Publications

November 11, 2020

Seeds, Velcro, and Solstice Celebration

Dog covered with burs.jpg

Don’t great stories usually begin with a dog? Consider George de Mestral, a Swiss electrical engineer who took his dog for a walk in the woods 50 years ago and invented Velcro as a result.
View Full Newsletter

October 21, 2020

Virtual World, Virtual Water

The US Water Alliance has decreed that today we are to “Imagine A Day Without Water.” Think of it: no water to brush our teeth, flush our toilets, shower or bathe; no milk for our cereal or ice for a cocktail; no tea, coffee, or even juice. If you look up the essential ingredients for life on Earth, the first and foremost is liquid water.
View Full Newsletter

October 6, 2020

I’m Ready to Vote: Endorsement Issue

Many people ask me who I am supporting for election to a seat on the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. (Three seats are up for election to a six-year term.)
View Full Newsletter

September 28, 2020

A Plea for More Space, A Plea for More Grace

First, indulge me. I want to share a poem that I encountered in The New Republic years ago. I don’t know why it speaks to me, or even what it means, which of course is how poetry works, speaking to us in a language we don’t always understand yet reaching us, gripping us, enriching and enlivening us.
View Full Newsletter

September 9, 2020

Third Coast Disrupted: Artists and Scientists Connect on Climate

Des Plaines McDonald's.jpg

Just as biological diversity flourishes most where ecosystems converge* and overlap, so does innovation occur at the intersection of disciplines and ideas.
View Full Newsletter

June 19, 2020

Flushing Out the Virus—Using Our Sewage to Monitor COVID-19

testing water for pollutants.jpg

You’ve probably been reading news coverage of a number of studies trying to determine if sampling sewage flowing into treatment plants can provide early detection of the presence of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 in communities. When you flush your toilet in Cook County, did you know you're contributing to that research?
View Full Newsletter