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The litter that floats down Waco creeks into the Brazos River doesn’t just cause an eyesore for humans. For fish, it may be a cause of sore bellies.
A Baylor researcher caught hundreds of sunfish in the Brazos River between Lake Whitney and the Falls of the Brazos near Marlin and sliced open their bellies in search of bits of indigestible plastics. Colleen Peters, an environmental studies doctoral candidate, found that 45 percent had “microplastics” in their guts, ranging from microscopic fibers to pieces the size of a pencil eraser. The number of pieces in the fishes’ bellies ranged from one to 11.
Biodiesel experiments fueling students’ future
Pearland sophomore Mark McComb and Dr. Larry Lehr, senior lecturer of environmental science, took their biodiesel project to the Baylor Science Building’s labs for the first time last week in order to grasp better understanding its abilities.
In the next few weeks, Lehr and McComb plan to travel to Abilene Christian University in order to work with the biodiesel reactor alongside another group of scientists to see what they need to improve or change in their own process.
Through a process known as transesterification, vegetable oils, animal fats and used restaurant that can be used in diesel engines as an alternate, renewable form of energy. grease are converted into biodiesel.
Baylor University Student Awarded Fellowship from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
WACO, Texas (Jan. 27, 2015) – Sarah Guberman, a senior studying environmental science at Baylor University, has been awarded a fellowship through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship Program.
Environmental Health Science Hosts World-Class Spring Lecture Series
WACO, Texas (Jan. 15, 2015)—Summoning Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
New Ph.D. program in Environmental Science
Regents approved a new Ph.D. in environmental science that will educate a generation of scientists, scholars and professionals who can address the most challenging environmental issues that face humanity by advancing scientific understanding of environmental health, environmental chemistry and toxicology, which are core specialty areas within the department. In addition, the doctoral program will strengthen the University’s position as a national leader in environmental science graduate and research programs. The program will begin in January 2015.
Environmental Science Hosts Second Annual Seminar Series
WACO, Texas (Sept. 5, 2014) – Baylor University’s Environmental Science Department kicked off the fall semester with its second annual seminar series, which began on Aug. 26 and will end on Dec. 2. From airborne steroids to marine ecosystems, the 15-week series offers a full spectrum of topics presented by a variety of esteemed guest speakers from around the nation.
Toxicologists outline key health and environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing
Since the rise in the use of hydraulic fracturing of shale to produce natural gas and oil, scientists, politicians, industrialists, and others have debated the merits and detractions of the practice. In a newly published paper in Toxicological Sciences, members of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), alongside other experts, outline how toxicological sciences can be used to determine what risks may or may not be associated with hydraulic fracturing.
Baylor Scientists Aim to Design Safer Chemicals for Humans and Environment with Multimillion Dollar Grant
WACO, Texas (April 10, 2014) — Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., professor of environmental science and biomedical studies in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences and director of the environmental science graduate program and the environmental health science program, will lead the research core on a four-year, $4.4 million project aimed at designing chemicals and materials that are less toxic to humans and the environment.
Lemon Shark to Aquatic Toxicology
Dr. Jason Berninger, Baylor Ph.D. graduate now a National Research Council Associate (NRC) with the US EPA in Duluth, MN is featured on page 8-9 of the Winter 2013-14 edition of the NRC Research Associateship Program Newsletter entitled, "Lemon Shark to Aquatic Toxicology". Please see attached article for full details.
Jason continues to collaborate with current Baylor graduate students Bowen Du and Lauren Kristofco.
Waco Tribune-Herald: Waco's high lead contamination rate prompts new initiative
March 9, 2014
With McLennan County having the highest incidence of lead-contaminated children in Texas, Spencer Williams, D.Tox., assistant research scientist at Baylor, is leading a community effort to pinpoint the causes and find solutions to get the lead out. Williams is using a small U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to study lead levels in Waco, including sampling soil at about 100 sites around town. His research assistants include graduate students Preston S. Watkins and Abhilasha Acharya.
Environmental Science Students Win Poster Presentation Awards
WACO, Texas (Feb. 14, 2014) - At the recent Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) meeting in Nashville, Baylor doctoral student Elias Oziolor and undergraduate student David Dreier won first place poster presentation awards for best Ph.D. and undergraduate research presentations, respectively.
Natural protections eyed for Waco adventure park site
Untold thousands of visitors to Lovers Leap have enjoyed the view of the woods where Hawaiian Falls is proposing to build a $5 million adventure park. But few Wacoans ever have ventured onto the 43-acre property.
Baylor Professor George Cobb Will Receive Award for Involvement in SETAC
WACO, Texas (Nov. 8, 2013) - George Cobb, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of environmental science in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, has received the Herb Ward Exceptional Service Award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC).
AOL: Whale Ear Wax Records Animal's History
Sept. 18, 2013
VIDEO: Baylor researchers Sascha Usenko, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental science, and Stephen Trumble, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, both in the College of Arts & Sciences, have developed a groundbreaking scientific technique using a whale's earwax to reconstruct the mammal's life record of pollutant exposure and other man-made stressors.
Baylor Environmental Science Professor Earns Prestigious Fulbright Award
Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., professor of environmental science and biomedical studies in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences and director of the environmental science graduate program and the environmental health science program, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research during the 2013-2014 academic year at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. Please see article by Tonya B. Lewis for full details.
Baylor prof among dozen awarded grants to study Great Lakes ecosystem
The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, containing more than 1/5 of the world’s surface fresh water. Last fall, the University of Michigan Water Center was established to help protect and restore such freshwater ecosystems. In May, the Water Center awarded its first grants to researchers who can fill “critical [...]
Environmental Health News: Fish on Prozac: Anxious, anti-social, aggressive
June 12, 2013
Bryan brooks, Ph. D., professor of environmental science and biomedical studies and director of the environmental science graduate and environmental health science programs, is quoted in an article detailing a recent study on the effects of drug-tainted waters on fish.
Baylor Students Present Research During Scholars Week
WACO, Texas (April 5, 2013) - As part of Scholars Week hosted by Baylor's Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) program, more than 120 students will present research they have conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The event will take place April 8-11.
Department of Environmental Science Welcomes Winstead Attorney Christopher Pepper
WACO, Texas (April 8, 2013)--The department of environmental science in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences is pleased to welcome Christopher Pepper, J.D., a shareholder of Winstead's Energy & Environmental Practice Group.
Carbon Sequestration and Shoreline Revegetation of Lake Waco, Waco, Texas, USA
In 2012, SETAC North America explored innovative ways to engage members in offsetting the carbon footprint of their annual meeting. In response to a request for proposals, two awards were made including a carbon sequestration and shoreline revegetation project at Lake Waco in Texas. Lake Waco, a man-made reservoir, was created largely to address the "feast or famine" nature of water availability in central Texas. In 2003, the water level was raised 7 ft and much of the original vegetation that covered the banks was eradicated. Presently much of the shoreline (≥ 95%) is lacking vegetation. The aim of this project is to implement a self-sustaining carbon sink via the seeding of communities of native aquatic vegetation along the reservoir shoreline. Preventing the spread of undesirable invasive species is an additional benefit of this project.
Low pH Levels Can Eliminate Harmful Blooms of Golden Algae, One Cause of Massive Fish Kills, Baylor University Researchers Find
WACO, Texas (Dec. 20, 2012) --Baylor University researchers are one step closer to understanding the algae that causes a substantial number of fish deaths in more than 18 states.
CNN Travel: Finding spirituality on culturally-rich Appalachian Trail
Nov. 19, 2012
Susan Bratton, Ph.D., professor of environmental science in the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor, writes for CNN about the religious significance of the Appalachian Trail to groups including the Native Americans and Transcendentalist writers. Her most recent book is "The Spirit of the Appalachian Trail: Community, Environment, and Belief on a Long-Distance Hiking Path."
Baylor University Master's Student Wins Prestigious Environmental Science Award
WACO, Texas (Nov. 12, 2012) - Baylor University continues to gain recognition for its excellence in research as Lauren Kristofco, an environmental science graduate student, receives the 2012 Jeff Black Fellowship from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and EA Engineering. The award was presented on Nov. 11 at SETAC's 33rd Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif.
Renowned Ecological Researcher to Speak at Baylor University
WACO, Texas (Sept. 28, 2012) - Baylor University welcomes John P. Giesy, Ph.D., a world-renowned ecological researcher, for a lecture hosted by the department of environmental science in the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor University and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The lecture will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in the Baylor Sciences Building, Room D.109.
Environmental Protection Agency honors Baylor junior David Dreier with prestigious award
WACO, Texas (Sept. 21, 2012) - The hustle and bustle of junior year brings on many challenges and new opportunities. For David Dreier, opportunities have flourished into great successes.
Hitting the Trail: Baylor Environmental Scientist Examines the Spiritual Side of Hiking a Footpath through the Appalachians
WACO, Texas (Sept. 24, 2012) -- When people set out on a 2,180-mile trail, they may be looking for recreation, gorgeous landscapes or an escape from day-to-day existence. But the Appalachian Trail, which passes through 14 states from Georgia to Maine, also has become a modern-day pilgrimage rather than a mere journey through the woods.
Departments name Outstanding Undergraduate Research Posters for 2012 URSA Scholars Week
Baylor professor organizes international course on air quality research
From the office of the Vice Provost for Research -- Dr. George Cobb, chair of the Department of Environmental Science, is the president of SETAC North America and organizer of the Pan American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) program. The PASI program (sponsored in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation), funds courses that bring together graduate students, postdoctoral scientists and established investigators from North and South America to discuss important problems in science and engineering.
New chair brings experience in environmental remediation
Dr. B. W. Brooks and Dr. E. S. Williams featured in Science News
Scientists Develop New Approaches to Predict the Environmental Safety of Chemicals.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 24, 2011) -- Baylor University environmental researchers have proposed in a new study a different approach to predict the environmental safety of chemicals by using data from other similar chemicals.
Scientists Develop New Approaches to Predict the Environmental Safety of Chemicals
Baylor University environmental researchers have proposed in a new study a different approach to predict the environmental safety of chemicals by using data from other similar chemicals.
$250,000 Grant Awarded to Departments Professors
Welcome to new professor, Dr. Rebecca Sheesley
PPCP's affect Global Environment
Study Utilizing the BEAR facility
Baylor Researchers Identify What Makes Deadly Algae More Toxic
Baylor researchers have identified a key component that increases the toxicity of golden algae.
Baylor and Waco Open New Research Facility
With the new water research center glistening behind them, Baylor University President John M. Lilley and Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy officially opened Baylor Experimental Aquatic Research (BEAR) facility on Sept. 20 at the Lake Waco Wetlands.
Study Identifies Variables That Contribute to High Golden Algae Blooms; Awarded New Grant
Baylor University researchers have identified several components that contribute to toxic levels of golden algae, which kill millions of fish in Texas every year. While golden algae is primarily a coastal species, it has been found in rivers and lakes all over the state, including Lake Whitney and Lake Waco in Central Texas.
Baylor Begins First National Study On Pharmaceutical Contaminants, Personal Care Products in Fish Tissue
Baylor University has been awarded a $100,000 subcontract to study whether pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) are found in fish tissue. The study is the first of its kind on the national level.
Baylor Researchers Find New Pharmaceuticals in Texas Waters, Fish
Baylor University researchers have found the residue of three new human medications in fish living in the Pecan Creek in North Texas. The pharmaceuticals, which have not been previously identified in fish, include diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter antihistamine also commonly used as a sedative in non-prescription sleep aids and motion sickness; diltiazem, a drug for high blood pressure; and carbamazepine, a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Residue of norfluoxetine, the active metabolite of the antidepressant fluoxetine, was also detected in this study, confirming results of a previous project by the researchers.
Cameron Park At Center of Baylor Study
From native Texas wildflowers to towering trees, Cameron Park in Waco encompasses hundreds of different vegetative species that thousands of area residents enjoy every year. But little is known about the environmental history of the 416-acre park. Starting this week, Baylor University researchers will kick off the first-ever comprehensive study of the park, analyzing the settlement patterns of the area and studying in-depth how the vegetative species have changed.