Entries by Amy Mathews

SkyTruth 2020: What to Expect in the New Year

Oil pollution at sea, mountaintop mining, Conservation Vision and more on SkyTruth’s agenda.

SkyTruth followers know that we generated a lot of momentum in 2019, laying the groundwork for major impact in 2020. Here’s a quick list of some of our most important projects underway for the new year: stopping oil pollution at sea, protecting wildlife, identifying poorly reclaimed mine sites, characterizing harmful algal blooms from space, and revealing fossil fuel drilling on public lands.

Johnna Armstrong “Slid Sideways into Tech”

A would-be diplomat discovered she could help others with technology.

Johnna Armstrong had, what she calls, a sheltered upbringing in a rural community in Upstate New York. The oldest of six children, she often had to care for her younger siblings. So when it came time for college she was anxious to find out “who I was separate from my family,” as she puts it. She had no idea that ultimately she would end up in the computer field. Now, she serves as SkyTruth’s systems administrator, keeping our systems humming, the website running, and managing the SkyTruth Alerts system.

Serious Brainpower Tackled SkyTruth Challenge at AWS re:Invent Hackathon for Good

SkyTruth’s goal to stop oil pollution at sea from bilge dumping is off to a strong start.

The call came two weeks in advance: SkyTruth was chosen to be one of four nonprofits featured at the AWS re:Invent Hackathon for Good held December 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our goal: leveraging the collective brainpower of hackathon engineers to automate the detection of bilge dumping at sea by vessels violating international law and polluting the ocean.

Christian Thomas Works to Protect his Home State of West Virginia

Christian had a choice: The Peace Corps or SkyTruth. He chose SkyTruth.

“It was no contest,” Christian Thomas told me when I asked him about choosing between the Peace Corps and SkyTruth. Born and raised near Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Christian first met SkyTruth President John Amos at the Shepherdstown Farmer’s Market when he was a student at West Virginia University. When John learned that Christian was studying geography and environmental geoscience, he encouraged Christian to send his resume to SkyTruth.

Fracking in Suburbia

What do you do when big oil moves in next door?

Three women shared their stories with a group of journalists and others attending the Society of Environmental Journalists 2019 meeting in Fort Collins, Colorado last month. Fort Collins sits right next to Weld County – the most prolific county in Colorado for oil and gas production and among the most prolific in the entire United States. There, hydraulic fracturing (mostly for oil) has boomed, along with a population surge that is gobbling up farmland and converting open space into subdivisions. Often, these two very different types of development occur side-by-side.