon-spewers rather than carbon-absorbers, can actually store quite a bit of the stuff.

Conservation scientists from the University of Kent found out that the mid-sized city of Leicester stores ten times as much carbon as earlier calculated, about 231,000 tons. That’s equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 150,000 sedans. Leicester could further expand its capacity to store carbon by planting more trees. Currently most of Leicester’s publicly owned land is covered in grass, but transitioning that land to just 10 percent tree coverage would amp up the city’s carbon storage by 12 percent.

NatureStart Program Accepting Applications

The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) has received a 21st Century Museum Professionals grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to launch a professional development program in early childhood nature play programming for zoo, aquarium, museum, and nature center professionals.

CZS has partnered with Chicago Wilderness to offer this training free of charge to 20 environmental educators from Chicago Wilderness member organizations. Priority will be given to those education programs that have a demonstrated commitment to programs for young children aged birth to 8 and their families, or are in the process of developing programs for this audience. The training will take place in three phases over 1.5 years.

Additional information about the training is included in the application form at Application must be completed and submitted on or before Friday, July 29, 2011. Contact: David Becker at

Nurturing Young Scientists Educator Workshops

Space is still available for a series of exciting teacher workshops running from July 18 – 22, 2011, at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Educators are invited to register for the Nurturing Young Scientists workshop which will feature guest scientists studying a variety of topics from oak savannas to Lake Michigan and from butterfly migration to climate change.

Teachers, pre-service teachers, naturalists, scout leaders, youth leaders and anyone who works with young people in grades K – 12 are invited to attend and explore resource issues, current research and citizen science projects they can use with the youth they work with both in and out of the classroom. Educators can participate for one or more days or the entire week…and registration costs have been reduced to just $10 per day!

Each day will feature a different scientist and will include field work and citizen science activities. Also woven into each day will be opportunities to utilize the National Geographic Society’s “FieldScope” mapping, analysis and collaboration tool. The workshop will be held at the Douglas Center for Environmental Education and will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Daily topics include:

  • Monday, July 18 — Teaching and Learning through Community Engagement
  • Tuesday, July 19—Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Wednesday, July 20—Invasive Species
  • Thursday, July 21—Butterflies and Oak Savannas
  • Friday, July 22— Climate Change Impacts

Registration is limited. To register on-line for specific days use the following links:

People may also register by calling the Dunes Learning Center at 219-395-9555 or emailing

Participants can earn up to three hours of graduate credit through Indiana University Northwest or Chicago State University, for an extra cost and with some extra lesson plan work. Register directly with IUN on their website, or call 219-980-6514 for more information. Register for CSU credit by contacting Mike Siola at 773-995-2964. Teachers can receive CEUs for participating.

Field Trip Packs for Loan to Early Childhood Educators

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education has developed a new educator resource, and it’s arriving just in time for the 2011-2012 school year. Field Trip Packs for loan to early childhood educators (grades prekindergarten through three) will be available within two weeks from lending locations throughout Illinois.

Each pack is a backpack that contains hands-on equipment to encourage young children to engage in nature exploration. Suggestions for educators on how to incorporate natural-resources related topics into the curriculum are also included. To see the list of lending locations and the pack content list, visit

AT&T signs up for 11 fuel cell ‘Bloom Boxes’

Read the full story from SmartPlanet.

Bloom Energy and telecom giant AT&Tsaid Tuesday that the cleantech startup would install its fuel cell-powered Energy Servers — known colloquially as “Bloom Boxes” — at eleven facilities in California.

The AT&T facilities include sites in Corona, Fontana, Hayward, Pasadena, Redwood City, Rialto, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose and San Ramon.

EPA Administrator Announces National Grants to Train Jobseekers in Green Jobs and Clean Up of Contaminated Sites

Today in Atlanta, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that EPA is awarding more than $6.2 million in national environmental workforce development and job training grants to 21 grantees to recruit, train, and place unemployed, predominantly low-income residents in polluted areas. Administrator Jackson was joined by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at the press conference where the two highlighted the impact the investment will have on five targeted low-income Atlanta neighborhoods that will benefit from funding and training under the grant program.

“These job training grants are not just helping to create good jobs, they’re helping create good, green jobs that protect the health of local families and residents and prepare communities for continued economic growth. We’re looking to the people and community organizations who know these areas best to find the places where green jobs and environmental protection are going to do the most good,” said EPA Administrator Jackson. “Creating good green jobs proves that we don’t have to choose between cleaning up our air and our water or creating jobs in our communities. We’re showing that it’s possible to do both at the same time.”

“‪‪Today marks a great day for the city and for the future of workforce development in Atlanta,” said Mayor Reed. “Congratulations to the Center for Working Families on being awarded this grant. I also want to thank EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for making this important announcement in Atlanta. The EPA’s focus on developing more green jobs is in lock-step with my administration’s priorities, and will helps us to build a green workforce and create sustainable jobs.”

Since 1998, EPA has awarded more than $35 million under the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program.  As of May 2011, more than 6,683 individuals have been trained through the program, and more than 4,400 have been placed in full-time employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.65. The development of this green workforce will allow the trainees to develop skills that will make them competitive in the construction and redevelopment fields.

Graduates of the program are equipped with skills and certifications in various environmental fields including lead and asbestos abatement, environmental site sampling, construction and demolition debris recycling, energy auditing and weatherization, as well as solar panel installations and green building techniques.  Graduates use these skills to improve the environment and people’s health while supporting economic development in their communities. The program has also trained and helped employ residents in the Gulf Coast responding to and cleaning up the BP oil spill, revitalizing New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and aiding in the response and clean up of the World Trade Center on 9-11.

The agency’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program helps provide unemployed individuals with the necessary skills to secure full time, sustainable jobs that help to clean up toxic chemicals in communities, advance the country’s clean energy projects and support environmental initiatives. Trainees include hard to place residents that live in the disadvantaged communities that will benefit the most through these projects.

Twenty-one governmental entities and non-profit organizations in twenty states are receiving up to $300,000 each to train individuals in the cleanup of contaminated sites and in health and safety, while also providing training in other environmental skills, such as recycling center operator training, green building design, energy efficiency, weatherization, solar installation, construction and demolition debris recycling, emergency response, and native plant revegetation.


Two on drinking water from the Government Accountability Office

Safe Drinking Water Act:  EPA Should Improve Implementation of Requirements on Whether to Regulate Additional Contaminants.  GAO-11-254, May 27.
Highlights –

Safe Drinking Water Act: Improvements in Implementation Are Needed to Better Assure the Public of Safe Drinking Water, by David C. Trimble, director, natural resources and environment, before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  GAO-11-803T, July 12.

EPA Strengthens Key Scientific Database to Protect Public Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced plans to improve its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program as part of an ongoing effort initiated in 2009 to strengthen the program. IRIS is a publicly available on-line database that provides high quality science-based human health assessments used to inform the agency’s decisions on protecting public health and the environment

“Decision makers rely on the IRIS program for accessible, science-based health assessments of environmental contaminants,” said Paul Anastas, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Further strengthening the IRIS program is part of EPA’s commitment to continuous improvement and ensuring we use the best possible science to protect human health and the environment.”

The improvements announced today will make IRIS even stronger. All new IRIS assessment documents will be shorter, clearer and more visual, concise, and transparent. IRIS users can expect to see a reduced volume of text and increased clarity and transparency of data, methods, and decision criteria. Documents will be rigorously edited to eliminate inconsistencies and address redundancies and will include more graphical and tabular representations of data. Related discussions will also be consolidated into concise narrative descriptions.

To make the scientific rationale behind the assessments and toxicity values as transparent as possible, EPA will evaluate and describe the strengths and weaknesses of critical studies in a more uniform way. EPA will also indicate which criteria were most influential in evaluating the weight of the scientific evidence supporting its choice of toxicity values.

The latest actions are in direct response to recommendations received on April 8, 2011, from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

EPA is working closely with the agency’s Science Advisory Board on how to bring to bear its expertise on an ongoing basis to focus on the quality, transparency and scientific rigor of IRIS assessments and guide EPA’s response to the NAS recommendations.

EPA will also create a new peer consultation step early in the development of major IRIS assessments to enhance the input of the scientific community as assessments are designed.

In 2009, EPA implemented an improved IRIS process to ensure scientific quality, integrity, transparency, and the timeliness of EPA’s efforts to manage chemical risks.

The process now includes a streamlined review schedule, ensuring that the majority of assessments will be finalized within two years of their start date, opportunities for input from EPA scientists, federal agency reviewers, and the public, and greater transparency by making the scientific studies used to develop assessments available through the Health and Environmental Research Online database.

The IRIS database includes more than 540 chemical substances, containing crucial information about how they impact human health. Combined with exposure information, governments and private entities use IRIS to help characterize the public health risks of chemical substances, thereby supporting risk management decisions designed to protect public health.

Third Annual Green Lodging & Hospitality Conference Call for Abstracts

Third Annual Green Lodging & Hospitality Conference
Doubletree Hotel, Orlando FL
Nov. 7-9, 2011

The Green Lodging and Hospitality Conference Committee invites you to join this important community of general managers, hotel engineers, owners and meeting professionals in Orlando, Florida by sharing your experiences and knowledge with an oral presentation or participation on a panel.  Conference proceedings of short papers and PowerPoint presentations will be made available on this conference website after the conference. If you are interested in participating in this conference, please upload a one-page write up of your topic including a general description, learning objectives and if you will be presenting material, using case studies or plan on a group activity. The agenda format is general sessions with separate tracks for Green Meetings and Green Lodging.

  • Presenters will be able to attend the conference on the day of their presentation at no charge.
  • There will be a $50 charge to attend the entire conference.
  • Each presenter is responsible for their travel arrangements and expenses.
  • All submitters will be notified by 8/26/2011, if their abstract is chosen for presentation or not.
  • Presenters will need to confirm by 9/9/2011, if they will be able to attend by:
    • registering on the conference website as a speaker
    • submitting a photo and short-bio to Dawn Jenkins,
    • This information will be listed on the conference website
  • All presenters will be required to register as a speaker on the conference website.
Green Meeting Topics
  • Current ‘green’ efforts by hoteliers
  • APEX basics and update
  • Green food and beverage
  • Greening the supply chain
  • Green AV/Production
  • Repurposing/reusing
  • Sales & Marketing Green
  • Greening the Conference Center
  • Success Stories
  • Other topics
Green Lodging Topics
  • Greening the Kitchen
  • Sustainable Housekeeping
  • Green Engineering and Material Management
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
  • Managing a Sustainable Property
  • Florida Friendly Landscaping
  • Success Stories
  • Other topics
If you have any questions, please contact: Carol Hinton,

Deadline for Abstract Submission is: July 29, 2011

Use this link to submit your 1 page abstract:

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