The Salmon Canon

Description:  Dams provide hydroelectric power and recreation to much of the Pacific Northwest. However these dams block the normal migration of salmon upstream to spawn. Whoosh Systems has created a "salmon cannon" that may the problem of salmon migration. Salmon are moved up a vacuum tube and launched into the water above the dam.

Web Resources:  Meet the Salmon Cannon - Geek Wire, Whooshh Innovations  


The Mystery Of The Missing Bees

Description:  The specific cause (or causes) of colony collapse disorder has not been found but the fact that a number of bees are dying is clear. This will have massive economic impacts since many of the foods we eat are pollinated by bees. Since humans are both impacting and being impacted by this problem it can be used as an engineering problem in need of a solution.

Web Resource:  Colony Collapse Disorder - Wikipedia


Towing An Iceberg To The United Arab Emirates

Description:  The National Advisor Bureau Limited plans to tow icebergs to the UAE for a source of freshwater. The majority of freshwater on the planet is frozen in glaciers and ice caps. This solution would provide adequate freshwater to the UAE but it would present many engineering challenges. The smaller icebergs would melt along the way and the larger ice bergs would be pushed by the large currents in the ocean.

Web Resource:  Science Alert Article  


Google Maps Timelapse

Description: The Google Maps Timelapse engine allows you to see the impacts of humans on local environments over the last three decades. Use the search box to find local human impacts. 
Local phenomenon (e.g. housing developments, logging, shrinking water reservoirs, etc.) can lead to local solutions to human impacts on the land and water.

Web Resource: Google Maps Timelapse


Easter Island Deforestation

Description:  The island of Rapa Nui once supported a large community of Polynesians that are best known for the massive statues (moai) pictured below.  However when sailors arrived on the island in the 18th century the people were barely hanging on.  What is not pictured below are any trees.  Deforestation led to the collapse of this culture.

Web Resource:  How Easter Island Works - How Stuff Works


By Aurbina - Own work, Public Domain, Link