New GIS-based Methods Allow More Accurate Estimation of Conservation Costs

The total costs of land conservation includes costs of acquisition, maintenance, preservation, logistics, and sometimes litigation. Many time, these costs have been far above what was budgeted for them, partly due to flawed methods of estimating those costs in the first place. New mapping techniques show first, the flaws in these methods, and second, the potential to estimate the actual costs far more accurately. This will allow for more efficient planning, and a lower likelihood of conservation projects encountering unexpected costs.

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Joining forces: The role of the natural and social sciences in addressing the Global Nitrogen Problem

A wealth of scientific knowledge exists on the role of nitrogen in the natural and agricultural world, with research dating back over a century. Nitrogen sustains life and has enabled modern food production to keep up with the demands of the growing human population. However, we have reached a critical state where the use of synthetic nitrogen needs to be regulated due to the multitude of environmental impacts. The problem is that the effect nitrogen has on the planet is rarely discussed outside of scientific circles. With the recent development of international campaigns to address the global nitrogen problem, it’s time to put nitrogen research into practice with the help of social science.

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Plastic Pollution and Penguins?

Many people may see plastic pollution as a local issue, but did you know that small pieces of plastic have made their way to super remote locations? Plastic pollution has been documented in Antarctica, one of the most remote locations on the planet, for decades. Now though, scientists are finding out that microplastics, which are harmful to marine life, are also making their way to Antarctica. Researchers documented similar levels of microplastics in Antarctica as other, less remote locations globally. While many come from marine industry, we can all help solve the problem by putting less plastic into the environment.

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Can a meme save a species?

Memes are everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; the world of social media is bursting with amusing images embellished with a witty caption. Memes stay on the pulse of changing cultures and reflect social ideas and current events. But can they also help encourage the protection of species that don’t commonly garner media headlines?

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Industrial Revolution Pollution Suppresses Succession in Lichen Communities

Lichens are indicators of air pollution and ecosystem health. In London parks, researchers found that historical pollution may have decreased the lichen diversity. Sulfur emissions from the Industrial Revolution and modern nitrogen emissions stall the growth of lichens on urban trees hinting at larger effects on ecosystem health.

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Bats Can Chat! Bats use echolocation to identify group members

Halloween has passed, but we can still have fun talking about bats! Bats use echolocation to find food, but could there be more hiding in these calls? Social bats search for prey together to reduce the time and energy it takes to find food. Besides, teamwork makes the dream work! Bats need to identify group members to know who is searching and where they have been. Echolocation calls are distinct between individuals allowing bats to discriminate among groupmates.

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Starting at the Bottom: The Potential Impact of Climate Action by Sub-National Entities in the United States

International agreements on climate change action, like the Paris Agreement of 2016, are typically reached by individual countries working together. However, sub-national governments and non-governmental entities pursuing their own policies of combating climate change can often lead to significant positive impact. The United States, which signed and then withdrew from the Paris Agreement, is a model of this scenario.

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