Julia Apland Hitz, Author at State of the Planet - Page 2 of 8

Julia is currently with the Findhorn Foundation ecovillage in Scotland. For two years she served as Communications Manager for the Columbia Water Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University. She has also worked as a planning consultant and development officer in environment, sustainable development, social services, and health, in Central America, the UK and the USA.

Recent Posts

Geography Awareness Week: Freshwater is Serious Fun

For adults concerned about environmental issues, particularly the growing water crisis, it can be hard to know where to start to educate and involve the children in their lives, those who will ultimately be facing the consequences of what we do or don’t do now. How do you frame serious, complicated issues in a way that makes them appropriate for and accessible to kids?

by |November 23, 2010

Columbia Engineers an Impact on Water Sustainability

The most recent issue of the Columbia Engineering Magazine profiles many of the Columbia University Engineering faculty who are addressing the issues of sustainability in the water, climate and energy fields.

Several of Columbia Water Center’s researchers and collaborators were featured. Here are some teasers that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the talent at Columbia University dedicated to finding answers to the problems of climate change and water sustainability.

by |November 3, 2010

In New York City, 2010 is All About the Water

Has New York City hit a critical mass that will make it truly a green city? I’m beginning to suspect so, at least in terms of water issues. There have been an increasing number of initiatives both to remediate past damage and to prevent future water quality problems, that are worth looking at together.

by |October 15, 2010

Another Superfund Site in New York City: Newtown Creek to Get a Makeover

The March designation of the Gowanus Canal in New York City as a SuperFund clean up site was an important step forward, and is now being followed by another leap: on Monday Newtown Creek, which runs between Queens and Brooklyn received the same designation.

by |September 30, 2010

In Support of the Neglected Drinking Fountain

The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association built the first public drinking fountain in London in 1859, as an answer to some of the pressing problems of their times. Drinking fountains are also part of the answer to some of our own problems.

by |September 1, 2010

H2O – “Help to Others”, A Youth Inspired Water Project

Project H2O, Help to Others, is a documentary production about a group of high school students in Puerto Rico on an odyssey of learning about global water problems and how to be part of the solution, and much more.

by |August 13, 2010

Sewage treatment isn’t rocket science – except when it is

It’s a case of finding a use for what was thought of as waste. Sewage treatment processes produce methane and nitrous oxide, both greenhouse gasses, while leaving undesirably high levels of nitrogen in the discharged water. On their own, all three of these things are harmful to the environment. Stanford University reports that a team has found a way to take those unwanted waste gasses and use them to 1) reduce the amount of nitrogen in the water, 2) produce an alternative energy source and 3) dispose of the nitrous oxide cleanly – by using it as rocket fuel, in fact.

by |July 27, 2010

Water at last! Happy days for Milha, Brazil

It’s the last day of my visit to Brazil, where I’ve been getting to know the staff of the Columbia Water Center Brazilian office, and learning about the projects here. The projects are a fascinating mixture of down-to-earth (literally down in the earth) sustainable water access, and high level climate modeling to support water management… read more

by |July 20, 2010

Chicago Sanitary Canals, anything but sanitary

A story by Dan Egan in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 6, 2010 pulls together threads of sewage, drinking water, commerce, ecosystem deterioration, politics, health, geography, and Asian carp to create a picture of how big a mess we humans are capable of making for ourselves.

by |July 12, 2010

Jamaica Bay, a refuge for wildlife in New York City, gets protection

The good news is that the migratory birds and resident marine life of Jamaica Bay may be getting a reprieve. In February, Mayor Bloomberg, the State Environmental Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council announced an agreement that would improve water quality and preserve the wetlands of Jamaica Bay. The Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan commits to restoring degraded marshlands and reducing nitrogen discharge into the bay by 50 percent over the next ten years at a cost of $115 million to the city alone. Federal funds and resources are expected to supplement the project.

by |July 6, 2010