USGS December science picks!

It's our holiday gift to you this year: a stocking-full of great science stories -- some of which are timely, some of which are evergreen -- but all are great leads to fill these otherwise barren winter months. This monthly collection can help you cover ongoing earth and natural science research and investigations at USGS--photos and web links are provided to enhance your story. Included this month:
  • California High Schooler Sparks Radon Probe
  • Mistletoe -- So Much More Than Just A Kiss
  • Invaders off Cape Cod
  • Tadpole Deaths in East Cause for Alarm
  • A Corny approach to Teaching Geography


High School Science Project Leads to Federal Radon Study in California. What began as 15-year old Lauren Fukumoto's high school science project last spring has expanded to a USGS study of the geologic causes of indoor radon in a school district south of Los Angeles that might have implications in other populated areas of California. Radon, a colorless, odorless toxic gas occurs naturally in rocks, soil and ground water through the decay of uranium. It can damage lungs and contribute to lung cancer especially in enclosed areas like buildings. As part of her project, Lauren and her father Joseph measured radon levels in classrooms of 17 schools in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. They found that more than 10 percent of the classrooms had radon measurements exceeding the USEPA action level and more than half of the schools had one or more classrooms above the action level. Three schools had particularly high levels of indoor radon in numerous classrooms, and the school district has taken steps to correct the problem. Working with geologists from USGS, the Fukumotos identified the likely source of the radon as a particular part of the Monterey Formation, which occurs at many other places in California. Earlier predictions of indoor radon levels suggested that the problem was mi

Contact: Butch Kinerney
United States Geological Survey

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Related biology news :

1. Other highlights in the December 17 issue of JNCI
2. JCI table of contents, December 15 2003
3. JCI table of contents, December 15, 2002
4. Science picksLeads, feeds and story seeds (December 2002)
5. JCI Table of Contents, December 2, 2002
6. December media highlights - GSA BULLETIN
7. December Media Mighlights: GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY
8. 2001 ICAAC postponed until December
9. Press invitation: The science of stem cells - December symposium at Imperial College
10. December Geology and GSA Today highlights
11. Students learn mysteries of biological clocks at Howard Hughes Medical Institutes holiday lectures on December 4 and 5

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