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River Narrative(s) - Elly Stormer Vadseth

Elly's project focuses on water ecology in the Gallatin Valley of Montana. Her research analyzes how socially engaged performance addressing water conservation and drought can change people's perceptions, practices and relationship to water.

Mapping the Factors of Energy Technology Innovation – Assessing the technology gap in a group of selected transition economies in Latin America - Zdenka Myslikova

Innovation in energy technologies is key in reducing the cost of delivering energy services, its impact on environment, and mitigating the political risk connected to not providing reliable and affordable energy. In order to understand the processes that spur energy technology innovation, reliable data that would describe the system and permit assessing the innovation capabilities in the countries is key. This project is a multidisciplinary research that combines the economic, scientific and policy approach in order to respond to current needs in the energy technology field.

wu mai (Chinese Air Pollution) - Si Chen

This project mimicks Wu Mai through a wood dome structure. The structure is wrapped in clear plastic and allows people to get inside to experience what polluted areas are like.

Artifical Light and Firefly Courtship - Avalon Owens

This project plans to investigate the impact of artificial light on the courtship of two common New England fireflies. The project will evaluate how fireflies' reproductive success is impacted when they are exposed to light of varied color and intesity. This evaluation will result in a "firefly friendly" prototype specifically for use in firefly habitat.

Lead Exposure in Gray Squirrels - Ying “Katherine” Zhou

Wildlife mortalities caused by lead toxicosis have been well documented. Although many lead-based products have been banned in the U.S., sources of lead in the environment are still present, such as bullets, fishing gear, and chimney flashing. Preliminary data suggest that gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Worcester country and in the city of Worcester in particular may have very high blood lead levels. The source of their exposure is unclear but gray squirrel’s ubiquity in the environment and their role low on the food chain as prey for other mammals and birds of prey makes them important potential sentinels for the health of other animals including humans and possibly environmental health in the larger context. This project will sample gray squirrels from urban and rural sites in and around Worcester to determine 1) if the pattern of suggested urban lead exposure from our preliminary studies is real, and 2) if this pattern correlates with publicly reported risk levels in MA children. The results of this study can help urban planning to better manage potential sources of lead exposure in the environment, manifesting the idea that human and wildlife health are connected via the environment.