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19 July 2012

Introducing the European Geoscience Union – Soil Systems Science Division

The European Geoscience Union, a leader in the free dissemination of scientific research, has rolled out its Soil Systems Science Division (SSSD). The SSSD has a blog newsletter with some fine articles and beautiful images about soils and surface geology of Europe. When Editor Jessica Drake (Soilduck) kindly invited me to write a short “why I do soil science” biographical piece, I jumped at the chance. Being that I’m American, …


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8 November 2011

Coal Ash in Lake Michigan

Last week saw a coal-ash landslide at the Oak Creek power plant near Milwaukee, and congressional action that would allow a car ferry to dump coal ash in Lake Michigan. Both incidents raise questions about regulatory and permitting processes. Full disclosure is in order here. To minimize bias, scientists are supposed to be disinterested (not uninterested) in their subjects. I love Lake Michigan. For a kid who grew up in the “Rust Belt-Corn Belt” …


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12 September 2011

Lake Erie Algae Bloom

This September 3, 2011 MODIS image of Lake Erie reveals a bright green algae plume concentrated in the western basin. The western basin of the lake is the shallowest part and receives discharge from the Maumee River, the largest river watershed in the Great Lakes with 6,354 square miles (16,460 square km) of land drainage. Land use in the watershed is about 85 percent agricultural and growers typically use a …


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22 August 2011

Wetland Services: The Netley-Libau Project

The University of Manitoba and Ducks Unlimited enlist the ecological services of one of North America’s largest freshwater wetlands. A fly-over Google Earth tour of the area prepared by the International Institute for Sustainable Development shows a huge delta marsh where the silt-laden Red River of the North flows into Lake Winnepeg. The Netley-Libau Nutrient Bioenergy Project turns wetland plants to into bioenergy and recovers agricultural phosphorus while protecting water …


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10 July 2011

25 Dirtiest Coal Plants in U.S.

According to a 2011 report by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), just 25 coal plants account for one-third of the mercury emissions from power generation in the United States. They produce only 8 percent of the electricity. “Top honors” go to the Martin Lake, Texas lignite plant owned by Energy Future Holdings, which emits 1,566 pounds (712 kg) of mercury per year, according to the report. The lignite is mined nearby. …


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