The Speck air quality monitor costs $200, but is available to all through Pittsburgh's public library system. Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab hide caption

itoggle caption Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab

A bird covered in oil flaps its wings at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Thursday. More than 9,000 gallons of oil have been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretched across 9 miles of California coast, just a fraction of the sticky, stinking goo that escaped from a broken pipeline, officials said. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jae C. Hong/AP

Plankton collected in the Pacific Ocean with a 0.1mm mesh net. Seen here is a mix of multicellular organisms — small zooplanktonic animals, larvae and single protists (diatoms, dinoflagellates, radiolarians) — the nearly invisible universe at the bottom of the marine food chain. Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions hide caption

itoggle caption Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions