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- Study confirms U.S. amphibian populations declining at rapid rate
The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.
- Study suggests dairy herd water quality linked to milk production
A recently completed study of water supplies on Pennsylvania dairy farms found that about a quarter of those tested had at least one water-quality issue. And average milk production for these farms was about 10 percent lower than farms with good water quality.
- Mosquito behavior may be immune response, not parasite manipulation
Malaria-carrying mosquitos appear to be manipulated by the parasites they carry, but this manipulation may simply be part of the mosquitos' immune response, according to Penn State entomologists.
- Turgay Ertekin named new head of energy and mineral engineering department
Turgay Ertekin has been named the new head of the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME) at Penn State, effective July 1.
- Students and faculty discuss the latest Shale Hills research at annual meeting
A 100 foot core extracted from the south ridge of the Shale Hills CZO catchment in central Pennsylvania was one of the items on display at Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute recently during this year’s Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory “All Hands” meeting.
- Getting to the bottom of the zombie ant phenomenon
While unraveling a dramatic case of mind control, biologist David Hughes is taking calls from Hollywood—and gaining new insights into the role behavior plays in spreading disease.
- Architecture professor James Wines to receive lifetime achievement award
Penn State professor of architecture James Wines, founder and president of SITE, will be honored this fall with the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. He is being recognized for his work in design of site-specific structures that engage information about the environment, including buildings, public spaces, environmental art, landscapes, master plans, interiors, video productions, graphics and product designs.
- Environmental Law Institute recognizes Penn State wetlands scientist
The Environmental Law Institute has announced that Robert P. Brooks, a wetlands scientist at Penn State, has received the 2013 National Wetlands Award for Science Research. Brooks and six other award recipients were honored at a ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., on May 9.
- New minor in sustainability delivers green education (DuBoise)
A new minor available to all Penn State DuBois bachelor’s degree students will provide them with the tools to be a champion for the environment, while also making them more appealing to future employers. The minor in sustainability leadership allows students in any four-year major to incorporate sustainability as a significant theme in their undergraduate degree program.
- Review finds need for more water quality data in the Marcellus shale region
What to do with Marcellus shale wastewater is one of the biggest concerns in Pennsylvania, and few published studies have evaluated such wastewater effects on regional waters, according to a review co-authored by professors at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State.
- Road research center receives environmental quality award
The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute's Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Penn State was selected by the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEP) to receive the 2013 Karl Mason Environmental Stewardship Award. The award was presented at the PAEP award banquet on May 9, at the Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center in State College, Pa.
- GridSTAR Net Zero Energy Demonstration Project under way at The Navy Yard
A powerful collaboration of researchers, manufacturers and economic development officials are embarking on a groundbreaking demonstration project for smart-grid, net zero energy buildings called the GridSTAR Center — a Smart Energy Campus initiative at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia.
- Navy rear admiral appointed to direct new center on weather risk solutions
Rear Adm. David W. Titley has been appointed as a faculty member in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State, beginning July 1. Titley will serve as senior scientist and director of a new center being formed on weather and climate risk solutions in the Department of Meteorology.
- Tapia heads to Costa Rican jungle to join discussion on sustainability
Sustainability research, which examines the complex interactions between humans and the rest of nature, has the potential to bring economic and social benefits to the developing world and tropical countries such as Costa Rica. However, sustainability research in the tropics has been slow to develop. Andrea Tapia, an associate professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is one of about 30 people worldwide who have been invited to participate in a consortium that will hold its first planning meeting in June in the jungle of Southern Costa Rica, where they will discuss issues of sustainability and biodiversity conservation in the tropics.
- Energy business and finance major offers new energy and land management option
Beginning in the fall of 2013, the Penn State John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME) will be offering a new energy and land management option as part of the bachelor of science degree in energy business and finance (EBF).
- Logan appointed deputy editor of new online journal
Bruce Logan, Evan Pugh Professor and the Stan and Flora Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental, has been appointed deputy editor of a new online journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters (ES&T Letters).
- Freeman elected to National Academy of Science
Katherine Haines Freeman, professor of geosciences, Penn State, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences for her excellence in original scientific research. Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States.
- Changing cellulose-forming process may tap plants' biofuel potential
Changing the way a plant forms cellulose may lead to more efficient, less expensive biofuel production, according to Penn State engineers. "What every biofuel manufacturer wants to do is to get to the sugars," said Jeffrey Catchmark, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering. "But the structure of cellulose itself can be an obstacle."
- Penn State Sustainability Institute, Public Media at work on 'Green Solutions'
The Sustainability Institute is collaborating with Penn State Public Media on their upcoming production of a national documentary. "Water Blues, Green Solutions" shows how cities from Philadelphia to San Antonio to the Bronx are using natural systems to clean, absorb and help manage water.View project website.
- New endowment honors retiring Engineering Dean Wormley
A new endowment honoring retiring College of Engineering Dean David N. Wormley and his wife, Shirley, will continue the dean's legacy of educating future engineers.
- Probing Question: Are we running out of helium?
Some scientists are sounding the alarm about the wastefulness of using helium -- a rare, non-renewable gas -- to fill party balloons. Why? As an essential resource in technologies such as medical imaging, rocket engines, and surveillance devices, it turns out that helium does a lot more than give our balloons a lift. And despite being the second most abundant element in the universe, most of our supply in the Earth’s atmosphere simply floats off into space and is lost.
- Students raise environmental consciousness with Borland photography exhibit
"Developing Environmental Consciousness," an exhibition featuring photos by Penn State students in the Photography and the Environment course, will be on display April 29 to May 3 in the Borland Gallery. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. A reception will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 29.
- Heard on Campus: Majora Carter at the 2013 Colloquium on the Environment
"You don't have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one. We are solving big problems with local solutions." -- Majora Carter, keynote speaker at the ninth annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series on Earth Day (April 22) in the Thomas Building on Penn State's University Park.
- Heard on Campus: Christopher Joyce
“I have been in science journalism for 30 years, and controversy is always great in news because that’s what makes people listen. When a dog bites a man, nobody cares. I have never seen more scientific disinformation bandied about on any topic in my life than fracking.” -- Christopher Joyce, science correspondent with National Public Radio. Joyce spoke April 22 in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium on Earth Day at University Park.
- Groundbreaking to take place at Energy Efficient Buildings Hub in Philadelphia
A groundbreaking ceremony on April 24 will provide an opportunity for the public to hear about the development of two buildings at the Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) Hub at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.
- Researchers using supercomputer to improve satellite precipitation observation
Civil engineering's Reed leads effort to enhance scientists' understanding of global precipitation using NSF's Blue Waters supercomputer.
- Penn State asks Columbia Gas to re-evaluate pipeline routes through campus
Penn State is responding to concerns from State College residents about a proposed natural gas pipeline route through the borough by requesting that utility company Columbia Gas re-evaluate alternative routes that could take the pipeline across the University Park campus.
- Volvo Group addresses students on Preferred Talent Partnership
Representatives of the Volvo Group spoke to a crowd of approximately 150 Penn State students and faculty on Thursday (April 11) during a visit celebrating the Academic Preferred Talent Partnership agreement recently signed between Volvo Group and Penn State.
- Maya Long Count calendar and European calendar linked using carbon-14 dating
The Maya are famous for their complex, intertwined calendric systems, and now one calendar, the Maya Long Count, is empirically calibrated to the modern European calendar, according to an international team of researchers.
- 2nd Annual PA Kidwind Wind Challenge
On March 23, 2013, students from around the state participated in the 2nd Annual PA Kidwind challenge held at Londonderry School in Harrisburg, PA. Local area middle school students took home cash prizes for their turbine designs and presentations.