This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey FitzpatrickResearch Recap with School Bus

Heading back to school soon? Want to freshen up your science skills? Then check out this week’s Research Recap!

  • Be a scientist: Hands on activities to learn about air quality and climate change
    • Build your own Particulate Matter Air Sensor Kit! Particle pollution, known as particulate matter, is one of the major air pollutants regulated by EPA to protect public health and the environment. EPA developed an air sensor kit to monitor for particle pollution and now you can build one too.
    • EPA scientists developed an interactive board game called Generate! to explore energy choices and the environment. Players will learn the costs and benefits of the energy choices we make; find out what happens if the mix of energy sources changes in the future and learn what energy choices mean for our climate, air, water, and overall environmental quality.

      Instructions for both of these activities can be found on the EPA Air Research page here.

  • One last backyard project this summer
    When rain hits rooftops, parking lots and roads instead of wetlands, forests and grasslands, it tends to run into storm drains that are directly connected to our waterways. Stormwater runoff is one of the fastest growing sources of pollution. Green infrastructure practices mimic natural habitats and absorb excess water. Building a rain garden—a kind of green infrastructure—is a fun way to help keep your waterways healthy and learn about the water cycle!

    Learn more about building your own rain garden in EPA Science Matters for Kids: “Green Infrastructure”- Soaking it In!

  • Wonder what it’s like to be like to be an EPA scientist?
    • EPA chemical engineer Diana Bless works on sustainable materials management research for rare earth elements in consumer electronics and approaches related to characterization, source control and treatment of mining-influenced waters.

      Meet EPA Scientist Diana Bless.

    • EPA Scientist Eric S. Hall is currently developing a decision support tool (web browser) to help communities make sustainable decisions.

      Meet EPA Scientist Eric S. Hall.
      Meet more of our researchers at our Researchers at Work page.

Photo of the week

 Bob Kavlock (ORD), Troy Pierce (EPA Gulf of Mexico Program), and Chesapeake Biology Laboratory researcher review Chesapeake Bay water quality measurements on the R/V Rachel Carson during the Challenging Nutrients Coalition meeting in Solomons, MD.

Bob Kavlock (ORD), Troy Pierce (EPA Gulf of Mexico Program), and Chesapeake Biology Laboratory researcher review Chesapeake Bay water quality measurements on the R/V Rachel Carson during the Challenging Nutrients Coalition meeting in Solomons, MD.

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.

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