Growing Impact Podcast

Growing Impact is a podcast by the Institutes of Energy and Environment (IEE) that explores cutting-edge projects of researchers and scientists who are solving some of the world's most challenging energy and environmental issues. Each project has been funded through the IEE Seed Grant Program.

Growing Impact: Water's plastic problem

In this episode:

Plastic of all shapes and sizes is showing up in bodies of water around the world, including microplastics, which are 5mm or less in size. But how these tiny pieces of plastic move through water and what impacts that movement is still a bit of a mystery. This includes biofilms, the thin layers of organisms that build up on material found in water.

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Growing Impact: When the levee breaks

In this episode:

A team of researchers seeks to better understand the social effects associated with flooding, such as whether racial and ethnic minorities, children, and those with low income suffer the most.

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Growing Impact: Healthy habitat hurdles

In this episode:

Melissa Bopp and her colleagues examine the role of the built and natural environments and their influence on physical activity, healthy eating, and air quality in the Mon Valley, an area that has seen steady economic decline since the departure of the steel industry in the late 20th century.

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Growing Impact: One Health

In this episode:

A transdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers is exploring how One Health, an approach that recognizes the interconnectedness among human health, ecosystem health, and animal health, may be able to tackle complex health problems facing Pennsylvania.

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Growing Impact: Visualizing history's future

In this episode:

As sea-levels rise due to climate change, historical monuments and landscapes near bodies of water are at risk. A new research project will provide decision makers with information on what that could look like for their site. Specifically, the project is focused monuments and landscapes that are significant to African American, Indigenous, and other minority communities. 

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Growing Impact: Got methane?

In this episode:

The latest episode of the Growing Impact podcast features Juliana Vasco-Correa, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, who shares how biofiltration could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, specifically methane and carbon dioxide.

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Growing Impact: Moving away from coal

In this episode:

This episode of Growing Impact features Emily Pakhtigian, assistant professor of public policy and the Jeffrey L. and Sharon D. Hyde-McCourtney Career Development Professor. On the podcast, she discusses her seed grant project, titled “Assessing Distributional Effects of Coal-Fired Power Plant Operations on Pollution and Health,” through which she and her colleagues are investigating how the transition away from coal-fired power plants is impacting the environment and health of communities in Pennsylvania.

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Growing Impact: A cache of coastal carbon

In this episode:

In this episode of Growing Impact, Lisa Emili, an associate professor of physical geography and environmental studies at Penn State Altoona, discusses her project titled “Coastal Carbon Dynamics in a Riparian Buffer Ecosystem, Lake Erie Basin,” which is investigating carbon accumulation in freshwater wetlands around the Great Lakes area. She and her team are interested in better understanding how these wetlands fit into the carbon cycle and how these areas can help impact climate change.

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Growing Impact: In-tune lighting

In this episode:

Julian Wang and Anne-Marie Chang discuss their seed grant project that investigates how indoor lighting can be adjusted to save energy on a building’s heating and cooling and positively impact human health.

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Growing Impact: Building with fungi

In this episode:

According to reports, the building industry is responsible for a lot of the carbon emissions in the world, about 37% in the U.S. This includes the production of materials, construction, operation, and even deconstruction. Additionally, the world will need alternative building materials to keep up with the demand of the construction industry. In this episode of Growing Impact, we explore a seed grant project that looks to use mycelium, the root structure of fungi, as a renewable, biodegradable building material with a small carbon footprint.

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