City critters are focus of Urban Wildlife Photo Awards

Read the full story at Treehugger.

Two coyotes pass in the night on a street in Ontario. An amateur photographer was there to capture the moment, earning top honors in a wildlife competition.

Andrew Interisano won the inaugural Urban Wildlife Photography Awards with his image “Date Night.”

Winners: SEJ 21st Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment

The Society of Environmental Journalists is pleased to announce the winners of the SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment, which honor the best stories released from February 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022, and the best books on environmental topics published in 2021.

The SEJ contest is the world’s largest and most comprehensive environmental journalism competition. This year, 485 entries in ten categories were judged by independent volunteer panels of journalists and professors.

First place winners of SEJ’s 2022 Awards for Reporting on the Environment

Visit SEJ’s website for a full list of winners and honorable mentions.


Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting, Large
First Place

“Sacrifice Zones: Mapping Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution” by Al Shaw, Lylla Younes, Ava Kofman, Lisa Song, Max Blau, Kiah Collier, Ken Ward Jr., Alyssa Johnson, Maya Miller, Lucas Waldron and Kathleen Flynn for ProPublica, with The Texas Tribune and Mountain State Spotlight


Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting, Small

First Place

“The Department of Yes: How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America” by Sharon Lerner for The Intercept


Outstanding Beat Reporting, Large

First Place

“Fiona Harvey COP26 Beat Reporting” by Fiona Harvey for The Guardian


Outstanding Beat Reporting, Small

First Place

“EPA Exposed” by Sharon Lerner for The Intercept


Outstanding Explanatory Reporting, Large

First Place

“The Greenland Connection” by Tony Bartelme (senior projects reporter) and Lauren Petracca (photographer and videographer) for The Post and Courier


Outstanding Explanatory Reporting, Small

First Place

“Troubled Waters: The Salton Sea Project” by Angela Chen, Tim Kiley, Kent Kay, Sarah-Jayne Arthur, Rebecca Johnson and Justin Tarpening for KESQ


Outstanding Feature Story, Large

First Place

“Climate Change Is Exposing the Racism Behind an Oregon Water War” by Jeremy Raff, Josh Rushing, Adrienne Haspel, Erik Ljung, Laila Al-Arian and Darya Marchenkova for Al Jazeera English


Outstanding Feature Story, Small

First Place

“The Collapse of Wild Red Wolves Is a Warning That Should Worry Us All” by Jimmy Tobias for The Nation


Outstanding Student Reporting

First Place

“Hogwash” Cameron Oglesby, Duke University, published by Grist


Rachel Carson Environment Book Award

First Place

“Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World” by Emma Marris. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Winners of the 2022 Audubon Photography Awards celebrate the beauty of our feathered friends

Read the full story at My Modern Met.

Now in its 13th year, the Audubon Photography Awards are a celebration of bird photography. Arranged by the National Audubon Society, an organization whose mission is to protect birds and their environment, the contest had 2,500 entries from across the United States and Canada. This year’s grand prize went to Jack Zhi for his image of two raptors in flight.

Keysight Technologies announces student finalists for Innovation Challenge

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced the student finalists of the 2022 Keysight Innovation Challenge. Finalists will demonstrate their design ideas before a panel of leading influencer judges at a livestreamed event to be held in the fall of 2022.   

The Keysight Innovation Challenge is a design competition in which graduate and undergraduate engineering students are tasked to conceptualize an Internet of Things (IoT) device or network of devices that will provide carbon neutrality monitoring at the community or corporate level. This year’s contest supports Keysight’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality within its Corporate Social Responsibility policies. It aims to inspire innovation to help the world reach net zero by 2050 and requires each team to be woman-led to encourage gender diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Keysight’s Innovation Challenge attracted 52 entries, with each entry scored by a panel of five judges on metrics such as innovation, real-world application, sensor effectiveness, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and cybersecurity resilience. The general public also played a key role in the judging by voting for their favorite design entries. These votes contributed to 10% of each entrant’s overall score.  

After a careful compilation of the judges’ scores and a tally of all popular votes, the Keysight Innovation Challenge finalists are:  

“Keysight’s top 6 finalist teams’ entries represent a versatile group of concepts, ranging from an autonomous carbon monitoring drone to a soil sensor ‘tree’ that can lead to gigatons of carbon capture if used to scale,” said Renee Morad, Innovation Challenge Program lead at Keysight. “We’re thrilled to see gender diversity on each team, which is promising for our next generation of leaders in STEM. The Innovation Challenge is a meaningful way Keysight is actively working to inspire the next-generation of student innovators, while encouraging a diverse pipeline of future talent in engineering.”

The world-class panel of judges for the final Keysight Innovation Challenge livestreamed event includes: Ariel Alexovich, associate public information officer for United Nations; Mehdi Sadaghdar, electrical engineer and popular YouTube influencer known as ElectroBOOM; Anand Lalwani, former Keysight Innovation Challenge winner; Gabriella Garcia, former Keysight Innovation Challenge winner; Marie Hattar, chief marketing officer of Keysight Technologies; Jeff Harris, vice president, portfolio and global marketing at Keysight Technologies; and Susan Morton, senior R&D director at Keysight Technologies.

Winners of the Keysight Innovation Challenge will be announced at the conclusion of the live event in the fall of 2022. In addition to worldwide recognition, the top winning team will receive a $30,000 USD cash prize and $30,000 USD worth of Keysight test equipment for their school. All student finalists will also receive informational interviews with Keysight for potential internships and job opportunities. 

Detailed information on the imaginative and innovative entries, including project descriptions, renderings, and videos, are at www.keysightinnovationchallenge.com.

About Keysight Technologies   

Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.9B in fiscal year 2021. For more information about Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS), visit us at www.keysight.com.

Conagra Brands, Smithfield Foods, and Bob’s Red Mill to receive sustainability awards at PACK EXPO International

Read the full story at ProFood World.

ProFood World, a publication of PMMI Media Group, a division of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is pleased to announce the winners of the eighth annual Sustainability Excellence in Manufacturing Awards.

The award-winning programs and projects were completed and operational between November 2020 and December 2021 and include the following:

Program Category

  • 1st Conagra Brands, Oakdale, Calif. – Tomato & Jalapeño Waste Reduction
  • 2nd Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods Milwaukie, Ore. – Wasted Food Rescue & Materials Management
  • 3rd Conagra Brands, Troy, Ohio – MEGA Pizza Yield Improvement

Project Category

  • 1st Conagra Brands, Irapuato, MX – Saving Water for the Future
  • 2nd Smithfield Foods, Milan, Mo. – Reusable Combos
  • 3rd Conagra Brands, Marshall, Mo. – Blast Cell Air Optimization 

Innovation Center For U.S. Dairy announces 2022 Sustainability Award Winners

The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards program recognized a class of seven exceptional farms, businesses and partnerships for their socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound practices and technologies that have a broad and positive impact.

This year’s winners displayed excellence in areas such as methane and other greenhouse gas reduction practices as well as water use efficiencies that support the industrywide 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals.

The awards, hosted by the farmer-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, have recognized more than 80 winners from nearly 300 nominees since their creation in 2012.

“This year’s winners exemplify how forward-thinking and regenerative efforts across the entire supply chain have led to positive results and what it means to be an environmental solution,” said Barbara O’Brien, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “Considered collectively, these stories of success serve as examples of all the good things U.S. dairy is doing for planetary health and why the aggressive goals we have set are within reach.”

The awards are judged by an independent panel of dairy and conservation experts who consider innovation, scalability and replicability when evaluating nominations. Among the criteria to apply for the awards is participation and good standing in the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) animal care program and agreement to participate in the FARM Environmental Stewardship online tool for determining their GHG and energy footprint. Both initiatives are part of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, U.S. dairy’s social responsibility pledge to consumers, customers and other stakeholders.

“As a dairy farmer, I understand the importance of community and being a true caretaker of the environment that surrounds our farm and these winners demonstrate these values to their neighbors every day,” said Marilyn Hershey, Pennsylvania dairy farmer and chair of the Dairy Management Inc. board of directors. “These all are solution- and results-oriented businesses who are not only making meaningful contributions locally but to the U.S. dairy industry overall.”

The 2022 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards winners are:

Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability: Deer Run Dairy, Kewaunee, Wisconsin
At Deer Run Dairy, farming is a continuous learning process. Partners Duane Ducat, Derek Ducat and Dale Bogart actively participate in Wisconsin’s Demonstration Farm Network and Discovery Research program. The region’s topography, shallow soils and proximity to Lake Michigan pose water quality challenges, and the partners have implemented numerous conservation practices to protect the water and to improve soil health. As big believers in the value of cover crops, they set and achieved a goal to seed 100% of their cropland with cover crops in the fall of 2021. Additional goals encompass the entire 1,850-cow operation, including minimal antibiotic use and feeding trials to reduce methane gas production in the rumen of the cow. All goals ladder up to the ability to be a profitable business on land that is sustained for generations to come. 

Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability: Grayhouse Farms, Inc., Stony Point, North Carolina
When it came time to build a new dairy five years ago, Jimmy and Andy Gray designed a dairy that is, as Jimmy calls it, “conservation and efficiency by design” with dozens of water and soil conservation practices in use. The flush manure management and sand separation system allows sand to be recycled nearly 100 times, and a four-stage lagoon is designed to best utilize nutrients and water. The facility for their 1,120 cows was also built to maximize cow comfort, from ventilation and fans to rubber matting, sprinklers and sand bedding. Soil conservation practices include GPS placement of nutrients, cover crops, filter strips and 100% no-till farming. Land that is not well-suited for farming is cared for with an equal amount of attention to wildlife conservation. “We understand that we hold the title of this property, but we are the caretakers, and we must be vigilant in how we farm,” says Jimmy. 

Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability: Steve and Cheryl Schlangen Dairy Farm, Albany, Minnesota
Steve and Cheryl Schlangen’s mindset of continuous improvement is a way of life on their 60-cow, 200-acre farm in Stearns County, Minnesota. They count more than 30 conservation practices, from LED lighting and cover crops to a manure-stacking slab that prevents nutrient leaching into the water and a manure injection system that uses less time, less fuel and has virtually eliminated the need for commercial fertilizer on their crops. Their enthusiasm for sharing ideas and results with others has earned them a national reputation as leaders in regenerative agriculture. Schlangen Dairy provides a blueprint for beginning farmers and generational farms to follow.

Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability: Bar 20, Kerman, California
Bar 20 Dairy’s on-farm energy investments have added up big for the environment. LED bulbs provide lighting in all the barns, reducing the demand for electricity by 75%. Two solar array installations provide electricity for the dairy barn and offset power usage of the farming operation. A dairy digester captures methane from the 7,000-cow herd and converts it into renewable electricity via fuel cells. Through a partnership with BMW North America, the combustion-free, dairy-derived electricity is transmitted via the utility grid to power electric vehicles. The methane emission reductions at the farm, when combined with the renewable energy generation, result in carbon emission reductions equivalent to providing clean power to over 17,000 electric vehicles per year. Electricity generated by the fuel cells also powers a feed mixing system, replacing diesel and reducing smog-forming emissions by 90%.

Outstanding Dairy Processing Sustainability: Milk Specialties Global, Monroe, Wisconsin
A whey processing project at Milk Specialties Global (MSG) demonstrates how making one change can deliver sustainability benefits across the supply chain. To meet surging demand for dairy protein in foods and beverages, MSG acquired a plant in Monroe to collect and process whey, a by-product of cheesemaking, into whey proteins. However, the whey supply from local cheesemakers far outweighed processing capacity. Instead of trucking the whey to a larger plant, MSG found a way to double capacity at the plant without increasing the facility’s footprint. Artisanal cheesemakers saw a waste product turn into a revenue stream. The local community benefitted too: Truck miles decreased by 237,232 miles, saving 47,446 gallons of diesel fuel and reducing GHG emissions by 486 metric tons; 2.9 million gallons of water are now reclaimed and returned to the local watershed; and more than 53,000 pounds of whey protein is produced annually to fuel athletes and animals around the globe.

Outstanding Community Impact: Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) is a community of more than 900 dairy farm families. With 90% of these located within the critical Chesapeake Bay watershed, the cooperative recognizes its responsibility to bring environmental solutions to its members and their communities. Through supply chain and partnerships with corporations, customers, and conservation non-profits, they have delivered more than $19 million in funds to make meaningful sustainability investments on member farms. To drive community impact, volunteers from MDVA and its partners participate in events such as planting riparian buffers on dairy farms and trash pick-ups along waterways. Planting riparian buffers helps protect critical waterways far beyond the reach of the farm, while also exposing people throughout the dairy supply chain to agriculture.

Outstanding Supply Chain Sustainability: Bel Brands, Land O’Lakes Inc., Boadwine Dairy
This multi-year program is designed to demonstrate the value of feed production practices that improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supports Bel Brands’ and Land O’Lakes’ shared ambitions to improve sustainable farming practices and reduce dairy’s environmental footprint. The project provides cost incentives, access to resources and expertise, and the use of the Truterra™ Insights Engine to participating farms. The first pilot took place on Boadwine Dairy, a member-owner of Land O’Lakes, where efforts to improve soil health have been ongoing for more than ten years, and is being expanded to dairy farms ranging in size from 450 to 2,000 cows in two regions.

A formal celebration of the winners is scheduled in conjunction with the Dairy Sustainability Alliance® Fall Meeting, Nov. 14-15, in Glendale, Arizona.


The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum that brings together the dairy community to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers through a framework of shared best practices and accountability. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers through the dairy checkoff, we collaborate on efforts that are important both to us and our valued customers in areas like animal care, food safety, nutrition and health, the environment and community contributions. Through the Innovation Center, the U.S. dairy community demonstrates its commitment to continuous improvement from farm to table, striving to ensure a socially responsible and economically viable dairy community.

Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge

EPA and several co-sponsors have launched the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge, a national competition to identify innovative and effective communication strategies that inform people of the risks of extreme heat and offer ways to keep safe during the hottest days.

Winners will share suitable messages and strategies used to reach target audiences with those messages, and proposed measures of effectiveness. The challenge sponsors hope to identify ways to monitor the effectiveness of heat risk campaigns and messages and share the best practices with communities across the nation.   

The challenge will award up to 10 prizes from a total prize pool of $120,000.   

Important Dates

  • Informational Webinar: June 22, 2022 at 2 pm ET  Register for the webinar.
  • Submissions Due: July 22, 2022 by 11:59 pm ET. 
  • Winners Announced: Fall 2022

Questions? Email heatchallenge@epa.gov.

California and New York high school students earn EPA’s Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award at world’s largest pre-college science career fair

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that two high school seniors earned the agency’s 2022 Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award for their research projects at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) in Atlanta, Georgia. Jacqueline Prawira, a senior at Mountain House High School, Mountain House, California won for a project titled, “Cyclo.Cloud: Development of Fish Scale Waste-Derived Materials for Adsorbance of Aquatic Pollutants” and Olivia “Liv” Pollock, a senior at Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham, New York, won for a project titled “Developing and Assessing Fucose-Based Water-Soluble Bioplastics.”

“The International Science and Engineering Fair celebrates the scientific curiosity and achievement of the next generation of scientists, engineers and researchers,” said Maureen Gwinn, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “We are proud to recognize these young innovators who are using science to address current and emerging environmental issues. Congratulations to all the finalists!”

Jaqueline Prawira has focused on water pollution for several years after learning about plastic pollution at a local fishing reservoir. At the 2019 ISEF, Jacqueline received honorable mention from EPA’s judges for her project that examined plastic pollution. Using her knowledge about the bioaccumulation of plastics, Jaqueline turned her attention to heavy metals in water and sought sustainable solutions that would fit into a circular economy. While conducting her research, she realized that components of fish scales were primed to absorb heavy metals and she developed a novel biosorbent that she named Cyclo.Cloud from upcycling fish scale waste to mitigate any harmful interactions between heavy metals and microplastics in the environment. Jacqueline’s cost-effective solution is envisioned for use at water resource recovery facilities to support reclaiming polluted water, repurposing waste, and preventing harmful heavy metal impacts.

Inspired by a conversation with their parent about a local store’s plan to ban single-use plastic bags and the issues that ban may raise around access to reusable shopping bags, Liv Pollock thought a sustainable, quickly degradable solution must be readily available. Given how much plastic waste enters the ocean, Liv sought to make their own water-soluble bioplastic from renewable sources. Building on previous work to create a water-soluble biofilm that would degrade in water, Liv, who conducted all their experiments at home, replaced the synthetic biofilm with one made from the renewable components of fucose and citric acid.

EPA’s Honorable Mention went to Mason Sufnarski, a senior at Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, North Carolina, and Josephine “Josie” Barber, a junior at Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, Washington, for their joint project, “Sustainable Subsistence: A Low-Cost Method of Greywater Recycling for Hydroponic Agriculture.”

While visiting family in South Africa, Josie Barber learned more about water scarcity in rural parts of the community and developed a collaborative project with Mason Sufnarski that sought an equitable solution to help communities deal with lower water availability, which impacts the soil acidity and causes major food shortages. Their three-part project focused on greywater recycling and using locally available organic materials to filter recycled greywater; evaluating if the “Kratky Method” of hydroponics was viable for their approach; and then developing, designing, and building a prototype greywater recycling hydroponic distribution modular device made from commonly found plumbing parts as their proposed solution for technological equity and low-cost sustainable agriculture.

Since 2009, EPA has participated in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) recognizing projects that demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship with the EPA Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award. The EPA Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award provides for the winning students to travel to attend and participate in the EPA’s National Sustainability Design Expo.  The Expo features the university and college student teams from our P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Program which also encourages innovative designs applying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to address an environmental challenge. Regeneron ISEF brings together student scientists and engineers from around the world. Created and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, Regeneron ISEF in 2022 featured ISEF student finalists in-person and virtually.  This year 1,750 high school students from 63 countries, regions and territories, presented their independent research at the Regeneron ISEF competition for approximately $8 million in awards and scholarships.

“Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award from the Environmental Protection Agency at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair,” said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science and Publisher of Science News, the organization that founded and produces ISEF. “I am impressed by the scientific research, strength of character and extraordinary innovation evident at Regeneron ISEF 2022.”

Young artists capture the beauty of endangered species

Read the full story at Treehugger.

Colorful bumblebees flit among flowers. Water birds strut along the shore. A garter snake protects her eggs.

These are some of the winning images in the 2022 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, sponsored by the Endangered Species Coalition.

EPA announces winners of the 2022 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of the 2022 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances. This year’s winners have developed new and innovative green chemistry technologies that provide solutions to significant environmental challenges and spur innovation and economic development. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis, EPA added a new award category this year that recognizes technology that reduces or eliminates greenhouse gas emissions.

“Tackling environmental challenges like climate change and the disproportionate impact of pollution in communities with environmental justice concerns is going to take creative and innovation solutions – and sustainable, green chemistry is a critical part of that,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator Jennie Romer. “Preventing waste, reducing energy use, and avoiding hazardous chemicals, all of which we’re recognizing with our awards today, demonstrate the power and potential green chemistry has to protect human health and the environment while providing benefits to businesses and our economy.”

The 2022 winners are:

  • Professor Song Lin of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, for developing a new, more efficient process to create large and complicated molecules that are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. The new technology avoids using hazardous materials and has the potential to reduce both energy use and wasteful byproducts.
  • Merck, Rahway, New Jersey, for developing a greener way to make LAGEVRIO™ (molnupiravir), an antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Merck significantly improved the manufacturing process for this antiviral drug in a short time, producing ingredients more efficiently and greatly reducing solvent waste and energy use.
  • Amgen, Thousand Oaks, California, for an improved manufacturing process for LUMAKRAS™ (sotorasib), a novel drug for the treatment of certain non-small cell lung cancers. Amgen’s innovation decreased manufacturing time, the amount of solvent waste generated and established a recycling process for a high-value waste stream.
  • Provivi, Santa Monica, California, for creating ProviviFAW®, a biological pheromone-based product that controls the fall armyworm, a destructive pest of corn. The product’s pheromone active ingredients are produced through innovative green chemistry using renewable plant oils. ProviviFAW™ can reduce the need for conventional pesticides, which can be harmful to beneficial insects, such as pollinators.
  • Professor Mark Mascal of the University of California, Davis, California, in partnership with Origin Materials, for a technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by producing chemicals for making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic from biomass derived from sugar fructose rather than petroleum. This novel chemistry could have significant climate impacts by replacing fossil-based products with carbon-neutral, biobased products, especially when the technology is scaled to an entire industry.

EPA recognized the winners today during the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. Since 1996, EPA and the American Chemical Society, which co-sponsor the awards, have received more than 1,800 nominations and presented awards to 133 technologies that decrease hazardous chemicals and resources, reduce costs, protect public health, and spur economic growth. Winning technologies are responsible for reducing the use or generation of nearly one billion pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving over 20 billion gallons of water and eliminating nearly eight billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents released to the air.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2022 submissions and made recommendations to EPA for the 2022 winners.

More information: https://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry