Sediment Analysis Provides Valuable Information

“A  Day in the Life” of the Connetquot River, Long Island, NY

American Analytical is providing their services to a local engineering firm, who will be collecting sediment samples and having them analyzed for a full suite of tests, including Grain Size, Organic and Inorganic parameters. The analysis of sediments can aid in reconstructing the history of changes, understanding human impact on the ecosystem, and offer possible remedial strategies to assist water quality improvement projects.

We are happy to participate in this program that aims to to keep Long Island Sound and our navigable rivers and lakes clean and healthy for fishing, clamming, swimming and boating!connqresize4

Revitalizing College Point Waterfront Property

American Analytical is working with a developer and an environmental consultant group in College Point on a Brownfields project.

A  Brownfields site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. Real property, expansion, or reuse of land may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance pollutant, or contaminant.

Typically they are abandoned or partially vacant industrial and commercial properties. Chemicals and waste products may have contaminated such facilities because they were handled improperly.

American Analytical is providing analytical services to determine hot spot areas, confirm remedial activities, and provide waste characterization.

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Projects: Semi Annual Monitoring and Sample Analysis

American provided sampling and analytical services for a four day monitoring event at a New York based power plant.

The services included the set up of an ISCO Auto Sampler, to pull 24 hour composite samples. In addition, four hourly grab samples were collected daily for laboratory analysis, as well as “immediate analysis”  field parameters. Analytical procedures included Organics (Volatile and Semi Volatile compounds)  and Inorganics, including Metals, Hexavalent Chromium and Cyanide (both Total and Amenable).

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Projects: 6 NYCRR Part 375 Criteria

American Analytical is working with several material recycling facilities to sample and analyze their material for import to a west shore site in Staten Island.  The sampling is rigorous, as is the required analytical parameters.  Most of the analyses fall under the 6 NYCRR Part 375 Environmental criteria, and require expedited turnaround, as well as custom  EDD’s and EQuIS data files.

A gigantic piece of undeveloped property is undergoing an extensive remediation process that will prepare the site for future industrial use by importing clean fill material.  All work done on the site is due to meet DEC specifications.

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Projects: Hurricane Sandy Restoration

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Working with a contractor who was recently awarded over a $49M contract for post Hurricane Sandy restoration of the Battery Park Tunnel, American Analytical will be collecting paint chip samples from within the damaged vault areas inside the tubes, and analyzing them for lead content.  The tunnel, which links Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, sees around 44,000 vehicles on a daily basis.  The permit for lane closures was obtained for the wee hours of 11 PM to 3 AM.  The view from Manhattan, overlooking  the Statue of Liberty, was nonetheless just as spectacular after midnight.

These photos come from the MTA Bridges and Tunnels Special Archive, and the MTA gave a little history lesson on the project:

Designed by renowned engineer Ole Singstad, the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in North America, measuring 1.7 miles long between portals. The tunnels’ two tubes running under the East River connect Lower Manhattan to the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

 The idea to build a tunnel from south Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan first surfaced in the late 1920s, but if Robert Moses had his way there wouldn’t have been a tunnel at all. Moses originally wanted to build a bridge in the area but the idea was dismissed after First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt objected, saying a bridge would ruin views and destroy parkland.

 The New York City Tunnel Authority finally began construction on the tunnel in October 1940 but the federal government ordered the project halted in October 1942 because of the need for steel, iron and other construction materials during World War II. Work resumed in 1945, when the Triborough Bridge Authority took over the project under Robert Moses, who dismissed designer Ole Singstad and put engineer Ralph Smillie in charge for the duration of the job.

13 million hours of labor later (seriously) the job was done, and drivers were paying the original toll of 35 cents to pass through.

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10 Things You Should Know About Water

How much drinkable water is there in the world? How much water does an American, a European, an African use everyday? How many people lack even basic access to clean water? Circle of Blue’s newest infographic aims to answer these questions and many more.

With 6,000 children dying every day (water fact #7) from preventable water related diseases, readily accessible and easily understood information is vital to solving the world water crisis. Circle of Blue strives to identify and describe the dimensions of the global freshwater crisis in ways not imagined only a few years ago. Print these graphics and post them in your classrooms, offices, homes, or whereever you think people should know more about water.

10 Things You Should Know:  10 things water

1 – One drop of oil can make up to 25 liters (6.6 gallons) of water undrinkable.

2 – Seventy percent of the world’s water is used for agriculture, 22 percent for industry and 8 percent for domestic use. Low and middle income countries use 82 percent of their water for agriculture, 10 percent for industry and 8 percent for domestic use. High income countries use 30 percent of their water for agriculture, 59 percent for industry and 11 percent for domestic use.

3 – A person is able to survive one month without food but only five to seven days without water.

4 – Of all the Earth’s water, 97.5 percent is salt and 2.5 is fresh. Of that water, about 70 percent is locked in glacial ice and 30 percent in soil, leaving under 1 percent (.007 percent of the total water) readily accessible for human use.

5 – A water footprint, or virtual water, is the amount of water used in the entire production and/or growth of a specific product. For example, 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) of beef has a water footprint of 16,000 liters (4,226.8 gallons); one sheet of paper has a water footprint of 10 liters (2.6 gallons); one cup of tea has a water footprint of 35 liters (9.2 gallons); and one microchip has a water footprint of 32 liters (8.5 gallons).

6 – It takes 94.5 to 189.3 liters of water (25 to 50 gallons) to take a five-minute shower; 7.6 to 26.5 liters (2-7 gallons) to flush a toilet; 7.6 liters (2 gallons) to brush one’s teeth; and 75.7 liters (20 gallons) to hand wash dishes.

7 – 6,000 children die each day from preventable water-related diseases.

8 – The population of the United States is approximately 304 million; the population of Europe is approximately 732.7 million; 1.1 billion people lack adequate drinking water access; and 2.6 billion people lack basic water sanitation.

9 – The average American uses about 575 liters of water (151.9 gallons) per day, with about 60 percent of that being used out-of-doors (watering lawns, washing cars, etc.). The average European uses 250 liters of water (66 gallons) per day. 1.1 billion people lack adequate water access, using less than 19 liters (5 gallons) per day.

10 – The average American uses 30.3 times more water than a person who lacks adequate water access; the average European uses 13.2 times more water than a person who lacks adequate water access.

10 Simple Science Backed Ways to Be Happier

Did you know the perfect temperature for happiness is 13.9°C? Adjust your thermostat, then check out these quick tips for maximizing mirth.

I would love to be happier, as I’m sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person that are actually backed up by science. Here are ten of the best ones I found.

1.EXERCISE MORE–7 MINUTES MIGHT BE ENOUGH

You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

2. SLEEP MORE–YOU’LL BE LESS SENSITIVE TO NEGATIVE EMOTIONS

We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

3. MOVE CLOSER TO WORK–A SHORT COMMUTE IS WORTH MORE THAN A BIG HOUSE

Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, makes it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

4. SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY–

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying.

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.

5. GO OUTSIDE –HAPPINESS IS MAXIMIZED AT 13.9°C

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

6. HELP OTHERS–100 HOURS A YEAR IS THE MAGICAL NUMBER

To make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

7. PRACTICE SMILING–IT CAN ALLEVIATE PAIN

Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

8. PLAN A TRIP–BUT DON’T TAKE ONE

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation.

If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar–even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

9. MEDITATE–REWIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR HAPPINESS

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live.

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

10. PRACTICE GRATITUDE–INCREASE BOTH HAPPINESS AND LIFE SATISFACTION

There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

QUICK LAST FACT: GETTING OLDER WILL MAKE YOURSELF HAPPIER

 

As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Beth Belle Cooper is a content crafter at Buffer, a smarter way to share on Twitter and Facebook. Follow her on Twitter at @BelleBethCooper

Published in Fast Company

Live from Space

National Geographic Channel is taking viewers around the world—literally—in this spectacular two-hour television event broadcasting LIVE from the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control in Houston, Texas.
Made in collaboration with NASA, we’ll go into orbit with astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata as they fly at 17,500 mph nearly 250 miles above the earth’s surface on the International Space Station, while astronaut Mike Massimino joins host Soledad O’Brien on the ground at Mission Control in Houston. From space, Mastracchio and Wakata will give viewers a fully guided tour, showing us how they live for months in microgravity. They’ll conduct never-before-broadcast experiments that demonstrate the real-world value of the science conducted on the floating laboratory. Plus get ready for stunning shots of Earth, from sunset and sunrise, to city lights and green aurora, to lightning storms and shooting stars. You’ve never seen our planet like this before.
Friday, March 14th at 8 PM.

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EARTH HOUR

Join the movement

 

Turn out your lights for Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 pm and show your commitment to a better future.

Earth Hour is a global movement uniting people to protect the planet. By asking individuals, cities, landmarks and business to turn their non-essential lights off for one hour and commit to reducing their environmental impact, we are showing everyone that the world’s environmental issues don’t have to overwhelm us. Small things we do every day can make a better future. Join the movement and make your commitment to a better planet.

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