JANUARY 8, 2019
On the edge of Virginia Tech’s campus, on a stretch of farmland that few students ever visit, small boxes are whirling through the season’s change to winter, collecting and transmitting data that will make it easier for scientists to monitor and collect data across landscapes.
This field test of an environmental sensing system is one step in a project between the College of Natural Resources and Environment; Innovative Wireless Technologies, a leading wireless mesh network company headquartered ...Read More →
BY ROBBIE HARRIS
After Hurricane Florence hit the southeast coast last month, Claytor Lake, hundreds of miles away in southwestern Virginia, took a hit. More than fifteen tons of debris ended up in the lake – everything from the usual ‘flotsam and jetsam’ to at least one toilet, a mannequin, and an empty boat.
This part of Virginia is not home to very many lakes, and ...Read More →
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. ...
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 →