Commemorative Robert Bateman Print Helps Combat Nature Deficit Disorder

ENN is a media sponsor of the Robert Bateman "Get to Know" contest. Now, the National Forest Foundation is offering Robert Bateman's new print Family Hike to benefit More Kids in the Woods which provides grants to nonprofits that take kids beyond four walls and into their backyard – be it a county park, National Forest, or other wild place – an effort to ensure that today’s children know what it is to grow in the open air. It's summertime, which for many of us means that it's time to lace up our boots and head for the hills. Or perhaps it's time to roll out the tent, pack up the marshmallows, and re-acquaint ourselves with a favorite campsite. Unfortunately, too many children today don’t have the opportunity for these outdoor adventures. You’ve heard of Nature Deficit Disorder, Electronic Overload, and any number of other catchy phrases. Call it what you will, the message is the same: kids don’t spend enough time outdoors.

The Deformation of the Earth from Earthquakes

Earthquakes are often imagined as opening up large gaps in the land, sinking islands and the such. It is much harder in real life to see this change. NASA has recently released the first ever airborne radar images of the deformation in Earth's surface caused by a major earthquake -- the magnitude 7.2 temblor that rocked Mexico's state of Baja California and parts of the American Southwest on April 4, 2010. The data reveal that in the area studied, the quake moved the Calexico, Calif., region in a downward and southerly direction up to 31 inches.

Hot Spring on Planet Earth

It is getting more and more difficult to deny that global warming is occurring. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report recently about the state of the global climate, and the results were not pretty. It turns out the combined global land and ocean surface temperatures set a record in May. In fact, from March to May, it was the hottest spring on record. Furthermore, the whole first half of the year, from January to May was also the warmest on record.

NOAA Opens More Than 8,000 Square Miles of Fishing Closed Area in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA has opened more than 8,000 square miles of previously closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico, because the agency has not observed oil in the area. The most significant opening is an area due south of Mississippi which was closed Monday, June 21. Additionally, some smaller areas were opened off the Louisiana and central Florida coasts.

Vice President Joe Biden Hits Pay Dirt in Michigan

Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Michigan on Monday, June 21, for the groundbreaking of a new battery manufacturing facility is evidence that the Recovery Act grants the President announced last August, are starting to hit pay dirt, in the form of ground-breaking's and ribbon cuttings that will ultimately create "new economy" jobs. As part of the six-week focus on the "economic recovery act" infrastructure projects nationwide, Biden's appearance signals the administrations commitment to environmental and renewable energy projects. The grant for this battery project is part of the $2.4 billion announced last August to develop next-generation electric vehicles using the lithium polymer battery, a "breakthrough" technology which is a key component in bringing electric vehicles to reality. Officials said the batteries can store up to three times more energy than the nickel metal hydride batteries currently used in most hybrids. Dow Kokam www.dowkokam.com, a joint venture was created by Dow Chemical of Midland, Michigan www.dow.com, to research, develop and produce this new battery technology, and has secured a U.S. Department of Energy grant of $161 million dollars and tax credits totaling $180 million dollars from the State of Michigan.

First Asian carp found in waterway near Great Lakes

A 20-pound (9-kg) Asian carp was fished out of a waterway close to the Great Lakes and beyond twin electric barriers designed to keep them out, authorities said on Wednesday. It was the first time the voracious invader has been found beyond the electric barriers in the waterways that connect Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, with the Mississippi River basin, where the carp have proliferated. "It's important evidence, and the more information we know about where the carp are, the better ... that's the reason we're intensifying the effort" to find any Asian carp beyond the barriers, said Chris McCloud, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

High Risk Processes and Their Safety

High risk chemical processes are regulated by OSHA, EPA and many state agencies. Information about the releases from these processes are available from a number of sources. Sometimes the guidance on how other interested parties may participate is not always clear. The EPA has released interim guidance that would provide greater transparency in the agency’s chemical safety inspections process. Under the interim guidance, EPA inspectors will offer employees and employee representatives the opportunity to participate in chemical safety inspections. In addition, EPA will request that state and local agencies adopt similar procedures under their related Risk Management Program.

Voyages of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson

There are many ships at work right now in the Gulf of Mexico responding to the devastating consequences of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Some are skimming the water to collect oil, some are burning off the oil. Some are busy digging a relief well. However, there is at least one vessel that is using this tragedy as an opportunity to conduct scientific research. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) ship, Thomas Jefferson, is using acoustic and fluorometric scanning to detect oil under the surface.

The Nuclear Power Resurgence: How Safe Are the New Reactors?

As utilities seek to build new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world, the latest generation of reactors feature improvements over older technologies. But even as attention focuses on nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels, questions remain about whether the newer reactors are sufficiently foolproof to be adopted on a large scale.

Methane in Gulf “astonishingly high”

As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday. Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high." Kessler's crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead. "There is an incredible amount of methane in there," Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing.