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Ladder Fuel Treatments Effect Burn Area of Forest Fires in Semi-Arid High Elevation Climates

Schwartz et al. | Oct 05, 2020

Ladder Fuel Treatments Effect Burn Area of Forest Fires in Semi-Arid High Elevation Climates

In this study, the authors investigate a timely and important topic: forest fires. More specifically, they use a wildfire simulator to test how ladder fuels effect the burn area of a forest fire. Ladder fuels are fuels that cause a forest fire to rise up from the forest floor to the canopy, which may affect the overall spread. They simulated fire spread with different levels of ladder fuel treatment and found that the spread of a burn area would indeed decrease with increased ladder fuel treatment. These findings have important implications for forest and forest fire management.

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The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States

Kar et al. | Feb 25, 2021

The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States

Mosquito-borne diseases are a major issue across the world, and the objective for this project was to determine the characteristics that make some communities more susceptible to these diseases than others. The authors identified and studied characteristics that make communities susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases, including water in square miles, average temperature, population, population density, and poverty rates per county. They found that the population of a county is the best indicator of the prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases.

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Characterization of antibacterial properties of common spices

Gehad et al. | Oct 03, 2020

Characterization of antibacterial properties of common spices

Bacterial infection is resurging as one of the most dangerous challenges facing the medical establishment. Americans spend about 55 to 70 billion dollars per year on antibiotics, yet these antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective as illness-causing bacteria gain resistance to the prescribed drugs. We tested if 11 commonly-used spices could inhibit growth of the gram-negative bacteria, E. coli, the main takeaway from these experiments is that certain spices and herbs have antibacterial effects that inhibit growth of E.coli , and these spices could show similarly promising activity towards other bacteria.

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An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

Sanderson et al. | Sep 21, 2020

An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

This study is focused on the distribution of microplastics in Long Island, NY. Microplastics are plastic particles that measure less than 5 mm in length and pose an environmental risk due to their size, composition, and ubiquitous location in the marine environment. Focusing on the South Shore of Long Island, the authors investigated the locations and concentrations of microplastics at four locations along the shore line. While they did not find significant differences in the number of microplastics per location, there were microplastics at all four locations. This finding is important to drive future research and environmental policy as well.

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Harvesting Atmospheric Water

Greenwald et al. | Jul 10, 2020

Harvesting Atmospheric Water

The objective of this project was to test various materials to determine which ones collect the most atmospheric water when exposed to the same environmental factors. The experiment observed the effect of weather conditions, a material’s surface area and hydrophilicity on atmospheric water collection. The initial hypothesis was that hydrophobic materials with the greatest surface area would collect the most water. The materials were placed in the same outside location each night for twelve trials. The following day, the materials were weighed to see how much water each had collected. On average, ribbed plastic collected 10.8 mL of water per trial, which was over 20% more than any other material. This result partially supported the hypothesis because although hydrophobic materials collected more water, surface area did not have a significant effect on water collection.

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