nature Archives - State of the Planet

The Pope’s Challenge on Climate Change

Pope Francis’s broad-ranging encyclical warns that we are destroying our common home and face an immense and urgent challenge to protect it. But it goes far beyond just the subject of climate change, calling for a holistic and sustainable future.

‘Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound’ at The Bruce Museum

“Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound,” on display now at The Bruce Museum of Arts and Sciences, is both informative and visually engaging. Running until March 23, the exhibition introduces the ecology and evolutionary history of these mollusks, but that’s not all. True to a museum of both art and science, The Bruce has drawn in local history as well, displaying oystermen’s tools, vintage oyster advertisements, and even an early American Impressionist painting. This exhibit highlights the tremendous impact that oysters have had on New England, both ecologically and culturally.

by |March 7, 2014

Reflections on an Ecological Study Abroad Experience

“Everything is so alive in the forest. After a nice summer rain it teems with insects, birds and the famous coquis, Puerto Rico’s native frogs. The song of the coquis take a little getting used to, but they soon lull you to sleep in the humid nights,” says Jennifer Mendez, a student in the first class of the Summer Ecosystem Experience for Undergraduates in Puerto Rico.

by |November 15, 2012

Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey

In a gigantic and remote rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of Old World monkey known as the “Lesula.”

by |September 21, 2012

Summer 2012 SEE-U Study Abroad Experience

Summer 2012 applications for the Student Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduate program are now being accepted. Undergraduate students of all majors can apply for the opportunity to conduct field work and study unique ecosystems abroad.

by |March 5, 2012

Two Wren Brains Are Better Than One

When researchers observed activity in the brains of plain-tailed wrens while singing, they discovered something striking: In both sexes, the neurons reacted more strongly to the duet song than individual contributions — they are seemingly wired to enhance cooperation.

by |November 7, 2011

White-Nose Syndrome is Driving Conservation Batty

Scientists report in a recently published article in Nature that the fungus Geomyces destructans found on bats afflicted with White Nose Syndrome is the primary cause of the disease. However, amidst all the muck of doom and gloom, researchers report in the July issue of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases that affected bats can be nursed back to health with constant medical attention, food, warmth, and water. With no signs of the infection slowing and more than one million bats succumbing to white nose syndrome in the past five years, the conservation community should be on high alert.

by |October 27, 2011

Executive Courses in Sustainable Coastal Economies, Urban Resilience, and Conservation

The Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University provides professionals with the knowledge and tools to be effective environmental leaders and decision makers in the 21st century. It is an evening program in which environmental issues are discussed, debated and examined, where participants develop an in-depth understanding of conservation science and practice through case studies and a focus on Environmental Policy, Management and Finance.

by |October 21, 2011

Robotic Bug Sparks a Flighty Debate on Evolution

A robotic bug’s attempts to fly were no match for gravity – the critter was unable to soar above the ground. The findings shed light on a longstanding debate about the evolutionary origins of flight, as scientists have long debated whether birds first evolved flight as ground dwellers or tree jumpers.

by |October 20, 2011

Green Sidewalk is Electrifying

Utilizing innovative technology to transform physical impact into electricity, PaveGen is literally, as the company tagline describes, “Generating Energy from footsteps.”

by |October 14, 2011