It’s Not Always Easy Being Green

You’ve probably heard “you are what you eat” as it pertains to health, but have you considered the phrase as it pertains to sustainability? Your environmental impact is partly defined by the environmental impact of your eating habits. And those can carry a lot of weight, with global food production being a major source of fuel and water consumption, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions.

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Duck broods are more resilient than expected in the face of oil and natural gas extraction

The Bakken Formation, a unique geological feature in the midwestern US and Canada, is a mecca for oil reserves and duck habitat. Scientists aimed to better understand how increased oil production has impacted the establishment and survival of duck broods.

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Salty about coastal walls

Artificial barriers are one of humans favorite thing to build. We build them to keep ‘other’ people in or out. We build them to keep animals in or out. And of course we build them to keep the natural environment out or our AC in. Usually walls are just temporary solutions to a much deeper problem which is definitely true in the case of sea level rise. Coastal communities need walls to protect against flooding. But what happens when to the impounded ecosystem when mother nature crashes through the wall anyway?

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Hang on to that tree! Lizards that survived hurricane Maria showed increases in grip strength

The 2019 hurricane season started off with a bang. It’s clear that climate change has affected the frequency and severity of hurricanes. To understand whether species will be able to cope with more frequent severe storms we need more research to see how hurricanes can affect populations of plants and animals. Read on to find out how hurricane Maria in 2017 affected lizards in Dominica.

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Detective Work in the Nuclear Era: Investigating a Mysterious Radioactive Event

Nuclear alarm bells rang loudly in 2017 when sensors all around Europe detected sudden increases of a potent radioactive substance in the air. There were no known nuclear-related incidents or accidents at the time. This is the story of how a multi-national team worked together to monitor, analyze, and finally pinpoint the source of this still-undeclared release of radioactive material.

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Crowdsourcing Sharks: a citizen science success story

Conserving the environment and its organisms works most effectively when managers and scientists have a lot of environmental information. However, some of the world’s most vulnerable animals, like the sand tiger shark, are also the most secretive. Luckily for these scary looking predators, amateur scientists can be an agent of change.

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Be quiet, please – I’m listening for bees

Sounds are everywhere in nature, and are important communication tools for many organisms. Plants may not be the first organisms you’d think of that would rely on sound to assess their environment, but new research shows that flowers can respond to the sound of a nearby buzzing bee by producing sweetened nectar, likely an adaptation that lets them avoid “wasting” resources on nectar production in the absence of hungry pollinators.

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Which Wetland? National Dataset Helps Reduce Flood Risk

Flooding is an expensive and dangerous problem across the globe. Freshwater wetlands can help reduce flood risk and damage. During large storm events, wetlands hold extra water allowing it more time to flow downstream or into the soil. In order to help communities understand where to spend their time and resources to utilize these important landscape features, researchers created a national dataset that identifies the wetlands that would be best for mitigating flood risk.

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Can shellfish farming clean our coastal waters?

Coastal waters throughout the United States and the globe are suffering from an excess of nitrogen due to human activities. Excess nitrogen comes from a variety of sources such as wastewater treatment plants and can impact the health of coastal habitats. Coastal managers are adopting a variety of practices to limit the nitrogen inputs to coastal waters including improved stormwater and wastewater treatments, but could shellfish farming help clean our coastal waters? A study from Cape Cod, Massachusetts sought to quantify how much nitrogen can be removed from coastal waters through oyster and quahog farming.

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