Environmental Sciences and Engineering News
Thirteen Gillings School undergraduates inducted into Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most honored college honorary society, has inducted as new members 137 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students, 13 of whom study at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Study finds disparities in drinking water quality in Wake County, NC
In Wake County, some predominantly African-American neighborhoods in urban areas completely lack access to nearby municipal water systems. As a result, residents are exposed to notably higher quantities of microbial contaminants via well water.
Pollution emitted near equator has biggest impact on global ozone
Research led by Dr. Jason West confirms that the location of air pollutants has a big impact upon ozone levels. Because the interplay of pollutants with higher temperatures speeds up the chemical reactions that form ozone, the worst effects of pollution are seen near the equator. West suggests that effects of current pollution levels could be difficult to remedy without strategic policy planning.
Prevalence of drug-resistant staph may be higher in young children of hog workers, study finds
In one rural North Carolina county, young children residing with adults who work in large industrial hog farming operations had a higher prevalence of two types of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria in their nasal passages than children living with adults who do not work in such operations.
Researchers identify new methodology for examining changes in lung cells after pollution exposure
Hang Nguyen, MS, doctoral student of environmental science and engineering in the Gillings School, is first author of a recent study that provided the initial test of a new methodology for examining the genomic response of lung cells to real-world mixtures of air pollutants.
UNC Gillings’ Water Institute, World Vision partnership will improve clean water access in 10 African nations
A six-year grant from World Vision to The Water Institute at UNC will create a partnership to improve water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in several low- and middle-income countries, with a long-term goal of helping to solve the global water and sanitation crisis by 2030.
UNC Gillings researcher to co-lead high-profile NIH grant to investigate environmental influences on child health
Dr. Rebecca Fry of the Gillings School was named co-principal investigator on the UNC ECHO grant, for which UNC was awarded $5 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate how exposure to environmental factors in early development can influence the health of children and adolescents.
Science for Safer Food
Over the last decade, Dr. Rachel Noble has developed technology that keeps our food – from oysters harvested off the coast of North Carolina to spinach grown in California’s Salinas Valley – safe from bacteria such as E. coli.
Extending municipal water service would reduce emergency room visits linked to contaminated wells, study finds
The state of North Carolina could prevent an estimated 2,920 annual emergency department visits by extending community water service to 10 percent of the population that currently relies on private wells. This finding comes from a recent study co-authored by a professor and two alumni of the Gillings School’s environmental sciences and engineering department.
UNC-led team to study California’s high agricultural productivity despite years of drought
Dr. Gregory Characklis will lead a three-year, $3 million National Science Foundation-funded study to examine the interdependency of systems that supply food, energy and water in California. His research team will consider how, despite years of drought, the state has seen increases in the production of farm-raised food. Is that situation sustainable?