Discovery

A person in the Caribbean carries large plastic jugs of water into an old apartment building

Thirsty in paradise: Water crises are a growing problem across the Caribbean islands

UMBC’s Farah Nibbs, assistant professor of emergency and disaster health systems, studies the intersection of critical infrastructure and disasters, particularly in the Caribbean. Safe water is essential for all human activity and public health. Nibbs is looking at how and why the Caribbean islands are in a water crisis, and their governments have warned that water scarcity may become the new norm. Her data is sheds light on the root causes of the water crises and to find effective, affordable ways to improve water supply systems. Continue Reading Thirsty in paradise: Water crises are a growing problem across the Caribbean islands

A large bill board in the middle of a field reads Hell is Real

How 19th-century Spiritualists ‘canceled’ the idea of hell to address social and political concerns

“Spiritualists believed that people could maintain communication with the living even after death,” discusses UMBC’s Lindsay DiCurirci, associate professor of English. “They thought communicative spirits had a principal role to play in addressing the era’s most pressing social and political concerns, which would be impossible if souls were damned to hell. This idea was a cornerstone of their practice and a driver of their politics.” Continue Reading How 19th-century Spiritualists ‘canceled’ the idea of hell to address social and political concerns

Brick rowhomes with tall buildings in the background neediest areas

Neediest areas are being shortchanged on government funds − even with programs designed to benefit poor communities

Erik Stokan, associate professor of political science at UMBC, collaborated on a study that looked at 20 years of data from the CDBG program, which in 2022 provided about $4.3 billion to cities and states across the country. Federal rules require that 70% of these funds be spent in neighborhoods where a majority of families have low to moderate incomes – a category researchers abbreviate as “LMI.” Continue Reading Neediest areas are being shortchanged on government funds − even with programs designed to benefit poor communities

A person sits on the floor leaning on a bed with their right hand on their forehead crying

Domestic violence survivors seek homeless services from a system that often leaves them homeless

2018-2019 study of domestic violence survivors in the Washington D.C.’s services for homelessness by Nkiru Nnawulezi, associate professor of psychology at UMBC, and Lauren Cattaneo, found that out of 41 participants, only four received immediate housing, with either a bed in a shelter or a hotel. Housing instability brings its own set of problems for survivors, including poor health, economic insecurity and the risk of future violence. These stresses can lead survivors back to the abusive relationship or into other unsafe housing situations. Continue Reading Domestic violence survivors seek homeless services from a system that often leaves them homeless

A large group of Chinese migrants stand in line

Chinese migration to US is nothing new – but the reasons for recent surge at Southern border are

The brief closure of the Darien Gap – a perilous 66-mile jungle journey linking South American and Central America – in February 2024 temporarily halted one of the Western Hemisphere’s busiest migration routes, explains Meredity Oyen, assistant professor of history at UMBC. It also highlighted its importance to a small but growing group of people that depend on that pass to make it to the U.S.: Chinese migrants. Continue Reading Chinese migration to US is nothing new – but the reasons for recent surge at Southern border are

cars driving on New York City's Queensboro Bridge

New York City greenlights congestion pricing – here’s how this toll plan is expected to improve traffic, air quality and public transit

New York City is poised to launch the first congestion pricing plan to reduce traffic in a major U.S. metropolitan area. The Congestion Relief Zone, which covers Manhattan south of 60th Street, large trucks will pay $36, small trucks $24, passenger vehicles $15 and motorcycles $7.50, explains John Rennie Short, professor emeritus of public policy. Ride-share vehicles and taxis will pay $2.50 and $1.25, respectively. Peak hours run from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends; overnight tolls are discounted by 75%. Continue Reading New York City greenlights congestion pricing – here’s how this toll plan is expected to improve traffic, air quality and public transit

Thousands of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, are in this 2022 photo taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Could a telescope ever see the beginning of time? An astronomer explains

By Adi Foord, Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, UMBC Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskidsus@theconversation.com. If the James Webb telescope was 10 times more powerful, could we see the beginning of time? – Sam H., age 12, Prosper, Texas The James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST for short, is one of the most advanced telescopes ever built. Planning for JWST began over 25 years ago, and construction efforts spanned over a decade. It was launched into space on Dec. 25,… Continue Reading Could a telescope ever see the beginning of time? An astronomer explains

Television celebrities walking across a black carpet with the word Shōgun written in gold

James Clavell’s ‘Shōgun’ is reimagined for a new generation of TV viewers

Constantine Nomikos Vaporis, professor of history, a historian of Japan who specializes in the history of the Tokugawa, or early modern era – a period from 1603 to 1868, during which the bulk of the action in FX’s new television miniseries“Shōgun” takes place. “American viewers today apparently don’t need to be slowly introduced to Japanese culture by a European guide,” says Vaporis. Continue Reading James Clavell’s ‘Shōgun’ is reimagined for a new generation of TV viewers

A black and white photograph of city roof tops filled with smokestacks. Anthropocene geography environmental systems

The Anthropocene is not an epoch − but the age of humans is most definitely underway

UMBC’s Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems, explains the Anthropocene and the vote of the Subcommission on Quarterly Stratigraphy rejected that proposal to mark the Anthropocene as an epoch, with 12 of 18 members voting no. These are the scientists most expert at reconstructing Earth’s history from the evidence in rocks. They determined that adding an Anthropocene Epoch – and terminating the Holocene Epoch – was not supported by the standards used to define epochs. Continue Reading The Anthropocene is not an epoch − but the age of humans is most definitely underway

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