Urban Soils: Contamination and Urban Trees

Soil can be contaminated by masonry, wood, paper, asphalt, paint, fuel, cement, oil, salt, or other materials. Contamination may occur across an entire site, such as an industrial property, or in spots, such as concrete washouts and refueling areas. This damage can also occur in the backyards of homes when cat litter or engine oil is dumped, or where there has been excessive use of pesticides and herbicides.

Soil contamination often reduces aeration and water infiltration and sometimes may kill

Gender and Vulnerability in Emergency Contexts

“There are steps we can take to reduce risk in vulnerable populations in emergency situations and disasters.” says Andrea Burniske. Listen and watch the  Gender and Vulnerability in Emergency Contexts webinar recording to find out how and what can be done.


This webinar was presented by Andrea Burniske, International Extension Coordinator at Purdue University, and Susan Green, a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) with a focus in planning for vulnerable populations. Both presenters have extensive backgrounds in disaster …

Exercise Not Only Prevents Falls, But May Protect Elders Who Do Fall from Serious Injuries

Adults exercising through tai chi

One in three Americans age 65 or older suffers a fall each year, and as many as 30 percent of those who fall sustain moderate-to-severe injuries.

Fall injuries not only cost many older people their freedom and mobility; they strain the resources of family caregivers and add $30 billion in direct medical costs to the U.S. healthcare system, a number expected to grow as the population ages.

A new study suggests that elder adults who exercise are not only less …

How do trees and other vegetation affect urban mesoclimates and microclimates?

Vegetation affects urban mesoclimate and microclimate by intercepting solar radiation, directing air movement, and affecting air temperature.  Microclimate, mesoclimate and macroclimate can be used to describe the climate of a given location. Macroclimate covers hundreds of square miles and parameters such as precipitation levels, temperatures and winds. Mesoclimate covers areas of tens of square miles and describes how conditions vary from the prevailing macroclimate due to the effects of water bodies, topographic features (terrain), and other landscape influences. A microclimate …

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Current and Looming Challenge

The scope of the challenge
A new report estimates that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease will triple in coming decades, both globally and in the U.S., driven in large part by an aging global population.

Although some research softens those predictions and suggests the rate may fall as populations become healthier and better-educated, Alzheimer’s is already the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Currently, the disease can’t be prevented, cured, or slowed. Half of the people who …

Roberta Riportella

Roberta Riportella


Growing up in New York on Long Island, Roberta visited the Big Apple where its cultural and art life become part of her. School trips were to the Metropolitan Opera, the symphony, and the ballet.  Her dad was an artist so that enhanced the time spent in and around museums and galleries.  She loved hanging out of dad’s 34th floor art studio on Madison Avenue where she got to watch many ticket-tape parades, including those for the astronauts and JFK.  …

Ninfa Peña-Purcell

Ninfa Pena-Purcell

Ninfa, a public health educator at heart, has a strong passion to serve vulnerable populations. A native Texan, she lived in Georgia and Wisconsin as a young adult but returned to her home state in 1994. At that time, she relocated to El Paso, Texas, from Atlanta, Georgia, where her family made plans to settle down and put down roots. In 1997, she completed her masters in kinesiology with a focus in worksite health promotion from the University of Texas …

David M. Young, DVM, MS, PhD, CRC

David is a third generation Montanan who grew up Billings, MT where he completed his first two years of college. His love of animals and years of working on ranches and feedlots during his youth lead him into his first career in Veterinary Medicine.  He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1966.  David’s interest in the study of disease mechanisms during veterinary school led him into his second career as a research pathologist.  He

Do children fall off my insurance policy on the day of their 26th birthday? How do they avoid a lapse in coverage?

Under the Affordable Care Act, children and step children can stay on their parent’s insurance policies until their 26th birthday, provided the parent’s plan allows dependent coverage. Retiree insurance plans, for example, are not required to extend coverage to dependents. Children can be covered by the parent’s insurance plans even if they are married, do not live with the parent or are not financially dependent on the parent. They can also be covered even if they are eligible to …

What Can I Do to Promote Energy Conservation with Trees in My Community?

The best ways to promote energy conservation with trees in your community are educating others about the benefits of urban trees, advocating for tree planting and protection, and taking action to increase local tree canopy cover.

Although most people can appreciate the comforting shade of a tree on a hot summer’s day, many do not realize how large an impact that trees can have on energy consumption for both cooling and heating buildings. Therefore, most people under-estimate the energy conservation …