Job announcement: Water Quality Engineer — Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS)

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) has many funded projects that focus on emerging contaminants within water supply, wastewater, and groundwater.  This position is designed to provide engineering design expertise to scale-up water quality technologies so that they can be deployed across the state.  This position is expected to establish a research program that interacts with agencies and outside contractors to enable the scale-up of these processes. 

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment.   Learn more at

Perfecting recycled plastic

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

Evergreen Plastics, Clyde, Ohio, is focusing on growing to meet new demands for rPET, including food-grade applications.

The use of jargon kills people’s interest in science, politics

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

When scientists and others use their specialized jargon terms while communicating with the general public, the effects are much worse than just making what they’re saying hard to understand. In a new study, people exposed to jargon when reading about subjects like self-driving cars and surgical robots later said they were less interested in science than others who read about the same topics, but without the use of specialized terms.

New Process For Preserving Lumber Could Offer Advantages Over Pressure Treating

Read the full story from Georgia Tech.

Pressure treating – which involves putting lumber inside a pressurized watertight tank and forcing chemicals into the boards – has been used for more than a century to help stave off the fungus that causes wood rot in wet environments. Now Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new method that could one day replace conventional pressure treating as a way to make lumber not only fungal-resistant but also nearly impervious to water.

Consumers may be wasting more than twice as much food as commonly believed

Read the full story in PLOS.

Consumers are likely wasting much more food than commonly believed, according to a new study.

Citizen scientists may be an untapped resource for water quality improvement

Read the full story from Penn State University.

Raising awareness and offering technological tools to the thousands of citizens groups in the U.S. that monitor water quality might help community leaders tap these volunteers as a way to improve access to plentiful, clean water and possibly avoid water-related crises, according to a team of researchers.

The team studied the water quality monitoring practices of more than a dozen citizen groups and university and government organizations in Centre County, where Penn State’s University Park campus is located. The 13 water groups the team studied included ClearWater Conservancy, Centre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps, and the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

More farm groups now acknowledge manmade climate change and are forming climate smart plans

Read the full story in Successful Farming.

Farmers and farm groups typically have been skeptical about acknowledging manmade climate change. That’s changing, though.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) have formed its Agriculture-Climate Partnership to tap agriculture’s climate-solving potential. Although agriculture contributes 13% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, it also presents an effective solution that can eliminate agriculture’s emissions and offset those of other sectors, according to these groups. This effort is stressing climate smart agricultural practices.

Climate change to create farmland in the north, but at environmental costs, study reveals

Read the full story from the University of Guelph.

In a warming world, Canada’s north may become our breadbasket of the future—but this new “farming frontier” also poses environmental threats from increased carbon emissions to degraded water quality, according to the first-ever study involving University of Guelph researchers

How Growers Can Get a Better Handle on Soil Health

Read the full story in Growing Produce.

The importance of soil health and its role in the future of sustainable agriculture has been a topic of much discussion. While specialty crop growers understand the importance of healthy soils, much of the research on the topic has been dedicated to row crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton. But that’s changing, and more emphasis is being placed on soil health in fruit and vegetable production.

Adopt a carbon tax to protect tropical forests

Read the full story in Nature.

A levy on fossil fuels can support and restore ecosystems that help to stem climate change.