Virginia Tech is one of the nation's foremost institutions in environmental science and resource management. Programs in electrical engineering power systems, mechanical engineering and energy management, mining and minerals engineering, and sustainable architecture link eneregy technologies with environmental concerns. Research in water resources, ecology, land restoration; forestry, fisheries, and wildlife conservation; and geological sciences provides the basis for successful use of resources while minimizing damage to the environment.
And the Summer 2008 Virginia Tech Research magazine is devoted to stories about environmental research.
Problem: Agricultural runoff is a major water quality problem for the Chesapeake Bay and other bodies of water.
Solution: Use sedimentation basins and other practices to remove copper from runoff water.
Andrea Dietrich and Daniel Gallagher of civil and environmental engineering, Theo Dillaha of biological systems engineering, and colleagues from the Colleges of Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences, found that copper from pesticides was adversely impacting aquatic organisms. They discovered that judicious use of pesticidies plus detaining runoff in sedimentation basins removed about 90 percent of the copper.
As a result, "Best Management Practices Handbook for Plastic Mulch Production" will help farmers produce fruits and vegetables with plastic mulch in a profitable and environmentally sound manner.