Skip to content

This Year in EPA Science

2014 December 31

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch Recap - New Year's Edition

Our EPA researchers were hard at work in 2014—so to highlight that effort, we’ve put together a list of the ten most popular blogs from this year.

Happy New Year!

  1. How Many Breaths Do You Take Each Day?
    The average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day. That’s a lot of opportunity for pollutants to get into your lungs and body and to increase health risks if you are exposed to air pollution. EPA researchers are working to provide the science to protect air quality and our health.
    Read more.
  2. Green Roofs Keep Urban Climates Cooler
    EPA researchers and partners explored the three roofs—cool, green, and hybrid—designed to absorb less heat and offset the “urban heat island” effect. They compared benefits and trade-offs and their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
    Read more.
  3. Discover AQ: Tracking Pollution from the Skies and Space Above Denver
    EPA scientists teamed up with colleagues from NASA to advance clean air research. The study, known as DISCOVER-AQ, will give scientists a clearer picture of how to better measure air pollution with an array of instruments positioned on the earth’s surface, from the air, and from satellites.
    Read more.
  4. The Dose Makes the Poision, Or Does It?
    The phrase “the dose makes the poison” has been a central tenant of toxicology and an important concept in human health risk assessment. The more we learn about the health effects of chemicals, however, the more we realize things may not be quite this simple.
    Read more.
  5. Visualize Air Quality with RETIGO
    EPA scientists developed the Real-Time Geospatial Data Viewer, or “RETIGO,” a free, web-based tool that allows users to visualize air quality data derived from any number of monitoring technologies. RETIGO puts the power of analysis in the user’s hands with its interactive platform and easy-to-navigate interface.
    Read more.
  6. Human Health Risk Assessment: What It’s All About
    Risk is something we all understand but have you ever wondered exactly what Human Health Risk Assessment is? EPA’s Kacee Deener explains the concept of risk and why human health risk assessment is important.
    Read more.
  7. Street Trees: More Than Meets the Eye
    In the 2013, EPA scientists began research on “street trees” to assess their benefits. Have you ever wondered about the benefits of trees in your own backyard? You don’t have to be an arborist to find out; you can use i-Tree, a USDA Forest Service model that uses sampling data to estimate street tree benefits.
    Read more.
  8. Air Censors Citizen Science Toolbox
    Researchers at EPA have developed the virtual Air Sensors Citizen Science Toolbox. It will provide guidance and instructions to citizens to allow them to effectively collect, analyze, interpret, and communicate air quality data. The ultimate goal is to give citizens like you the power to collect data about the air we breathe.
    Read more.
  9. Picturing Algal Blooms in Local Waterways
    This summer, the National Environmental Education Foundation teamed up with EPA and the North American Lake Management Society to bring attention to algal blooms and their association with nutrient pollution by hosting the 2014 Algal Bloom Photo Contest.
    Read more.
  10. Globally Linking Scientific Knowledge through the Adverse Outcome Pathways Wiki
    In September, EPA and our partners released the online Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) Wiki—an interactive, virtual encyclopedia for the development and evaluation of adverse outcome pathways. Our goal for the AOP Wiki was to create an easy-to-use tool that will stimulate, capture, and use crowd-sourced knowledge from the scientific community.
    Read more.

 

If you have any comments or questions about what I shared 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.

Happy Holidays!

2014 December 24

Research Recap- Holiday Edition

Due to the short work week, the Research Recap will return next week. Thank you for your interest in EPA research, and happy holidays to all!

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.

Protecting Research Volunteers: It’s All Part of the Family

2014 December 23

By Dr. Toby Schonfeld

2014 Conference

2014 Advancing Ethical Research Conference

You know that great feeling you get when you gather with friends or family members that you haven’t seen in a while? I’m talking about that “I’m part of something special” feeling, where you barely even have to finish a sentence before others are agreeing with you, or exclaiming “Me too!” or just seem to really understand your perspective. In short, these people “get” you.

That’s the feeling I get when I attend the annual meeting of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), as my EPA colleague Dan Nelson and I did in early December. PRIM&R is a place where people who care deeply about human subject research protections gather to share best practices and to learn from experts in ethics and compliance about contemporary strategies for human subject protections. Officially, the organization provides “professionals responsible for ensuring research protections, and those involved in the design and implementation of research protocols, with education, practical tools, and cutting-edge strategies” (PRIM&R website accessed December 23, 2014: http://www.primr.org/about/).

This year’s Advancing Ethical Research conference was no exception. More than 2,700 professionals traveled to Baltimore to participate in 130-plus break-out sessions and several special events throughout the three-day meeting.

The keynote speakers were particularly engaging this year. John Wilbanks, the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks, discussed innovative processes for informed consent in the mobile era. The Director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, drew a vivid picture of the history of clinical trials in HIV/AIDS over the past three decades, and included important comparisons between this history and current research involving ebola. Finally, Susan Lederer from the University of Wisconsin-Madison gave insights into the life of Henry Beecher, well known as the “whistle-blower” of unethical research in the 1960s.

Attending meetings like PRIM&R enhances our work at the Agency in a number of ways. Since EPA is one of the 16 agencies that has signed onto the Department of Health and Human Services’ regulation to protect human subjects (known as the Common Rule), we share a “parent” regulation with many other research partners. Interacting with others who apply the regulation to a variety of kinds of research enables us to learn from them how they approach issues and share with them our approaches.

As part of the sharing process, Dan and I held a “meet the EPA” session, where staff from Institutional Review Boards across the country learned about EPA’s specific research protections. Now, they will understand our particular context when research proposals supported by EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program come across their desks. Dan and I also participated in several other sessions as presenters, which enabled us to share our expertise with the rest of the human research protections community.

Through these and similar mechanisms , the Agency supports and advances important science while also ensuring that those of us who review projects for regulatory compliance are part of a community of practice that also cares deeply about the protection of the volunteers who so generously agree to be human subjects to further research. For Dan and me, they are all kind of like family.

About the Author: Dr. Toby Schonfeld is EPA’s Human Subjects Research Review Official and the Director of the Agency’s Program in Human Research Ethics and Oversight.

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.

Survive, Adapt, and Grow: EPA, Rockefeller Foundation Team Up for Resilient Cities

2014 December 22

 By Lek Kadeli

“City Resilience: The capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a system to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.”

Rainbow over a cityscape

EPA is a platform partner for 100 Resilient Cities.

EPA recently announced a partnership to help communities across the United States and around the world achieve that very definition of city resilience by supporting 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Agency sustainability scientists and other experts will help urban communities take actions today to realize vibrant and healthy futures.

100 Resilient Cities was launched in 2013 to provide urban communities with access to a network of expertise, innovative tools, and models that will help them meet and bounce back even better from serious challenges—from chronic stresses such as air pollution and diminishing access to clean water, to more sudden events including floods, “superstorms” and other weather events, and acts of terrorism.

To support the partnership, EPA researchers will work directly with urban communities to share a variety of innovative tools and initiatives they have developed to meet just such challenges. For example:

  • The National Stormwater Calculator, an easy-to-use, online tool will help communities effectively tap innovative green infrastructure techniques to reduce nutrient pollution and the risk of local flooding, while also planning for the increase of stormwater runoff that is expected due to climate change.
  • EnviroAtlas, is a multi-scale, geographical-based online mapping, visualization, and analysis tool that integrates more than 300 separate data layers on various aspects of how natural ecosystems benefit people. The tool provides communities with a resource for developing science-based, strategic plans that sustain the ability of “ecosystem services” to absorb and mitigate stresses—a critical aspect of resiliency.
  • The Triple Value Systems tool provides an interactive model built on the dynamic relationship among economic, societal, and environmental impacts. Simulations illustrate the tradeoff and benefits of different decisions, supporting consensus building in pursuit of sustainable, resilient communities.
  • Incorporating a new generation of low cost, portable, and low maintenance air quality sensors into community-based air quality monitoring and awareness resources, such as “The Village Green Project,” will help individuals take action to protect their health, and community leaders to reduce the impacts of poor local air quality.
  • CANARY Event Detection Software, developed by EPA researchers in partnership with colleagues from Sandia National Laboratories, is an early warning system for detecting contaminants in drinking water. Recognized as a top 100 new technology by R&D Magazine, it helps water utilities continually monitor for threats and take early action to minimize disruptions.
EPA's Village Green Project, a solar-topped bench with air sensors

The Village Green project

EPA’s leadership advancing the science of sustainability and resiliency makes us a natural fit for supporting 100 Resilient Cities. Joining the network of other “platform partners” will help us share our research results and best practices and expand the impact of what our partners and we learn. We are thrilled to be part of this important effort advancing more sustainable and resilient communities, and look forward to a future where cities across the globe survive, adapt, and grow—no matter what.

About the Author: Lek Kadeli is the Acting Assistant Administrator 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.

This Week in EPA Science

2014 December 19

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

Research Recap- Holiday Edition

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the Agency,
Our researchers were working, so much discovery!

Is there one place, where all this can be found?
One science review, no looking around?

Here’s my present to you, no need to unwrap
Right here on this blog, your Research Recap!

 

 

  • Climate Change and Extreme Events Research Showcased at American Geophysical Union Meeting
    EPA’s Dr. Michael Hiscock recently attended the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Fall Meeting where he convened a technical session focused on the complex interaction between climate change, extreme events, air and water quality. The session featured scientists and research teams from 20 different countries. Dr. Hiscock shared his experience on the blog.
    Read more.
  • New Challenge: Put Technology to Work to Protect Drinking Water
    EPA along with other federal agencies and private partners announced the Nutrient Sensor Challenge. The challenge will help accelerate the development of sensors that can be deployed in the environment to measure nutrients in our country’s waterways. Its goal is to have new, affordable sensors up and running by 2017.
    Read more.
  • Growing Environmentally-Friendly Packaging Out of Mushrooms
    Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer were awarded an EPA Small Business Innovative Research grant in 2009 to fund their research for Ecovative, a biodesign company. Using the roots of mushrooms, Ecovative turns agricultural waste into “green” packing materials, insulation and even surfboards. Their business was recently featured on National Public Radio.
    Read more.
    And check out Gavin McIntyre’s It All Starts with Science blog on Ecovative.
  • The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology
    Listen to EPA’s Gina McCarthy and other women from across the Administration tell the stories of their personal heroes across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
    Listen to the stories here.

 

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!

Happy Holidays!

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.

Climate Change and Extreme Events Research Showcased at American Geophysical Union Meeting

2014 December 18

By Dr. Michael Hiscock

Satellite image of large storm approaching the eastern United States

“Sandy” approaches the U.S. east coast, October 28, 2012. NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon with data courtesy of the NASA/NOAA GOES Project Science team.

 

Derechos. Blizzards. Polar vortexes. Superstorms. Whatever you call them, you’re probably aware of the extreme weather events that have occurred with increasing frequency the past few years. What you may not be aware of is their complicated relationship with climate change, air and water quality.

Although science will probably never be able to pinpoint the specific cause of any extreme weather event, there is rising evidence that human-caused climate change is increasing the probability of future such events. This will have astounding societal and environmental impacts, as climatic and meteorological extremes can affect the hydrologic and atmospheric processes that in turn impact water availability, and water and air quality for people around the world.

This week, at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Fall Meeting, I had the pleasure of convening a technical session focused on the complex interaction between climate change, extreme events, air and water quality. The session, Extreme Events and Climate Change: Impacts on Environment and Resources, was the largest global environmental change session at the meeting, and featured scientists and research teams from 20 different countries. Over two days, we saw more than 70 presentations on how climatic and meteorological extremes have changed and what their impact on resources and the environment will be.

In 2011, EPA released its first grant solicitation (“Request for Applications,” or RFA) to support research exploring the topic of extreme events and climate change. The request, Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate, sought research proposals designed to provide the information and capacity needed to adequately prepare for climate-induced changes in extreme events, in the context of air and water quality management. We were looking to support research institutions that demonstrated the ability to develop assessments, tools and techniques, and demonstrate innovative technologies to achieve that.

The 14 institutions we supported, all of which presented at the above mentioned session, are currently seeking to better understand extreme events and establishing ways for climate scientists, impact assessment modelers, air and water quality managers, and other stakeholders to co-produce information necessary to inform sound policy in relation to extreme events and their impact on air and water quality within a changing climate.

The session provided an international networking event for top researchers to showcase their results: to better understand how local and regional extreme events will change in the future; to identify the impacts of extreme events on local and regional
water and air quality; and finally, how to disseminate the information effectively to stakeholders. Collaboration opportunities like this one will lead to comprehensive analyses of extreme events to better form sound policy for preserving and improving air and water quality and protecting human health for generations to come.

About the Author: Dr. Michael Hiscock is a project officer in the Applied Science Division at EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research. He supports scientists and engineers through the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program to improve the scientific basis for decisions on air, climate, water and energy issues.

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.

New Challenge: Put Technology to Work to Protect Drinking Water

2014 December 17

The following excerpt is reposted from “EPA Connect, the Official Blog of EPA Leadership

By Ellen Gilinksy

You likely remember when, this past summer, half a million people who live in the Toledo, Ohio, area were told not to drink the water coming out of their taps for several days. A state of emergency was declared because of a harmful algal bloom, which released toxins into the water that could have made many people ill.

Algal blooms like the one near Toledo are partly caused by an excessive amount of nutrients in the waternutrient-sensor## – specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for ecosystems, but too many of them in one place is bad news. Not only do harmful algal blooms pose huge risks for people’s health, they can also cause fish and other aquatic wildlife to die off.

Cleaning up drinking water after a harmful algal bloom can cost billions of dollars, and local economies can suffer. The U.S. tourism industry alone loses close to $1 billion each year when people choose not to fish, go boating or visit areas that have been affected. It’s one of our country’s biggest and most expensive environmental problems. It’s also a particularly tough one, since nutrients can travel from far upstream and in runoff, and collect in quieter waters like lakes or along coastlines.

That’s why a group of federal agencies and private partners – including our Office of Research and Development and our Office of Water – are announcing the Nutrient Sensor Challenge. The challenge will help accelerate the development of sensors that can be deployed in the environment to measure nutrients in our country’s waterways. Its goal is to have new, affordable sensors up and running by 2017.

At EPA we run an innovative research program on nutrients management, at sites that range from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes to Chesapeake Bay. We’ve also been working with new technologies that can give us better information on nutrient pollution, including satellites and portable remote sensors.

Read the rest of the post. 

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.

Unleashing Data for Sustainable, Healthy Communities

2014 December 16

By Aaron Ferster

One of my first jobs was serving as the writer for a team developing a new bison exhibit at the National Zoo here in Washington, DC. Not only did I get to walk past elephants and zebras on the way to the office every morning, when I got there I spent time learning and writing about the fascinating history of an iconic western species.

Archival map illustrating bison population decline in  early 1900s.

“Extermination of the American Bison” prepared by W.T. Hornaday

An image from that work has stuck with me almost 20 years later: a map by zoo founder and conservationist William T. Hornaday: The Extermination of the American Bison. Simple, color-coded ranges, population estimates, and dates illustrated how the North American herd had been divided in two by the first transcontinental railroads, then assaulted by “the great slaughter” until few remained.

But we know now that the story of the American bison has a happier ending. The species has rebounded and today is counted in the hundreds of thousands.

I was thinking about the basic elements of that same story last week in a crowded hotel conference room hearing about the launch of the President’s “Ecosystem Vulnerability Climate Data Initiative” and its “Ecoinformatics-based Open Resources and Machine Accessibility (EcoINFORMA).”

At the event, EPA researcher Anne Neale explained how she and her partners have developed EnviroAtlas, a collection of interactive tools and resources that allow users to explore and visualize the many benefits people receive from nature, what she and other scientists refer to as “ecosystem services.” It also provides information linking the environment and human well-being, including the Eco-Health Relationship Browser tool, which shows how ecosystems contribute to human health.

Of course, instead of colored circles and herd numbers, EnviroAtlas combines multiple ecosystem-based data sets, sophisticated geographic information systems, and visualization tools to present fine-scaled, multilayered maps and other resources that people can download and use as they seek to make decisions that will keep their communities healthy and resilient.

EnviroAtlas, which includes more than 300 data layers, serves as the ecosystem services “resource hub” to the larger EcoINFORMA initiative, a data resource designed to facilitate assessments of the impact of climate change, pollution and other stressors on ecosystems, biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as assessments of management responses to such stressors.

EPA's EnviroAtlas

EPA’s EnviroAtlas

EnviroAtlas and Data.gov’s EcoINFORMA aim to provide the same insights that William T. Hornaday used some 130 years ago to understand the plight of the American bison. It’s a modern, high-tech approach to the same basic questions: how are today’s actions likely to impact future resources, what is the state of the environment, and what do we need to consider to make the best decisions for long-term sustainability and human well-being?

With EnviroAtlas and other resources, EPA researchers and their partners are working to help communities make the right decisions, and ensure that future generations can look back 130 years from today to the opening chapters of environmental stories that feature happy endings.

About the Author: Aaron Ferster is the lead science writer for EPA’s Office of Research and development, and the editor of 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.

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.

This Week in EPA Science

2014 December 12

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

Research recap graphic identifier, a microscope with the words "research recap" around it in a circleIt’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time for eggnog, cookies, and extended-family gatherings. Wondering how you are going to make small talk with your third cousin, twice removed this holiday season? Why don’t you share some interesting stories you’ve read on Research Recap!

Here are a few from this week.

Students Put EPA Stormwater Calculator to Work for Their Community

Students in Mount Washington, Kentucky applied an EPA tool to a construction project in their downtown neighborhood. They used EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator to make recommendations to reduce the stormwater runoff at a new library site. The original plans are now being re-drawn to incorporate many of the students’ suggestions! Read the blog about Bullitt East High School students.

EPA Finalizes Libby Amphibole Asbestos Health Assessment/Risk assessment

EPA announced the release of its final Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) health assessment for Libby Amphibole Asbestos (LAA). The assessment analyzes the potential cancer and non-cancer human health effects from inhalation exposure, and includes the final Toxicological Review of LAA. Read the press release: EPA Finalizes Libby Amphibole Asbestos Health Assessment/Risk assessment shows EPA cleanup has reduced cancer and non-cancer risks in Libby and Troy.

EnviroAtlas a major “Resource Hub” for Newly-released Open Source on Data.gov

EPA's EnviroAtlas

EPA’s EnviroAtlas

On December 9th, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell formally announced the launch of the U.S. Ecoinformatics-based Open Resources and Machine Accessibility (EcoINFORMA). EPA’s EnviroAtlas—a decision-support tool consisting of maps, graphs, analysis tools, and interpretive information about ecosystem services and their role in maintaining sustainable and healthy U.S. communities—is one of the new portal’s major “resource hubs.” Explore EnviroAtlas and the other ecosystems-related open hubs available at data.gov.

Society of Toxicology Announces 2015 Best Toxicological Paper Award

EPA researchers are being honored by the Society of Toxicology for publishing the best paper in Toxicological Sciences in the last year. The winning paper addresses complex chemical risk assessment issues. The Society of Toxicology also awarded EPA researchers Christina Powers and Yong Ho Kim with a 2015 Best Postdoc Publication Award.

 

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.

Students Put Stormwater Calculator to Work for Community

2014 December 12

By Marguerite Huber

The four Bullitt East High School students

Left to right: Bullitt East High School juniors Eliza Love, Isaac Shelton, Haley Steinmetz and Gavin Blain

This year, students from Bullitt East High School in Mount Washington, Kentucky, had the chance to apply an EPA tool to a project that will benefit their community.

The high school juniors are part of a student group called the Youth Chamber of Preservationists, whose mission is to focus on the preservation of Mt. Washington’s past, while caring for the future of the community. The group is sponsored by Dale Salmon of the City of Mt. Washington’s Stormwater Quality Program. Together they learned how to use EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator and recently, an opportunity came along for the students to put their stormwater skills to the test.

The Mt. Washington Library Board had purchased a plot of land to build a library in the downtown neighborhood. When Dale saw that the Library Board’s drawings for the new building didn’t meet the city ordinance for 80th percentile stormwater capture for new development, he found the perfect opportunity for the students to help solve a real environmental problem in their community.

The students got to work, using the Calculator to make low impact development (LID) control recommendations to reduce the stormwater runoff impact of the library site. The LID controls in the Stormwater Calculator include green infrastructure practices, like green roofs and permeable pavement, to mimic natural water flow processes to retain rainfall onsite. They measured the site’s current stormwater runoff and then used the Calculator to test LID controls and future climate scenarios.

The proposal the students developed for the County Library Board included bioswales, rain gardens, and a pair of 1,000 gallon cisterns that would be used to capture runoff from the roof of the new library, thereby decreasing the new facility’s water needs for irrigation. The result of the students’ proposal was a 5.37-inch reduction in annual stormwater runoff from the site. To put that in perspective, over a 20-year period the amount of stormwater captured by the green infrastructure practices in their design could fill 456 18-wheel tanker trucks!

There are additional benefits to using low-impact development in the new Library design: “Low impact design is more affordable, it’s attractive and easily maintained,” Dale declared.

The students presented their proposal to the County Library Board, and it was well received. With the full support of the County Library Board, the architect, and project engineer, the original plans are being re-drawn to incorporate many LID suggestions from the students!

In addition, the students had the chance to present their plans at the Kentucky Board of Education Student Technology Leadership Program’s annual regional competition, where they were selected as a finalist to compete in the state competition in Lexington, Kentucky, in March 2015.

Dale praised the students: “These young people have helped change the mindset on how we use and conserve water in our community. They have helped create a model of development that I can point to as an example of how to build without creating more runoff in our community, preserving the Salt River habitat.”

About the Author: Marguerite Huber is a Student Contractor with EPA’s Science Communications Team.

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.