Day: September 3, 2014

Winkler Publishes on Solar Water Disinfection Method of Cleaning Water for Consumption

SODISRichelle Winkler (SS) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) coauthored “Evaluating the Geographic Viability of the Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) Method by Decreasing Turbidity with NaCl: A Case Study of South Sudan,” published in the journal Applied Clay Science.

Globally, about one billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water.  One cheap and easy method of cleaning water for consumption is to put it into plastic water bottles and set it in the sun (SODIS), but this method doesn’t work when the water is muddy.  Pearce and his graduate students found that by adding simple table salt to water muddied with clay, the clay would settle the water enough to allow the SODIS method to work. Winkler worked with a graduate student at Princeton University on demographic analysis of the number of people who could potentially benefit from this salt+SODIS approach in Africa. The demographic team used a geographic information system (GIS) to identify geographic regions with the appropriate soil type, then overlaid that data with population estimates. They found that over a million people in South Sudan, a country where access to clean water is limited, could potentially benefit from this method.

Read the full article here.


Winkler Receives Funding for Geothermal Energy Feasibilty Guide

img. from Ohio DNR
img. from Ohio DNR

Richelle Winkler was recently awarded a Phase 1 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 (People, Prosperity, and Planet) program to supervise an interdisciplinary team of students to develop a guide that former mining communities can use to self-evaluate the feasibility of tapping into water in abandoned mines for geothermal energy. The student design team, led by Environmental and Energy Policy MS student Edward Louie, will present their guide at the Sustainable Design Expo in Washington DC in April 2015 and compete for a Phase 2 award of $90,000 to implement the project. Social science students are partnering with an Alternative Energy Enterprise team led by Jay Meldrum (Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center) on this project. The full team is also working closely with a community advisory board made up of leaders in the Calumet, MI community. It was Calumet community members partnering in Winkler’s community-engaged research with Main Street Calumet that started the idea for this project.


West Point Foundry Recognized by Sustainable Sites Initiative

Waterwheel sculpture at the West Point Foundry Preserve
Waterwheel sculpture at WPFP

The Sustainable Sites Initiative—a program designed to ensure that built environments are planned, designed, developed and maintained as healthy, functioning landscapes—has awarded a one-star designation to the West Point Foundry Reserve in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. The foundry is the site of several years of research and a number of graduate theses in the Department of Social Sciences’ Industrial Archaeology Program. The conversion was also overseen by a MTY-IA graduate.  See West Point Foundry.

The foundry rehab was also recently noted in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation magazine in an article entitled, “Industrial Strength: Cold Spring, N.Y.,” as well as in Hudson Valley Magazine, in an article, “History and Preservation of the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring.”