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Matt Mercuro
A new study released this week shows that the intensity of tropical cyclones is shifting from the tropics to the poles. Though scientists who conducted the study are still investigating the atmospheric mechanisms behind this change, the trend seems consistent with a warming climate, according to the release. Michael Mann, a professor of meteorology and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said cyclone migration is "a very interesting new angle on the larger issue of how climate change may be impacting tropical cyclone activity."
Penn Live
Marcus Schenck
Penn State researchers have successfully tested a naturally occurring fungus as a means to curb the spread of tree-of-heaven, an invasive tree species that is threatening forests in most of the U.S. They tested the fungus -- Verticillium nonalfalfae -- by injecting it into tree-of-heaven, or Ailanthus, plots, according to Matthew Kasson, who recently received his doctorate in plant pathology and environmental microbiology from Penn State.
Centre Daily Times
Casey McCracken
Since last fall, volunteers for Weatherization First, a project of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, have helped to weatherize 18 homes of low-income residents in Centre County, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and utility bills for 38 residents. IPL also has a branch club at Penn State. PSU-IPL President Luiggi Medina helped organize the club’s fourth annual Positively Green service day March 1, an alternative to the State Patty’s Day drinking holiday. Also this year, about 15 student volunteers constructed 22 storm windows, which they then installed in the houses of low-income famlies.
Centre Daily Times
Britney Milazzo
Jeff Gleason was the mastermind behind a Centre County Envirothon team that represented Bald Eagle Area High School on Wednesday. The high school senior said he grew up participating in similar environmental events and wrangled a team of four others to get involved in the competition this year at Bald Eagle State Park. In August, Gleason, 18, will attend Penn State to focus on environmental engineering, thanks to Envirothon, which helped mold his career choice, he said.
Nittany Lion
The Penn State Community Food Security Club is run by Penn State students that has a mission which states that their goal is to “spread conscious eating habits to the Penn State and State College communities, to assist in the support of a local food system, and to raise awareness and support for food security.” Recently, WPSU ran a radio story during Morning Edition about another Penn State student-run effort that addresses an issue that many may not be aware even exists—University students who struggle to feed themselves. The Penn State Lion’s Pantry is attempting to do something about this problem.
Stormwater Sentries is a new game that can be accessed on Facebook and is designed to educate the public about how our actions impact local streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. Game players can take on missions to clean up trash, pick up after their pet, plant native trees, shrubs, flowers, and rain gardens, reduce impervious surfaces, install rain barrels and more. As missions are completed, they will see water quality improve in the local stream and they can take on advanced missions to restore the stream buffer to provide habitat for wildlife.
Penn State Extension has scheduled a series of webinars for May, June, July and August on a variety of topics related to Marcellus Shale development. Here’s a list of upcoming events:-- May 15: World Oil & Gas Resources, Consumption and Trends;-- May 19: Natural Gas Opportunities In West Central PA;-- June 10: Making Sense of Natural Gas Pipeline, Right-of-Way Agreements;-- June 19: Utica and Point Pleasant-Where Are We Now?-- July 17: Industry Workforce and Training;-- July 31: Shale Mineral Management for the Landowner; and-- August 21: Natural Gas Processing and Effects on Royalty Income Streams.
Lauren Hensley
Hundreds of volunteers in Centre County are working around the clock to get ready for the Trash to Treasure sale. The event is a recycling sale where Penn State students donate gently used items and they are sold to the public. Organizers said preparing for sale day takes a lot of work as volunteers sort through more than 60 tons of donated items.
Deseret News
Whitney Evans
Air pollution is a "dark cloud" looming over Utah, even on a sunny day in May, according to Salt Lake City officials. Pollution affects the quality of life and economy in Utah, according to Salt Lake City sustainability program director Debbie Lyons. "We still have a dark cloud hanging over us," Lyons said Wednesday during a news conference at the Salt Lake City-County Building, referring to the recurring smog in the state. She was joined by others who said pollution is contributing to climate change, a reduction in the state's snowpack levels, and could bring about dangerous results in the coming decades. "Climate change isn't just some distant, far-off problem," said Michael Mann, Penn State distinguished professor of meteorology.
Kelly Doyle
WPSU’s occasional series “Beyond the Classroom” takes a look at learning beyond university walls. Today Kelly Doyle is a junior double majoring in “Community, Environment and Development” and “Environmental Resource Management” with a minor in “International Agriculture.” She tells us about how those studies came to life on her recent trip to Central America. "Developing sustainable communities and maintaining the health of our world is something I’m passionate about. My classes have helped me understand the importance of proper resource management. But a recent hands-on experience has taken my education to a whole new level," said Doyle.
Science Codex
By ignoring how the collection of data on political repression changes over time, human rights watchers may be misjudging reports that seem to show respect for human rights has not been improving, according to a Penn State political scientist. Many political scientists and sociologists believe that allegations of human rights abuses drawn from sources such as the U.S. State Department and Amnesty International over the past few decades show that attention to human rights is stagnating, said Christopher Fariss, assistant professor of political science. However, a new measurement model of the data, which recognizes the changes in how that information is collected and categorized, indicates that the human rights climate is actually improving.
Science 2.0
If you ask rural people in the American east which is more damaging to the ecology, coyotes or deer, it may be a toss-up. But that doesn't mean it is a good idea for one to just take the other out. In response to these concerns, researchers initiated a study to look at deer and coyote populations from southeastern Canada through the mid-Atlantic region to the Southeast. "The concern is that coyotes may be changing the established population dynamics of white-tailed deer herds through increased predation on fawns," said Duane Diefenbach, adjunct professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit based at Penn State.
Digital Journal
Karen Graham
A massive glacier system has started collapsing in West Antarctica due to global warming, and studies by two different teams of scientists claim the collapse will result in a significant rise in sea levels worldwide. Richard Alley, a professor of Earth sciences at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, had this to say: “Very crudely, we are now committed to global sea level rise equivalent to a permanent Hurricane Sandy storm surge,” referring to the storm that hit the Eastern Coast of the United States in 2012.
Washington Times
Associated Press
A team from Penn State University has won a national contest for designing and building the best small wind turbine. The U.S. Department of Energy says in a Friday statement that more than 150 students from 10 universities took part in the three-day Collegiate Wind Competition, which was held in Las Vegas this week. The Penn State team was comprised of engineering and business students, and was also honored for best business pitch during the event.
water blues, green solutions
CBS Philly
John Ostapkovich
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is set to host a local film premiere Wednesday night that highlights a bold environmental initiative. The film Water Blues, Green Solutions is the second water-related documentary out of Penn State Public Media. It focuses on four cities with different water management problems and one is Philadelphia, which filmmaker Frank Christopher says has been going all-in to try to control storm runoff that causes flooding and pollution.
Jayne Ann Bugda
The first graduates with engineering degrees in alternative energy and power generation from Penn State Hazleton are anticipating the future, just as Associate Professor of Engineering Wieslaw “Wes” Grebski did when starting their program. “Very often in engineering, if you want to be ahead, you have to kind of get a sense of what’s coming to position yourself,” Grebski said. Grebski realized the growing need for engineers who can tap into renewable energy as society struggles to produce more power while reducing climate-changing emissions.
Centre Daily Times
Megan Caldwell
Richard Alley, the 56-year-old glaciologist and climate scientist, is known around the world for his work studying climate change in the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland. His research contributed to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with former Vice President Al Gore, in 2007. The National Academy honored Alley for his study of the movement of ice sheets and streams, which he has shown can give important insight into the stability of the Earth’s ice masses in Antarctica and Greenland.
Caren Glotfelty, a career environmental leader in academia, government and philanthropy, will be honored by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council for her achievements as a champion of environmental protection and conservation.Glotfelty will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Dinner and Awards Ceremony on May 28 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Over the course of her distinguished career, Glotfelty has been a deputy secretary of water management for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources under Governor Bob Casey, the Maurice K. Goddard Chair of Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation at Penn State University, and the Senior Program Director of the Environment Program at the Heinz Endowments. Additionally, she served on Governor Tom Ridge’s 21st Century Commission on the Environment.
North American Wind Power
Pennsylvania State University has won the first-ever U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition. The inaugural competition challenged undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to design and build a lightweight, transportable wind turbine with the ability to power small electronic devices. Teams also presented a detailed business plan and demonstrated their knowledge of key market drivers and deployment opportunities. The event took place alongside the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2014 Conference and Exhibition, held in Las Vegas May 5-8.
The Green Garage Blog
Say hello to Jacob Hauptman, the Penn State EcoCAR team’s Business Manager. Jacob is a sophomore, and this is his second year with the team. It’s not just all business and no fun for him – check out the video to find out how much fun Jacob is!