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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.