It All Starts with Science

On the Road from Cajun Country to the Heartland to Seed Small Business Innovation Research

By Greg Lank

Group holds up a sign that reads "SBIR Road Tour"

On our “Seeding America’s Future Innovations” tour

In April, I had the pleasure of representing EPA on a bus tour during the second leg of “Seeding America’s Future Innovations,” a national effort to spread the word about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The two programs are coordinated by the Small Business Administration and administered by EPA and 10 other federal agencies. Together—“America’s Largest Seed Fund”—they provide $2.5 billion of contracts and other awards to small, advanced technology firms to spur discoveries and facilitate the commercialization of innovations.

We traveled from the Cajun country of Long Beach, Mississippi and Ruston, Louisiana through Texas and into the heartland, including Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Wichita, Kansas and finally Columbia, Missouri.  At every stop, each representative shared an overview of their agency’s SBIR program, including existing opportunities and exciting success stories of now thriving businesses have come out of the program.

Following the presentations, companies had the rest of the morning to sit down with representatives from the SBIR program of their choice for one-on-one meetings and to get answers to their questions.  The primary question that every company asked me was if their technology would fit into one of EPA’s SBIR topic areas. And I learned that there is broad interest in water resources and energy recovery—exciting topics where innovation can lead to the recovery and reuse of resources that are presently lost in the waste stream.

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Everyone was humbled and honored to pay their respects at The Oklahoma City National Memorial

In between locations the Road Tour stopped at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR). Everyone was humbled and honored to pay their respects at The Oklahoma City National Memorial, which honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and others affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. At NIAR, I was fascinated to see the testing that goes into making air travel safe globally.

Each packed-house tour stop proved to be a phenomenal platform to collaborate, educate and learn.  Collaboration occurred between federal agencies, academia and innovators.  Finally, all who attended functioned as educators and students.  Not only were we able to educate the attendees about our programs, but meeting them provided us with the opportunity to learn about the exciting innovations coming down the pike from our Nation’s best and brightest. The next tour will be the north central tour from July 13-18. That will be followed the final tour, August 17-21 through the Pacific Northwest.

To learn more about EPA’s SBIR program, visit www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir.

About the Author: Greg Lank is a mechanical engineer in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. He manages grants and contracts for the SBIR and People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) programs, which facilitate the research, development and deployment of sustainability innovations.

 

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

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This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrickresearch_recap_250

While astronomical summer doesn’t start for a few weeks,  I consider it summer as soon as I make the switch to iced coffee. For many, the season kicks off this weekend with pool parties, barbecues, and trips to the beach.

Stuck in traffic? Waiting for the burgers to be flipped? In line for your iced coffee? Perfect time to catch up on the latest in EPA science!

Here’s this week’s recap.

  • EPA’s 2015 Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award Winner Named at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
    The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Joshua Zhou, a high school sophomore from Chapel Hill, NC, won EPA’s 2015 Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award for his sustainable and affordable solution to water pollution.
    Read more about the winner in this news release.
  • EPA’s International Decontamination Conference
    Last week, researchers from all over the world descended upon EPA’s Research Triangle Park campus in Durham, NC for the International Decontamination Conference. Decontamination is one of the critical challenges that the United States would face in recovering from a major disaster involving chemical, biological, or radiological agents. EPA researchers and their partners are working together to meet that challenge.
    Read more about the conference in the blog Experts Agree: Planning is the Key to Success.
  • A Healthy Environment for Healthy People
    Dr. Vivek Murthy, the newly-commissioned 19th Surgeon General of the United States, brings enormous passion and understanding of the challenges that face the nation and the world. Importantly for EPA and the American people, this includes the recognition and acknowledgment that our health and the environment in which we live are inexorably linked.
    Read more about “America’s Doctor” in the blog Public Health and the Environment: We’re All in this Together.
  • Bike to Work 2015: Pedaling Toward Sustainability
    May is National Bike Month! Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Lek Kadeli, is a regular bike commuter between his home in Virginia and EPA’s headquarters in downtown Washington, DC. Last year while at an environmental conference he had the opportunity to pedal around Shkodra, Albania, confirming his belief that there is no better way to get to know a place than from a bicycle.
    Read more about biking to work in the blog Bike to Work 2015: Pedaling Toward Sustainability.

If you have any comments or questions about what I share or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s 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.

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Experts Agree: Planning is the Key to Success

By Lahne Mattas-Curry

Natural disaster cleanup

Natural disaster cleanup

Last week, researchers from all over the world descended upon EPA’s Research Triangle Park campus in Durham, NC for the International Decontamination Conference. Decontamination is one of the critical challenges that the United States and EPA would face in recovering from a major chemical, biological, or radiological incident.

Throughout the conference, experts discussed the best practices for returning a community to normal operations following a number of attack scenarios including biological threats such as anthrax, ricin, and even ebola. Experts agreed the key to success was planning. Having a number of known and tested options for cleanup are important for decision makers in a time of crisis.

“Technical emergency response is very complex and difficult. Research to improve response must include the technical elements – what needs to be done – and the application elements – how you do it in the time of urgency and uncertainty.”

–Joseph Barbera, Co-Director of the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management

Experts from Japan discussed methods for reducing indoor contamination following the 2011 earthquake and the subsequent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Their findings are consistent with EPA research in reducing radiological contamination in residential areas and what EPA researchers found while providing technical assistance in Fukushima following the incident.

Something that is often overlooked in planning for decontamination is planning for waste. EPA researcher Paul Lemieux pointed out that while waste is typically viewed as a later phase of clean-up and not a function of initial disaster response, “waste will start being generated almost immediately after the initial contamination incident and as a result, pre-incident waste management planning is absolutely necessary.”

There was also a focus on drinking water and wastewater systems. Recently, EPA researchers collaborated with researchers at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory to build the Water Security Test Bed– a first of its kind water security research and testing center. This test bed gives researchers the capability to intentionally contaminate and test the response to a number of potential threats. EPA and DoE are opening up this test bed research to potential collaborators such as agencies within the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, universities, water utilities, and foundations interested in water security research.

This is the first in a series of blog posts about the International Decon Conference. More information about specific research will follow over the next several weeks.

For more information specifically about EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/homeland-security-research

About the Author: Lahne Mattas-Curry works with EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program to promote science to keep our communities safe and resilient.

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

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Public Health and the Environment: We’re All in this Together

By Dr. Wayne Cascio

“Public health does not exist in a vacuum. It is intrinsically linked to education, employment, the environment and our economy. There is a whole world beyond hospital corridors and clinic waiting rooms where people are struggling with issues of transportation, housing and development.”

These inspirational words were spoken by Dr. Vivek Murthy, the newly-commissioned 19th Surgeon General of the United States.

Swearing in of U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall April 22, 2015, in Arlington, Va. (Photo courtesy of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, PAO photo by Damien Salas)

Vice President Joe Biden administers the oath to incoming U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, April 22, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, by Damien Salas)

Dr. Murthy made the above remarks as he addressed those gathered at Fort Myers in northern Virginia on April 22, 2015 at his formal commissioning. The event included the ceremonial passing of the emblem of the U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corp, symbolizing the acceptance of responsibility to lead the more than 6,500 officers working throughout the U.S. and abroad to protect human health.

As “America’s Doctor,” Dr. Murthy brings enormous passion and understanding of challenges that face the nation and the world. Importantly for our Agency and the American people, this includes the recognition and acknowledgment that our health and the environment in which we live are inexorably linked. Dr. Murthy embraces the understanding that a healthy environment is necessary for healthy people.

“We will work to move from a culture of treatment to one of prevention. But while the mark of a great nation may be in how we care for our most vulnerable, the test of a strong nation is how good we are at keeping them from getting sick in the first place,” he said.

I had the great fortune to be in attendance to hear such remarks first hand. I found the experience inspirational, reaffirming the principles of why I initially chose to become a physician, and again why I chose to redirect my medical career several years ago to advancing environmental public health.

To the many members of the Commissioned Corp working within the EPA we salute you for your service and commitment to our Country and people throughout the world, most notably for your recent work in West Africa in the fight against ebola. We here at the EPA look forward to being Dr. Murthy’s partners as we strive to protect public health and our environment.

About the Author: Dr. Wayne Cascio spent more than 25 years as a cardiologist before joining EPA’s Office of Research and Development where he now leads research on the links between exposures to air pollution and public health, and how people can use that information to maintain healthy hearts.

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

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Bike to Work 2015: Pedaling Toward Sustainability

By Lek Kadeli

One of the best aspects of my job as the Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development is when I get to serve as a “science ambassador” representing the innovative work that our scientists and engineers do to protect the environment and public health. Requests from across the country and around the world roll in constantly asking for us to share our results.

For me, meeting those requests can mean long plane trips, a day or two spent sharing presentations inside nondescript conference rooms, followed by long flights home. Sometimes, I end up spending more time in the air than I do sharing our science. But the miles traveled and the time away from home melt away when I see how EPA research is making a visible difference in local communities.

I made reference to the satisfaction I feel attending distant conferences when I was in Shkodra, Albania last year at an international gathering entitled Local Community Resilience for the Sustainable Development of River Basins in Southern Europe. I noted the Old Chinese proverb “A long journey starts with a single step” to open my talk. But it turns out that I could have tweaked that a bit to “A long journey starts with a single pedal stroke.” Last Friday was Bike to Work Day, and as I blogged about last year, I am a dedicated bike commuter. On this trip, I was in for a real treat!

Commuting by bike is great almost anywhere.

Commuting by bike is great almost anywhere.

Shkodra touts its reputation as the leading cycling city in Southeastern Europe. Its compact size, broad boulevards, and flat topography make it a natural for such distinction. Decades of communist rule that outlawed private car ownership fueled a proud tradition of self-reliant travel.

While I was at the conference I had the pleasure of meeting Entela Shkreli, the Executive Director of ‘Go2′ Albania, a nonprofit organization working to maintain that tradition in the face of a transitioning economy.  “My colleagues and I are working to incorporate bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure as a way to promote public health, advance sustainability, and help maintain resilient urban mobility in the face of floods or other disruptions,” Shkreli said. So far it’s working. Cycling and walking account for some 73% of trips in the city.

After the conference, I had the opportunity to hop on a borrowed bike and tour some of that infrastructure for myself. I spent a fabulous afternoon riding along spectacular urban scenery and cruising along the shores of Shkodra Lake. While along the banks of local rivers that flow into the lake I recognized some of the same “green infrastructure” features that our researchers are studying to improve stormwater management, reduce runoff pollution, and prevent local flooding.

There is no better way to get to know a place than from a bicycle. Outside, among the elements and under your own power, there is nothing to separate you from your surrounding environment.

And you don’t have to travel all the way to Albania to get the benefits of bicycling. As I blogged last year, I do it as much as I can to commute between my home in Virginia and EPA’s headquarters in downtown Washington, DC. May is National Bike Month, and I invite you to join me and many thousands of others who have started to incorporate cycling into their regular transportation options. Like me, you might find that a single revolution of the pedals is the start of a long, wonderful journey to a healthier, more fun commute.

About the Author:  When not traveling to share science or on some other official business, Lek Kadeli is a regular bike commuter. He is the Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s 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.

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This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrickresearch_recap_250

Have you been feeling totally out of the loop without your weekly EPA science review? Well don’t worry, the blog is back in action this week. Have no fear– your recap is here!

Here’s the latest in EPA Science.

  • Cookstove Research and Human Health
    The process of cooking is one of the greatest health threats for the three billion people throughout the world who use biomass or coal-fed cookstoves to cook their meals and heat their homes. EPA supports research for cleaner technologies and fuels for cooking, lighting and heating in homes that have limited or no access to electricity or gas lines.
    Read more about this research in the blog When Cooking Can Harm.
  • Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto
    Tox21 is a collaborative, high-tech toxicology research effort that uses robotic technology and automated, computer-aided “high throughput screening” techniques to explore thousands of chemicals for properties that might make them potentially harmful to human health and the environment.
    Read more about this effort in the blog A Good Day at Work: Meeting the Robots.
  • Commitment and Innovation
    EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science, Dr. Bob Kavlock, is a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. By combining 21st Century science and innovation with his leadership in networking and collaboration, Dr. Kavlock is ushering in a new paradigm for collaborative, efficient, and impactful government research.
    Read more about the award in EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s message Commitment and Innovation: Serving America at EPA.
  • EPA Science Bite
    In the latest EPA Science Bite Podcast, EPA engineer Gayle Hagler discusses Village Green stations, the innovative approach to air quality monitoring. Hagler emphasizes the opportunities these stations create for scientists and members of the public to interact with one another as they are able to review air quality data in real-time.
    Listen to the latest EPA Science Bite.

If you have any comments or questions about what I share or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s 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.

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When Cooking Can Harm: Cookstove Research and Human Health

By Dina Abdulhadi

Two researchers examine a clean-burning cookstove design in a lab.

EPA cookstove research

While I don’t Instagram every meal, cooking is still an important part of my life. It’s a social anchor that ties me to my family and friends. I also see the act of cooking as a major part of being healthy, since it allows me to control what goes into my food.

So when I learned that the process of cooking is one of the greatest health threats that people face globally, I felt disoriented. Cooking is an everyday task that most in the U.S. can accomplish by turning a dial on a stove. Yet three billion people throughout the world use biomass or coal-fed cookstoves to cook their meals and heat their homes, and the smoke from these fires often causes respiratory and heart disease. In fact, household air pollution is the fourth highest risk factor for disease worldwide for all genders and the second highest risk factor for women[1]. Cookstove emissions also contribute to climate change.

Recently, I attended a scientific meeting to learn about cookstove studies by researchers who received one of six grants from EPA to research cleaner technologies and fuels for cooking, lighting and heating in homes that have limited or no access to electricity or gas lines. This research into cleaner cooking options will help improve air quality and protect the health of people throughout the world, including native peoples in Alaska and others in rural areas of the U.S. who use cookstoves to make their meals.

A presentation by Dr. Tami Bond, one of the grantees and a professor at the University of Illinois, particularly stood out for me. Bond studies the climate and air quality effects of fuel combustion. She receives assistance from trained citizen scientists in the communities who help collect and assess emissions from cookstoves in their homes.

The research by Bond and other grant recipients has given me an appreciation for how science can help to provide solutions to environmental health risks, including those from simply cooking a family meal. I plan to learn more by visiting the cookstove research lab in Research Triangle Park, N.C. There, researchers are testing a wide variety of cookstoves from all over the world to measure their energy efficiency and how much they pollute. You too can get an inside look at the research by watching this recent video by Voice of America on EPA’s cookstove testing.

Interested in seeing other research presented at the meeting? Click here for a list of presentations.

About the Author: Dina Abdulhadi is a student contractor working with the science communication team in EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

[1] A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

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

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A Good Day at Work: Meeting the Robots

By Aaron Ferster

Tox21 robot at work.

Tox21 robot moves a test plate into place.

Any science writer would agree that the best days in the office are actually those that are spent outside the office. We all get into this business in no small part for the fleeting opportunities that arise when we can tag along to see some innovative new technology in action. A couple of weeks ago I had just that kind of opportunity. 

With a colleague about to go on maternity leave and unable to travel (congratulations, Monica!), I volunteered to help out with logistics at a partner meeting of Tox21, a collaborative, high-tech toxicology research effort using robotic technology and automated, computer-aided “high throughput screening” techniques to explore thousands of chemicals for properties that might make them potentially harmful to human health and the environment. The program, a cooperative effort uniting EPA, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration, is ushering in a faster, far less expensive generation of toxicology testing that promises to significantly reduce the use of laboratory animals.

The partners highlighted some of Tox21’s impressive accomplishments so far, illustrating how EPA researchers and their colleagues from the other agencies are harnessing advances in exposure science, molecular and systems biology, chemistry, toxicology, mathematics, and computer technology.

EPA researchers alone have used the new techniques to model 30 years and $2 billion worth of traditional, animal-based labs tests, and have evaluated more than 2,000 chemicals from a broad range of sources, including industrial and consumer products, food additives, and those proposed as safer, more benign substances than some currently in use. Dozens of papers in scientific journals have been published using ToxCast data.

Cation sign in lab.

Robot at work.

This was some high-tech show and tell, but the best part of the trip was visiting the lab where robotic arms move small rectangular plates around a series of carefully choreographed steps from exposure to analysis. Each plate contains a series of tiny wells (at times as many as 1536), each containing living cells that are exposed to a chemical being tested. Computers then scan the cells and those that signal certain types of changes are flagged so researchers can investigate the chemical it was exposed to more thoroughly.

After all the talk about high-throughput screening and computational toxicology, I found myself somewhat mesmerized watching the robots moving the plates precisely from one spot to the next. Their gentle, periodic whirr was broken momentarily as my colleague Tina Bahadori, Sc.D.—the National Program Director for EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research Program—leaned over to quietly point out that every time the big yellow robot arm put a new plate into production, it represented nearly a 1000 new experiments underway, preventing the use of that many laboratory animals, and saving perhaps as much as a million dollars’ worth of testing costs.

Not only are programs such as ToxCast significantly reducing the time it takes to test chemicals for potential trouble, but they are doing so in ways that also reduce the use of laboratory animals and save money. Tina smiled as I pondered that for a moment. Then we both looked around the room to watch the rest of the research partners and guests pointing and smiling as the robot did its thing. Clearly, I was not the only one having a good day at work.

About the Author: Aaron Ferster is the editor of EPA’s It All Starts with Science.

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

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Public Service Recognition Week

By Tom Burke

“In the face of difficult challenges, public servants give new life to the values that bind our Nation together. Civil servants are scientists and teachers, social workers and first responders – they are the leaders of today’s progress and the innovators of tomorrow’s breakthroughs.”

–President Barack Obama

PSRW_logo_600x268

The theme of this year’s Public Service Recognition Week, which kicked off this past Sunday, is “Connecting Citizens with Their Government.” Each day, I continue to be amazed by the dedication and talent of our public servants.

Whenever I want to feel inspired and have fun, I have one simple trick: come to work. Here at EPA, I am surrounded by scientists, public health experts, and a diversity of other professionals who are all dedicated to using their skills and considerable energy for problem solving and making the country a stronger, more resilient, and more prosperous place for our citizens and for future generations.

As I walk to work every day down Pennsylvania Avenue I find myself thinking about the incredibly talented people I have the opportunity to work with and how they are tackling such critically important public health and science issues. This week that feeling has been amplified knowing that I would have the opportunity to highlight my colleagues and tout some of their achievements.

BobKavlock5x7

EPA’s Bob Kavlock is a 2015 Service to America Medal Finalist.

One in particular, EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science Dr. Robert Kavlock, exemplifies that work and has earned special recognition. The Public Employee Roundtable recently announced that he is a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal.

For more than 35 years, Dr. Kavlock has been leading advancements in toxicology science and how chemicals are tested and screened for potential harmful effects to people and the environment. He has transformed how scientists assess the safety of thousands of chemicals, cutting the time it takes to conduct chemical tests by many orders of magnitude, dramatically reducing the number of animal studies needed, and saving millions of taxpayer dollars. And thanks to Dr. Kavlock’s work, those achievements will be realized many times over as next-generation toxicity testing and technologies become common practice throughout the scientific community.

Dr. Kavlock’s ability to combine 21st Century science and innovation with his leadership in networking and collaboration are ushering in a new paradigm for collaborative, efficient, and impactful government research. In 2005 he launched the Agency’s National Center for Computational Toxicology. He then built on the success of that program to forge a partnership uniting EPA, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other science leaders across the public and private sectors to leverage resources, combine expertise, and share data. That effort is now reflected in the Tox21 program, which uses robotic technology to screen thousands of chemicals for potential toxicity and has led to more than 150 EPA research agreements with a wide range of partners, including L’Oreal, Pfizer, Merck, Health Canada, the European Chemicals Agency, Dow Chemical, Harvard University, and California EPA.

I’m fortunate to work with colleagues like Dr. Kavlock, who exemplify the dedication that public servants around EPA and across our federal, state, and local governments bring to the job every day. Their work is helping the nation meet difficult challenges and forge a path to a safer, more prosperous future for us all. Helping to honor such public servants and connect citizens with their government is something I look forward to every day.

To my EPA colleagues and public servants everywhere: thank you.

About the Author: Thomas Burke, Ph.D. is the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development as well as EPA’s Science Advisor. Prior to coming to EPA, he served as the Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and Chair in Health, Risk and Society and the Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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

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This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch recap graphic identifier, a microscope with the words "research recap" around it in a circle

This week people all around the world came together to celebrate Earth Day, but it was business-as-usual here at EPA. Our researchers work year-round to protect human health and the environment and make Earth Day every day.

Dr. Tom Burke, Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, highlighted some examples of this important work in the blog Linking Up: Making Every Day Earth Day.

And here is some more research we’ve highlighted this week.

  • Surrounded by Science
    This week was National Environmental Education Week, the nation’s largest celebration of environmental education. Environmental education helps increase students’ awareness and knowledge about environmental issues or problems. This year’s Environmental Education Week theme is looking at how science can help us better understand the natural world.
    Read more about how to get involved in the blog National Environmental Education Week.
  • Measuring Local Air Quality
    The Village Green Project explores new ways of measuring air pollution using next generation air quality technology that has been built into a park bench. After testing the first Village Green station in Durham, N.C., we are now in the process of building and installing new stations with some design improvements and modifications.
    Read more about the project in the blog Expanding the Village Green Project to Measure Local Air Quality.
  • Next week is Air Quality Awareness Week!
    EPA supported research at the Clean Air Research Center at Harvard University explores the health effects of air pollution mixtures across organ systems and during various stages of human life. Recently, the center published a study in the journal Stroke that looked at what may happen to the brain of older adults after long-term exposure to fine particle pollution.
    Read more about the study in the blog Air Pollution and Your Brain.

Our blog will be offline next week while we update and reorganize. Check back in May 4th!

If you have any comments or questions about what I share or about the week’s events, please submit them below in the comments section!

About the Author: Kacey Fitzpatrick is a student contractor and writer working with the science communication team in EPA’s 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.