After a record 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, it's time to overhaul US disaster policy – here's how

NOAA released its list of climate and weather disasters that cost the nation more than $1 billion each. Like many climate and weather events this past year, it shattered the record.

Deb Niemeier, Clark Distinguished Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland • conversation
Jan. 8, 2021 ~11 min

climate-change policy construction floods hurricanes storms global-warming natural-disasters wildfires government disaster-risk fema building disaster-management land-use building-codes 2020

After a record 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, it's time to make US disaster policy more effective and equitable – here's how

NOAA released its list of climate and weather disasters that cost the nation more than $1 billion each. Like many climate and weather events this past year, it shattered the record.

Deb Niemeier, Clark Distinguished Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland • conversation
Jan. 8, 2021 ~11 min

policy construction floods hurricanes storms natural-disasters wildfires government disaster-risk fema building disaster-management land-use building-codes 2020

Why do different countries have different electric outlet plugs?

There are 15 different kinds of electrical outlets around the world. One standard would be more convenient, but no one wants to change theirs.

Theodore J. Kury, Director of Energy Studies, University of Florida • conversation
Dec. 21, 2020 ~6 min

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With campus as a test bed, climate action starts and continues at MIT

MIT serves as a laboratory for a multifaceted approach to address the Institute’s own contributions to climate change.

Nicole Morell | MIT Office of Sustainability • mit
Dec. 18, 2020 ~10 min

sustainability climate-change energy energy-efficiency emissions research renewable-energy community mechanical-engineering urban-studies-and-planning campus-buildings-and-architecture facilities campus-services

We’ll see more fire seasons like 2020 - here’s a strategy for managing our nation’s flammable landscapes

A fire scientists offers a six-point strategy for preventing wildfires and living safely in flammable landscapes.

Jennifer Balch, Associate Professor of Geography and Director, Earth Lab, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
Nov. 12, 2020 ~8 min

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When COVID-19 superspreaders are talking, where you sit in the room matters

Experiments in college classrooms show how tiny respiratory droplets known as aerosols can spread, even with good ventilation. The risk isn't the same in every seat.

Suresh Dhaniyala, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Clarkson University • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~8 min

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Catching COVID-19: Why where you sit in a classroom matters, and how ventilation can help

Experiments in college classrooms show how tiny respiratory droplets known as aerosols can spread, even with good ventilation. The risk isn't the same in every seat.

Suresh Dhaniyala, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Clarkson University • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~7 min

health covid-19 coronavirus pandemic classrooms viruses buildings aerosols students universities college

Wildfires can leave toxic drinking water behind – here's how to protect the public

Two environmental engineers say governments need to do more to protect people from possible water contamination after wildfires.

Caitlin R. Proctor, Lillian Gilbreth Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 17, 2020 ~9 min

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Dangerous bacteria is showing up in school water systems, reminding all buildings reopening amid COVID-19 to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.

Andrew J. Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~8 min

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Several schools find harmful bacteria in water systems, reminding all reopening buildings to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.

Andrew J. Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~8 min

health children public-health bacteria covid-19 coronavirus schools pandemic water coronavirus-2020 viruses buildings legionella legionnaires-disease plumbing

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