12/18/13

Generation toxic
We’ve known for years that lead seriously impairs early childhood development. Now scientists are finding that our kids’ brains are at risk from a barrage of other common chemicals.
OnEarth

12/13/13


From GroundTruth, Rooted in Science and Community
Pesticide Action Network North America 1611 Telegraph Ave. Suite 
1200, Oakland, CA 94612 USA 
510.788.9020 community@panna.org Web:www.panna.org
Bees in NYT.
Inaction? Intransigence? Negligence? Whatever the right word, we’re reminded that the U.S. is behind the curve when it comes to protecting bees. Yesterday, Europe’s restrictions on bee-harming pesticides went into effect.


Today, in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and six other major papers, PAN and over 60 food, farm, faith and investor groups are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take action. Quickly.
Read more »

12/11/13

LETTER: There are better choices for Salem plant site
GateHouse Media, Inc. Posted:  12/09/2013  
Wicked Local Marblehead

The Salem coal plant is closing in May. Hooray!

Oops! A New Jersey corporation, betting on a windfall profit, has submitted applications to build a $800 million gas plant on the site.

Local residents should know that this oversized plant is not necessary. The small shortfall in power can be met by a mix of distributed energy — small installations which send their extra power back to the grid — and by demand management like off-peak pricing and smart-grid technology.

The gas plant emits 2.5 million tons of greenhouse gases per year into the atmosphere, it will emit a low-level noise, and it is large — the stack is shorter but wider than the previous coal plant. And worse, this gas plant will emit tiny particulates into the air, which end up deep in human lungs and cause a wide range of lung diseases, according to the EPA.

Large, expensive and potentially dangerous high-pressure  gas lines must be installed to provide the fuel. The gas in these oversized new pipes will be piped from states where lax regulations allow the poisoning of drinking water and streams from toxic chemicals used in fracking. Nor do regulations prevent large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from escaping into the air.

Commissioner Norris of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stated in Boston last week that the energy sector is in a crucial time and that the systemic transformation of this sector should be undertaken thoughtfully. Building huge, long-term generators for a short-term solution is not the way to safe and sustainable energy future.  Salem’s neighbors should speak out for a better choice for this site rather than saddling the next generation with 40 more years of fossil-fuel emissions in a world already suffering the effects of fossil-fuel extraction leading to climate disruption and dirty air. — Lynn Nadeau, Surf Street

12/10/13


Interesting even if you’re not from NY.  There are some good summaries (with references) of the science related to environmental exposures and various children’s health effects, e.g. asthma, birth defects, cancers, developmental disorders and obesity.

Similar in scope to EPA’s America’s Children and the Environment,with a few twists, including estimates of economic impacts and a recommendation for a statewide PEHSU-type network funded by NY State Department of Health.

Thanks to Maryann Suero, US EPA, for posting.

12/5/13

Urban gardening: Managing the risks of contaminated soil. In cities around the globe, gardeners and farmers are digging into backyards and vacant lots, replacing blighted eyesores with lush, productive vegetation. These urban soils are often heavily contaminated, prompting questions about potential health consequences. Environmental Health PerspectivesNovember-December 2013 | Volume 121 | Issue 11-12


12/4/13

Either change the system or risk another “Silent SpringEnvironmental Defense Fund (blog). 
In her 1962 book Silent Spring, Carson described the harmful effects of synthetic pesticides and cautioned us that the indiscriminate use of these compounds ...

12/3/13

Toxins in Our Bodies

Industrial hygienist and chemist Monona Rossol discusses a study showing that rich people and poor people have different toxic substances in their bodies. She's the author of Pick Your Poison: How Our Mad Dash to Chemical Utopia Is Making Lab Rats of Us All.
Mounting microplastic pollution harms 'earthworms of the sea': Report. Tiny bits of plastic rubbish ingested by marine worms are significantly harming their health and will have a wider impact on ocean ecosystems, scientists have found. The Guardian 
http://bit.ly/1g21m7n

11/25/13

Hydrogen Fluoride – A Toxic Chemical in Your Neighborhood?
by Leeann Sinpatanasakul, 11/19/2013

Center for Effective Government  Across the nation, 167 industrial facilities currently store & use hydrogen fluoride, a dangerous and highly toxic gas. But what is it? And is it in your neighborhood?

...Safer alternatives to hydrogen fluoride exist for use in oil and gas refineries. However, it seems most companies will not adopt these safer alternatives voluntarily, despite the fact that millions of residents could be harmed by explosions. The Center for Effective Government continues to urge the EPA to use its authority to issue new guidance on the regulation of hydrogen fluoride and hundreds of other toxic chemicals stored at facilities situated near residential communities. Concerned citizens should examine our map of these facilities to see if their communities are at risk and advocate for safer alternatives. You can also make your voices heard by signing a petition asking the EPA to issue new guidelines.

11/21/13

E-Alert: Louisiana's Dirty 100 Orphaned Oil & Gas Wells
The "Dirty 100" are the 100 orphaned wells that are ranked as having the highest priority for the need of permanent plugging. They are leaking oil or Natural Gas, are currently causing an environmental problem and may also present a hazard or concern to human health and safety. These wells are orphaned wells, which means that the well's operator of record is no longer a viable responsible party. In other words, the companies that extracted minerals from the wells no longer exist so the responsibility of dealing with the wells now rests on the State of Louisiana. The State of Louisiana charges the Oil and Gas industry a fee of one and one-half cents ($.015) for every barrel of oil and condensate produced, and three-tenths of one cent ($.003) for every thousand cubic feet of gas produced which goes to the states Orphaned Well ProgramOrphaned Well Program . This allows the Louisiana Orphaned Well ProgramLouisiana Orphaned Well Program to deal with approximately 160 wells per year. There are currently 2820 wells identified as orphaned wells in need of permanent plugging in the State of Louisiana.

10/17/13

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) has developed a new search page for the TEDX List of Potential Endocrine Disruptors that includes 14 different categories to identify the uses and sources of exposure for each chemical.  You can also see a short tutorial on how to use the searchable list.

http://www.endocrinedisruption.org/enews/2013/10/08/tedx-list-of-potential-endocrine-disruptors/

10/16/13

EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE 
American Geosciences Institute Vol. 11, No. 10: October 2013
http://www.earthsciweek.org/ 

IN THIS ISSUE…
* Act Now to Win Award for Earth Science Teaching
* Classroom Activities Now Searchable Online
* Esri Blogs for Educators Mapping Out GIS Science
* Contest Winners to Be Announced Next Month
* Celebrate Earth Science With NASA Resources
* Post Your Photos Online From Earth Science Week
* Thanks to Earth Science Week’s Generous Sponsors
* Nuclear Regulators Tout Geoscience Careers Online
* Geologic Map Day Boosts Mapping Education
* National Fossil Day Event in DC Cancelled


SELECTED LINKS:

Classroom Activities Now Searchable Online

Ever wish you could go online to search for a classroom activity tailor-made to match the Earth science topic you’re teaching? Visit the continually updated Earth Science Week Classroom Activities page for more than 120 free learning activities, most of them contributed by the leading geoscience agencies and groups that are Earth Science Week partners.

Activities are organized and searchable by various criteria, including specific Earth science topics. To find the perfect activity for your lesson, just click on “Search Classroom Activities.” Search by grade level and science education standard. Maybe most useful, you also can search among 24 categories of Earth science topics, from energy and environment to plate tectonics and weathering.

This updated, database-driven resource is ideal not only for supplementing a prepared curriculum, but also for generating activities that address in-the-news events such as fossil discoveries and volcanic eruptions. See the Classroom Activities page athttp://www.earthsciweek.org/forteachers/classroomactivities.html.


Esri Blogs for Educators Mapping Out GIS Science

How can you explore the Earth Science Week 2013 theme of “Mapping Our World”? Start with longtime program partner Esri. Leading the charge to incorporate GIS (geographic information system) technology and mapping software in Earth science education, Esri is blogging to provide educators with useful resources and information during Earth Science Week 2013.

The first of the recent blog posts, issued just a few days ago, focuses ways that Esri is providing curriculum support for Earth Science Week, including related activities, lessons, data, and web maps (http://gisandscience.com). In addition, another recent blog on “Story Maps” shows how cutting-edge technology is revolutionizing the ways we create and use maps (http://blogs.esri.com/esri/esri-insider/).

GIS technology - which can illuminate features such as local geology, watersheds, and roads - can require some training before it can be used effectively. To learn more about GIS and Esri, see http://www.esri.com.


Celebrate Earth Science With NASA Resources
 
Throughout Earth Science Week 2013 and beyond, students of all ages can join NASA in celebrating the importance of maps to represent complex phenomena about our planet. A wealth of educational resources, blog posts, and other items can be found online (http://nasaesw.strategies.org).

For example, a new “Mapping Our World” sampler resource is available in both English and Spanish (http://nasaeswespanol.strategies.org/ciencias-terrestres-recursos-educativos-nasa-espanol/). And you are invited to participate in social media events to interact with NASA Earth explorers, see how they use mapping technologies in their research, and learn ways to use real data and images (http://nasaesw.strategies.org/events/).


See more: http://www.earthsciweek.org/

10/11/13

The IPM Practitioner’s 2013 Directory of Least-Toxic Pest Control Products
is now available online. This Directory lists more than 2,000 products such as baits, traps, pheromones, microbials, biocontrol agents, and other materials needed for IPM.
 Contact information is provided for more than 600 national and international suppliers. The Directory can be found at the following link http://www.birc.org/Directory.htm

Please contact me if you have any questions,
William Quarles, Ph.D.
Bio-Integral Resource Center
PO Box 7414
Berkeley, CA 94707

10/10/13

Chemicals of concern demystified by Jim Stanislaski AIA / October 2, 2013  http://www.architects.org/news/chemicals-concern-demystified

 http://www.architects.org/news/practice


Photo by June Lee. Taken December 6, 2012 at BSA Space-hosted forum, Road Work Ahead.

On September 24 at BSA Space, the BSA Committee on the Environment (COTE) hosted a lively roundtable discussion regarding how chemicals in the built environment affect human health. 

Moderated by Andrea Love AIA of Payette, the panel included experts with diverse backgrounds, experience, and opinions. Breeze Glazer of Perkins+Will gave a designer’s perspective, Paula Buick of Payette offered insights as a former intensive care nurse, Melissa McCullough of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute spoke from an owner’s and industrial hygienist’s point of view, and Meredith Elbaum summarized her work with the Health Product Declaration Collaborative.

Some of the toughest questions of the evening included these: As nonscientists, how do architects translate the often confusing data on building materials and design the safest possible environments for human health? How do we keep up with changing materials? For example, reading a material safety data sheet on a floor tile tells only part of the story. McCullough outlined how Dana-Farber Cancer has developed a methodical process for reviewing building materials and suggested a risk-based assessment. Glazer outlined how Perkins+Will has used organizations, tools, and frameworks such as LEED, Pharos, the Living Building Challenge, and the Healthy Building Network.

“The BSA has taken a stance on energy and many other sustainability aspects that affect our work as architects, but we [the BSA] have been largely silent on this important issue,” said audience member and current BSA president Mike Davis FAIA. Davis asked for help from the panel to draft an official BSA policy on healthy building materials as a means of showing leadership and continuing the discussion and education among designers and the larger group of stakeholders in related industries. Making a positive impact will require partnerships with multiple stakeholders, including owners, architects, interior designers, contractors, manufacturers, vendors, health experts, and chemical companies.

If you would like to help, please contact BSA COTE co-chairs Philippe Généreux AIA or Jim Stanislaski AIA.



10/7/13

Living Downstream

Renowned biologist Sandra Steingraber has made fighting environmentally induced cancers her life’s work. We hear excerpts of the documentary film, Living Downstream, which chronicles her efforts to create a world free of cancer causing toxics.
Saturday, 05 October 2013 13:17By StaffMaking Contact National Radio Project 
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/19246-living-downstream

9/26/13

Ruth Patrick, a Pioneer in Science and Pollution Control Efforts, Is Dead at 105

Ruth Patrick, a pioneer in studying the health of freshwater streams and rivers who laid the scientific groundwork for modern pollution control efforts, died on Monday in Lafayette Hill, Pa. She was 105...


Dr. Patrick, an adviser to presidents and the recipient of distinguished science awards, was one of the country’s leading experts in the study of freshwater ecosystems, or limnology. She achieved that renown after entering science in the 1930s, when few women were able to do so, and working for the academy for eight years without pay.
“She was worried about and addressing water pollution before the rest of us even thought of focusing on it,” James Gustave Speth, a former dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, said in an e-mail message.
Dr. Patrick built her career around research on thousands of species of single-cell algae called diatoms, which float at the bottom of the food chain. She showed that measuring the kinds and numbers of diatoms revealed the type and extent of pollution in a body of water. Her method of measurement has been used around the world to help determine water quality...




9/4/13

Margaret Badore, Design / Green Architecture, September 3, 2013
This article is the first of a series examining the risks associated with spray polyurethane foam.

8/31/13


Massachusetts Senate President pushes aid for clean water.
 Senate President Therese Murray said Wednesday that one of the Senate's top priorities will be to help cities and towns pay to repair and replace aging water infrastructure systems, a problem some lawmakers describe as rivaling transportation in its need for new funding sources. By STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE August 28, 2013 State House News Service, Massachusetts. http://bit.ly/1cn3IZD

8/21/13

Posted: 20 Aug 2013 09:15 PM PDT
Public water supplies are safer than ever – a lot safer than most bottled water. But new concerns about emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals and fragrances could drive up future costs for water treatment.

Great Lakes Echo
Who we are
Great Lakes Echo is a project of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University. The Knight Center has undergraduate and graduate programs and holds workshops for professional journalists.

What we do
Echo was created with assistance of MSU’s Department of Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media. Original content is produced by journalists working for the center. Additional content is provided by Capital News Service.

We foster and serve a news community defined by proximity to and interest in the environment of the Great Lakes watershed. We use traditional news reporting methods but also push the frontiers of journalism to harness the knowledge, interests, skills and energy of that community.

8/3/13



Cancer Revisited: Our Evolving Thinking, And Where’s The Cure? by Rachel Zimmerman, Cancer -- and our evolving thinking about its nuances, complexity and how to treat it -- is in the news this week.


Where’s The Cure For Cancer? We examine the ongoing war on cancer, why we’re not closer to a cure already and where the promising research is now. http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/08/01/redefining-cancer

Widespread Chemical Bisphenol A Linked To Flawed Eggs In Women, by Carey Goldberg, Researchers find that the ubiquitous chemical Bisphenol A may harm egg quality in women.


Collaborating for a Cure: Avon's Unifying Fight against Breast Cancer Marc Hurlbert joined Avon 10 years ago to help positively impact those affected by breast cancer. His mission: to unite non-profits. 

6/22/13

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring 

A public reading of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 22, 8 a.m.–noon at the farmers market. Published in 1962, Silent Spring documents the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment. The public reading is organized by Antioch College students, and volunteers are invited to come out and read in 20-minute shifts.  Yellow Springs News

5/31/13

Posted: 30 May 2013 
Researchers found 56 chemicals — including cocaine — at trace amounts in 47 of 50 Minnesota lakes, including many in relatively pristine parts of the state. Some are thought to be endocrine disruptors, which can block or act like hormones in people and wildlife. They are used in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and industrial processes, but are largely unregulated.

5/15/13


Glyphosate (Roundup): Most Biologically Disruptive Chemical in Our Environment?

Monsanto wants you to believe that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is only “minimally toxic” to humans, whatever that means. But the most recent study on the most widely used herbicide in the world says, once again, otherwise. According to the report: Glyphosate residues found in the main foods of the Western diet – sugar, wheat, and genetically modified corn and soy – inhibit critical enzymes in mammals. Its negative impact on the body is “insidious and manifests slowly over time, as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.”

5/13/13

National Audubon Society Celebrates 10th Anniversary Rachel Carson Awards 


The National Audubon Society will celebrate their 10th AnniversaryWomen in Conservation Luncheon by presenting the 2013 Rachel Carson Award to two exceptional women at The Plaza Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, May 29. The prestigious award, launched in 2004, recognizes visionary women whose dedication, talent and energy have greatly advanced environmental and conservation causes locally, nationally and globally.

http://www.audubon.org/sites/default/files/documents/wic_general_press_release_final.pdf
 

Keynote is historian Douglas Brinkley, who will speak about the legacy of Rachel Carson and women like Marian Heiskell and Lady Bird Johnson who will leave ever-lasting impacts on our country. An excerpt from his new book Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Stewart Udall and the Environmental Movement, 1961 to 1964, appeared in Audubon magazine, the same publication that dared print an excerpt of Carson’s Silent Spring, the iconic, bestselling book published 50 years ago.

http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles/conservation/rachel-carson-and-jfk-environmental-tag-team

4/11/13

Water Lecture Series graphicThe Radcliffe Institute presents "The Food-Water-Energy Nexus and the Challenge to Sustainability" as part of its Water Lecture Series.
The Food-Water-Energy Nexus and the Challenge to Sustainability, Water Lecture Series Monday, Apr 15, 2013 5:00 pm, Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Peter P. Rogers, Gordon McKay Research Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Moderator: Joanna Aizenberg, director of the science program of Academic Ventures at the Radcliffe Institute, the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, a director of the Kavli Institute for Bionanoscience, and a founding core faculty member at the Wyss Institute
Over the past few decades the world has undergone five major global transitions around the nexus of food, water, and energy. These transitions include urban population transition, with the majority of the global population now residing in cities; nutrition transition, with demand for new foodstuffs that rely on increased consumption of animal products and other high-value foods; climate transition, with increased temperature and uncertain water supplies; agricultural transition, with huge increases in food demands; and energy transition, with a move from cheap fossil fuels to renewable energy resources. These changes have happened so fast that well-tried solutions and historically based planning to water-management problems are no longer viable. The result is a mismatch between populations and available resources. In his talk, Rogers will explore this ever-developing nexus and its challenge to sustainability.
Lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4:45 p.m.; lecture begins at 5 p.m.

4/9/13


EPA/NIEHS Children's Centers 2013 Webinar SeriesWednesday, April 10, 2013, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

Join us for this month's webinar presenting research from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley. The webinar features presentations and interactive discussions including recent findings and new developments in children’s environmental health.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: 
Dana C. Dolinoy, Ph.D.: Early Exposure to Bisphenol A and Lead: Effects on Metabolic Homeostasis and the Epigenome
Joseph Wiemels, Ph.D.: DNA Methylation Changes in Blood Cells That Impact Leukemia—Role of Environment

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: 
Questions and Answers 

4/8/13

Common pesticide kills beneficial gut bacteria, allowing disease-causing bacteria to thrive
study recently published in Current Microbiology shows that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is toxic to beneficial gut bacteria in poultry. Disease-causing bacteria, such asSalmonella and Clostridium, on the other hand, are resistant to glyphosates. Beneficial gut bacteria usually suppress the growth of the harmful bacteria, keeping the harmful bacteria numbers in check. If glyphosate is introduced to the system, those good bacteria will die off, allowing the harmful bacteria to burgeon and leading to potentially deadly levels of toxins. Unfortunately, these symptoms aren’t limited to the poultry being fed feed with Roundup residue, but could also affect people who consume the poultry.

3/20/13

Pesticide is costly for bees, then birds, then?
The Earth Times
... allowed concerns about neonicotinoid insecticides to go unnoticed is parallel to the Silent Spring ignorance that reigned supreme for Rachel Carson.

3/9/13

The hazards of plastic waste. Every year, humans produce nearly 280 million tons of plastic. And much of that plastic ends up in the environment, harming marine life and other ecosystems. Now a group of scientists has a potential solution. Because plastics absorb hazardous pollutants, they should be considered hazardous waste. Living On Earth
http://bit.ly/Wcp2el
Warning bells from nature. Proving a clear link between a chemical and health damage can be tricky in the best of times. At what dose does the chemical become poisonous? One drop, or two? What if the harmful effect of the chemical lies dormant for a while and only shows up 10 or 20 years later? To complicate the picture further, a healthy 70kg adult might not suffer any damage from a chemical dose which is highly toxic in a developing foetus or new-born baby. Durban Mercury, South Africa.
http://bit.ly/WRHaHE

3/8/13

Help NGWA Promote Ground Water Awareness
Ground Water Awareness Week (March 10-16, 2013) will shed light on one of the world’s most important resources - ground water. Ground water is essential to the health and well being of humanity and the environment, according to the National Ground Water Association, an AGI member society.

To learn more about Ground Water Awareness Week, visit the Virtual Museum of Ground Water History (http://info.ngwa.org/museum/museum.cfm) or watch a “water well show” (https://info.ngwa.org/images/flash/RFD_TV/rfdtv.html). For additional educational activities and resources, see http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/awareness/Pages/Get-involved.aspx.

3/1/13

Climate Change: What Would Rachel Carson Do?
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Watertown Public Library 123 Main Street, Watertown MA
Two renown climate journalists, David Arnold and Dan Grossman, will give updates on the state of their work, knowledge, and visions of the future. A community conversation will follow focusing on measures we can take in our own lives to reduce carbon and a glimpse into what the world might look like in 2050 at current rates of change. Hosted by the Watertown Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee, cosponsored by the Sierra Club Greater Boston Group. Free.



EDITORIALS: Support Silent Spring
Barnstable Patriot ...He credited the Silent Spring Institute and its work identifying trace levels of pharmaceuticals and contaminants of emerging concern in Cape Cod ...

 

FSU presents symposium on legacy of 'Silent Spring' 50 years later 02/26/2013 

Rachel Carson
A day of presentations marking the 50th anniversary of environmentalist and author Rachel Carson’s landmark book “Silent Spring” will be held March 1 at Florida State University’s Strozier Library.
Published in September 1962, “Silent Spring” is widely credited with helping launch the contemporary American environmental movement. In particular, the book documented the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, especially on birds. Since its publication, “Silent Spring” has been featured in many lists of the best nonfiction books of the twentieth century. The editors of Discover magazine named it one of the 25 greatest science books of all time in 2006.
The day-long symposium is sponsored by Michael Ruse, FSU’s Lucycle T. Werkmeister Professor in the Department of Philosophy and director of the Program in History and Philosophy of Science; Friends of the FSU Libraries; the Center for Humanities and Society; and the Program in History and Philosophy of Science. The events, which are free and open to the public, will take place:
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
9 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.
STROZIER LIBRARY, SCHOLARS COMMONS READING ROOM (GROUND FLOOR)
116 HONORS WAY
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
Click here for a complete listing of speakers and events.

2/22/13


UN, WHO panel calls hormone-disrupting chemicals a 'global threat'
By Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News, Feb. 19, 2013

An international team of experts reported today that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a "global threat" that should be addressed. The report is a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to give policy makers the latest information on chemicals that seem to mess with the hormones of people and wildlife...
 

2/19/13

Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest

The 7th Annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest
We are pleased to announce the 7th Annual Sense of Wonder Contest. Songwriting has been added to the categories of artistic expression. There is also a new sponsor: the Legacy Project, who joins our long-time sponsors of the contest. The deadline for entries is Monday, June 10, 2013.

http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/index.htm

2/18/13




It has been more than 50 years since Rachel Carson published her groundbreaking book "Silent Spring". Derided by scientists at the time, she is now regarded as a hero by environmental progressives and a villain by many others, but Carson certainly changed how the public views environmentalism.


One area of Carson's career that is often overlooked is her time as a government employee. This is where she got her true start in journalism and it is the area G. Pascal Zachary, professor of practice with the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, will be discussing at the 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston. Zachary is part of the panel, A 50 Year Legacy: Why does Rachel Carson Matter?


Zachary, who co-organized the panel along with ASU professor Jane Maienschein, gave his talk, "Back to the Future: The Rachel Carson 'Model' as a Response to the Crisis in Science Journalism," today (Feb. 17).

"At a time when popular writers wanted to write about serious subjects and devote themselves to learning, there was little support for them commercially," Zachary said on Carson and her early career. "I'm intrigued about how her career suggests a way forward for government to support serious writing and journalism about science and the environment."


Carson served as an information officer with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries and the Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly two decades before becoming an independent writer. During that time, she reported on news and findings from the agency.


Zachary believes Carson's experience and work in this field is what shaped her later writings. Additionally, he saw her early government work as an opportunity. With publications such as the New York Times recently disposing of their environmental desk, Zachary thinks the format of having government employees writing about science could be the way of the future.


"I'm trying to see Rachel Carson in both a historical sense and prefiguring and anticipating a movement that will reform or revolutionize science journalism today," Zachary said.


"When I talk about her as a model for the crisis in science journalism, what I mean is currently there is less and less quality science journalism," he added. "As a community, we have to figure out how to draw the line and get a minimal amount of quality science journalism."