SETAC MultiBrief
Oct. 15, 2015

Nominations call for candidates to serve on National Science Board now open
National Science Foundation
The National Science Board seeks nominations for candidates to serve on the Board. The 24-member NSB oversees the activities of and establishes the policies for the National Science Foundation. It is also an advisory body to Congress and the President on policy related to science and engineering as well as education in science and engineering. NSF's director is an ex officio 25th NSB member.More

Scholars urge more research on future of the Colorado River
The Associated Press via Las Vegas Sun
A coalition of scholars across the West is urging the federal government to partner with the National Academy of Sciences to study the future of the Colorado River, including if climate change is leading to reduced stream flow. Twenty-three scholars from Western universities sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell detailing their request for more scientific research on a host of issues related to the Colorado River.More

Chernobyl wildlife make a comeback despite contamination
Scientifc American
The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 had a devastating impact on the local population and forced 116,000 people to permanently leave their homes. But now researchers have discovered that, while the people may not have returned, the contaminated area of Belarus is teeming with wild animals, including elk, wild boar, deer and wolves. Perhaps surprisingly, many of these numbers seem to be on the rise and some of them are higher than in uncontaminated areas. More

Spend some time in burgeoning Salt Lake City
am New York
Most travelers use Salt Lake City as a hub to reach Utah's ski resorts or one of its national parks, such as Zion or Bryce. But it's worth lingering in SLC as the city has been undergoing a renaissance, thanks to an influx of stylish restaurants and cafes. It's also a mid-century design hot spot. And just in case you were worried you couldn't cool off with a beer — don't be. Utah has relaxed its drinking laws so you can get a drink pretty much anywhere, and a new crop of distilleries and microbreweries have also opened up. Bottoms up. More

Urban runoff is killing salmon; here's how to fix it
The Christian Science Monitor
A new study confirms the link between polluted urban water and salmon deaths – and identifies an easy fix to save the coho salmon. "Our goal with this research is to find practical and inexpensive ways to improve water quality," said Julann Spromberg, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries' Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, in a press release. "The salmon are telling us if they work." More

Scientists play catch up as new chemicals contaminate Great Lakes birds
Environmental Health News
Stain repellent and fire retardant chemicals that scientists know little about are increasingly showing up in herring gull eggs around the Great Lakes, spurring concern for potential health impacts. The gulls are considered a sentinel species, and the contaminants appearing in their eggs paint a picture of a shifting chemical profile in the Great Lakes, which holds about 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water. While legacy pollutants, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, still persist, a growing list of esoteric pollutants is showing up in wildlife.More

Pollution could be reduced using new biodegradable plastic bags, researchers say
Nature World News
A team of scientists from OU's Integrated Waste Systems research group have been working to create a new type of biodegradable single-use plastic carrier bag. This new material could ultimately replace common plastics, would be completely recyclable, and would have no harmful effects on plants or animals, according to a news release. Common plastic grocery bags are made from fossil fuel derived polyethylene but biodegradable plastics are made from renewable raw materials such as cornstarch, which can break down into carbon dioxide, water or biomass.More