If you enjoy wildlife, fishing, nature walks, paddle sports and other streamside activities, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences now is giving you a chance to parlay those interests into becoming a citizen-scientist by observing and recording environmental and ecosystem changes. The only tool needed is a pencil or smartphone.
A recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study provides a rare glimpse into how nitrate levels in 22 large rivers across the Nation have changed during the past 65 years. Despite the stabilization of nitrogen inputs in recent decades, there is no evidence of widespread decrease in nitrate levels in rivers.
One of the biggest challenges in preventing arsenic exposure from drinking water may be public perception, according to a recent special section of Science of the Total Environment. In this special section of 13 papers report on new understanding of arsenic hydrogeochemistry, performance of household well water treatment systems, and testing and treatment behaviors of well users in several states of the northeastern region of the United States and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Conference organizers are now accepting proposals for Presenters and Exhibitors at the 2016 Dive Deeper III Summit. Dive Deeper is the biennial youth water educators summit hosted by Penn State Extension. The Dive Deeper III Summit will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2016 in Harrisburg, PA.
If you're a farm operator in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, you soon will have a chance to highlight what steps you and your fellow farmers have taken to protect and enhance water quality in the region.
A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study determined that the microbiology and organic chemistry of produced waters varied widely among hydraulically fractured shale gas wells in north-central Pennsylvania.
Manure spills may be an underappreciated pathway for livestock-derived contaminants to enter streams. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studied an Iowa stream after the release of a large volume of swine manure (a manure spill). The scientists observed an increase in viruses and bacteria, which have the potential to cause human or swine disease, in the stream water and bed sediment. This study applied molecular techniques to identify microbial contaminants that were transported as far as 4 kilometers from the spill origin. The microbial contaminants persisted for several weeks in stream water and sediments after the spill. This study documented that stream sediment was a persistent reservoir of contamination following this manure spill.
The Penn State Extension Water Resources Team recently released a new “LearnNow” video on Roadside Springs. LearnNow videos are short, narrated PowerPoint presentations that are new learning tool being utilized by Penn State Extension.
The answer is … for each … one can earn the title of “Master”. While Hollywood dreamed up the idea of a Jedi Master, the Pennsylvania State Extension has devised programs in which one can earn the title of Master Gardener as well as the title of Master Well Owner.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today urged all Pennsylvanians to test their homes for radon, a deadly radioactive gas that’s the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States. DEP also urged residents to take action to reduce radon levels in their homes if they are high.
A new online graphical data tool that provides annual summaries of nutrient and sediment concentrations and loads and streamflow information is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
A new interactive mapping tool predicts likely concentrations for 108 pesticides in streams and rivers across the Nation.
On November 16, 2015, the Newville Borough Water And Sewer Authority (NWSA) received final approval from PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for its Source Water Protection Plan. Newville is a borough in western Cumberland County. The limestone formations in the Cumberland Valley provide abundant but shallow groundwater that interacts with streams and moves quickly in complicated paths underground.
Forests and other natural landscapes play a vital role in providing abundant and clean groundwater and surface water. On November 18, 2015, Bryan Swistock, a Water Resources Extension Specialist in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University, presented an online webinar on The Importance of Forests to Clean Water.
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has announced that improvements are being made to its Watershed Education program that is intended to give children in grades 6-12 a knowledge base on water-related issues in the hope they will become future community leaders.
Pennsylvania is one of two states without statewide standards for the construction of private water wells. Bills have been introduced in the current legislative session to develop these standards for new private water wells in Pennsylvania based on best practices developed by groundwater professionals and used in most states. Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties and a few townships and boroughs throughout the state do have well construction standards.
Bacteria living in shallow sediment layers of permanently flooded wetlands in Asia drive arsenic release into water by feeding on freshly deposited plant material, a new study finds.
When the biodiversity of an ecosystem is reduced by invasive species, competition for food plays a more important role than has previously been supposed. This was the conclusion of research conducted by scientists on cichlid species in Lake Victoria, which suffered mass extinction following the introduction of the fish-eating Nile perch in the 1950s. The study also demonstrates the threat which rapid environmental changes pose to highly specialized species.
Rain barrels are a great way to collect water for use in your yard or garden and an easy way to help minimize storm water impacts on your property. Just like many outdoor items though, they require some extra wintertime maintenance to keep them in working order and your home from being damaged.
Penn State Extension Water Resources Educator, Jim Clark, attended the North American Lake Management Societies Annual Meeting in Saratoga Springs, November 2015. One of the more interesting talks he attended concerned mandatory boat inspections on Lake George in New York.