This Year in EPA Science

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 views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.