Posts

April 15, 2015

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9:14 AM | Telescopes & Climate Models: Distrusting New Ways of Seeing
The history of science is a history of technology, as new tools give scientists new ways of seeing and understanding our world. When we develop new tools, it can be hard to tell whether they are good tools or not—if they provide a new way of seeing or if they obscure more than they reveal. This […]
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1:47 AM | Media Fail: A Toad Panic Ensues
    I see a lot of news articles that incite fear and panic about amphibians and reptiles, but this one might take the cake. This article, which warns pet-owners of a giant toad that will kill dogs, came to my attention because of an e-mail Theresa Stratmann sent to me. The story was getting a lot of attention and she was concerned that even though it is really only about one specific species of

April 14, 2015

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11:41 PM | Time to take some pictures
One of the things I like to do after an expedition overseas is decompress. That usually means heading out with a camera and enjoying the NZ scenery. No meetings, no crowds of people, no airport departure lounges or packed queues. So, after the last trip to China (late March) it’s time to appreciate NZ again. [...]
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10:37 PM | Forestry and U. S. Forest Service
Corporate control of the U. S. Forest Service. Continue reading →
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10:18 PM | Farming carbon can be a win for wildlife, if the price is right
With bids open today for the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, experts explain how storing carbon can be a win for wildlife too. Source: theconversation.com I didn’t see anything in the methods about replanting forests.  Moreover, if forest restoration is an … Continue reading →
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5:12 PM | Unprecedented Early Start to ‘Perma-Burn’ Fire Season — Deadly Wildfires Rage Through Siberia on April 12
Originally posted on robertscribbler:Permafrost. Ground frozen for millennia. An enormous deposit of organic carbon forming a thick, peat-like under-layer. Forced to warm at an unprecedented rate through the massive burning of heat-trapping gasses by human beings, this layer is…
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5:03 PM | Introducing: The Prairie Word of the Day
I’m sure many of you are as tired of this blog as I am.  The same old nature photos, natural history, prairie management/restoration information…  It just drones on and on.  Honestly, I don’t know how you manage to drag your … Continue reading →
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1:50 PM | Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate
The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct—a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived.
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1:43 PM | Law Suits to Block Climate Change
Lawsuits claiming governments must protect the environment including climate are gaining ground. Continue reading →
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12:30 PM | The Biodiversity Heritage Library Adds The Field Museum as a New Member
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) welcomes The Field Museum as a new member. One of the original founding institutions of BHL in 2007, The Field Museum has participated in the Biodiversity Heritage Library as an Affiliate since 2012 and now represents the consortium’s 16th Member.  Descriptive catalogue of the lepidopterous insects contained in the Museum of the Honourable East-India Company. 1828-29. http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/37023686. Digitized for BHL by The […]
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12:00 PM | Probiotic could save bats from white-nose syndrome
Since 2006, a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome has caused massive die-offs of bats in eastern North America. Now, scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz, say that bats may already carry a potential cure for their ills, in the form of bacteria found on their skin. Lots of evidence has emerged over the

April 13, 2015

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8:06 PM | Watch James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge and tweet along with us Tuesday at 8 p.m.!
There are still a couple of days left to donate to the most important marine science and outreach crowdfunding campaign of our time, “buy David Shiffman a less ugly pair of sunglasses.” In the meantime, new rewards have been unlocked! For a $30 donation, you’ll receive a small 3D printed megalodon tooth, one of the first of […]
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1:41 PM | Spatial conservation and choice of biodiversity surrogates and species distribution models
The results indicate that on-the-ground field surveys are required. Continue reading →
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1:26 PM | Old-Growth Forest with Astonishing Biodiversity
Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States.  Source: www.pinterest.com GR:  This is a region that has received little protection from development and has survived … Continue reading →
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1:17 PM | Become a Citizen Scientist with SharkBase
Dr. Ryan Kempster is a shark biologist in the Neuroecology Group at the University of Western Australia.  Ryan founded the shark conservation group Support Our Sharks to inform the world about the plight of the most vulnerable shark species. His research focuses on the sensory biology and conservation of sharks and rays.  Sharks have always been […]
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9:09 AM | The Promise of Technology — To Solve Deforestation, This Time
Like a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, a new start-up promises to solve deforestation by planting 1 billion trees a year using drones. BioCarbon Engineering, founded by former NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher, will “counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation,” according to their website. Liz Core at Grist: The process, which Fletcher calls “precision planting,” works like this: The […]
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4:28 AM | Got myself an epic birthday present courtesy of Prawno Apparell...
Got myself an epic birthday present courtesy of Prawno Apparell - taking the beautiful and talented Lia Barrett’s underwater shots and making stylish and oh-so-comfy clothes. Highly recommend checking out their collection: http://www.prawnoapparel.com

April 12, 2015

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11:43 PM | Reader's Write In: The Next Batch of Snake Identifications For You!
 One early evening a couple weeks ago, I found what I thought was a stick in the bottom of my pool. I fished it out to find it was this little guy. He was terribly sluggish, whether from the cold water or I assumed the chlorine. He seemed to be making a get away, so I left him to recover. He is the smoothest snake I ever saw, with his scales looking almost like skin.He also has unique
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7:33 PM | Whale & dolphin meat tested in Japan exceeds mercury limits
GR: The two issues exposed here are animal protection, and environmental pollution. We shouldn't be killing and eating increasingly rare species, and we should stop polluting the oceans. Continue reading →
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2:39 PM | Evils of the Livestock Industry
Full acceptance of Leopold's land ethic requires that we consume a fully vegan diet, release all imprisoned animals, and do what we can to preserve and protect wildlife and wildlife habitat. Sometimes called biocentric ethics, Leopold's land ethic, that I prefer to call the Earth Ethic, is the only sensible behavior for our species. Anything else will lead to eventual decline and extinction of life on our planet. Continue reading →
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8:13 AM | After admiring his work around the Philippines for years, I was...
After admiring his work around the Philippines for years, I was so happy to finally meet @whaleboy2000 and do my (tiny) part on one of his murals #ADEX2015
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4:11 AM | Greater sage-grouse face serious global warming threat
Sage-grouse and most other species on Earth are threatened by human progress and development that pollute the land and fill the air with heat-trapping gasses. Continue reading →
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4:04 AM | IUCN – Human development and biodiversity conservation can go hand in hand, study finds
What are our global development goals? Total annihilation of nature? The Trantor of Asimov's novel? The words "development" and "progress" are words that are used by those that seek to profit from human desires and fears. Continue reading →
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12:54 AM | 8 maps showing American lands are changing
“Maps are great tool for locating wildlands and wilderness areas we might want to visit, but they can also tell us much more. Maps can shed light on much larger stories about our changing country and our disappearing wilderness. “In … Continue reading →

April 10, 2015

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6:59 PM | How a 10 Million Year old fossil, a smart phone, and a 3D printer recharged my #OceanOptimism.
Last week, we launched a novel little experiment in crowdfunding marine science and conservation – Buy David Shiffman a Less Ugly Pair of Sunglasses – ostensibly about replacing David’s legendarily hideous sunglasses with something a bit more aesthetic. Of course, anyone digging into the stretch goals quickly realized that this was less about sunglasses and […]
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1:43 PM | The Anthropocene as Neoliberal Environmentalism
This week we have two essays arguing that the Anthropocene idea is neoliberal propaganda. At Jacobin, Andrea Malm, a researcher in the Human Ecology Division at Lund University, argues that the Anthropocene idea shifts the blame for climate change from one-percent-capitalists to human nature and humankind as a whole. If 10,000 years ago humans learned to burn carbon fuel […]
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12:00 PM | An optimistic future for sea urchin sperm
Sea urchins have one job to do: make more sea urchins. They do that by releasing their sperm and eggs into the open ocean. With luck and a bit of hard work, those gametes manage to meet up in the water and set about making new sea urchins. Scientists call this “broadcast spawning,” and it’s
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7:28 AM | A Feast of Fynbos: The Kirstenbosch Annual Plant Fair
Oxalis pers-caprae (Cape Sorrel) is a common member of the Oxalidaceae family. It is an integral ingredient of the traditional winter Cape stew 'Waterblommetjie Bredie'Photo: Alice NottenMuraltia spinosa (Tortoise Berry) has edible fruit that are rich in Vitamin C Photo: Alice NottenThis week Notes from a Cape Town Botanist is reporting on the upcoming Kirstenbosch Plant Fair, one of the most exciting events and fundraisers in the South African Botanical Society’s calendar. Come […]

April 09, 2015

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7:17 PM | Combating food waste in sub-Saharan Africa
In sub-Saharan Africa, a sizeable portion of essential food crops are lost before they can be eaten or sold. Long a neglected aspect of the agricultural system, this waste stream of food is starting to attract attention from global agriculture organizations and financial institutions, offering hope that the losses can be reduced, and with them rates of rural hunger and malnutrition.
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2:04 PM | NASA: Evidence for Global Climate Change
This report by NASA should resolve questions that many have about the causes of global warming. Explanations such as sun spots and wobble of the Earth's axis are not enough. Human produced CO2 is taking us far beyond what natural phenomenon can accomplish. Continue reading →
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