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April 07, 2014

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10:18 AM | Nature Futures Competition: The Winners Revealed
At the start of this year, Futures ran a competition challenging readers to write a science-fiction story in just 200 characters. After a difficult judging session, we’re pleased to award first prize to Catherine Rastovski, who wins a year’s subscription to Nature plus a gift voucher for the Futures 1 eBook. Five runners up — Adam Flanders, Arran Frood, Judith Reeves-Stevens, Anssi Sajama and Chaim Schramm— also receive gift vouchers for Futures 1.  Read more
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10:18 AM | Nature Futures Competition: The Winners Revealed
At the start of this year, Futures ran a competition challenging readers to write a science-fiction story in just 200 characters. After a difficult judging session, we’re pleased to award first prize to Catherine Rastovski, who wins a year’s subscription to Nature plus a gift voucher for the Futures 1 eBook. Five runners up — Adam Flanders, Arran Frood, Judith Reeves-Stevens, Anssi Sajama and Chaim Schramm— also receive gift vouchers for Futures 1.  Read more

April 06, 2014

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7:32 PM | Readers Write In: A New (Challenging?) Snake For Us to Identify
    Just a few days after our first snake identification challenge of 2014, another snake picture appeared in my e-mail. Most of you already know that I am happy to identify snakes and answer wildlife questions, but please do know my mind-reading abilities are moderate at best. If you send me a picture, please tell me why. I received this picture in an e-mail with no subject and no text. A
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7:00 PM | Collective Impact: A New Model for Regional Open Space Planning
Tim Beatley (2000: 224) cites Portland, Oregon as one example of progressive regional, bioregional, and metropolitan-scale greenspace planning in the country. Portland is also known for its land use planning and sustainability practices. Indeed, the city has more LEED (Leadership … Continue reading →

April 05, 2014

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5:25 PM | A Supply-Side Voice for the Timber Industry
The Evergreen Foundation supports sustainable forest harvest.  It’s board of directors is composed of industry and finance managers and former government employees.  The Foundation has a negative view toward “environmentalists.”  The Foundation supports the U. S. Forest Service’s use of … Continue reading →
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3:18 PM | Make a Mark for Wildlife: Arizona Wildlife Tax Check-off
“The Arizona Wildlife Fund is a voluntary program that allows Arizona taxpayers to help conserve the state’s wildlife simply by marking the Arizona Wildlife box on the annual state tax return. “Since Arizona started the program more than 25 years … Continue reading →
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10:07 AM | Dealing with non-normal data: are you skewed?
I was recently trying to model some data from a normal distribution but the data were right-skewed.  No amount of transformation could eliminate this.  In the past, I’ve dealt with this by using the skew normal distribution.  But rather than match distributions to … Continue reading →
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12:47 AM | Chinese orchids are in trouble, here’s how to save them
Orchid species suffer thanks to their use in Traditional Medicine. Most conservation efforts don’t work but some scientists have an unconventional proposal. See on conservationmagazine.orgFiled under: Botany, Nature Conservation Tagged: biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Human Impact
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12:09 AM | Advocating Nature Conservation With Fiction
In Corr Syl the Warrior, I felt the communal sense of the animal kingdom from the up close observations of several other animal characters as Corr is introduced. In Garry's book, what stands out are the feelings his characters evoke through their thoughtful and sapient actions. Continue reading →

April 04, 2014

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11:33 PM | Help give renosterveld a home – Africa Geographic Magazine Blog
On the southernmost end of the African continent lies the smallest, but richest, plant kingdom on Earth: the Cape Floristic Kingdom. Within this incredible system is a plethora of different vegetation types all facing various levels of threat. However, there … Continue reading →
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10:53 PM | HARBIN, China: China’s tiger parks under fire from conservationists, animal cruelty experts
The tourists piled into the bus, which took them through a series of gates into an enclosed, snow-covered field. Within minutes, the bus _ modified so that a steel cage covered the windows _ was surrounded by more than 20 … Continue reading →
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8:31 PM | This year’s National Public Health Week: Better health starts with public health
When Brian Castrucci sees signs up at local retailers offering discounts to police officers and firefighters, he thinks: Why not public health too?
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6:16 PM | Keeping up with the scientific Joneses
It’s really hard to find relevant articles in the morass of papers that are out there. xcorr has an excellent post up detailing recommendations on how to keep up with the scientific literature: To do good research, you have to be well-informed of the latest scientific developments both in your narrow field of study and […]
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3:32 PM | How should you judge a theoretical model?
When faced with a model of the world (in physics, neuroscience, economics, ecology), how should you judge that theory? Cyrus Samii suggests 5 ways. Here is number 2: 2. If any result can be engineered then results themselves have no special ontological status. This is another way of asking whether a model has empirical content, […]
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3:30 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Stephanie Schuttler
Dr. Stephanie Schuttler grew up in Buffalo, New York, and went to a middle school that embraced high student achievement. There she wasn’t considered a nerd or picked on for liking conservation or listening to Nirvana. She spent time enjoying “splash hikes” with her family during vacations – putting on old sneakers and hiking up a streambed instead of a trail. It was her parents’ love of nature that eventually led her down the path towards biology. Read on to learn […]
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3:29 PM | The Coelacanth has had its day
Who hasn’t wanted to bring an extinct species back into existence? Sure, there are risks, both physical (T. rex and pathogens) and ethical (Neanderthals), and sure, we’re better off without some species (smallpox and mososaurs), but how about the gastric brooding frog and the thylacine and the dodo and so on? Surely the world would be a better – or at least not worse – place if we hadn’t lost them. Enter the de-extinctionmovement, which seeks to bring extinct […]
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2:22 PM | Another oil leak reported in southern Utah; At The Grand Staircase
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Burnt sagebrush and oil-covered junipers line the perimeter of the pond at Citation Oil Company’s #11 oil well leak in Dixie National Forest, Wednesday, April… See on donlichterman.wordpress.comFiled under: Nature Conservation
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1:59 PM | Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission discusses evidence-based policy and nurturing and supporting a European scientific culture
Professor Anne Glover joined the European Commission as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President in January 2012, and is the first person to hold this position.  Read more
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1:59 PM | Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission discusses evidence-based policy and nurturing and supporting a European scientific culture
Professor Anne Glover joined the European Commission as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President in January 2012, and is the first person to hold this position.  Read more
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1:41 PM | Lunar dust mission still chasing mystery of ‘horizon glow’
NASA is preparing one last blast for its expired Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft — a controlled crash into the Moon’s surface, probably on 21 April. But before it goes, LADEE will take a final shot at unraveling one of the top mysteries it went to the Moon to uncover.  Read more
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1:41 PM | Lunar dust mission still chasing mystery of ‘horizon glow’
NASA is preparing one last blast for its expired Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft — a controlled crash into the Moon’s surface, probably on 21 April. But before it goes, LADEE will take a final shot at unraveling one of the top mysteries it went to the Moon to uncover.  Read more
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1:21 PM | European Commission report urges legal reform to help scientists text-mine research papers
European copyright law should change to help researchers use computer programs to extract facts and data from published research papers, legal experts have urged in a report [pdf] for the European Commission published today.  Read more
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1:21 PM | European Commission report urges legal reform to help scientists text-mine research papers
European copyright law should change to help researchers use computer programs to extract facts and data from published research papers, legal experts have urged in a report [pdf] for the European Commission published today.  Read more
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1:04 PM | Young vervet monkeys look to mom when learning
Wild ThingsAnimals by Sarah Zielinski 10:01am, April 4, 2014 Young vervet monkeys look to mom when presented with a problem, such as how to eat a grape covered with sand.Marie and Alistair Knock/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Vervet monkeys can learn from each other. Last year, Science News reported, scientists showed that young male monkeys are capable of social learning: When they leave the group […]
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1:00 PM | Plantwise develops new app for farmers
CABI’s Plantwise team along with specialists White October have developed an app, to help farmers in remote locations get help with their plant problems. The app, that aims to improve world food security, has already received some good local press and radio coverage .   The Plantwise ‘Factsheets library’ is an Android app that crucially, is designed […]
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1:00 PM | What we’re reading: Coevolving diversity, gut microbiota and gas, and killing the phrase “next-generation sequencing”
In the journals Boots M., A. White, A. Best, and R. Bowers. 2014. How specificity and epidemiology drive the coevolution of static trait diversity in hosts and parasites. Evolution. doi: 10.1111/evo.12393 We examine theoretically how epidemiological feedbacks and the characteristics … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Friday recommended reads #23
Pseudoscorpions are awesome. I mean, literally, they inspire awe. Here are ten facts about pseudoscorpions including some great photos of these tiny creatures, too. How are highly ranked liberal arts schools different from the rest of them? This post on Memoirs of a SLACer nails it. You may have heard about some furor about a […]
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12:00 PM | Friday Roundup: The Week's Wildlife Links (April 4th, 2014)
Did you already take a guess at our first snake identification challenge of 2014? Japan will no longer be allowed to go whaling in the Antarctic. But what does this new ruling actually mean? For the first time since the 1700s, the nene, an endangered Hawaiian goose, is nesting on Oahu's North Shore. The Night Lizard Cometh...back! Good news for a once-rare reptile. Poaching is up for the Red
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11:50 AM | Friday links: community assembly vs. Go, Hurlbert vs. neuroscientists, and more (UPDATED)
Also this week: paying for the party, Dan Simberloff interview, brazening it out, “just so” stories, why Meg almost had to punch Jeremy, and more… From Meg: According to this article, which reports on an analysis of statistical methods in … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | April Flump’s Day!
April 1st might have been April Fool’s Day, or Le Poisson D’Avril if you’re into sticking fish on your friends’ . . .
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