natalie kruse

Natalie Kruse

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Natalie Kruse to discuss mine reclamation in Oct. 31 Science Cafe

Natalie Kruse, environmental studies professor in the Voinovich School, will present "Sustainability: Mining and Mine Reclamation," at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 in the Baker University Center Front Room in a Science Café discussion.
Kruse said nothing quenches your thirst quite like a cold, tall glass of water. But beware. Due to hazardous mining practices, many of our streams have been contaminated with harmful materials, including iron and sulfuric acid – not exactly most people's idea of flavored water.

"We've had a long history of extraction, and it's left a big environmental impact," Kruse said. "There are miles of impacted streams due to acid mine drainage. Basically nothing can live, grow or thrive in these areas."

Mining has been happening in Appalachia for hundreds of years without any regulations to protect the environment. Since 1972 rules have been put in place to prevent further damage, but mitigating earlier pollution is still a challenge for us today.

"It's left these major impacts that nobody is responsible for," Kruse said. "It's easy to stay close to Athens and not look at the heritage of mining in this area, but it's one that has significantly affected us both culturally and environmentally."

Science Cafes are a venue for students interested in the sciences and engineering to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty, staff and the community in a friendly setting.