by Zef Egan, Claudia Tomateo, Karim Ahmed, Veronica Olivotto

This hurricane season twelve hurricanes and tropical storms have made landfall in the United States. Eight of these battered the gulf coast. A record breaking five storms barreled over Louisiana. Climate change has made hyperactive hurricane seasons the new normal. Recent years cluster near the top of that list. 2020 shattered all records with weeks left in the season.

Still for many Americans the storms and wildfires — 4.2 million acres in California burned, the most on record, more than the last three years combined — were dwarfed by another disaster, more disruptive, and deadly. The novel coronavirus has infected…


By Zef Egan, Christopher Kennedy, Timon McPhearson and Luis Ortiz

This summer, while cities prepare for rising temperatures, heat waves, and a second wave of coronavirus, researchers at the Urban System Lab are thinking about the interrelated risks and just responses to extreme heat and COVID-19.

The National Weather Service declares a heat wave when three consecutive days rise above 90°F. Cities are already experiencing more severe and prolonged heat waves due to the urban heat island effect. Permeable surfaces such as soils, marshes, streams, and leafy canopies (which shade the understory, and cool nights through transpiration) are replaced by asphalt, concrete, brick and other materials which absorb heat during…


The Vineyard Sound ebbs and flows between Martha’s Vineyard and the peninsula of moraine atop which sits the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Powerful oceanic currents supply the Sound with a diversity of phytoplankton, a moveable bivalve feast. Two brothers, Dan and Greg Martino, grow oysters there.

Dan and Greg Martino’s journey to becoming oystermen began after touring a farm. Cultivating delicious bivalves while restoring local ecology instantly appealed to them. The brothers played music together, so collaboration came naturally. Pretty soon they both got jobs at Sweet Neck Oysters where, under the tutelage of Jake Blake, they learned to…

Zef Egan

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