Technology Diffusion and Pollution Prevention

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The information in this publication was originally developed as narrative for the Technology Diffusion Topic Hub in 2004. Topic Hubs were web-based guides to peer-reviewed pollution prevention information and expertise on specific subjects. They were developed by centers in the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) network, which was funded by U.S. EPA until 2018.

This publication was created by Laura L. Barnes, Sustainability Information Curator at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, to preserve the topic hub’s narrative content and include peer-reviewed studies and new publications on the topic.

Lizards gone wild! UC Berkeley researcher’s ‘feminist science’ bucks male-dominated inquiry

Read the full story in the San Jose Mercury News.

For as long as humans have practiced science, men have dominated research. Much of our understanding of the world has been filtered through their beliefs. For UC Berkeley post-doctoral researcher Ambika Kamath, that’s a problem.

The behavioral ecologist studies Anolis sagrei, the brown anole, a small lizard native to the Caribbean and introduced in Florida. For years, it was widely believed that this reptile was territorial, and that females would mate only with the male whose area they occupied. When women scientists first found evidence that might not be the case, their conclusions were dismissed, their findings deemed exceptions, and their papers rejected, Kamath says.

Plants could remove six years of carbon dioxide emissions — if we protect them

Read the full story from Imperial College London.

By analysing 138 experiments, researchers have mapped the potential of today’s plants and trees to store extra carbon by the end of the century.

Study Finds Farm-Level Food Waste is Much Worse Than We Thought

Read the full story in Civil Eats. The full study is available in the October 2019 issue of Resources, Conservation, and Recycling.

Unharvested crops dramatically bump up estimates of U.S. food waste. But some farmers—who get demonized for working within a system they didn’t create—are seeking solutions to get that food to market.

The East Coast is sinking under water—this photographer is documenting it as it disappears

Read the full story in Fast Company.

As climate change pushes sea levels higher around the world, the water is rising especially fast along the East Coast of the U.S. as the land simultaneously sinks. In low-lying Charleston, South Carolina, where the local sea level was first measured in 1921, the water has risen around a foot in the intervening century—and even when the city isn’t facing a hurricane, city streets already regularly flood.

In a new photo series, photographer J. Henry Fair is documenting American coastlines before the worst impacts of climate change happen. A new book, On the Edge, focuses on his home state of South Carolina, where Fair worked with local pilots, flying over cities, suburban developments, and wetlands to take aerial shots near the water’s edge. “

Spotsylvania Solar Farm: Watershed Environmental Analysis: Material and Chemical Impacts

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The purpose of this compiled review is to answer the research question: What are the implications of the materials being used in the Spotsylvania sPower solar farm and the impacts of any contributing chemicals? I will approach this question using a theoretical framework to investigate the public participation (PP) process (Munch-Petersen, 2017) in the preliminary environmental analysis research done by sPower (in accordance with their special use permit [SUP]). This will be a context-specific framework, in which I will navigate the discrepancies between the environmental SUP information and citizen concerns about the chemicals and materials used in the sPower solar plant. The ultimate goal of this research is to address the most pertinent concerns of Spotsylvania’s citizens and present the most up to date and easy to understand information in the form of condensed informational flyers. As part of a larger informational project, this paper will elaborate on, and supplement, the content of these flyers. I hope to build on the theoretical framework of this project by presenting a report that properly addresses the questions and needs of the PP in sPower’s SUP. In the end, the larger informational product, Spotsylvania Solar Farm: Watershed Environmental Analysis (story map), will incorporate this paper’s core conclusion that the larger problem in the sPower debate is a lack of streamlined information to citizens about sPower’s SUP. Overall, by illuminating and further clarifying these discrepancies, we hope to contribute to a larger literature of EIA analysis to better incorporate and address the citizens directly involved.

How are soil scientists studying soils underwater?

Read the full post from the Soil Science Society of America.

Subaqueous soils are soils that are permanently under water. They are typically under only a few meters of water, but deeper areas are being explored as well. They contribute to healthy ecosystems in marshes and estuaries, as well as tidal basins and coastal areas.

Some underwater soils formed in upland environments. They were later “drowned” by rising sea levels, preserving bright colors and structure in the soil profile. Others formed under water in sediments. With the accumulation of organic matter and minerals like pyrite, they became soils. In either case, it is important to understand how subaqueous soils change across submerged landscapes. This understanding can lead us to best management practices. Ordinary upland soils are mapped and ranked in terms of their suitability to support food crops. Our lab at the University of Maryland is developing similar interpretations for subaqueous soils and how they can support oysters and other shellfish “crops” in Chesapeake Bay.

University of Kentucky chemistry professor to study atmospheric reactions of pollution

Read the full story from the University of Kentucky.

Marcelo Guzman’s NSF-funded project will focus on how gases, such as ozone, react with pollutants in the atmosphere. The research may help reduce air pollution levels and consequently, human cardiovascular diseases.

Key factors in how some algae harness solar energy

Read the full story from Rutgers University.

Scientists have discovered how diatoms — a type of alga that produce 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen — harness solar energy for photosynthesis. The discovery could help lead to more efficient and affordable algae-based biofuels and combat climate change from fossil fuel burning.

Research bias may leave some primates at risk

Read the full story from the University of Texas at Austin.

Recent primate research has had a heavy focus on a few charismatic species and nationally protected parks and forests, leaving some lesser known primates and their habitats at risk.