A Watershed Moment for Conservation in the New River Valley, Virginia

From the New River Land Trust

In 1909, John B. Laing purchased a large property on Big Mountain in Giles County.  Even at that time, he recognized the area was special. He wrote, “There is not any place that I know of that I would get more pleasure in protecting for the future than I would in Little Stony Creek watershed. Mountain streams like that are very scarce and in the future will be more so.”

His great-grandchildren made Mr. Laing’s ...

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12th Annual Sustainability Week: Sept. 15-23

From VT News

The 12th annual Sustainability Week, an interactive partnership among Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability, the Town of Blacksburg, and Sustainable Blacksburg that highlights sustainability efforts in the community and on campus, will launch on Saturday, Sept. 15.

More than 20 events are scheduled throughout the week of Sept. 15-23. On Wednesday, Sept. ...

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Hog Farmers Scramble to Drain Waste Pools Ahead Of Hurricane Florence

Just inland from the North Carolina coast, right in the path of Hurricane Florence, there’s an area where there are many more pigs than people. Each big hog farm has one or more open-air “lagoons” filled with manure, and some could be vulnerable to flooding if the hurricane brings as much rain as feared.

Katy Langley lives downstream from ...

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Disaster aid: new research uses analytics to improve placement of supplies

From VT News

When disaster strikes, having relief supplies in the right place to be deployed swiftly is critical.

Humanitarian relief agencies often position such supplies in advance to help ensure ready availability but lack a good way to gauge the effectiveness of such preparations.

It’s difficult to know what quantities of supplies will be needed and where they should be placed to be most effective, particularly given the uncertainty about where and when a ...

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Virginia Tech researcher to study the effects of drying streams

From VT News

Virginia Tech researcher, Meryl Mims, is the co-principal investigator on one of the first large-scale coordinated ecology research projects to study what happens to streams as they dry across the United States.

Mims, an assistant professor in the Department of  Biological Sciences in the College of Science, received a new grant from the MacroSystems Biology program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant is budgeted for ...

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Beavers—Once Nearly Extinct—Could Help Fight Climate Change

The English language is replete with idioms about beavers, like “beaver away” or “busy as a beaver,” all signifying hard work and industry. In his new book, Eager, Ben Goldfarb takes us inside the amazing world of nature’s premier construction engineer—which can create dams as long as half a mile—and shows us ...

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Natural habitat can help farmers control pests, but the benefits vary widely across the globe

From VT News

Songbirds and coffee farms in Central America. Ladybugs and soybean fields in the Midwest.

These are well-known, win-win stories that demonstrate how conserving natural habitat can benefit farmers.

But an international team of authors, including Megan O’Rourke, assistant professor in the Virginia Tech School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, found that natural habitat surrounding farm fields is not always an effective pest-control tool for farmers worldwide. The team’s analysis was published Aug. 2 in the journal Read More →

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VT-FAST: A new resource for Virginia Tech faculty

From VT News

Imagine this: you are a new assistant professor in biological sciences at Virginia Tech. You are overwhelmed by setting up your lab, hiring staff, writing grant proposals, submitting manuscripts, and recruiting graduate students. What is your most precious resource? Time.

This is where the Virginia Tech Faculty Activity Support Team, or VT-FAST, comes in.

VT-FAST is a virtual team of faculty and staff across campus who support faculty at Virginia Tech in all ...

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Sea level rise is already costing property owners on the coast

Elizabeth Boineau’s 1939 Colonial sits a block and a half from the Ashley River in a sought-after neighborhood of ancient live oaks, charming gardens and historic homes. A year ago, she thought she could sell it for nearly $1 million. But after dropping the price 11 times, Boineau has decided to tear ...

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Virginia Tech researchers collaborate with global scientists to study vector behavior and disease transmission

From VT News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing that diseases from vectors, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, have tripled since 2004 in the U.S.

The World Health Organization is also tracking the global spread and increase of vector-borne diseases. Clearly, there is a need for researchers to connect and develop tools to address this problem.

Leah R. Johnson, a Virginia Tech researcher, in collaboration with colleagues at Imperial College London, Stanford, and Penn ...

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Hot weather spells trouble for nuclear power plants

From NPR

Nuclear power plants in Europe have been forced to cut back electricity production because of warmer-than-usual seawater.

Plants in Finland, Sweden and Germany have been affected by a heat wave that has broken records in Scandinavia and the British Isles and exacerbated deadly wildfires along the Mediterranean.

Air temperatures have stubbornly lingered above 90 degrees in many parts of Sweden, Finland and Germany, and water ...

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We’re Drowning In Plastic Trash. Jenna Jambeck Wants To Save Us

When a huge floating gyre of plastic waste was discovered in the Pacific in the late 1980s, people were shocked. When whales died and washed ashore with stomachs full of plastic, people were horrified. When photographs of beaches under knee-deep carpets of plastic trash were published, people were disgusted.

Though some of it came from ships, most, presumably, was from land. ...

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