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Effect of Fertilizer on Water Quality of Creeks over Time

Chen et al. | May 02, 2021

Effect of Fertilizer on Water Quality of Creeks over Time

Fertilizers are commonly used to improve agricultural yield. Unfortunately, chemical fertilizers can seep into drinking water, potentially harming humans and other forms of life. Here, the authors investigate the effect of fertilizer on the water quality of Saratoga Creek over time. They find that fertilizers can alter the acidity of the creek's water, which can be harmful to aquatic species, as well as increase the levels of nitrates temporarily.

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Effects of an Informational Waste Management App on a User’s Waste Disposal Habits

Rao et al. | Apr 28, 2021

Effects of an Informational Waste Management App on a User’s Waste Disposal Habits

While 75% of waste in the United States is stated to be recyclable, only about 34% truly is. This project takes a stance to combat the pillars of mismanaged waste through a modern means of convenience: the TracedWaste app. The purpose of this study was to identify how individuals' waste disposal habits improved and knowledge increased (i.e. correctly disposing of waste, understanding negative incorrect waste disposal) due to their use of an informational waste management app as measured by a survey using a 1-5 Likert Scale. The results showed that the TracedWaste app helped conserve abundant resources such as energy and wood, decrease carbon emissions, and minimize financial toll all through reducing individual impact.

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The Effect of Wind Mitigation Devices on Gabled Roofs

Kaufman et al. | Feb 20, 2021

The Effect of Wind Mitigation Devices on Gabled Roofs

The purpose of this study was to test devices installed on a gabled roof to see which reduced the actual uplift forces best. Three gabled birdhouse roofs were each modified with different mitigation devices: a rounded edge, a barrier shape, or an airfoil. The barrier edge had no significant effect on the time for the roof to blow off. The addition of airfoil devices on roofs, specifically in areas that are prone to hurricanes such as Florida, could keep roofs in place during hurricanes, thus reducing insurance bills, overall damage costs, and the loss of lives.

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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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Impact of Soil Productivity on the Growth of Two Meyer Lemon Trees

Shen et al. | Dec 14, 2020

Impact of Soil Productivity on the Growth of Two Meyer Lemon Trees

Here, the authors aimed to apply home soil testing to identify the cause of the growth differences between two lemon trees. They hypothesized that differences in physical and chemical soil characteristics were influencing differences in soil productivity and plant growth. Overall, the study demonstrated the effectiveness of home soil testing to characterize soils and help homeowners solve common gardening problems.

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Dune flora can emerge from seed islands (Concon, Chile)

Farías Giusti-Bilz et al. | Dec 07, 2020

Dune flora can emerge from seed islands (Concon, Chile)

In the field of ecology, little is known about how plant communities originate. Through the process of characterizing dunes, mounds of sand formed by the wind, and their plant communities we can get to know the physiognomy and floristic composition of the territory. Based on the hypothesis that dune flora can emerge from seed islands: holes in the sand 6 cm deep containing a mixture of seeds, broken branches of shrubbery, and rabbit feces, during spring, the authors determined the composition of 20 seed islands in the sand dunes of Concon, Chile and measured how many seeds germinated in each one.

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A Juxtaposition of Airborne Microplastics and Fiber Contamination in Various Environments

Truong-Phan et al. | Dec 04, 2020

A Juxtaposition of Airborne Microplastics and Fiber Contamination in Various Environments

Microplastics can have detrimental effects on various wildlife, as well as pollute aquatic and atmospheric environments. This study focused on air samples collected from five locations to investigate microplastic concentrations in atmospheric fallout from indoor and outdoor settings, through a process utilizing a hand-held vacuum pump and a rotameter. The authors found that the difference between the average number of microplastic fragments and fibers collected from all locations was not large enough to be statistically significant. The results collected in this study will contribute to knowledge of the prevalence of airborne microplastics.

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Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

Van Note et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

In this research, a novel bioplastic inclusive of bamboo tannins and chitosan is selected from more than 60 trial formula variations based on resulting strength, fatigue, and transparency attributes. The biodegradability of the finalized bioplastic is compared to that of conventional polyethylene, in addition to investigating its solubility and water absorbance. This research displays the potential of a legitimate, fully biodegradable plastic alternative to current marketplace bioplastics.

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