Science on Tap
A monthly lecture series at UMD that explores the latest discoveries in science and technology in a relaxed atmosphere with food and drink
Blowing Up Mountains for Coal: Environmental Impacts That Never Stop
ABOUT THE TALK
Along beautiful tree-lined ridges that are home to diverse plants, birds, salamanders and more, explosives have been blasting away leaving behind piles of rock and soil. This "overburden" is pushed into streamlined valleys clearing the way for huge machinery to reach coal seams. Not only are the mountains flattened, streams filled and ecologically important species lost, but as rain percolates through the overburden-filled streams, waterways below are poisoned by salts and toxic elements like selenium. UMD researchers have shown that this polluted water leads to loss of sensitive species and that the pollutant inputs to streams continue forever. Proponents of coal mining argue the mining jobs are essential and that coal companies make up for the environmental impacts by improving other streams, but neither of these claims is supported by science.
This event is a partnership between the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and The Clarice and MilkBoy ArtHouse, a local crossroads for dynamic entertainment, social gathering and creative dining in downtown College Park, Maryland. This event is also sponsored by the UMD Science Alumni Network.