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Posts tagged with "Ecology"

  • Wingspan
    Elizabeth Hargrave


    When birding meets board games, everyone wins

    For many, the thought of board games may evoke memories of family game nights centered on childhood classics such as Monopoly. However, a relatively recent boom in adult board game enthusiasts has led game designers to explore more diverse themes, including those that model scientific concepts (1, 2). Perhaps, then, it was only inevitable that… Read More
  • In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World
    Lauren E. Oakes


    Even as extinction looms for her subjects, an ecologist maintains hope for a better future

    In the introduction to In Search of the Canary Tree, ecologist Lauren Oakes establishes a hopeful tone for what is, for many who study environmental change, an emotionally taxing topic: “This book is about finding faith… as a force that summons local solutions to a global problem, that helps me live joyfully and choose what… Read More
  • Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter
    Ben Goldfarb

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    Recognizing their role in maintaining healthy watersheds, “beaver believers” work to rehab the rodent’s reputation

    Why should we care about beavers? Consider all they do. Beavers convert vegetation to marsh to wetland and back again. They facilitate water storage in ponds and recharge groundwater. Ponds and meadows sculpted by beavers concentrate nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Not only does this create fertile ground, it helps filter agricultural runoff. Beaver-dammed… Read More
  • 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

    Book ,

    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
  • ¡Cuba!
    Ana Luz Porzecanski and Chris Raxworthy, curators

    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