Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Who was Georg Steller and why are that jay and sea lion named after him?

In the Oct-Dec issue of Bay Nature: 
That crested camp-robber eyeing your pretzels, all squawk and blue feathers, is known as a Steller’s jay. And the Steller sea lion, quite vocal in its own right, is a larger, rarer cousin of Pier 39’s infamous California sea lion. Both the bird and the sea lion are native to the West Coast and named for Georg Wilhelm Steller, an 18th-century German botanist, zoologist, physician, and explorer.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Three news articles in the September issue of Environmental Health Perspectives

Well then! Been waiting a while for a number of my Environmental Health Perspectives articles on recent/upcoming studies to run (timing is related to publication of the actual study, which is often hard to pin down) and today I learn that THREE just hit the 'net ALL AT ONCE.
I'm proud of them all, and of my continued reporting on research in this critical and often poorly understood field.
They are:
1) "Inequality of Noise Exposures: A Portrait of the United States," on a study offering evidence that environmental noise exposure, associated with a host of potential health effects, is unevenly distributed across cities and landscapes and—like many environmental hazards—tends to disproportionately affect lower-income and nonwhite individuals.
2) "From Ambient to Personal Temperature: Capturing the Experience of Heat Exposure," on a commentary proposing and outlining new approaches in heat-exposure research.
3) "Estimated Deficiencies Resulting from Reduced Protein Content of Staple Foods: Taking the Cream out of the Crop?," on a study quantifying how much rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere are likely to reduce the protein content of a large number of staple crops worldwide (based on rates observed in previous experimental studies), and how that would affect global nutrition more holistically.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Waste equals energy ... or, from poop to fuel: a Q&A with Cal alum Ashley Muspratt

Ashley Muspratt has devoted her career to something most of us would rather not think about; something that, across much of the Western world, we truly don’t consider. Like our soda cans, toothpaste tubes and heaps of plastic wrap, it just disappears. But management of human waste, also called wastewater or fecal sludge, is a constant concern in many developing nations lacking the costly sewer networks and treatment plants that have contributed to massive public health gains across Europe and the United States over the last century.

Read the rest of the Berkeley Engineer article here.