About the Author

Barbara Hesselgrave

Barbara Hesselgrave is a writer specializing in environmental topics.

Articles by Barbara Hesselgrave

The Science of Seeds

Soil

The Science of Seeds

Remember how 10 blindfolded people in a room each describe the elephant from their own perspective? The same might be said of soil—the stuff we interchangeably refer to as ground, dirt, or surface covering. Eric C. Brevik, a professor of soil science at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, illustrates

Wildfires: Challenges in Revegetation

Soil

Wildfires: Challenges in Revegetation

It was the setting for a perfect disaster: historic level droughts, acres of dry forest and grassland, huge reserves of dead wood fuel, and a hurricane that sucked any moisture from the air. Locals said it was just “powder-keg dry.” Implementing a revegetation plan after a wildfire is a challenge;

All About the Cycle Stop Valve (CSV)

Water

All About the Cycle Stop Valve (CSV)

What happens is that the CSV opens and closes like a ball valve—it uses a spring to push it open and then a diaphragm will push it closed. The beauty of this is that the customer sets the valve at the required outgoing pressure, and that’s where it stays. So,

PCBs in Contaminated Sediments

Water

PCBs in Contaminated Sediments

PCB sold in huge quantities around the world. Scientists continued to experiment and found the properties of the substance could be enhanced. With added carbon atoms and chlorine mass, PCB became a nearly waxy substance, ideal as an extender for pesticides to increase their adhesion when sprayed. And it lasts—resistant

Getting a Grip on Sea Level Rise

Soil

Getting a Grip on Sea Level Rise

Climate change, sea level rise, failing infrastructure, and challenged ­budgets are a recipe for disaster in the truest sense. However, while the fact of sea level rise is scientifically undisputed, it is a slow-moving disaster. No one will wake up and find Miami or New York suddenly under water.

From Titusville to Tycoons

Soil

From Titusville to Tycoons

The evolution of the oil and gas drilling industry in the US has all the essential components of a blockbuster adventure novel—colorful characters, challenging landscapes, spectacular discoveries, deals and dollars, and a lot of each of them.

Stopping a Sinkhole: A Case Study (Part 1)

Water

Stopping a Sinkhole: A Case Study (Part 1)

This article first appeared in the May 2016 issue of Water Efficiency. Read part 2 here. 

Flooding, sinkholes, danger, suspense, a race against time, and Mother Nature—this story is not the latest adventure film served up by ­Hollywood, but it could be! In 2013, the real-life saga of the stormwater pipe collapse

Improved Technology for Controlling “Fugitive Dust”

Soil

Improved Technology for Controlling “Fugitive Dust”

Dust—it’s everywhere, and seems to accumulate literally from thin air. It seems harmless but it is anything but that. Dramatic photos that captured the devastation of the central plains Dust Bowl of the Great Depression are compelling evidence of how dry, vulnerable soil, transported by wind, transforms the landscape.