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With USDA Support, Clemson University Research Revolutionizes Environmental Monitoring

Relay stations send water quality data via satellite to Clemson University's high-performance computing center. Data is collected by sensors in a patent-pending buoy in the river. The buoy also holds the patent-pending MoteStack, a battery-powered computer smaller than a Rubik's Cube that stores and transmits data to the relay station.  (Photo courtesy Clemson University.)

Relay stations send water quality data via satellite to Clemson University's high-performance computing center. Data is collected by sensors in a patent-pending buoy in the river. The buoy also holds the patent-pending MoteStack, a battery-powered computer smaller than a Rubik's Cube that stores and transmits data to the relay station. (Photo courtesy Clemson University.)

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

When we talk about population growth, often the first question that comes to mind is, “How are we going to feed everyone?”  While an important question that needs to be addressed, rising populations also put increasing and competing demands on our natural resources. And these demands are putting local and state economies at risk. Within the next decade, solutions will be necessary to optimize water use while preserving rivers and streams. Read more »

New USDA Funded Arizona Fire Station Lowers Response Time and Improves Public Safety

Rain poured through the roof of the old Black Canyon, Arizona, fire station, making the floor slippery and rusting the tin that covered the roof. Nonetheless, the one ambulance and fire truck that would fit into the aging metal shed still faired better than the other five vehicles parked outside. Those vehicles were not only pelted by rain and hail, but Arizona’s scorching sun baked them during much of the year—rotting the tires, fading the paint, and drying out the parts and equipment. Parking the vehicles outside also meant that the theft risk was greater, which increased insurance rates. Read more »

USDA and SBA Officials Discuss Job Creation and Business Investment Opportunities

Recently USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judith Canales joined Small Business Administration (SBA) officials in Syracuse, New York, to discuss opportunities to promote rural small business investment and job creation.  The rural investment roundtable event was held at Dairylea Cooperative, Inc.

As part of the Startup America Initiative, SBA recently announced the creation of a $1 billion Impact Investment Fund through its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program.  The Impact Fund will invest in distressed areas as well as in emerging sectors such as clean energy. SBA provides up to a 2 to1 match to private capital raised by this fund, partnering with private investors to target “impact” investments. Read more »