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AAP-CA3’s Climate Change & Health Committee Announces Professional Society Awards

Contributed by Patricia Pascual, MD

AAP-CA3’s Climate Change and Health Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair AAP-CA3 Professional Society Award. 

Shruti Natala, a senior at Scripps Ranch High School, developed a machine model that utilizes live satellite data to detect and classify oil spills at a faster rate than current methods. “I decided to work on my project after seeing the Huntington Beach Oil Spill cause destruction to the California coastline,” she said. Shruti believes her findings will help decrease the response time to oil spills. “Less oil will be spilled, and cleaners will be able to more accurately respond to the spill in a timely manner.”

Grace Li, a senior at Scripps Ranch High School, examined conditions to optimize power of a microbial fuel cell, which utilizes anaerobic microorganisms in soil to generate electricity. “Microorganisms that lie in the dirt are capable of generating electricity! Not only is the energy free, but dirt is everywhere,” she said. “For the health and benefit of our planet, society needs to seek smarter alternatives and technologies that are not harmful to the environment.“

Shruti and Grace were both given the AAP-CA3 Green Ribbon award, which consists of a monetary award, certificate of recognition, an environmental health t-shirt, and AAP-CA3 memorabilia. Their names have been engraved on a perpetual plaque for the AAP-CA3 office.

A special thank you to Dr. Cindy Fujii and Dr. Lawrence Ashbacher who served as judges on the AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Environmental Health Committee, and to Meredith Kennedy and AAP-CA3 for their support.