Category: Agriculture-Food

Geology and Filming in Mizoram

by | 3.27.2015 at 2:08pm
A small boat sailing up a scenic river in Mizoram.

In the small town of Kolasib, we stayed in Hotel Cloud 9. I had been told since I was a child that I was always off on Cloud 9 and now I was actually here. However, the electricity wasn’t for the first few hours, so showers were cold, but the dinner was hot.

Tiger Footprints and Dhaka

by | 3.24.2015 at 9:42am | 1 Comment
Tiger pugmarks (footprints) in the tidal channel.  Our guide estimated 5-6 hours old.

We finished our time in the Sundarbans with a silent boat ride in a tidal creek. The highlight was sets of fresh tiger footprints. We then had a long sail back to Dhaka with only one stop at a village. We then had a whirlwind tour of Old Dhaka with enough shopping to send the students back happy.

Salt Kilns and Landscape Change in the Sundarbans

by | 3.21.2015 at 6:58am | 1 Comment
As the sun sets, we climb into the launch to leave the island and return to the Kokilmoni

Leaving Hiron Point, we headed east through the Sundarbans to Kotka. At Kotka the students had walks through the forest seeing deer, wild boar and monkeys, while a smaller group also sampled near a set of 300 year old salt making kilns for OSL dating. We managed to finish while the tide inundated the site. We ended our day with a visit to an island that has recently emerged from the slain which the succession from bare sand to mangrove is visible.

Polder 32 and Hiron Point

by | 3.20.2015 at 12:48pm
Group photo at Hiron Point in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest - a world heritage site.

We visited Polder 32, an embanked island in the delta that was flooded for almost two years when the embankment failed in several places during Cyclone Aila. In addition to the problem of increased subsidence due to the embankment, the area struggles for fresh water. Then we sailed to Hiron Point, a forest station in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. We serviced equipment we have here while our armed guards watch for tigers.

Working in the Bangladeshi Countryside

by | 3.20.2015 at 6:08am
Tanner and Yassamin in a discussion at sunset.

After traveling by boat for two days, including crossing the Sundarban Mangrove Forest, we finally arrived in Khulna. We drove to the site of our compaction meter and separated into teams servicing the instruments, investigating agricultural practices, measuring arsenic in the well water and taking sediment samples for dating. We had finally started our work in rural Bangladesh.

Sailing Around Political Unrest in Bangladesh

by | 3.15.2015 at 7:24am
The M/V Kokilmoni, our home for the next 8 days. This tourist boat for the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest came all the way to Dhaka to pick us up.

With the roads in Bangladesh hazardous to drive because of the ongoing political unrest, our undergraduate sustainable development class managed to proceed with our class trip over Spring Break by doing all travel by boat.

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2015 and Beyond

by | 3.10.2015 at 11:24am
Mono Lake Saturday 022 crop

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers study the dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Here is a list of expeditions going on this year, and beyond.

Study Finds Genetic Clues to How Plants Adapt to Climate

by | 1.30.2015 at 4:25pm
Arabidopsis thaliana. Photo: Penn State

Using supercomputers to analyze hundreds of thousands of genetic markers, scientists say they have found how a common weed uses its genetic code to adapt to changes in its environment such as cold and drought. The findings could help develop crops that are more adaptable to climate change.

Photo Essay: Fire and Ice off Cascadia

by | 1.26.2015 at 11:41am
Lamont graduate student Bridgit Boulahanis takes a break from analyzing bathymetry data on the computer to process a fresh core.  (Gene Henry)

A team of scientists traveled to the Pacific Northwest aboard the R/V Atlantis last fall to investigate whether the waxing and waning of ice ages and volcanic eruptions are somehow related.

Toxic Chemicals All Around Us: Is Green Chemistry the Answer?

by | 12.8.2014 at 3:40pm
Photo: Queens University

We live in a world filled with synthetic chemicals, many with known or suspected health hazards. Can green chemistry, the design of chemical products without hazardous substances, provide a solution?