Allequash Creek Wetland

flux tower in field

Despite the fact that wetlands have a relatively colorless appearance and are somewhat of an inhospitable environment for many species, these kinds of ecosystems are clandestinely buzzing with land-atmosphere interactions. Just last month, I explored Allequash Creek Wetland in Northern Wisconsin with the USGS to collect aquatic chemistry and CH4/CO2 measurements and to gain a general sense of the site. The eddy covariance flux tower in the photo above provides the flux data from the wetland which I will be compiling, analyzing, and presenting for my master’s thesis. Continue reading

Sustainable Cities

black and white bikes

There’s a better chance at winning the lottery than finding a bike spot in Madison.

Whether or not bicyclists obey the bike light installed on the bike path near my apartment is up for debate. What’s important is that it’s there. As a new resident of a bustling city, I got to thinking what makes one place more sustainable than another.¬†Determining factors of a sustainable city will vary depending on who you ask. If you ask me, an eco-friendly city needs these things: Continue reading

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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The Garbage Patch

After studying the environment at university for four years, I have written over 60 blog posts on environmental issues, formulated a personal memoir on my life as an environmentalist, and maintained a semi-annual environmental news page. Nevertheless, I still haven’t done everything in my power to end environmental issues.

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Graphic from Clean Water Action.

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World Water Day

How does one actually celebrate World Water Day? It’s not like other holidays with parades, family reunions, games, or special dinners. I’ve seen lots of articles for the day that has been broadcast all over the internet, and a couple suggestions on what to do. I decided on a shorter-than-usual shower and an informative blog post. (By the way, short shower means under 8 minutes in the realm of environmental engineering as this is the average time people spend under the shower head. If 8 is more than your normal, keep doing you!)

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Great Lakes Bluegill depiction from Missouri DEC.

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Blowing Bubbles

Did you know that bubbles can clean water? Specifically, dissolved air flotation (DAF) and ultrasound are two methods of making water safer with bubbles. DAF can be used to replace sedimentation in municipal drinking water treatment. Large particles are typically settled out using gravity, but with DAF, bubbles are produced by an oxygen tank pumping air into the bottom of a basin and small particles attach to the sides of the bubbles. The bubbles rise to the top of the basin and the particles are swept off the surface of the water by a skimmer.

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Dolfi ultrasonic device, photo from Indiegogo.

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