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December 5, 2016

Water and atmospheric processes are inseparable. Now, there is a supercomputer model that couples climate and hydrodynamic factors for the Great Lakes region. The new model will be useful for climate predictions, habitat modeling for invasive species, oil spill mitigation and other environmental research.

Photo: Bryan Swistock, Penn State Extension
December 5, 2016

The Penn State Extension Water Resources Team has released a new “LearnNow” video on Protecting Your Water Well. LearnNow videos are short, narrated PowerPoint presentations that are new learning tool being utilized by Penn State Extension.

December 5, 2016

Naturally occurring chemicals found in road salts commonly used to de-ice paved surfaces can alter the sex ratios in nearby frog populations, a phenomenon that could reduce the size and viability of species populations, according to a new study.

December 5, 2016

For years, public health experts have warned against eating certain kinds of fish, including tuna, that tend to accumulate mercury. Still, tuna consumption provides more mercury to U.S. consumers than any other source. But recently, as industry cuts down on its mercury emissions, research has found mercury concentrations in some fish are dropping. The latest study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, reports that this is the case for prized Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Photo: Jennifer Fetter, Penn State Extension
November 28, 2016

About one third of the households in York and Lancaster Counties are served by a private water system (wells or springs). Penn State Extension held Home Water and Septic System Workshops to assist homeowners in understanding, testing and maintaining these important systems.

November 28, 2016

Researchers who work in wetlands in Michigan are taking a new approach to invasive plants. Instead of removing plants like phragmites and switchgrass, they’re harvesting them. They say these plants are a threat to biodiversity, but they can benefit farmers and even power homes.

November 28, 2016

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has detected a new record-high level of radon and is once again encouraging state residents to test their homes for this radioactive gas, a leading cause of lung cancer.

November 28, 2016

Using 20 years of data from federal and state agencies, a fisheries biologist and a scholar are tracking how land use changes have impacted the water quality and aquatic life in lakes and streams in northeastern South Dakota. These environmental impacts can put pressure on aquatic ecosystems that, in the short term, can have a more dramatic effect than climate change.

November 21, 2016

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has developed a new geospatial information system (GIS) mapping website to help local governments and other entities pursuing permits for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) to obtain information for their permit applications more easily.

Photo: James Clark, Penn State Extension
November 21, 2016

Penn State Extension Water Specialist, Bryan Swistock, and several Extension Water Team Members, trained other Extension Personnel at the recent Joint Council of Extension Professionals Conference in State College, PA.

November 21, 2016

A new multiyear study has shown for the first time how changes in ocean temperature affect a key species of phytoplankton. The study tracked levels of Synechococcus—a tiny bacterium common in marine ecosystems—near the coast of Massachusetts over a 13-year period. As ocean temperatures increased during that time, annual blooms of Synechococcus occurred up to four weeks earlier than usual because cells divided faster in warmer conditions, the study found.

Water testing class Photo: S Boser, Penn State Extension
November 14, 2016

Drinking water and clean watersheds were the focus this fall for water programming that took place throughout Western PA.

November 14, 2016

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists identified water-quality and environmental factors related to cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms at beaches in Ohio. This information was collected as part of a long-term plan to develop site-specific predictive models for microcystin concentrations.

November 14, 2016

An unprecedented 40-year experiment in a 40,000-acre valley of Yosemite National Park strongly supports the idea that managing fire, rather than suppressing it, makes wilderness areas more resilient to fire, with the added benefit of increased water availability and resistance to drought.

courtesy Penn State Marcellus Education Team
November 14, 2016

Every year in the U.S., a whopping 20 billion barrels of water are generated as a byproduct of domestic oil and gas recovery, according to the U.S. Department of Energy

November 9, 2016

If you’ve ever been fly fishing, you probably know what a mayfly looks like. These delicate insects are a tasty treat for freshwater trout and other aquatic species. They are also a hallmark of healthy streams and rivers. When mayfly populations decline, it’s a warning that something has gone wrong. But what?

MWON volunteer David McCobin talks with a private water system owner and her family at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days in August 2016 Photo: B Swistock, Penn State University
November 9, 2016

The Penn State Master Well Owner Network (MWON) is a volunteer program dedicated to providing unbiased, research-based education for the millions of private water well owners in Pennsylvania. Funding is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association.

November 9, 2016

Areas of the Arctic play a larger role than previously thought in the global nitrogen cycle—the process responsible for keeping a critical element necessary for life flowing between the atmosphere, the land and oceans.

November 9, 2016

The Chesapeake Conservancy recently partnered with the York County Stormwater Consortium to create a customized, web-based tool to streamline and standardize the data, calculations, and formatting of stormwater project reports that are submitted by the 44 participating municipalities, including the County, each year.

November 2, 2016

Pennsylvanians have more options to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines and pharmaceutical drugs thanks to enactment of HB 1737, part of the opioid epidemic package of bills signed by Governor Tom Wolf.