Striving to Be Everywhere, All the Time: How Citizen Science Can Help Environmental Research

The world is pretty big. Sometimes, even when scientists breakdown and reduce their study area, they don’t have the resources to collect enough samples to be able to reliably interpret the results of their studies. Here is where citizen science comes in. Citizen science is when the general public becomes voluntarily involved in scientific processes, helping researchers collect data and reporting on what they see. But, how efficient and accurate is this new resource we’re only recently applying? And, how can you get involved?

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Abracadabra, patas de cabra: El tiburón fantasma de las profundidades desarrolló un sexto sentido

Las burbujas que surgen de las profundidades del mar son señal de problemas: un enfrentamiento entre un depredador y su presa. Las profundidades marinas, un hábitat relativamente inexplorado y misterioso, albergan criaturas que se han adaptado a la oscuridad y el silencio del fondo del océano durante cientos de millones de años. Pasar tanto tiempo en estas duras condiciones ha obligado al tiburón fantasma a desarrollar un sexto sentido: la capacidad de detectar cambios en el campo electromagnético. Los científicos están empezando a descubrir esta historia fantasmal, pero gran parte de ella sigue siendo un misterio.

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SCUBA Diving and Climate Change: How Dive Computers Can Be Used To Better Understand Changing Ocean Temperatures

Dive computers are devices used to measure the elapsed time and depth during underwater diving in order to prevent accidents from rising through the water too quickly. Modern-day dive computers record water temperatures and GPS coordinates, and some even send out text messages—this is why citizen scientists with dive computers are being contacted to contribute to the larger pool of climate information. These devices could be used to more accurately study changes in ocean temperature. In the end, divers are the ones in the water day in and day out, so why not use their experience as a resource of information to fight climate change?

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Soft Manatee, Warm Manatee? Understanding How Manatees Behave

Antillean manatees are an endangered subspecies of manatee that live in the warm waters of the Caribbean, but little is known about their behavior, both in the wild and under human care. This is why scientists in France set out to better understand and define manatee behavior in captivity, identifying how bold or shy they were and how they acted towards novel and familiar stimuli.

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A New Compound Makes Waves for Oil Spill Clean Up

Phase-Selective Organo-WHAT? Scientists are studying complex chemicals called Phase-Selective Organogelators (or PSOGs) to better understand their ability to clean up oil spills. These chemicals create a gel when added, in small quantities, to crude oil. The use of these chemicals could be a game changer when it comes to remediating marine oil spills. It would facilitate the way these disasters are handled, shortening the time it’s left affecting the organisms that live and interact in marine ecosystems

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Fire and Animal Behavior: How Forest Fires are Mediating Predator-Prey Interactions

Fires, both from intentional and unintentional sources, have been altering our ecosystems for as long as history has been recorded, yet little is known about how these occurrences affect animal behavior, especially concerning predator-prey interactions. Countless factors, including the extent of the fire and the adaptability of both predator and prey to these new conditions affect the behavior and survivability of both predator and prey. In the end, change is inevitable, but if we improve our understanding of how fires influence animal behavior, we can then help rehabilitate affected populations in more effective and efficient ways.

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Las Ranas Congeladas Ayudan a Entender Cómo Conservar Órganos Humanos Para Trasplante

Los órganos humanos para trasplante son escasos y difíciles de mantener con vida. Se han utilizado métodos para prolongar su vida, pero aun así solo se llega a satisfacer el 10% de la necesidad mundial de trasplantes al año. Existen especies de ranas que son capaces de sobrevivir el invierno utilizando mecanismos no convencionales. ¿Y si en los mecanismos de estas ranas encontramos una manera de preservar la viabilidad de los órganos humanos para trasplante por mas tiempo?

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Microplastics In Our Fish: How Fish Food Is Affecting Our Food Supply and Our Health

Microplastics are small plastic particles ranging in size from 1μm (the size of a human hair) to 5mm (the size of a pencil-top eraser) that don’t dissolve in water and are usually fragmented from larger pieces of plastics. That sounds like something that should never end up on our plates, right? Well, researchers have found that these small plastics have, unfortunately, found their way into our food chain.

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