Native American tribes to co-manage national monument for first time

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Biden administration has reached a historic agreement to give five Native American tribes more say over the day-to-day management of a national monument in Utah, marking a new chapter in the federal government’s often-fraught relationship with tribes.

Recycling renewables: A special series

As the world rolls out more solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, we’re cleaning up electricity — and generating a lot of equipment that will ultimately need to be recycled. The clean energy sector has drastically lower impacts on the environment than fossil fuels, but still needs to do its part to conserve resources and curb waste. In this week of special coverage, Canary Media reports on the technologies, policies and companies that can make clean energy even cleaner.

Articles in the series include:

What is environmental racism? Injustices throughout history and today

Read the full story at Treehugger.

Environmental racism is defined as the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color. Environmental justice is the movement against environmental racism—one focused on minimizing environmental impacts on all people, advocating for fairer environmental policies and lawmaking, and installing greater protections for BIPOC communities.

Environmental racism has encompassed many types of environmental issues and discriminations that still persist today. Incidents of environmental racism might be widely publicized, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. On the other hand, many cases are not as well-known and sometimes framed outside of the scope of racism, such as disproportionate heat deaths.

Here, we’ll review some key examples throughout history and what is being done today to address environmental racism.

Hear from four TJ freshmen admitted under controversial circumstances

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Sarah Castillo, 15, grew up never considering the possibility of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Then two years ago, Thomas Jefferson, known as TJ and frequently ranked the best public high school in America, radically altered its admissions process, eliminating a much-feared test and a $100 application fee, in the hope of admitting more students of color and low-income students.

The changes at the magnet school in Northern Virginia sent parents and alumni into a frenzy. Some were thrilled that the first class admitted under the new system boasted more Black and Hispanic students, at 7 percent and 11 percent, than any other in recent memory. But others lamented a 20 percent decrease in Asian American representation, and a group of disgruntled parents eventually filed a lawsuit alleging the admissions system is racially discriminatory. That suit, which recently drew the attention of the Supreme Court, is ongoing.

But, as the adults went to battle in courtrooms, students such as Sarah Castillo were reconsidering their options. Hundreds of students who had neither thought of applying to TJ, nor felt they had a chance of acceptance under the old admissions system, now took the plunge, and some of them, including Sarah, got in.

These students spent the past year finding their way inside the school, adjusting to its notoriously heavy workload and trying to make good grades alongside good friends. Constantly sounding in the background, even for those who tried to ignore it, were the voices of adults, and sometimes fellow students, who insisted the admissions process that accepted them was illegitimate, that they did not belong at TJ.

The Washington Post followed four TJ freshmen — Sarah Castillo, Ershad Sulaiman, Kaiwan Bilal and Julie Marco — through a difficult, unusual and absorbing academic year. Here, in their own words, is what it was like.

Air pollution more likely to harm people of color in Wisconsin, especially in Milwaukee, study finds

Read the full story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

People of color in Wisconsin are more likely to be exposed to harmful air pollution than white people, creating the third-largest disparity in the country, according to a state environmental advocacy group. 

Clean Wisconsin analyzed data from a recent study from the University of Illinois, which calculated the exposure to fine particulate matter in the air among different racial-ethnic groups. The study, overall, found that people of color are exposed to more particulate air pollution than white residents. 

In Wisconsin, analysts found one of the largest racial disparities between the impacts of dangerous particulate matter. 

Sustainable shopping: Four ways you can help consumers navigate environmental claims

Read the full story at Dairy Reporter.

Growing demand for environmentally responsible food and drink has been accompanied by increased concern over greenwashed claims and rising confusion over what they actually mean. Els Zeeuwen, Director Branding & Communications at FrieslandCampina Ingredients, shares four top tips to help shoppers navigate these muddied waters.

Tech’s e-waste problems

Read the full story at Clean Technica.

Tech surrounds us and beckons us to the newest and best products that companies have to offer. What we don’t consider in our upgrades is the damage to people and the environment these devices involve. What’s the solution?

Lake Michigan water-level rise affects inland waterways, study finds

Read the full story from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

2020 marked Lake Michigan’s highest water level in 120 years, experts said, and climate variance makes future water levels challenging to predict. Coastal impacts are well-documented, but the effect of lake level rise on the area’s inland waterways is poorly understood. A University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study examined how Lake Michigan’s rising levels affect water quality, flood control and invasive species management within the Chicago-area waterway system that connects the lake to Illinois, Indiana and the Mississippi River basin.

The study, led by civil and environmental engineering professor Marcelo Garcia and graduate student Dongchen Wang, focused on how lake-level rise influences the unique bidirectional flow of the Chicago-area waterway system – initiated by the engineered reversal of the Chicago River in 1900 – and its connection to the Calumet-area waterway subsystem situated along the Illinois-Indiana border.

Methods to evaluate the aging of photovoltaics

Read the full story at AZO Materials.

A paper recently published a paper in the journal Energies demonstrated a novel method to accurately evaluate photovoltaic (PV) module degradation rates for aging diagnosis through the on-site measurement of PV power output. 

A computer program designed to sort mice squeaks is also finding whales in the deep

Read the full story at NPR.

Deep Squeak is the name of an artificial intelligence program that was designed to detect the high-frequency “squeaks” mice and rats make when they are stressed.

But a new application of the technology is putting a much bigger emphasis on the “deep”: It’s being used to search for whales and other marine mammals in a ocean environments.

If that seems like a classic case of mislabeling, blame marine ecologist Elizabeth Ferguson and her company Ocean Science Analytics, which leads the project.