Canada's Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority plans to help property owners preserve the Ausable River watershed using $132,000 awarded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Projects would be aimed at curbing sediment flow with cover crops, tree plantings or other methods.
Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has signed on to provide ongoing beach renourishment on New Jersey's Absecon Island. Sand will be dredged offshore and from the Absecon Inlet and pumped to the beaches, with a start date yet to be determined.
Mounting sands are threatening the Federal Navigation Channel in Illinois' Waukegan Harbor, but those sands can be used to replenish narrowing beaches north of Chicago. The US Army Corps of Engineers has developed a dredging plan that would accomplish both purposes.
The social enterprise Mountain Hazelnuts in Bhutan is one example of organizations working across Asia to stem erosion caused by overgrazing, deforestation and other factors that threaten local livelihoods. In Bhutan, the organization tracks soil health while working with women and poor farmers to provide saplings and technical assistance.
Dying ash trees around Ithaca, N.Y., falling victim to an iridescent beetle were put to artistic use by Cornell University architecture professors Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic with the help of a robotic arm previously used to 3D print automotive components. The resulting cabin reflects the natural flow of the wood used, and Lok and Zivkovic say the structure demonstrates great potential for the construction industry using millions of dead ash trees.
Wedge-shaped luminescent solar concentrators, or LSCs, could be easily suspended from the sides of buildings and greatly reduce the amount of energy needed from the grid, according to researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The team has tested LSCs made of transparent plastic coated with photoluminescent particles on the back with solar cells mounted on the larger edge.
North Carolina State University researchers have developed a cheetah-inspired soft robot that switches between two stable states to run, jump or climb. The robot has pneumatic two-way bending actuators, a 3D-printed flexible "spine" and a pretensioned spring.
Airbus-France plans to build a satellite to transport materials drilled on Mars back to Earth as part of a joint US-EU venture in the next decade. David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency, says the satellite will serve as "the first interplanetary cargo ship."
A ballpoint pen using a special semiconductor ink can be used to draw diagnostic sensors on a person's skin for health monitoring. It's part of a system developed by researchers at the University of Houston that includes a wireless battery pack to convey health data via Bluetooth.