Archive for the 'Environment & Ecology' Category

12
Oct
10

community response to bedbugs

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS DAWN BIEHLER

Since just before the year 2000, the U.S. has witnessed a resurgence of bedbugs, insects that had been mostly eradicated here in the middle of the twentieth century. In just the past few weeks, we have heard about infestations in an array of places: from federal government offices in Washington, to a public housing high-rise right here in Baltimore, to high-end Manhattan department stores. As bedbugs infiltrate public and private spaces alike, city governments, pest management professionals and regular people are scrambling to respond.

As a geographer and environmental historian, I look to our past experiences with bedbugs and other pests to reflect on responses to the current resurgence. History is an especially helpful tool for examining bedbugs because two generations of Americans have grown up with almost no exposure to these insects. Health officials and pest management professionals must reconstruct long-forgotten knowledge of bedbugs. My historical research on bedbugs and other pests reveals several key lessons for the way we deal with bedbugs today, and past experiences with bedbugs reinforce the importance of community involvement for successful bedbug control.

Dawn Biehler is the author of the forthcoming book, “Pests and the People: An Environmental History of Animals, Chemicals, and Health in the Home”

07
May
09

“Smog Blog” Paints Picture of Air Pollution for SciAm

Scientific American.com article on UMBC's "Smog Blog"

Scientific American.com article on UMBC's "Smog Blog"

UMBC PHYSICS PROFESSOR and JOINT CENTER FOR EARTH SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR RAY HOFF and his team’s “Smog Blog” were heavily featured over at Scientific American’s site today.

UMBC’s own U.S. Air Quality blog, a.k.a. the “Smog Blog,” is a big part of Scientific American’s article and slideshow on how the U.S. government and UMBC researchers use satellite data to chart the quality of the air we breathe.

Hoff has run the Smog Blog with a team of current and former graduate students and other volunteers since 2003. “From a personal perspective, I thought it would be a good teaching tool,” he notes, “but it turned out to be much more than that.”

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04
Feb
09

Early Humans & Climate Change

Geography and Environmental Systems Professor Erle Ellis says the latest research indicates early human agriculture had an impact on climate change.


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16
Jan
09

CSI Science to Prevent Bird/Plane Accidents?

omland.jpgBIOLOGICAL SCIENCES PROFESSOR KEVIN OMLAND

The water landing of the US Airways jet on January 15 in the Hudson River is another example of the potential dangers posed by certain bird species. I am working with Smithsonian colleagues to research DNA traces from birds’ collisions with planes to learn the patterns of certain bird species and how future dangerous incidents can be avoided.
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22
Dec
08

2009 Resolutions: Stop Borrowing From Future Generations

Physics Professor Ray Hoff

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17
Dec
08

2009 Resolutions: Think Globally Before Acting

Geography and Environmental Systems Professor Erle Ellis

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16
Dec
08

In 2009 the World Should Resolve to…

Economics Professor Ginny McConnell
GinnyMcConnell_thumb.jpg
In 2009, the world should resolve to build cleaner cars. The number of gasoline-powered vehicles in use globally is forecast to nearly double by 2050. At current rates of fuel economy and gasoline use, this will dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we must be reducing those emissions.
The technologies to begin the transition to cleaner vehicles are just now coming on line, and they should be pursued aggressively by government policies and by private sector innovation. It is not going to easy or inexpensive to make this transition, but we need to begin in earnest in the New Year.
Multimedia: Hear Prof. McConnell discuss gas prices and the environment on NPR’s “Marketplace”
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