What the Flux

Climate change and world record atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are not new topics in mainstream media. An ample source of information on the planet’s current and future conditions is at our fingertips, but a resounding question from curious minds and climate-change deniers alike is: How do we know the climate is changing? We might have a long list of weather patterns at locations around the world, but how do we get them? And how do we make predictions? The answer would be flux towers.

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Standing on a flux tower 138 feet in the air.

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Oh, the Places I Go

Map of Madison Wisconsin.
Map of the lakes from WisContext.

Living in a city situated between two scenic lakes, I had to wonder why my drinking water wasn’t coming from either one of them. Madison, Wisconsin gets its drinking water from a sandstone aquifer that sits 90 to 95 feet below the ground’s surface according to Madison Water Utility. Twenty-two wells and many more pipes intertwine to serve the ever-growing population of this capital city. Continue reading “Oh, the Places I Go”

Interview with The Jaguar

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Josh Gross, author of The Jaguar and Allies. Photo credit here.

Josh Gross isn’t a jaguar, but he probably knows more about the species than they know about themselves. Josh is a conservation blogger and acquaintance of mine from the environmental blogging community here on WordPress. As author of The Jaguar and Allies blog, he has written about a broad range of environmental topics from international traveling to tiger reintroductions to surrounding social issues and of course, jaguar conservation. I hope you get to know him more and learn a little while you read the following interview.

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Outdoor Adventures

Once upon a time I was adventurous. In elementary school, I wanted to do more with my summer break than doing mandatory reading and hiding out to escape chores. I picked out a book from the library on fun things to do during my time off and tried them all out, from running a lemonade stand to urban exploring. My first lemonade stand made twenty-three dollars and I was rich. As I got older, the adventuring dwindled. I went from selling lemonade to working at a desk with a fantastic window view of the side of a brick building.

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Who knew walking across a rope could be fun?

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Activated Sludge

Imagine you are on a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt is circling around a box of pizza. Every time you get close enough, you take a slice of pizza. If the conveyor belt moves too fast, you can’t grab the pizza. But if it’s too slow, you’ll starve and the pizza won’t be nice and hot anymore and it might even start to grow mold. This is how the activated sludge process was explained to me in my first Environmental Engineering lecture many moons ago.

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A simplification of the activated sludge process.

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Sustainability Month

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My zero-emission mode of transport for the week.

I hope everyone was able to get outside this past Sunday to celebrate the holiday. Remember, environmental awareness doesn’t have to end with Earth Day! Keep the environmental vibes alive into the month of April, the Sustainability Month.  Continue reading “Sustainability Month”

What a Superfund Site Really Looks Like

This past week I took a trip to the old Bethlehem Steel site in Buffalo, NY. Although the general public is prohibited from the site while remediation is going on, I was allowed to tour the site with two engineers as guides. I got the chance to see what a Superfund Site truly looks like, and spoiler alert, it wasn’t the futuristic radioactive wasteland that toxic sites are typically portrayed as by so many sci-fi movies.

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The cold lake breeze across my face really woke me up.

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