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An Investigative Analysis of Climate Change Using Historical and Modern Weather Data

Han et al. | Dec 02, 2013

An Investigative Analysis of Climate Change Using Historical and Modern Weather Data

Climate change is an important and contentious issue that has far-reaching implications for our future. The authors here compare primary temperature and precipitation data from almost 200 years ago against the present day. They find that the average annual temperature in Brooklyn, NY has risen significantly over this time, as has the frequency of precipitation, though not the amount of precipitation. These data stress the need for more ecologically-conscious choices in our daily lives.

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Fire and dry grass: Effects of Pennisetum villosum on a California native, Nassella pulchra, in drought times

Chang et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Fire and dry grass: Effects of <i>Pennisetum villosum</i> on a California native, <i>Nassella pulchra</i>, in drought times

Invasive species pose a significant threat to many ecosystems, whether by outcompeting native species and disturbing food webs, or through increasing risks of natural disasters like flooding and wildfires. The ornamental grass species Pennisetum villosum R. Br. was previously identified by the California Invasive Plant Council as being potentially invasive; this experiment was conducted to determine if P. villosum displays characteristics of an invasive species when grown in a California chaparral environment. Reults found that in both conditions, the two species had similar germination rates, and that P. villosum grew significantly larger than N. pulchra for around 95 days.

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The comparative effect of remote instruction on students and teachers

Ng et al. | Jan 16, 2022

The comparative effect of remote instruction on students and teachers

In this study, high school students and teachers responded to a survey consisting of Likert-type scale, multiple-choice, and open-ended questions regarding various aspects of remote instruction. After analyzing the data collected, they found that remote learning impacted high school students academically and socially. Students took longer to complete assignments, and both students and teachers felt that students do not learn as much in remote learning compared to in-person instruction. However, most high school students demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the topics, and an overall negative impact on students' grades was not detected.

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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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Modeling the effects of acid rain on bacterial growth

Shah et al. | Nov 17, 2020

Modeling the effects of acid rain on bacterial growth

Acid rain has caused devastating decreases in ecosystems across the globe. To mimic the effect of acid rain on the environment, the authors analyzed the growth of gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and gram-positive (Staphylococcus epidermidis) bacteria in agar solutions with different pH levels. Results show that in a given acidic environment there was a significant decrease in bacterial growth with an increase in vinegar concentration in the agar, suggesting that bacterial growth is impacted by the pH of the environment. Therefore, increased levels of acid rain could potentially harm the ecosystem by altering bacterial growth.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Prahalad et al. | Jul 31, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Industrialization has transformed human life and improved it for many. Nonetheless, a side effect has been an increase in chemical waste, which when not disposed of properly, has detrimental effects on surrounding habitats. An increase in ocean acidification could potentially affect many forms of life, disrupting the ecological balance in unforeseeable ways. In this article the authors explore the effect of acidification on corals and shells, and observe that an increase in ocean acidity has a significant effect on corals, but not shells. This illustrates how acidification could negatively affect marine life, and calls our attention to managing the factors that contribute to increasing the pH of the Earth's water bodies.

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Detection and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Refrigerated Vegetables and Fruits

Chari et al. | May 16, 2021

Detection and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Refrigerated Vegetables and Fruits

Food spoilage leads to a significant loss in agricultural produce each year. Here, the authors investigate whether certain essential oils can protect against fungus-mediated spoilage of fruits and vegetables. Their results suggest that the compounds they tested might indeed inhibit fungal growth, at various temperatures, a promising result that could reduce food wasting.

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Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Hawkins et al. | Sep 07, 2020

Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.

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