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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    URECA Celebration Gets an Early Start

    On Friday, Apr. 20, 2007, students and professors from the SB Departments of Ecology and Evolution, Chemical and Molecular Engineering, along with visitors from nearby SUNY Farmingdale and Brookhaven National Laboratory, showcased their environmentally friendly research as a part of this year’s Earthstock 2007.

    Topics such as arsenic removal from soil, coral bleaching, biologic production of hydrogen, and even a case study of the recent nor’easter on Apr. 15 were presented during the hour prior to the Earthstock 2007 keynote address.

    Devinder Mahajan, a professor of Chemical and Molecular Engineering at SB, who had overseen five of the projects on display, commented, ‘We are trying to lessen fossil fuel use, develop renewable, CO2 neutral sources of energy.’

    One of the projects on display described the process of using methane under the ocean floor as a source of fuel. Mahajan explained the significance of this research, ‘We have about 200,000 trillion cubic feet of methane. We would need 20 trillion [cubic feet of methane] to power the U.S. for one year. If we can extract and use the methane, we would have enough energy for 1000 years.’

    Another SB professor at the event, Michael Bell, who studies fish evolution, spent some time describing his upcoming adventures in Alaska and Kenya. Bell described the study of ecology as, ‘understanding how ecosystems work and how actors in the ecosystem have evolved.’

    The theme of Earthstock 2007, ‘Sustainability – The Future is Now’ was exemplified by Bell‘s subsequent statements.

    Bell continued, ‘We have big problems today that have continued to rise since 1850.’ What happened in 1850? Bell stated, ‘We began to use fossil fuels.’

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