How can we break the cycle of bigger farms and fewer farmers?

Read the full post in Grist. This article is part of a mini-series on the plight of the mid-sized farm. Read part 1 on the difficulties of organic farming and part 2 on the contrasts between foodies and farmers.  The calculus that drives farmers off the land, and drives the documentary Dryland, is simple and inexorable. Historian …

References and Resources for Just-in-Time Teaching

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014. https://www.scout.wisc.edu The scholars at the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College have created this set of Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) resources designed for the busy educator. Visitors can learn how to use these resources in a range of different disciplines, including biology, chemistry, economics, and the …

EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on TCE

Read the full story in Environmental Leader. The EPA has released a final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical the agency says may harm human health and the environment. The final risk assessment identifies health risks from TCE exposures to workers when TCE is used as a degreaser in small commercial shops and as …

The genesis of climate change activism: from key beliefs to political action

Download the open access publication. Climate change activism has been uncommon in the U.S., but a growing national movement is pressing for a political response. To assess the cognitive and affective precursors of climate activism, we hypothesize and test a two-stage information-processing model based on social cognitive theory. In stage 1, expectations about climate change …

Engineers turn LEGOs into a scientific tool to study plant growth

Read the full story in R&D Magazine. Ludovico Cademartiri had what seemed like an impossibly demanding list of requirements for his lab equipment. The Iowa State University assistant professor of materials science and engineering wants to understand environmental effects on plant growth, specifically how variations in climate and soil characteristics affect root growth. That requires …

Visualize This: Carbon Storage Tool for Now and the Future

Announced on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, a new “Land Carbon Viewer” allows users to see the land carbon storage and change in their ecosystems between 2005 and 2050 in the lower 48 states. The Land Carbon Viewer Website, developed by U.S. Geological Survey in collaboration with the University of California-Berkeley, is …

Another concern arises over groundwater contamination from fracking accidents

Read the full post at Science Codex. The oil and gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could potentially contribute more pollutants to groundwater than past research has suggested, according to a new study in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology. Scientists are reporting that when spilled or deliberately applied to land, waste …