Sitting in the comfortable conference room, enjoying a lovely 80 degree ‘cold front,’ one could easily forget that, just two weeks earlier, Houston had been hit with the fifth largest coastal storm ever to make landfall in the US. Though it hardly registered on national news, Tropical Storm Imelda brought record setting rain and flooding to large swaths of the city. Because Houston is one … Continue reading Resilient Engineering in a Post-Harvey Houston: The SSPEED Annual Conference
Standing in awe in California’s Yosemite Valley or in the shadow of Denali, deep in the Alaskan interior, it is easy to imagine that the 60 national parks of the United States are pristine wildernesses. However, what many don’t realize, is that the national park system actually encompasses over 400 units, including historical sites, battlefields, and scenic trails. Even the 60 sites that include ‘National … Continue reading Climate Change is Reshaping U.S. National Parks
Most of us like animals. Maybe not spiders or rats (those poor guys get a bad rap), but adorable bobcats or soaring eagles? Something in these creatures captivates us in an often-unconscious way. This intrigue comes from our biophilia, or ‘love of life,’ which refers to the innate tendency of humans to be drawn to other life forms. Not only do we feel an affinity … Continue reading Building with Big Cats in Mind
The Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic recently held its first annual Environmental Justice Symposium, which took place on February 9th 2018 at the Duke University Law School. The theme of the symposium was access to water and sanitation in underserved communities and was an effort to bring to light some of the most prominent environmental justice issues afflicting underserved populations. The symposium included a … Continue reading Lessons Learned from the Duke Environmental Law & Policy Clinic’s First Annual Environmental Justice Symposium
Central Florida, encompassing the area between Daytona and Tampa, contains numerous lakes—and many sink holes, which occur due to the weakening and collapse of the supporting layer of limestone beneath the ground surface. In fact, it is understood that a majority of the lakes in this area (“sink hole alley”) were formed as sink holes appeared and filled with ground water from the large underlying … Continue reading Grace Lake and the Sinkhole of 1986: A Remediation Plan and 30-year Saga of Grass Roots Involvement
The Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RESPC) is a branch of student government that funds renewable energy projects on campus. The group is funded by the green fee, a $4 fee assessed on all UNC students. In November 2017, several RESPC members toured the UNC Co-Generation plant on West Cameron Street with Time Aucoin, the Regulatory Compliance Coordinator at the plant. Many students do not … Continue reading Where does the UNC campus get its energy?
Using design and engineering, there are many ways that buildings, plantings, or other structures can absorb stormwater runoff, reduce the urban heat island effect, and improve air and water quality in a city. These practices are called green infrastructure (GI). GI can help cities save money and improve environmental quality for ecosystems and humans. Stormwater runoff, particularly in combined sewer system cities where runoff and … Continue reading Piecing the Fragments Together: Approaches to Green Infrastructure Implementation In Cities