Since 2006, a deadly bat fungus called white nose syndrome has spread its way throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, decimating bat populations. This April, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the disease has been detected in Michigan.
MSU Engineering students (L to R) Grant Golasa, Scott Oldham, and Shenli Pei with their recently developed water purification device. The mechanism includes a small, battery powered mercury bulb and switch. Its light neutralizes impurities.
Earlier this year, Current State welcomed John Barrie from the Appropriate Technology Collaborative to Studio S. He explained that the collaborative creates new technologies to improve the quality of life in developing countries worldwide. The organization also collaborates with universities. This year, a team of Michigan State Engineering students worked to build a water purification system for low income countries.
Ongoing concern over a proposed nuclear waste site very near Lake Huron took a new twist recently. A Canadian government review panel is exploring the viability of a new underground storage facility in Kincardine, Ontario.
Last week, as much as 1,600 gallons of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, 20 miles from Chicago. After a week-long cleanup, authorities say they have found no further trace of spilled oil in the area. However, the political ramifications of the spill are likely to remain long after this incident. The BP refinery processes oil from tar sands found in Canada. Tar sands contain a thick petroleum that’s gaining popularity as a new energy source. New technology is making it easier to mine tar sands, but some worry that could increase the likelihood of more spills like the one last week.
While for some media outlets photography is taking a back seat, at National Geographic it continues to be a central part of the brand. The photos featured in the magazine not only take readers around the world, but they also help tell the story of our changing environment.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Michigan Food & Farming Systems, or MIFFS. It’s a statewide organization based in East Lansing that advocates for and offers assistance to new and women farmers, as well as those from underrepresented groups in Michigan’s agriculture industry.
Most people have heard about Asian Carp and the threat they pose to the Great Lakes. However, many don't understand what the label Asian carp means. There are many types of fish that fall under the Asian carp umbrella, each bringing their own unique peril to the Great Lakes basin. One type of Asian carp that is overlooked and underestimated is the grass carp.
The mercury is slowing climbing and Thursday marks the first day of spring. As the snow fades away it’s time to be aware of the dangers of flooding. High water can be a dangerous scenario for drivers on the roads and also for anyone in low-lying areas. First responders are getting ready for those potential hazards.
Trying to determine the impacts of climate change is a difficult task. There are hundreds of different factors which could determine how communities are influenced. To more effectively understand the challenges associated with climate change, scientists are using system dynamics models. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, an ecologist and modeler at Michigan State University, about her latest project that explores how higher temperatures could impact Detroit.
Later this year, we mark the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon---the last being a resident of a Cincinatti zoo. The well-publicized event capped the annihilation of a species whose population at one point was so overwhelming that one ornithologist believed there were more passenger pigeons than all other species combined.
Efforts to bring the population under control began back in the mid 19th century, in part because enormous flocks wreaked havoc on trees and farms.
With snow piled deep across the Great Lakes region, there are hopes that the upcoming melt will push lake levels higher. It’s a scenario envied by many in the American west, especially in California where residents are being hammered by the severest drought in three decades.
At the end of each month we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’re focusing on Governor Snyder’s environmental efforts and algae blooms.
After years of delays, Hantz farm is starting to take shape. In 2009, John Hantz, CEO of Southfield-based Hantz Group LLC proposed building the world’s largest urban farm in Detroit. After cutting through red tape and shifting plans to center on building an urban tree farm, the project is starting to unfold.
The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is looking at a possible county parks millage. Earlier this week, the body asked its County Services committee to begin work on a draft proposal. The focus of a millage would primarily be an expansion of Lansing’s Rivertrail network.
You’ve probably seen the pictures of the Chinese smog problem, including shots from Shanghai or Beijing that show buildings disappearing in what appears to be a thick, brown, fog. There are a number of things that cause smog, but one of them is the increasing numbers of cars and that has implications for U. S. automakers like General Motors, which counts China as its biggest market.
When we think about our carbon footprint, we often look at things like our car’s gas mileage, our home’s energy usage, and how far our food had to travel to get to the plate. Rarely mentioned in a discussion about carbon footprints, however, are musical instruments.
Today on Current State: former LSJ executive Mickey Hirten joins City Pulse as editorial director; tar sands shipping in the Great Lakes region; and a new Broad Art Museum exhibit pays homage to a Lansing-born visionary architect.
As the tar sands industry continues to grow, a pressing issue is finding ways to transport the crude oil to midwest refineries. Some are hoping to ship tar sands across the Great Lakes, while others fear another disaster like the Kalamazoo spill.
Recently, the EPA denied Enbridge’s request to extend the deadline for dredging sections of the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is still trying to clean up the remaining tar sands crude oil in the Kalamazoo watershed from the spill three years ago.
We check in monthly with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’re focusing on petcoke piles and Asian carp.
Throughout the 20th century large investments of time and money were made to help restore big game populations across the U.S. Many of these efforts were successful, but those successes may be short lived.
Reports, predictions and warnings of climate change are hard to avoid these days. But just how are Americans processing all of this news, and what do we really think about climate change and our environment?
Every home football Saturday here in East Lansing, thousands of people flock to the Michigan State campus to take part in a sacred ritual: tailgating. But the pastime takes a toll. After the celebrating, landscaping personnel at MSU repair damage to grass and trees.
Some of those personnel are calling last Saturday’s damage the worst they’ve seen.