Monthly Archives: September 2012

Rachel Carson and Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism

Haga clic en la imagen para unirse a la conversación en nuestro blog en español... ¡No olvide de suscribirse!

Cross-posted from the Administrator’s Blog

By Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of ecologist Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 book Silent Spring. By 1970, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established.

That’s no coincidence.

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring launched the modern-day environmental movement and changed the world we live in.

In her book, Carson discussed the widespread and detrimental use of certain pesticides – especially DDT, a toxin that almost wiped out our national symbol, the bald eagle. EPA banned the use of that pesticide in 1972.

Rachel Carson’s writing helped Americans see the connections between their health and the health of the environment. Her efforts helped ignite the conversation on environmentalism in America.

One of my priorities as administrator of EPA has been to continue what Rachel began by working to expand the conversation on environmentalism. Bringing people together around environmental issues is essential. We want mothers and fathers to know how important clean air, water and land are to their health and the health of their children. We want to continue to engage African Americans and Latinos and expand the conversation on environmental challenges, so we can address health disparities resulting from pollution that affects low-income and minority communities. Environmental justice will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

Though we’ve made a great deal of progress since Silent Spring, we still have much work to do. Heart disease, cancer and respiratory illnesses are three of the top four most fatal health threats in America. They account for more than half of the deaths in the nation – and all three have been linked to environmental causes. Environmental issues are critical health issues, and we need all Americans to participate in this conversation.

Rachel Carson helped show many Americans that, though they may not think of themselves as environmentalists, environmental issues invariably play a role in their health and in the future of the nation.

Her message remains as true and as critical today as it was 50 years ago.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA’s Homeland Security Research Center Turns 10 Today!

By Jonathan G. Herrmann, P.E., BCEE

When I watched Claire Danes accept an Emmy Award for her role as Carrie Mathison in the television series “HOMELAND” last Sunday evening, I was again reminded that homeland security is neither out of sight nor out of mind.

In fact, today, EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center turns 10!

I had the great honor of being one of the Center’s founding members when it was formally established on September 28, 2002.  We drew upon the experience and expertise of the scientific, technical, and administrative staff from across EPA’s Office of Research and Development in creating the Center.  Our near-term goal was to put in place a talented team of individuals to support the Agency in responding to the tragedy of 9/11 and the Amerithrax attacks later in 2001.

The events of 9/11 were devastating to the American public and their impact was felt around the World.  Amerithrax killed five people and contaminated at least 17 buildings with weaponized anthrax spores.  These incidents, along with the possibility of other attacks, required the U.S. Government—at all levels—to do what was necessary to respond and recover—and prevent attacks from happening again in the United States.

EPA continues to play a critical role in protecting the country’s water infrastructure and has the responsibility to address the intentional contamination of buildings, water systems and public areas.  These activities are informed and supported by our research results and scientific and technical expertise.

Our work is guided by laws, Presidential Directives, the National Response Framework, and is consistent with the National Security Strategy.  EPA scientists and engineers provide guidance, tools and technical support to decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that decontamination is as cost-effective and timely as possible.  Together with our partners in EPA’s Program Offices and Regions, we enhance the nation’s capability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from both man-made and natural disasters.

Events like Hurricane Katrina (2005), the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010) and, more recently, the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan (2011) tested our capabilities like never before.  Along with Agency peers and colleagues from across the federal government, EPA scientists and engineers stepped up to these extraordinary challenges with their time, skills, expertise, energy, and dedication.

I am proud of EPA’s homeland security research efforts and the contributions that the Center has made.  Our efforts strengthen our nation’s resiliency and advance EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment.

About the author:  Jonathan Herrmann is Director, National Homeland Security Research Center, EPA Office of Research and Development.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Fomentando el diseño sostenible con el propósito de elaborar soluciones integradas dirigidas a la infraestructura verde

Cuando escuchas las palabras diseño o diseñador qué es lo primero que pasa por tu mente.  Algún mueble de sala de procedencia extranjera con un nombre extraño y difícil de pronunciar.  Si bien es posible imaginar productos basados en algún tipo de diseño yo suelo pensar en diseño crítico lo cual se define como el proceso a seguir para resolver algún problema complejo.  En muchos casos pienso que el entendimiento adquirido durante este proceso es mucho más importante que el producto o resultado final.  Un diseño puede resultar en algo admirable e interesante, pero debemos tomar en consideración que el diseño crítico a su vez puede ayudar a integrar múltiples disciplinas creando cambios positivos y aumentando nuestro entendimiento del mundo que nos rodea.    

Todos hemos escuchado la frase “piensa fuera de los limites” ya que uno puede ser creativo y dejar atrás los pensamientos habituales para resolver problemas.  El diseño crítico considera ese paso adicional en donde replantea el problema considerando información de distintos renglones y comprueba soluciones potenciales sirviendo como instrumento para desarrollar ideas de manera innovadora.  Esto explica la popularidad que ha llegado a tener las competencias de diseño fomentando el pensamiento creativo alrededor de problemas del medio ambiente.  Como por ejemplo es el utilizar competencias de diseño para explorar la viabilidad de la infraestructura verde con el propósito de corregir problemas de agua de escorrentías.  Las técnicas verdes están compuestas por el uso de vegetación, suelos y procesos naturales con el propósito de mitigar las aguas de escorrentías e identificar su procedencia contemplando así contribuciones sociales y beneficios al medio ambiente.  Las competencias de diseño están ayudando a elaborar discusiones interdisciplinarias divisando el potencial que existe en la infraestructura verde.  Por ende, podemos decir que estamos pensando fuera de la cañería.

Durante la primavera y como parte de la iniciativa denominada Calles Verdes, Trabajos Verdes, Ciudades Verdes (G3 por sus siglas en ingles), la Región 3 de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA por sus siglas en ingles) realizó una presentación utilizando la red virtual en donde manifestó cómo las competencias de diseño pueden ser herramientas para estimular y adoptar comunidades con infraestructura verde.

La Comunidad de Diseño Colaborativo, el Departamento de Agua de Filadelfia y EPA se han unido para organizar el evento “Infill Philadelphia: Soak it up!”,  el cual se caracteriza por mostrar distintas practicas verdes de control de agua de escorrentía.  El propósito de esta exhibición es dar a conocer proyectos que hayan creado e incorporado métodos para el mejoramiento de la salud y la restauración visual de zonas urbanas.  Proyectos seleccionados serán exhibidos este otoño en el Centro de Arquitectura de Filadelfia.  Este evento será preámbulo para la competencia de diseño nacional dando a conocer las competencias de diseño que involucran y cómo educar al estudiante.

El “Campus RainWorks Challenge” patrocinado por la EPA, promueve que los estudiantes de distintas disciplinas de escuelas y universidades desarrollen soluciones para la infraestructura verde.  Esta competencia de diseño es una oportunidad para que las escuelas y universidades se familiaricen y formen parte de un problema real contribuyendo a la discusión y a la elaboración de soluciones.  Los estudiantes deben crear equipos para poder registrarse y participar.  La inscripción para este evento es desde el 4 de septiembre de 2012 hasta el 5 de octubre de 2012 y la fecha límite para someter los proyectos es el 14 de diciembre de 2012.  Para información adicional relacionada a la competencia puede visitar la página cibernética: “Campus RainWorks Challenge.

¿Alguna vez ha pensado diseñar algo para resolver un problema?
¿Cómo su pensamiento ha cambiado desde que comenzó a elaborar el diseño hasta que elaboró la solución?
¿Qué cosas tomó en consideración?
¿Cómo usted podría diseñar infraestructura verde en la comunidad en que vive?

Información acerca del autor: Ken Hendrickson ha estado trabajando con EPA desde el año 2010.  Entre sus tareas está el ser líder de grupo de la división denominada Infraestructura Verde bajo la Oficina de Alianzas Estatales y Cuencas Hidrográficas.  Ken ostenta conocimientos de arquitectura paisajista, geología y manejo de cuencas hidrográficas.  Él disfruta el poder trabajar estimulando comunidades hacia el mejoramiento de su medio ambiente con la búsqueda de soluciones dirigidas a la creación de sistemas sociales, ambientales y económicos más resistentes.  Cuando Ken se encuentra fuera de la oficina le gusta estar involucrado con actividades al aire libre con el completo deleite de apreciar la naturaleza y también de pasatiempos bajo techo.

El año 2012 marca el 40 aniversario de la Ley de Aguas Limpias (CWA por sus siglas en ingles), la cual protege nuestro más irreemplazable recurso.  Gracias a la Ley de Aguas Limpias, durante este año la EPA estará resaltando la historia y logros en la reducción de la contaminación.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Putting Faith in Energy Efficiency

By Evonne Marzouk

“Stewardship in our Faith Traditions Panel” at the Greening America’s Congregations through Energy Efficiency event at the White House last Thursday featured, from left, Rohan Patel, associate director for outreach and public engagement at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Arjun Bhargava, Hindu American Seva Charities; and Evonne Marzouk, Canfei Nesharim.

I came to work at EPA because of my deep commitment to sustaining our environment and natural resources for ourselves and future generations.

As an observant Jew, I’ve also expressed that commitment in another way: by creating and directing a national Jewish-environmental organization, Canfei Nesharim: Sustainable Living Inspired by Torah.

In my role as executive director of Canfei Nesharim, I was honored to participate on September 13th Greening America’s Congregations Through Energy Efficiency, hosted by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, in partnership with ENERGY STAR for Congregations.

The event gathered more than 100 leaders of different faith-based projects to protect the environment and save energy. Speakers included representatives of Baha’i, Catholic, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu traditions.

I spoke on the panel, “Stewardship in Our Faith Traditions,” drawing upon materials from my organization’s “Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment.” I explored the role of humanity in creation, the Jewish mitzvah of bal tashchit (do not destroy), the wisdom in cycles of rest (such as Sabbath), and the important value that spiritual wisdom can offer us today. As I explained, while it’s critically important for us to take environmental actions like saving energy, faith traditions also have wisdom that we must provide to help our society address environmental challenges.

Other speakers focused on concrete efforts in the faith community to save energy, and shared successes via ENERGY STAR for Congregations, a program dedicated to helping houses of worship reduce their energy use. They estimate that most congregations can reduce their energy costs by up to 30 percent. Many are working with them to do just that! To support our efforts, ENERGY STAR offered a wide range of tools.

Today our faith traditions have an important and meaningful role to play in fostering a more sustainable world. In such a diverse crowd, it was inspiring to see the shared commitment to making a difference. As part of the religious environmental community, I hope we’ll continue to come together to address today’s environmental challenges!

About the author: Evonne Marzouk works in the Office of International and Tribal Affairs, and is also the executive director of Canfei Nesharim, an organization that educates and empowers Jewish individuals, organizations and communities to take an active role in protecting the environment, in order to build a more sustainable world. A version of this blog entry first appeared as an article in the Washington Jewish Week.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Lending a Critical Eye to Ecosystems Part 1 – Getting Focused

By Holly Mehl

A few years back, we put together a nice analysis of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska’s most critical (i.e.,ecologically valuable) areas.  As ecologists know, ecosystems do not adhere to the administrative boundaries of our states, so the actual analysis extended out into ecological regions that overlie those states like South Dakota, Arkansas, Colorado and Minnesota.  Together with MoRAP – the Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership, based in Columbia, Missouri – we identified geographic areas of focus, Conservation Focus Areas, which would also be of use to management programs and agencies.  Our goal was that our state and local partners would use our assessment as another tool in helping to define priorities for conservation at whatever scale was appropriate for them.

The work that went into this project started in 2001 and culminated into a finished work in 2009 entitled, Development of Conservation Focus Area Models for EPA Region 7(Diamond et al).  This effort was incredibly involved, so I’ve decided to try and highlight the methodology and approach over several blog articles, first focusing on our terrestrial assessment then switching to our aquatic assessment since different approaches were used for each. 

Before I get in to the details of the terrestrial assessment next week, it helps to have a general idea of how we approached the assessment.  The flow chart below provides a quick overview, and shows how two items, Irreplaceability and Ecological Risk, were combined to identify Conservation Focus Areas.  I’m oversimplifying but Irreplaceability can be thought of as how rare (in terms of biology and landcover) a particular place is in an area, while Risk is the chance that an area might be threatened because of the encroachment of development or because of how ecological significant it is. 

 

What is neat about this analysis is that each component by itself is a uniform, continuous, relatively fine-resolution data layer that can be used for refined priority setting or individual project review, depending on what is needed by the user.   For example, even before the final report was finished, EPA’s water enforcement staff were able to use the Ecological Significance data layer (on the left side of the diagram) to help them select proposed projects for a wetlands mitigation case.  Next week I will explain how each of the layers above were derived and provide access to the shape files and data layers.  If you just can’t wait that long, give us a comment in the comment field below and we can share them with you earlier. 

About the Author:   Holly Mehl is an ecologist for EPA Region 7 who helps with water monitoring in the field and performs mapping for EPA Region 7’s program offices.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Around the Water Cooler: Dive Right Into Our Latest Newsletter!

By Aaron Ferster

Chances are if you hear someone yell out “come on in—the water’s great!” you can be pretty sure they mean that the temperature of the water is delightful. Not too hot, not too cold. But 40 years ago, before the establishment of the EPA and the passage of the Clean Water Act, you might have had cause to wonder if what they were referring to was the quality of the water: that it is free of pollution or other potentially harmful contaminants.

As Dr. Suzanne van Drunick, National Program Director for EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research Program writes in the latest issue of our Science Matters newsletter:

“Forty years ago, the dire state of the nation’s water resources was a national concern. The assaults were direct and numerous: untreated sewage, industrial and toxic discharges, contaminated runoff, and widespread destruction of wetlands.

For many, the symbol of that decay came in June of 1969, when something perhaps as simple as a wayward spark from a passing train ignited a mass of oil-soaked debris floating on the surface of the contaminated Cuyahoga River—sending thick, billowing black clouds of smoke into the air. A river on fire.” 

As Dr. van Drunick points out, in the 40 years since, much of the nation’s waters have become significantly cleaner and safer. How did the clean up begin? It all started with science.

The EPA science and engineering designed to keep the environmental and human health success story of the Clean Water Act moving forward is the focus of the newsletter. The stories illustrate how EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research program is providing the innovative science and engineering solutions needed to meet 21st Century challenges, such as the need for more “green infrastructure” to reduce the burden on aging sewer systems, protecting recreational water, combating invasive species from ballast water, and much, much more.

I invite you to “dive right in” and enjoy the latest issue of EPA’s Science Matters  to learn more. 

About the Author: Aaron Ferster is an EPA science writer.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Fall into Energy Efficiency

Brittney Gordon-Williams

By: Brittney Gordon-Williams

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. After the sweltering heat of a DC summer, no season makes me happier than the crisp mornings that come with September. It brings back memories of returning to school as a kid and all of the excitement that came with a fresh start to the school year. These days, fall means yummy seasonal flavors at the coffee shop and the chance to bundle up once again in my favorite jeans and sweaters. But, as I slowly start to feel the chill creeping into my home, I am reminded once again that fall is prime time to make sure that my house is prepared for the upcoming wintery months.

Did you know that the average family spends more than $2,100 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that going to heating and cooling? Properly maintaining your home in the cooler months can save you money and will also protect the climate from harmful greenhouse gas emissions. So, what are the most important things that you should be doing to get your home ready?

1.)    Maintain your heating equipment: The number one cause for heating system failure is the neglect of your equipment. If your system is more than 10 years old, this is the time to schedule a pre-season check up with a licensed contractor. A contractor can let you know if your system is operating at peak performance. You should also check your system’s air filter every month, and when it is dirty, change it. At minimum, change your filter every three months.

2.)    Use a programmable thermostat: The best way to control your home’s temperature is to use a programmable thermostat. By using the pre-programmed settings, you could save about $180 every year in energy costs.

3.)    Seal air leaks in your home. As much as 20 percent of the air moving through your home’s duct system is lost due to leaks and poor connections. Sealing air leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a significant impact on improving your comfort and reducing energy bills. If you are adding insulation to your home, seal air leaks first to ensure you get the best performance from your insulation. Seal duct work using mastic sealant or metal tape, and insulate all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages). Also, make sure that connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet floors, walls, and ceilings. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.

4.)    Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products. Whether you are replacing light bulbs or appliances in your home, ENERGY STAR qualified products can help you save energy and reduce energy bills. The label can be found on more than 65 types of products ranging from heating and cooling equipment to ENERGY STAR certified lighting.

ENERGY STAR’s website has everything you need to get your home ready for fall. From tools to help you compare your energy use to similar homes across the country, to recommendations from EPA’s Home Energy Advisor, energystar.gov is your one-stop shop for all things energy efficient.  Starting this weekend, I am going to use these tips to make sure my energy bills don’t rise with the falling temperatures.

Brittney Gordon-Williams is a member of the ENERGY STAR program’s communications team. She came to EPA in 2010 after a career in broadcast journalism.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Clean Water is Environmental Justice

By Nancy Stoner

Hanging in my office is a list of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priorities for the EPA. It is a focused list that identifies seven key areas which form the core of our mission. Working for environmental justice and protecting America’s waterways are both on this list. In the Office of Water, we understand that these two are not separate goals. Environmental justice shapes our priorities, frames our projects, and informs our actions. It embraces the idea that every community, regardless of its size and economic standing, deserves access to safe water.

Nancy on a tour of green infrastructure to reduce polluted stormwater in urban Baltimore.

At the EPA, we have universal standards for water quality, but many cities and towns in our nation are still grappling with reaching these standards.  Our environmental justice efforts acknowledge that people who lack resources must often use whatever water is nearest and available to them.  Through a variety of partnership programs, we work with these communities to implement projects that invigorate their economies, restore their waterways, and  help them provide clean water to their citizens.

Cities are an extremely important aspect of environmental justice as 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas. Through the EPA-led Urban Waters Federal Partnership, we are providing grants to improve water quality and reconnect urban citizens with their local waterways. Recent Urban Waters projects vary from citizen-run water monitoring networks to parks built on vacant lots using green infrastructure. With these grants, communities are able to tailor their projects to their needs, revitalizing their community while also securing cleaner water.

In rural communities, our environmental justice efforts focus on issues specific to each area. For example, we are working with communities in Appalachia to help clean up rivers and streams affected by mountain top mining. These waterbodies are crucial to residents for drinking, fishing, and swimming. We work with locals to minimize consequences to human health, help the local environment, and strengthen their economy.

When it comes to water, it is difficult to think of a single issue that does not tie into environmental justice. By focusing on how water issues affect people in their communities, we can expand the conversation on environmental justice and redefine our actions to ensure that everyone has access to clean and usable water regardless of where they live.

Click here for more information on the Office of Water’s environmental justice efforts.

About the author: Nancy Stoner currently serves in EPA as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water. Prior to joining EPA, Nancy was Co-Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Water Program.  In that capacity she guided projects to protect rivers, lakes, and coastal waters from contaminated stormwater, sewer overflows, factory farms, and other sources of water pollution, and led NRDC’s efforts to clean up and restore the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. Before joining NRDC, Nancy worked as a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice and served as director of the Office of Policy Analysis in the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Hey, Kids! This is Earth Calling. Are you Listening?

student

Reprinted with permission from Bay Soundings.

Habitat loss, pollution, homeless animals…and kids can’t do anything to make a difference. Right? Wrong! Kids can definitely improve our world, even our very own Tampa Bay. Let me share some of what I do. Using the website www.ConserveItForward.com, I support three non-profit groups that 1) help people get safe drinking water around the world using biosand water filters, 2) promote the conservation of amphibians and their importance to our environment, and 3) run my favorite local nature preserve.

I raise awareness through my website, live presentations and running my booth at places like schools, zoos and festivals. I also sometimes raise money through my business where 100% of the profit benefits my three groups.

Now I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite topics: frogs. Frogs are an indicator species. Does that mean they are fortune tellers? Well, they won’t read your palm, but they do read the environment. Frogs have permeable skin, which means chemicals pass through it easily, so they are one of the first species to be harmed in their habitat. If there is a healthy population of native frogs in Tampa, then we know we are doing something right. If there is not a healthy native population, then something is wrong and we must act quickly. Many people do not know that 1/3 of the world’s amphibian species face extinction. According to www.SavetheFrogs.com, approximately 200 amphibian species have disappeared since 1980 and that is not normal.

So how do we know if frogs are healthy in Tampa? Well, first we have to know which ones are here. One way we can do that is by listening to them. You do not need a college degree to be a frog listener, but you do need to know what frogs you are hearing. That leads me to my favorite citizen science project, where you attend workshops to learn about frogs and their calls. Next, you collect data about the frogs you hear and send it to scientists. They need lots of data. If you want to be a local frog listener, Lowry Park Zoo hosts a FrogWatch USA chapter. Go to www.aza.org/frogwatch to learn more.

I love sharing with other kids how easy it is to help frogs and our environment. You can build frog habitats with things you have around your house like old Tupperware and PVC pipes. Ask your parents to not use so many chemicals in the yard. If you get a pet amphibian, make sure it was captive bred and not taken from the wild. Also, if you have a pet cat, don’t let it go outdoors unleashed because they enjoy pouncing, and that is not good for frogs and other small critters.

No matter what the topic is, I challenge you to find a project you love that will help our world. Create your own project or for ideas, visit www.SciStarter.com or www.CampBayou.org. Once you choose your project, act on it, encourage others to do the same — and we can all conserve it forward!

Avalon Theisen of ConserveItForward.com has been recognized internationally for her conservation efforts. With a goal of working for National Geographic when she grows up, her hobbies include traveling abroad and animal handling.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Gracias–No lo podríamos lograr sin ustedes

Por Lina Younes

La ciencia es la piedra angular de todo lo que hacemos en EPA.  Esa es básicamente nuestra mantra. La investigación científica nos brinda la información clave que necesitamos para proteger la salud humana y el medio ambiente. Además, nos da los conocimientos para entender mejor los riesgos a la salud humana y a los ecosistemas, así como los medios para desarrollar soluciones innovadoras para prevenir la contaminación para lograr un mundo mejor. En fin, las ciencias son esenciales para el proceso de toma de decisiones de la Agencia.

Sin embargo, la ciencia no es una teoría abstracta que existe en un vacío.  Son parte de nuestra vida cotidiana.  La investigación científica es realizada por individuos, hombres y mujeres, ingenieros y científicos que son los verdaderos propulsores de las acciones de la Agencia. A fin de reconocer sus contribuciones, hemos destacado algunos de nuestros científicos e investigadores en nuestras páginas en inglés y español.  Recomiendo que visiten estas páginas para aprender más acerca de cómo se iniciaron en sus carreras y sus importantes contribuciones en favor de la protección ambiental.

Personalmente, espero que los perfiles de nuestros científicos ayudarán a inspirar la próxima generación de profesionales que dedicarán sus vidas a carreras en ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemática (STEM, por sus siglas en inglés). Al leer sus perfiles, verán una diversidad de individuos con trasfondos variados que comparten muchos intereses y metas en común.  Nunca es tarde para comenzar.

Nuevamente, a nuestros científicos, gracias por lo que ustedes hacen diariamente para hacer este mundo más sano, saludable y VERDE.

Acerca de la autora: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de EE.UU. desde el 2002 y se desempeña, en la actualidad, como portavoz hispana de la Agencia, así como enlace de asuntos multilingües de EPA. Además, ha laborado como la escritora y editora de los blogs en español de EPA durante los pasados cuatro años. Antes de unirse a la Agencia, dirigió la oficina en Washington, DC de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales a lo largo de su carrera profesional en la Capital Federal.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.