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Engineers’ work brings harmony to society and the environment
Research projects study urban flooding, wetland pollution, greenhouse gasses, and ecohydrology

by Sara Peters

A mountain of growing empirical data indicates that the Earth’s climate is changing—and fast—raising questions about how mankind will adapt to higher temperatures and more severe climate systems.

Summer weather forecasts are riddled with warnings for asthmatics and the elderly to avoid skies full of smog.

Industry and millions of automobiles continue to spew toxins into the air and water. Unanswered questions about the availability of clean water hang in the dirty air. The Superfund National Priorities List identifies 1,024 sites (113 in New Jersey alone) awaiting clean up.

Energy failures leave millions in the dark. Without funding, research, or public support, geothermal, solar,

nuclear, and other renewable power industries wilt.

Deforestation continues rapidly. Thousands of square miles in the Amazon rainforest are destroyed every year.

In the United States alone, 386 animal and 597 plant species are on the endangered species list, while others struggle to stay off of it even though more and more habitats disappear daily.

Most of the direst problems facing the globe today could be filed under the category “environmental issues.”

Scientists, engineers, economists, sociologists, and policy-makers are turning their gaze to the environment, finding a long list of compelling questions and searching for answers.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the major supporter of environmental research conducted by the academic community.

In response to a report made by its Task Force on the Environment, NSF raised its funding for environmental research, making current funding 40 percent higher than in 2000.

Here at the School of Engineering and Applied Science engineers are conducting innovative, daring research to help make our environment better. The following pages feature a few of the ongoing research projects geared toward achieving this objective.

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