National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with agencies throughout the federal government, are initiating the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data generated by NWSS will help public health officials to better understand the extent of COVID-19 infections in communities.

CDC is currently developing a portal for state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments to submit wastewater testing data into a national database for use in summarizing and interpreting data for public health action. Participation in a national database will ensure data comparability across jurisdictions.

Data from wastewater testing is not meant to replace existing COVID-19 surveillance systems, but is meant to complement them by providing:

  • An efficient pooled community sample.
  • Data for communities where timely COVID-19 clinical testing is underutilized or unavailable.
  • Data at the sub-county level.

University of Arizona wastewater testing finds virus at dorm, prevents outbreak

Read the full story in the Arizona Republic.

The University of Arizona found early signs of COVID-19 in a student dorm this week by testing wastewater and were able to head off an outbreak there, school leaders announced Thursday.

Researchers at the school have looked for traces of the virus in wastewater samples taken from the greater Tucson area since March and have gathered samples from 20 buildings on the UA campus since school started.

Job announcement: Digital Communications Intern, World Resources Institute

More information.

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities. 

Internships at WRI provide opportunities for motivated, young professionals to learn from our experts and participate in engaging work at the intersection of environment and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs and offices. We seek interns with diverse backgrounds and who are passionate about the environment to help us make a direct global impact.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.   

Internship Summary  

The Digital Communications Intern will primarily work with the Digital team at WRI, but also the broader Core Communications team as described below. The position requires someone who is highly organized, detail-oriented and enthusiastic; familiar with digital tools, technologies and trends; and a creative and strong writer. An interest in environmental issues and/or international development is highly desirable. 

Social Media Marketing (40%) 

WRI maintains a very active social media program across both our institutional channels and those managed by our many programs. Working closely with and reporting to WRI’s Online Engagement Architect & Strategist, the intern will help draft platform-specific posts and shareable assets, create social media kits, coordinate social media promotions with programs and more. Content Support (40%) 

The Digital team at WRI is in the midst a large, year-long effort to modernize An important part of that project is managing all of the content that exists within the site – content that will need to be migrated to the new platform, some of which will be rewritten. The intern will support this area of the project, working alongside the project lead and WRI’s editorial team.   

Communications Support (20%) 

The intern will also provide broad support to WRI’s Core Communication team including with operations, scheduling, writing, events, and other duties as required. 

Learning Outcomes 

The internship will gain experience in the following areas: 

  • You will work on a diverse set of communications professionals and interact with staff in different programs, centers and international offices.  
  • You will be part of the conceptualization, strategy and planning of a large-scale website redesign. 
  • You will experience first-hand the fast-paced, dynamic nature of social media outreach on some of the most important issues of our time.   
  • You will gain exposure to one of the leading global research organizations with a focus on the environment and international development. 
  • You will be exposed to social media tools such as Hootsuite Enterprise and Brandwatch.  

Internship Qualifications 

  • Recent undergraduate or graduate student in communications is desirable 
  • Proven experience on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. 
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple projects at the same time 
  • Strong communication skills, including written and oral communications 
  • Strong interest in digital communications 
  • An ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines 
  • Comfortable interning remotely  

General Internship Requirements 

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.  
  • U.S. work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas. 


This is a paid internship. 

Duration and Location  

  • This is a full-time, six-month internship with flexible start and end dates based on the individuals availability and need for the project. 
  • This is a remote-based internship with the option to work out of the Washington D.C. office once it reopens. WRI will provide a laptop for the duration of your internship. 

How to Apply 

Please submit a resume and cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI’s policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds. 

Glass Recycling: Myth Vs. Fact

Read the full story at Waste360.

Few pros in the recycling industry will say it’s impossible to recycle glass. But many questions remain about this practice, from how glass impacts contamination of the rest of the stream to whether there’s money to be made in working with glass.

With input from Strategic Materials, the largest glass recycler in North America, and data from the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), this article calls out common myths and clarifies facts regarding glass recycling.

Why plastic waste is an ideal building material

Read the full story at BBC’s Future Planet.

What if we turned the world’s growing wastelands of disused plastics into a new kind of sustainable building?

Climate fund for poor nations vows to drive green COVID recovery

Read the full story from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The Green Climate Fund has promised developing nations it will ramp up efforts to help them tackle climate challenges as they strive to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, approving $879 million in backing for 15 new projects around the world.

At a four-day virtual board meeting ending late Friday, the fund added Afghanistan and Sudan to a list of more than 100 countries receiving a total of $6.2 billion to reduce planet-heating emissions and enhance climate resilience.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up under U.N. climate talks in 2010 to help developing nations tackle global warming, and started allocating money in 2015.

A Practical Overview of Methodologies for Sampling and Analysis of Microplastics in Riverine Environments

Campanale, C.; Savino, I.; Pojar, I.; Massarelli, C.; Uricchio, V.F. “A Practical Overview of Methodologies for Sampling and Analysis of Microplastics in Riverine Environments.” Sustainability 2020, 12, 6755. [open access]

Abstract: Microplastics have recently been stated as being remarkable contaminants of all environmental matrices. The lack of consistent and standardised methods and protocols used to evaluate and quantify microplastics present in riverine systems made a comparison among different studies a critical issue. Based on literature research and the practical expertise of the authors, this work presents a complete collection and analysis of procedures concerning the monitoring of microplastics in riverine environments, focusing on their sampling and analytical protocols to identify, quantify, and characterise them. Further details regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each analytical technique described, such as general recommendations and suggestions, are provided to give practical support for analytical procedures. In particular, microplastics studies consist firstly of their sampling from the aquatic compartment (aqueous and solid phase). Based on the goal of the research, specific devices can be used to collect particles from different matrices. It follows their quantification after extraction from the environmental matrix, adopting different protocols to isolate microplastics from a large amount of organic matter present in a riverine system. In the end, additional qualitative analyses (e.g., RAMAN and FTIR spectroscopy, GC-MS) are required to identify the chemical composition of particles for a better image regarding the abundance of polymer types, their origin, or other information related to manufacturing processes.

The Ocean’s Microplastics Mess: Technology & Technique to Identify & Clean Up

Read the full story at Marine Technology News.

The science and technology surrounding discovery, mitigation and clean-up of microplastics in the world’s environment makes this year’s “MTR100.” Here we offer insights on the organizations, people and technologies taking the lead.

The strategy behind turning department stores into warehouses

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

Rumors are circulating about Amazon converting vacant mall space into fulfillment centers — a move experts say would round out its omnichannel approach.

Elevate, don’t assimilate, to revolutionize the experience of scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour

Halsey, S.J., Strickland, L.R., Scott-Richardson, M. et al. “Elevate, don’t assimilate, to revolutionize the experience of scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour.” Nature Ecology & Evolution (2020).

Abstract: As early-career Black women, we argue that encouraging assimilation is not enough to address systemic racism and outline suggestions for how minoritized individuals can not only survive, but thrive, in ecology and evolutionary biology.