Showing posts from 2021

Explore the Beautiful St. Johns River

The St. Johns River at Sunset Photo by Donna Kaluzniak Every time I cross over the St. Johns River and see the sun glinting off the water's surface, I'm still amazed at the power and beauty of the river. I wanted to highlight the St. Johns and show it some much deserved appreciation in my blog. Florida's St. Johns River meanders lazily for 310 miles from Blue Cypress Lake in Indian River County to the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville. Designated an American Heritage River , it is one of the few rivers in the world that flows north. Three basins comprise the river: The upper (south) basin is one of open marshes, connected shallow lakes, reservoirs and canals. A string of major connected lakes - including Lakes Harney, Jesup, and Monroe form the middle basin. And the lower range of the St. Johns River, partially fed by numerous springs, hosts Florida's 2nd largest lake - Lake George. With the added flows from its tributaries and springs, the river flows faster through the m

Keeping Murder Hornets at Bay

Scientists remove a nest of Asian giant hornets in Washington State. Photo Credit: WSDA Asian Giant Hornets The first nest of Asian giant hornets (murder hornets) in the United States in 2021 was eradicated on August 25  in Washington State. A resident noticed a live murder hornet on August 11, and experts from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture placed tracking devices on three of the hornets to find the nest. (That must have been challenging)! Scientist don't know exactly how the Asian giant hornets arrived here. Like many invasive species, the hornets may have traveled  on container ships. First found in the U.S and Canada in December 2019, murder hornets  ( Vespa mandarinia ) are the largest hornet species in the world. Their stinger is longer than most hornets' and they can sting through standard beekeeping attire. Their venom is more toxic and they can sting more than once.  Murder hornets don't generally a

Extracting Water from the Moon

  Photo by Allen Kaluzniak I've always found space exploration fascinating. I still remember the excitement when hearing about our first attempts to orbit the earth, our challenge to reach the moon. I still feel my family's amazement as Neil Armstrong took his first steps there in 1969.  The moon is garnering new interest lately. NASA's Artemis Mission will establish a long-term presence on the moon to continue scientific discovery and technology innovation. As such, they plan to implement  sustainable infrastructure using in-situ resources .  Understanding the critical importance of water, NASA's astronauts will collect and remove large amounts of water and icy regolith, a loose rocky soil layer, from an area near the moon's south pole. To find the best way to accomplish this, NASA opened the Break the Ice Lunar Challenge  in November 2020.  On August 18, 2021 NASA awarded $500,000 in prizes to the winners of Phase 1 . In this phase, teams designed a system to col

Global Water Works

  Northeast Florida Coastline Aerial Photography by Donna Kaluzniak After spending a lifetime in the water industry I'm still in love with water. I found Global Water Works (GWW) (actually they found me), and love the organization and the website. With over 1500 members , Global Water Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the world's water crises in the next generation.  Water technology is one of the main topics, but all water issues and new solutions are discussed and highlighted. Various groups within the site focus on topics such as Atmospheric Water Generation (getting water from air); NextGen (info and tools for the next generation); Plastic Pollution; Women in Water; Smart Water (digital water solutions); GlobalWaterWorks for the Navajo Nation and more.  GWW has an up-to-date list of events - water conferences, webcasts, and expos - for everything water. And virtual collaboration meetings for GWW members are offered as well. Water is a critical resou