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The 90 Day Plan

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The 90-Day Plan: DAY 13

The 90 Day Plan - 90 Ways in 90 Days

The 90 Day Plan: Day 13 

While we are on the topic of food, AVOID FAST FOOD. Approximately one-third of Americans are considered obese, enough said.

Watch: Super Size Me

Challenge: What are three chronic illnesses that come from unhealthy eating and the lack of exercise?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The 90-Day Plan: DAY 11

The 90 Day Plan - 90 Ways in 90 Days

The 90 Day Plan: Day 11 

Generally, showers flow between 2-3.5 GPM and one shower can use 20-40 gallons of water. An easy way to save water is to TAKE A QUICK SHOWER. By reducing time in the shower by only a minute or two, you will save hundreds of gallons of water every month. Showers tend to use less water than baths; if you take a bath, place the stopper in first and let the water heat as it fills.

Save Water by Buying an Efficient Shower Head

Challenge: If you were to add an efficient showerhead, how long would it take for the savings to pay for itself?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The 90-Day Plan: DAY 10

The 90 Day Plan - 90 Ways in 90 Days

The 90 Day Plan: Day 10 

Just as Phantom Loads increase energy costs, wasting water also adds up. The average American uses more than 100 gallons of water every day. Remember to SHUT-OFF water when you are brushing your teeth and washing-up.

What is Water Sense?

Challenge: What is your source(s) of water, how is it purified, and how far must it travel to your tap?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The 90-Day Plan: DAY 9

The 90 Day Plan - 90 Ways in 90 Days

The 90 Day Plan: Day 9 

Eighty-percent of the biomass (life) in the Mississippi River is from invasive species, particularly Asian Carp. It is time to get SERIOUS ABOUT INVASIVE SPECIES! An invasive species is a plant or animal non-native to the area that takes over.

Invasive species info…

Challenge: Describe one way how pollution, fertilizer runoff, and habitat loss each weakens native species. What are common ways invasives species are introduced? What can you do to minimize further damage from invasives?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The 90-Day Plan: DAY 8

The 90 Day Plan - 90 Ways in 90 Days

The 90 Day Plan: Day 8 

As you get to know the world around you, LEAVE NOTHING but FOOTPRINTS and TAKE NOTHING but PICTURES.

For more info…

Challenge: Try to leave an area the same or better than how you found it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1-Barrel for Baja Update

One Barrel for Baja

by Amanda Herman

June 24th, 2011

The Biology Field Station at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) is home to a thriving center for cutting-edge experiments made possible by the San Diego Center for Algal Biotechnology (SD-CAB) in support of research aimed towards understanding and developing eco-friendly energy solutions, like the 1 Barrel for Baja (1BFB) project.  1BFB is a student-based undertaking, which started and quickly gained momentum based on scientific collaborations between laboratories at UCSD, the Salk Institute, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), and San Diego State University with funding from the US Department of Energy and local private industries.  Kristian Gustavson is a former Master's student from Dr. Jim Leichter's Laboratory at SIO.  He is the visionary behind the 1BFB initiative, and continues volunteering at the Field Station to further the progress of the project.  Gustavson, along with Nathan Schoepp, a Chemistry graduate student in Dr. Michael Burkart's Laboratory at UCSD and five undergraduate volunteers from the Biofuels Action and Awareness Network (BAAN) helped construct the greenhouse and the wet laboratory.  Both facilities function as factories for growing algae and are rapidly expanding to accommodate the demands of the 1BFB endeavor.

Algae are a broad and diverse group of organisms that make complex organic compounds. They grow significantly faster than conventional food crops such as maize and soybeans.  They also thrive in warm, arid, and salty climates, making them an attractive alternative to other crop-based biofuels and the greater San Diego area a prime location for their cultivation.  Schoepp summarizes the process of taking algae from the greenhouse to the barrel: first, large bags that hold 50 to 100 liters of freshwater algae are inoculated with one of three algal production strains that have been specially engineered for better growth.  A continuous supply of both air and CO2 is pumped through the bags for four days.  After this incubation period, the algae are harvested and their biomass, the biological material containing important fuel precursor molecules, is isolated by centrifugation.  The biomass is then sent to Dr. Skip Pomeroy's Laboratory at UCSD, where the lipids and fats and are extracted and further converted into usable diesel fuel.

Gustavson's goal is to obtain enough biomass to fill one 42-gallon barrel with biofuel (also known as B100 biodiesel).  In an effort to scale up the production by the end of the summer, Gustavson and Schoepp plan to grow 300 to 500 liter algal cultures in large plastic pools of saline water.  They hope to eventually build an in-ground circulating pond where bulk volumes of algae can be cultured.  Optimizing the growth of one algal strain and promoting its use as a renewable form of energy to local companies is the next step for Gustavson. "This is a good opportunity for UCSD to lead the way in applied algal biotechnology," he says.  The Baja 1000 is a series of off-road desert races that will take place on November 17th, 2011 in the Baja California Peninsula.  The race is sanctioned by SCORE International and often showcases new technologies in motor vehicles.  Gustavson will race one of three diesel enduro motorcycles from Holland using the fuel that he and his team have produced from start to finish.

The success of the One Barrel for Baja project has also been made possible with the help of Drs. Steve Mayfield, Greg Mitchell, Michael Burkhart, Skip Pomeroy, and Dominick Mendola

Amanda Herman is Ph.D. candidate at UCSD and a volunteer writer and outreach coordinator with SD-CAB. You can contact her at

The 90-Day Plan: DAY 7

The 90 Day Plan - 90 Ways in 90 Days

The 90 Day Plan: Day 7 

Make an attempt to UNDERSTAND YOUR LOCAL ECOSYSTEM and how you fit in. It is important to note that you won't know what you have to lose, unless you know what you have. See for yourself what recreational activities are best for the area what, if any, current issues are at hand.

Get involved.

Challenge: Rank the top ten endangered species in your area or region and what is a threat to them; then determine what can action will be needed to increase their odds of survival.

90-Day Plan - 90 Ways to Save Water

Below the Surface - Atchafalaya River Expedition featured in Reader's Digest

Kristian Gustavson receives the American Red Cross "Hero of the Heartland" Award

David Gallo Shows Underwater Astonishments

Below The Surface Podcast

Robert Ballard's TED talk is an inspiring, optimistic look at the future hope of ocean exploration

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