Day: September 21, 2021

With help from citizens, Montreal researchers are tracking the trees in people’s backyards

Read the full story from the CBC.

Environmental scientists have a lot of ground to cover, so they’re calling on a small army of citizens to help.

We’re breathing PFAS: URI-led study finds harmful forever chemicals in indoor air

Read the full story from the University of Rhode Island.

The air we breathe in our homes, schools, and workplaces can be polluted with harmful PFAS chemicals, according to a study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. A new measurement technique developed by the research team, led by URI Graduate School of Oceanography scientists, detected PFAS chemicals in the air of kindergarten classrooms, university offices and laboratories, and a home—some with levels as high as those measured at an outdoor clothing company and carpet stores selling PFAS-treated products. The results suggest indoor air is an underestimated and potentially important source of exposure to PFAS, particularly for children. 

UN launches online tool to help humanitarians assess environmental risks in urban areas

Read the full story from the United Nations Environment Programme.

The United Nations today launches an online tool to help humanitarian practitioners rapidly identify and mitigate environmental risks when responding to crises in urban areas.

The free, cloud-based Urban-Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (U-NEAT+) offers an easy way to assess a range of potential environmental threats and sensitivities and suggests how to mitigate them. Assessments are recorded in an online questionnaire that can be completed with a smartphone.

Using satellite data for journalism — what I learned from the experts

Read the full story at Satellite Journalism.com.

For reporters, satellite data offers unique opportunities for original investigations and visual storytelling. But how do you get started? And what should you be looking out for?

I spoke to four journalists who regularly work with satellite data about how to start, best practices and — most importantly — mistakes to avoid. Here’s what I learned:

The push for open access is making science less inclusive

Read the full story at Times Higher Education.

Researchers in developing countries could be frozen out by high article charges unless wider publishing reform is undertaken, say four Brazilian researchers.

NIEHS helps NIH take top honors in International Freezer Challenge

Read the full story at Environmental Factor.

NIEHS efforts to store research samples more sustainably helped the National Institutes of Health (NIH) win the Top Government Organization Award in the 2021 International Freezer Challenge for the second year in a row. The Freezer Challenge is a cold storage competition for laboratories, and it is run by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories, both of which are nonprofit organizations.

Lack of non-English languages in STEM publications hurts diversity

Read the full story from Northwestern University.

With today’s existing translation tools to overcome language barriers, global collaboration should be no major feat for researchers. Yet throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, articles published in Chinese journals focusing on critical aspects of the disease were often never cited by English journals. As a result, U.S. academics wasted precious time performing research thereby replicating already published results.

Researchers cannot simply push papers through simple translation tools and turn out legible multilingual science. And, in the absence of human translators trained in technical subject matter readily available, most researchers choose to publish science, technology engineering and math (STEM) research in the dominant English language.

Now a team of graduate students at Northwestern University aims to change that.

In a paper published today (Aug. 31) titled “A Call to Diversify the Lingua Franca of Academic STEM Communities” in the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, members of Northwestern’s Science Policy Outreach Taskforce (SPOT) call for new government policy measures to create a path to linguistic diversity in STEM publications.

Hi-tech wooden flooring can turn footsteps into electricity

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Swiss scientists develop prototype ‘nanogenerator’ that produces renewable energy when trodden on.

Air Quality Life Index: 2021 Annual Update

Download the document.

New data from the AQLI underscores the health threat of a world without policy action. Unless global particulate air pollution is reduced to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline, the average person is set to lose 2.2 years off their lives. Residents of the most polluted areas of the world could see their lives cut short by 5 years or more.

Suckers, trash fish and the fight over food traditions in Oregon’s Klamath Basin

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Fight to save fish tells story of how European food preferences clashed with tribal systems, shaping what we choose to protect.

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