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Posts tagged with "Ecology"

  • Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees
    Thor Hanson

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    A charming natural history celebrates the idiosyncrasies of bees and the people passionate about protecting them

    We have bees to thank for some of the better features of our world, from the fruits and vegetables we eat to the world’s flowering plants, which radiated alongside them during the Cretaceous. Nearly 90% of plant species require pollinators (an added benefit for anyone who suffers from wind-borne pollen allergies). Humans even seem to… Read More
  • Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The Untold Story of Coffee from the Cloud Forests of Ethiopia to Your Cup
    Jeff Koehler

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    A wide-ranging natural history illuminates the pleasures and the plight of wild coffee

    The global seed bank in Svalbard, Norway, houses innumerable seeds, cuttings, and germ plasm belonging to hundreds of breadbasket crops such as wheat and rice (1). But at least one famous species is missing: coffee. Like most tropical plants, coffee has a recalcitrant seed—that is, it cannot go dormant to await the right conditions for… Read More
  • Where the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics
    James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti

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    Observing animal movement has come a long way, thanks to advances in data science and technology

    Animal tracking has been an enduring interest throughout history. Until recently, however, tracking simply meant following the tracks of animals. In the mid-20th century, VHF radio-telemetry revolutionized the way we study the distribution, movement, and home range use of many wide-ranging mammals and birds. What has been colloquially called the “collar ’em and foller ’em”… Read More
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions
    Peter Brannen

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    The Ends of the World

    It’s disconcerting to remember that there are vast eons of geologic history recorded in the rocks just beneath our feet. Peter Brannen begins his surprisingly lyrical investigation of Earth’s mass extinctions on just such a juxtaposition: standing on the Palisades basalt in New Jersey, where a major die-off occurred more than 200 million years ago… Read More
  • Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future
    Rob Dunn

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    PODCAST: Q&A with Rob Dunn, author of Never Out of Season

    With little regard for pests and pathogens, we increasingly rely on a dwindling diversity of crops to keep us fed. This week on the Science podcast, Jennifer Golbeck interviews biologist Rob Dunn about the risks facing staple food crops and the precarious state of modern food production.   Read More
  • Game , ,

    A pair of climate-focused board games promises smart fun for gaming enthusiasts

    Board games are growing as a popular hobby in mainstream culture and academic circles, thanks, in part, to the rise of “Eurogames,” which emphasize strategy and individual development over luck and conflict. Given their wide appeal, board games also represent a media form ripe with potential for science education. This review presents two board games… Read More
  • Exhibition , ,

    An immersive exhibition introduces visitors to Cuba’s rich culture and biodiversity

    The passing of Fidel Castro brought renewed popular attention to Cuba, a nation whose turbulent history continues to spark passionate debate. Unlike its political history, however, the vast ecological and cultural richness that thrives in Cuba is relatively lesser known; so, too, is the challenge of conserving these resources in the wake of climate change. Read More
  • Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature
    Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Ines Texeira do Rosario

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    Budding naturalists: head outdoors!

    Age Range: 8 – 12 years Grade Level: 3 – 6 Turn off your electronics and open the door. What’s out there? These authors want you to go outside and look for yourself. A few pages of the book are set aside for full-color paintings of plants and animals, but most pages offer muted but… Read More
  • Treecology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Trees and Forests
    Monica Russo

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    Hands-on science for tree huggers

    Age Range: 7 – 12 years Grade Level: 2 and up Trees are the stuff of childhood memories. They provide nature’s monkey bars, ample matter for leaf-pile fun, reprieve from the summer heat, and home for myriad creatures of the animal world. In Treecology, author Monica Russo and photographer Kevin Byron present almost everything a… Read More
  • Ricky's Atlas: Mapping a Land on Fire
    Judith L. Li

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    Fire in the forest

    Age Range: 8 – 12 years Grade Level: 3 – 6 Maps, field notes, and illustrations enrich the body text in Ricky’s Atlas, offering much to be unpackaged and explored for readers of all ages. At the book’s heart is the narrative of Ricky Zamora, who is visiting his uncle’s ranch in Oregon, east of… Read More