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Expert Pitches

Leading civil and environmental engineer identifies construction quality as potential contributor to Florida building collapse

Though a lot was not known immediately about the cause of the deadly collapse of a high-rise residential building in Surfside, Florida on June 24, Hota GangaRao, a civil and environmental engineering professor at West Virginia University’s Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, has identified three possible contributing factors: quality of construction, subsidence and corrosion.

Blue-eyed buzzers, human interest emerge from Brood X

Prepare to say hello to cleaner windshields and goodbye to a distinct, deafening buzzing sound – for four years, at least. Brood X (“ten”), the noisy batch of cicadas running rampant throughout the East Coast and Midwest, will be departing over the next couple of weeks.

WVU Extension Service expert reminds West Virginians of the importance of pollinators during National Pollinator Week

Bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators play a crucial role in growing our state’s food crops. But, Sheldon Owen, West Virginia University Extension Service associate professor and wildlife specialist, reminds us that populations of these important insects have declined across the nation and need to be protected. As part of National Pollinator Week (June 21-27), Owen challenges residents to learn more about the pollinators found in West Virginia and their important role in nature. Owen provides helpful information about insect pollinators and how people can help sustain their populations.

Electric vehicles no environmental savior, could cause power grid problems

As Ford unveils its electric F150, West Virginia University experts note the shift from gasoline-powered engines is not an environmental panacea in the short term, but instead will mean significant and costly upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure. Citing recent events, they caution the race to electric vehicles may outrun what’s needed to keep those vehicles on the road.

Rural America primed for mileage if $2 trillion infrastructure plan passes

Rural communities help fuel the nation, though decades of aging and deteriorating infrastructure have stifled the potential of the American economy and way of life, according to West Virginia University experts. A proposed $2 trillion federal infrastructure plan, announced by the Biden administration, could bridge the gap between rural and urban America in more ways than one: opening access to jobs, healthcare and education, and boosting the economy.