A record-breaking, New Jersey-sized dead zone was measured by scientists in the Gulf of Mexico this week—a sign that water quality in U.S. waterways is worse than expected.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that this summer’s dead zone is the largest ever recorded, measuring 8,776 miles. This is more expansive than the nearly 8,200 square-mile area that was forecast in July. Since monitoring began 32 years ago, the average ...
Research team (from left): Emily Satterwhite, Susan West Marmagas, Leigh-Anne Krometis, Linsey Marr, Korine Kolivras, and Julia Gohlke.
AUG 2 2017 | Spend enough time driving through Central Appalachia, and you’ll see lush green mountain ranges brimming with diverse plant and animal species. Within those mountains, though, you can also find some of the most dramatic human health disparities in the nation.
Past studies going back to the 1970s indicate heightened incidences of ...
by Abrahm Lustgarten
The Pentagon’s handling of munitions and their waste has poisoned millions of acres, and left Americans to guess at the threat to their health.
Shortly after dawn most weekdays, a warning siren rips across the flat, swift water of the New River running alongside the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Red lights warning away boaters and fishermen flash from the plant, the nation’s largest supplier of propellant for artillery and the source of explosives for almost every American ...Read More →
The extinction crisis is far worse than you think. In all of Earth’s history, there have been five mass extinction events. You can see them charted here. Now, we’re on the verge of the sixth extinction. And three-quarters of all species could vanish. Imagine three out of four species that were common are gone. This is the first time humans have caused anything like this.Read More →
When sea lions suffered seizures and birds and porpoises started dying on the California coast last year, scientists weren’t entirely surprised. Toxic algae is known to harm marine mammals.
But when researchers found enormous amounts of toxin in a pelican that had been slurping anchovies, they decided to sample fresh-caught fish. To their surprise, they found toxins at such dangerous levels in anchovy meat that the state urged people to immediately stop eating them.
BLACKSBURG, Va., March 2, 2016 – Aquatic life can suffer when high concentrations of dissolved salts enter freshwater ecosystems, a process known as salinization.
An international, multi-institutional team of researchers that includes a Virginia Tech graduate student recommends ways that humans can protect freshwater from salts in a recent article in the journal Science.
The recommendations include the use of less water for agricultural practices, less salt for road de-icing, less discharge or sequestering salts during ...Read More →
Rapid pollutant detection can prevent widespread outbreaks. While there are many existing techniques for detecting such contamination, they generally require highly specific instruments for each contaminant.
Peter Vikesland, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and Haoran Wei of Zaozhuang in Shandong, China, a doctoral student in environmental engineering, describe challenges related to deploying surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) used for detection in their paper published by Scientific Reports, “pH-Triggered Molecular Alignment for Reproducible SERS ...Read More →
In 2014, after the third-largest coal ash spill in the U.S. occurred near Eden, North Carolina, coal ash and millions of gallons of contaminated water were discharged into the Dan River. NSF-funded Madeline Schreiber and her team at Virginia Tech went to work quickly to gauge the impact.
In the following 2-minute radio installments from Pulse of the Planet, Dr. ...Read More →
Tony Timpano is an IGC student and a Ph.D. candidate in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. His field research is centered in the Appalachian “coal country” of southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia.
Tony is interested in understanding how coal mining affects stream water quality and aquatic life. Ultimately, he hopes that his research findings will help guide policies on monitoring and managing salt pollution in streams.
“I want to improve the science of water quality management to enhance the capability of regulators to ...Read More →
“Learn how pharmaceutical pollution harms aquatic life and compromises the health of our nation’s freshwaters. Rosi-Marshall will also outline what is needed to combat the growing problem.”
Pharmaceutical and personal care products as agents of ecological change in aquatic ecosystems
More about Dr. Rosi-Marshall:
“Dr. Rosi-Marshall conducts research on factors that control and influence ecosystem ...
Toxic algae + Nutrient runoff + Climate change = Drinking Water Headaches
Listen to the story on NPR:
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Trouble listening? Go here:
Monday, July 21, 2014
By Tonia Moxley, at The Roanoke Times
DANVILLE — Virginia Tech researchers hope a $25,000 National Science Foundation grant will help them find better ways to trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills like the one in February that fouled 70 miles of the Dan River from Eden, North Carolina, to Kerr Lake in Virginia.
The NSF RAPID grant will “help us get a snapshot of what’s going on,” said Madeline Schreiber, ...Read More →
Ash Spill Shows How Watchdog Was Defanged
North Carolina regulators say that under Gov. Pat McCrory, a weakened Department of Environment and Natural Resources has abandoned its regulatory role.
Read the complete article in the New York Times (from February 28, 2014):
Below, an animated graphic by the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University shows the aftermath of the coal ash pond rupture at Duke Energy’s ...
Dr. Jacob Barney and Dr. Stephen Schoenholtz were recently featured in a VT News article about the Powell River Project. This long-term environmental restoration project in Southwest Virginia is over 30 years old. Dr. Schoenholtz conducted his Ph.D. research there in the late 1980’s, and now his graduate student, Tony Timpano, is continuing ...Read More →