Posts

October 16, 2014

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8:51 PM | A visit from the garden spider
This past week I noticed something other than Brussels sprouts in my garden — a beautiful garden spider! I did what any curious entomologist and gardener would do… I got as close as I could and took a picture and watched in amazement as she sat and waited surrounded by meals in little to-go containers of silk in her web. A week later I stopped by to say my daily greeting to her and noticed she was gone, her web reduced to a single strand connecting my rosemary to my tarragon. And […]
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6:35 PM | NatCon News Sources
Important sources for NatCon News coverage of wildlife and nature information and issues. Continue reading →
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5:05 PM | Not an “accident”: John Dunnivant, 57, suffers fatal work-related injury at Kia Motors plant in West Point, Georgia
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on October 7 at a Kia Motors manufacturing plant.
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1:45 PM | The Global Perspective of Space and Deep-sea Explorer Kathryn Sullivan
There is currently a person on this planet who has traveled to outer space and to the deep sea. Many of us dream of one or the other; to dream of both at once seems overly ambitious or even greedy.... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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10:31 AM | Nick and Teslas Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove | book review | @GrrlScientist
The newest instalment in the Nick and Tesla science mysteries series, where young people learn to use their scientific and electronics knowledge to solve mysteries around them.Only a week or so has passed in the Nick and Tesla story arc, so as you might expect, things havent changed much from the last book. In the newest instalment to be published, Nick and Teslas Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove: A Mystery with a Blinking, Beeping, Voice-Recording Gadget Glove You Can Build Yourself by Bob […]
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9:37 AM | "Supersonic" Dung Cannons: Pilobilus lentiger
My friend Ulli handed me a large Tupperware container. "A present," she said.  A peak under the lid revealed a large pile of horse manure—always a nice gift for an organic gardener. But this wasn't just any horse manure, this was special horse manure: it had sprouted a massive colony of a dung-loving fungus called Pilobolus, also known as the Dung Cannon or Hat Thrower. Golden clusters of Pilobolus lentiger on horse dung.Pilobilus species, (which, like the […]
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8:00 AM | The 2014 Global Hunger Index and how Plantwise countries are faring
The 2014 Global Hunger Index, now available from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, shows a steady decrease in hunger in most developing countries. Some countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, could not be scored within the hunger index due to a lack of data. Plantwise country, Sierra Leone, is […]
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7:59 AM | Mixing in a bit of education
This season we are fortunate to have a local middle school science teacher taking part in our field season thanks to the PolarTREC program.  This program connects educators with polar scientists to communicate the scientific method and excitement of exploration to their students.  We are working with Lucy Coleman this year, who teaches in Natomas, not too far down the road from Davis.   […]
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4:04 AM | French flamingos froze to death without freezing
Wild ThingsAnimals BY Sarah Zielinski 8:00am, October 16, 2014 For flamingos that stay year-round in Camargue, France, not heading south for the winter can sometimes be deadly.Al S/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)One of the best spots to find flamingos is in southern France. In the Camargue, some 10,000 to 15,000 […]

October 15, 2014

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10:01 PM | October 15 Wordless Wednesday
Tagged: Photography nature ecology animals salamander
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9:30 PM | Murray cares about the chickens, the workers? Not so much
Too bad Murray's Chicken doesn't care as much about working conditions for its employees, as it does about the living conditions for its birds.
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8:38 PM | Flying south, and further south
As I write this I am on a C-17, flying south to McMurdo station …. Time for a bit of a catch-up on the season launch!Our journey down to Antarctica began with a flight south to Christchurch, New Zealand.  All of us departed from San Francisco the same day, though our actual flights were scattered across the evening with different itineraries depending on the flight requirements of funding sources.We arrived in Christchurch without incident and were able to spend a couple of days […]
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8:14 PM | Students Discover Celebrates National Fossil Day!
To celebrate, we here at Student’s Discover, and especially me the resident paleontologist, want to give a quick update on the incredible results that middle school kids have already made on the Shark Teeth Forensics project through the Paleontology and Geology lab at the Nature Research Center, NC Museum of Natural Sciences. First, I need to give a huge “Wow, I’m impressed” to the three Kenan Fellows teachers working on this project (Kimberly, Kerrie, Juliana) because […]
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6:17 PM | Water rises, cattle graze, dunes walk on the Kalahari
There is water under the dry sands of the Kalahari. Perversely, this gift has lead to a cycle of land degradation.
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5:44 PM | Does your campus allow Federal Work Study awards for undergraduate research?
I used to have Work-Study students doing research in my lab, when I was visiting faculty at Gettysburg College. Then I got a job somewhere else, and I couldn’t do that anymore. The university where I now work does not assign Work-Study students to work with professors, just like my previous employer. There was a clear…
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5:09 PM | How Beavers Build Biodiversity
Originally posted on strange behaviors:It’s not postcard pretty to human eyes. But it’s habitat to wildlife. Even species as small and relatively uncharismatic as beavers produce dramatic changes in the environment, to the benefit of many species and the…
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4:20 PM | Psychohydraulics
On twitter, @mnxmnkmnd pointed me to Lorenz’ model of ‘psychohydraulics‘ as a theory of behavior. Wut? From a book chapter (I can’t figure out which book): Lorenz introduced the (artificial) concept of an action-specific energy, ac- cumulating in a tank with a … Continue reading →
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3:27 PM | Subscribe to the Nature Conservation (NatCon) News
The NatCon News' global coverage includes information and issues for animals, plants, soils, and ecosystems they form. Continue reading →
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3:03 PM | Pentagon: Preparation for Climate Change
The Department [of Defense] is responding to climate change in two ways: adaptation, or efforts to plan for the changes that are occurring or expected to occur; and mitigation, or efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Clarifying “biodiversity,” but is it enough?
Below is the another installment on the philosophical and ecological values of biodiversity motivated by the University of Oregon lecture . . .
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10:03 AM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Oct 14)
We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include a pathogen that’s causing fruit rot of tomato, orange, and apple in Pakistan, the first report of Phomopsis citri associated with dieback of lemon in India and the  first report […]
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4:35 AM | Backslider
I’m a poor backslider, in the pit of sin Every time I try to get out, I just slip back in again Come savior save me, take hold of my hand Please don’t let me slip back into that pit … Continue reading →
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3:33 AM | Introducing… Bart Ting!
Much as this man needs no introduction, I shall do it all the same – for the uninitiated! It takes someone special to render the ordinary – extraordinary! And that’s just what cardboard boy-wonder – Bartholomew Ting does best! Graduating from business and gravitating to the creative arts, Bart (in short) has made quite a name… Continue reading »
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2:27 AM | To be a bee or not to be a bee? Oh. Mimicry.
A warm mid-October day has invited the flies and the bees to get a last sip of supper from the white daisies that bob their heads in an autumnal zephyr. The six-legged sippers dance and swirl on a yellow stage of the flower disks at the center of the white-petal apron. The tongues and siphon […]
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1:43 AM | Still on Track for the Collapse of Modern Civilization
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:Two recent pieces of scientific evidence really hammer home the predicament of modern industrial civilization, and they have to do with the fact that our globalized, just-in-time economic model is hopelessly wed to…
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1:40 AM | Current Sea Level Rise is Faster Than at Any Time in Last 6,000 Years
Originally posted on robertscribbler:(NASA satellite shot of Antarctica on October 13 of 2014. Recent scientific papers point toward a vicious cycle of Antarctic glacial melt. Expanding sea ice results from increased cold, fresh water outflows from melting land-anchored glaciers…

October 14, 2014

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11:01 PM | Demonstrating: getting the most out of undergraduate teaching
One of the benefits of doing research in an academic institution is the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students. Students benefit from being taught by leading researchers while staff have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists. Practical lab classes are usually a focal point of this direct interaction between student and researcher. However, due to the logistics and practicalities of managing large class sizes, PhD students are playing an increasingly important […]
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9:37 PM | Study: Public views of drug addiction much more negative than views of mental illness
When it comes to substance abuse disorders, public health and the public at-large are hardly on the same page — in fact, they’re not even reading the same book. And that’s a serious problem for sustaining and strengthening efforts to treat addiction and advancing effective public health policy.
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9:00 PM | STS and the Super Science Side of Tumblr TA Tips for Teaching
We here at STS have TAed a lot.  We both taught lab sections when we were juniors and seniors in undergrad and then we taught more sections during our master's work.  I also taught during my first year in PhD land.  As a graduate student, TAing is often non-optional (gotta' pay those bills), exciting (young minds!  oh golly!), frustrating (it's ON THE SYLLABUS!), and intimidating (wait, so I have to be in charge of 20+ other legal adults for an hour or more?).  So, what […]
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5:03 PM | Quick-moving toads take the straight and narrow path
Wild ThingsAnimals,Evolution BY Sarah Zielinski 1:04pm, October 14, 2014 Cane toads have been spreading faster and faster across northern Australia since their arrival on the Queensland coast in 1935. This increase in speed is due in part to toads at the forefront of the invasion, which have evolved to move in […]
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