In the news: Researcher recognized for moss study

Portland, Ore. – GovLoop, a government news and information website, is sharing the stories of finalists for this year’s SAMMIES (Samuel J. Haven Service to America Medals), including the USDA Forest Service’s Sarah Jovan, who, with fellow researcher Geoffrey H. Donovan, is recognized for the Portland, Ore. “moss study.”

Initially intended to determine if moss could be used to estimate air pollution in cities, the $100,000 study revealed that moss can also serve as a beacon for pollution by cancer-causing heavy metals, providing detailed, neighborhood-level data that might have otherwise required $17 million worth of air monitoring equipment to collect.

The work led directly to remediation for cadmium and arsenic contamination outside two Portland, Ore. glass factories and to tighter controls across the industry, improving lives for many at risk of exposure to these contaminants.

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More info about the SAMMIES:,+.winner.y2017

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