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”

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.

walking on a rope
Who knew walking across a rope could be fun?

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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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Exotic Pet Ownership

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The majestic yet venomous (and very invasive) lionfish from Hakai Magazine.

Lately I’ve been pondering what type of pet I’d like to own when I finally move out of my college dorm and into the real word. During my time searching the interwebs, I discovered several exotic and even wild animals that I could easily purchase online, such as sugar gliders and even fennec foxes. After a couple minutes, I found myself stumbling on article after article that advocates against owning novelty pets. And so the moral debate begins.

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Atmospheric Water Generators

Typical Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs) don’t work well in environments with low humidity or temperature. Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found a way to extract water from soil in the driest biome in the world- the desert. Using an air-cooled sorbent-based atmospheric water harvesting device, the research group predicted that over a quarter-liter of water could be extracted per kilogram of metal-organic framework (MOF) each day.

experimental setup
Image from supplementary documents of MIT study.

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