Posts

October 01, 2014

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7:07 PM | Why You Should Protect the Western Screech Owl
Here are our top five reasons why you should take action to help owls!
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3:59 PM | Not an “accident”: William Jeffrey Belk, 29, suffers fatal work-related injuries at Boise Cascade plywood plant in North Carolina
This week’s snapshot of just one work-related fatality in the U.S. This one occurred on September 26 at a plywood plant in Moncure, North Carolina.
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3:58 PM | Why do we language?
Aeon has an article on how the genetics that contribute to language are actually part of a much larger system: But over the years, it became clear that the truth about language origins was not quite as simple as a “language … Continue reading →
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3:57 PM | Aide le renard véloce à faire un retour en force!
Voici les cinq meilleures raisons de te joindre à l’équipe « Sauvons le renard véloce »!
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3:00 PM | Vegetarian Awareness Month
Originally posted on "Veganjävel":Today is the kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month, a month centered on vegetarian food in all its glory. It starts off with today’s celebration of World Vegetarian Day. This is a great opportunity…
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2:23 PM | Wild Horses a Problem for Ranchers? Wolves Could Fix That
Originally posted on strange behaviors:Today’s New York Times has a report on the wild horse population boom in the American West, and for once, I agree with the ranchers:  Bizarre federal policies over the last 40 years have caused…
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12:55 PM | Behind the Science: Ants and Ecologists on Broadway
When contemplating all the picky eaters of the world, I bet ants probably aren’t the first organisms that come to your mind. And yet ants and their food preferences are exactly what post-doctoral researchers Amy Savage and Clint Penick set out to study in New York City. Next time you’re in a big city like New York, take a break from looking up at the skyscrapers and look down at the ground. You’ll see what city ants encounter on a daily basis — an abundance of human food […]
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11:54 AM | Hubbard Fellowship Post – S’Mammals with Jasmine
This is a post written by Jasmine Cutter, one of our 2014-15 Hubbard Fellows.  All photos are by Jasmine. Howdy, Prairie Ecologist friends! I remember how much I looked forward to the Fellows’ posts before coming to the Platte River … Continue reading →
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11:26 AM | Two-in-One: Diatrypella betulina and Merismodes confusa/fasciculata
This was a stumper. I'd picked up a couple of white birch branches from the snow because something was obviously growing on them. I recognized the black bumpy eruptions as some kind of a pyrenomycete, or flask fungus, but many of those hard bumpy growths were either partially or fully covered with mysterious, minute, furry brown pellets. Insect eggs? A fungal parasite? I had no idea what they were.Birch branches with a cup fungus growing on a pyrenomycete.I took the branches home and stuck one […]
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11:26 AM | Using our posts as course material? Please tell us just so we know.
We’re aware of a number of courses at college and universities around the world that have used our posts as course material. But I suspect there are many more we don’t know about. We like to know about this just … Continue reading →
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11:26 AM | Three “Fairy Pins”: Chaenotheca brunneola, Phaeocalicium polyporaeum, and Mycocalicium subtile
"Fairy Pins" growing on Phellinus conchatus growing on black ash (Fraxinus nigra).I used to be able to count the number of hairs on a flea’s leg—with the naked eye. Not so much anymore. This age thing has got hold of me, has stolen the elasticity of the lenses of my eyes the same way it’s been slyly stealing elasticity from other parts of my body.There’s no help for the rest of me, but for my fast-failing close-up vision, my new best friend is my loupe. Without this […]
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10:48 AM | Update: New Pest & Disease Records (01 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 the first record of the leaf beetle Callosobruchus nigritus found in Soybean in India, two new rust species on Fabaceae in Brazil and preliminary data on the major pests of […]
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9:00 AM | Bison, and Mosquitoes, and Shriners, Oh My!
Lost LakeDay 14Yellowstone National ParkMiles Hiked: 10 (80.7 overall)Nearing the completion of their Master’s theses, two young, wild women struck out on the adventure of a lifetime. Meridith and Rachel’s 2012 Besties National Park Roadtrip was a transformative journey around the Western US National Parks. 10 states. 9 National Parks and 1 National Monument. One summer of fun!Ecologist in actionAfter a day of full on touristing, it was time to get serious.  Our alarms went off […]
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7:16 AM | What has nature ever done for us?
Anti-environmentalists and apathists often ask why bother to conserve nature – what does it do for us? Cue enthusiastic green arm-waving and heavy sighs from environmental scientists and ecologists who have faced this attitude their entire careers. Nature is undeniably important for the human race – we wouldn’t be here without plants fixing the sun’s energy into carbohydrates and producing oxygen as a by-product, we wouldn’t be able to grow any food to eat without […]

September 30, 2014

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10:41 PM | Human Hothouse Found to be California Drought Culprit as Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Reasserts
Originally posted on robertscribbler:This is an event that is more extreme than any in the observed record, and our research suggests that global warming is playing a role right now. — Stanford Scientist Noah Diffenbaugh **** Last week, a…
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9:49 PM | Compliments to the chef: Partnerships between school food staff, professional chefs lead to healthier eating
Building excitement around school meals with the help of guest chefs and fresh recipes could be a significant boon for school lunch programs as well as student eating habits, a new study found.
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8:17 PM | Snakes Eat Fish
Last week I highlighted a picture of a Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) eating a catfish (on right) that went viral and freaked a lot of people out. Many refused to ever enter the water again. I mentioned on that post that watersnakes eating things that live in the water, like fish, really isn't that big of a deal. Animals need to eat to live, you know? Fish are even the primary prey for
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5:06 PM | BRAIN Initiative announcements
The list of this round of BRAIN Initiative awards from the NIH has been released. MyCousinAmygdala – who may or may not actually be Krang –  made this word cloud (excluding words like “brain”). Score one for the public university system in … Continue reading →
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5:00 PM | Tenure track position at #UMichEEB in ecology or evolution of fishes or birds
Come join me at Michigan! We are doing a search for someone working on the ecology or evolution of fishes or birds. Here’s the ad: The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (www.lsa.umich.edu/eeb) and the Program in the Environment (www.lsa.umich.edu/pite) … Continue reading →
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3:58 PM | Why Einstein is so famous
Why did Einstein’s fame burn brighter than any other scientist’s? This article in the New Yorker from 1933 explains it: The chief agent in making Einstein the idol of the masses was Carr V. Van Anda, the great editor of … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Invasive species, immigrant emotions and a guilty conscience
I have a confession to make: I live in Sweden and I have lupines in my garden. I didn’t plant them, they were there when I moved in, but after two seasons I haven’t removed them either. In Sweden, I see escaped lupines along roadsides and although I’m not sure how much of a problem…
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11:00 AM | Deconstructing Defaunation
Science recently released a special issue on defaunation, which spanned seven articles detailing the recent decline in animal species diversity . . .
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10:27 AM | PhDiaries: Settling in and the first fish surveys
I am now going into my third month here in Indonesia – how crazy is that?! It feels as if the weeks are flying by, and I have hardly enough […]
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12:13 AM | The Slow-Motion Train Wreck of Industrial Civilization
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:The linear thinking that has dominated Western civilization since the Enlightenment has become a death trap for mankind in the 21st century. The dynamic system of the Earth’s biosphere with its many interconnected…

September 29, 2014

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10:48 PM | Open up
Well I don’t think for pleasure It’s just hard not to do My thinking is a measure of how much I need a clue I’m still flying blind Hoping I might find A way to stop my thinking and open … Continue reading →
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10:44 PM | Interns Summer in Review, Part 3: What’s an Imaging Science student doing at NEON?
NEON is quite the unexpected place for an Imaging Science student to do an internship. NEON is all about Ecology, so where am I supposed to fit in here? My internship is in FIU, which is the Fundamental Instrumentation Unit. FIU is a science department whose purpose is to facilitate the instrument-based collection of abiotic … Continue reading »
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7:46 PM | When it Comes to The Arctic Methane Monster, What We Don’t Know Really Could Kill Us — NASA Model Study Shows Very High Carbon Release Uncertainty
Originally posted on robertscribbler:(Can we save humanity from the greatest threat ever? Must-watch video highlights the risks and uncertainties of catastrophic methane release from the Arctic environment.) After millions of years of ice ages, the Arctic has become a…
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7:23 PM | In Wildness is the Preservation of Raccoons, In Raccoons is the Preservation of the Wild
Originally posted on Bird Ally X:Raccoon (Procyon lotor) babies have a lot to learn. As adults, Raccoons hunt and forage for a wide range of food, from songbird eggs to berries to the salmon a bear leaves behind. Raccoons…
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6:05 PM | Protecting young people working in US agriculture – How are we doing?
In announcing National Farm Safety Week, President Obama emphasized his Administration's commitment to reducing hazards of agricultural work – including for young people. So how are we doing at protecting children and teens working on farms and ranches? Note: There is no federally required safety training for youth working in agriculture. Estimated injury rate is 38 per day and fatalities, 115 per year
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5:44 PM | Continuing Wildfire Recovery at the Niobrara Valley Preserve
When I was at the Niobrara Valley Preserve a couple weeks ago, I spent some time exploring the area north of the river where the 2012 wildfire ripped through oak savanna and ponderosa pine woodland.  As discussed in earlier posts, … Continue reading →
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