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Sandy Hook New Jersey bioblitz

Make Yourself Count: Sandy Hook ‘BioBlitz’

Amateur naturalists will gather this weekend at the Sandy Hook, N.J., unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area to count species of plants and animals.

by |September 15, 2015
Antarctica from below. A Nature Review article highlights novel biodiversity found below the surface of the ice. Photo: NASA

The Otherworldly and Elusive Life Beneath Antarctica’s Ice

While renowned for the penguins, Antarctica is perhaps equally well known for what it doesn’t have: basically, anything else. But scientist Steven Chown says the view that the icy continent lacks life is “simply not true.”

by |June 29, 2015
Overhanging rooks and slumps reveal the much larger amount of erosion and land loss in the Indian Sundarban

Indian Sundarban

We arrived in Kolkata, and filmed by the Hooghly River. While it is no longer the main channel of the Ganges, it is still the Holy Ganges and we saw a funeral procession spreading ashes of a loved one while filming there. Then a 5 hour trip by car, ferry, rickshaw and boat to the Indian Sundarbans. The mangrove forest here is undergoing more erosion and land loss than in Bangladesh, where more river sediments can replenish it. The water here is more saline and the trees are small. A tiger was spotted by another boat, but was gone when we got there.

by |March 30, 2015
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Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2015 and Beyond

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.

by |March 10, 2015
The mountain pygmy possum. Photo: Phil Spark

Climate Change Poses Challenges to Plants and Animals

Because of climate change, spring, summer, fall and winter in the temperate zones are all arriving on average 1.7 days earlier than they ever have before. The changing climate with its more extreme weather is affecting many plant and animal species, disturbing their habitat and disrupting ecosystem functioning. How will plants and animals deal with these challenges?

by |February 3, 2015
Black Rock Forest

Agreement with NY State Protects Black Rock Forest

New York State will acquire a conservation easement for the Black Rock Forest, protecting the 3,800-acre preserve 50 miles north of New York City for both public use and scientific research.

by |October 30, 2014
Kroeker_Kristy UC Davis

What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change

Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, “What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?” He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.

by |September 17, 2014
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Deep Sea Mining: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Are we willing to compromise deep sea ecosystems and biodiversity for prodigious amounts of mineral materials? Will deep sea mining have the largest footprint of any single human activity on the planet? The race is on to create more progressive, environmental regulations concerning deep sea mining, but much more scientific research is still necessary to understand how to best regulate these ecosystems.

by |March 12, 2014
This section of Clausland Mountain is diverse - we counted >15 tree species without trying. Photo: N. Pederson

Fire on the Mountain, Fire in the ‘Burbs

I walked out of the house Thursday morning when my nose detected it – a forest fire! Having worked for two years in the piney woods of southwest Georgia, I had become accustomed to and, actually, come to love forest fires. That classic line kept coming into my mind, “the scent of fire in the morning reminds me of healthy forests.”

by |November 20, 2013
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Buried Treasure: Unexpected Finds and the Value of Museum Collections

As the first new species of American carnivore described in 35 years, the olinguito is big news for science. Its discovery is also big news for museums, highlighting the value of collections in an age of rapid biodiversity loss.

by |October 15, 2013