This Week in EPA Science

By Kacey Fitzpatrick

research_recap_250It’s National Pollinator Week! One of EPA’s lab is promoting pollinator health by creating an amazing habitat for honey bees and other pollinators right in their backyard. Read about it in the blog Promoting Pollinator Health at the EPA Western Ecology Division.

And here is some more of the latest buzz:

Underwater Science
Did you know that EPA has a team of scientists that work underwater? The EPA scientific diving program helps Superfund sites go from contaminated to clean – and keeps them that way! Read about what it’s like to be on the EPA Dive team in the blog Over 30 years of Wyckoff Superfund Site Diving Science.

Living Shoreline Project
EPA is assisting with a project to protect the eroding shoreline at the Felix Neck Wildlife Refuge on Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, Massachusetts. A living shoreline was created with 10-foot logs, each made of dense coconut fibers and held firmly in place with wooden stakes. The living shoreline will serve as a laboratory for a number of projects in the coming years, while also stabilizing and restoring the marsh in the face of storms and rising seas. Read more about the project in the article Coconut Fiber to the Rescue: Island’s First Living Shoreline Installed at Felix Neck.

Homeland Security Research
EPA researchers recently collaborated with the Department of Homeland Security to study what would happen if terrorists introduced pathogenic spores, like anthrax, into the New York City subway system. This study is part of the DHS and EPA collaborative Underground Transport Restoration Project.  The overall goal of the project is to develop capabilities to enable the rapid return to service of subway systems following a chemical or biological attack. BBC wrote about the study in the article Meet New York City’s Anthrax Detectives.

How your breath could help doctors diagnose illness
EPA Researcher Joachim Pleil’s expertise in breath research was recently highlighted in the Boston Globe article How your breath could help doctors diagnose illness.

Wildfire Smoke Guide
EPA has updated its Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials that provides information on the health effects of wildfire smoke and populations potentially at greatest risk from wildfire smoke exposure. The guide provides recommendations for public health action to reduce risks. EPA researchers provided their expertise on health effects from air pollutants generated by wildfires. The guide is available on the AirNow web site, which provides air quality forecasts and includes information on Smoke and Your Health.

Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change
EPA is releasing an external peer review draft report that describes an assessment tool to help cities identify climate change risks. The tool  to eight sectors managed by municipalities: water, energy, transportation, public health, economy, land use, natural environment and telecommunications. A Federal Register notice of the report titled Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change: A Multi-Sector Approach provides information for public comment.

Exceptional Scientific Publication
A paper by EPA researcher Robert M. Burgess, Ph.D. and co-authors entitled “The Gellyfish: An in situ equilibrium-based sampler for determining multiple free metal ion concentrations in marine ecosystems” was honored as one of 2015’s “Exceptional Papers” by Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

And coming up next week:

Webinar on Air Quality and Community Science
June 29th, 3-4 p.m. EDT
Learn about air quality monitoring and community science at a free webinar next week! EPA researcher Ron Williams will talk about our online Air Sensor Toolbox, which provides a one-stop place for information and guidance on how to evaluate the performance of air sensors available in the marketplace, what to consider before conducting an air monitoring project, and what others are doing to monitor air quality. Register for the webinar here and learn more at our Air Sensor Toolbox page.

Honey bee pollinating flower

Honey bee pollinating flower

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. She is a regular contributor to It All Starts with Science and the founding writer of “The Research Recap.”


Happy National Pollinator Week!

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