Posts by Christine Hoekenga

Christine Hoekenga

Christine is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist, specializing in science and nature. She holds an Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Media Studies and a Master's of Science Writing. She has been working in science communication and education for nearly a decade as a journalist, an organizer for conservation groups, and a museum educator. Before joining the Visionlearning team, she served as the New Media and Online Community Manager for the Webby award-winning Smithsonian Ocean Portal. Christine is assisting Visionlearning with developing new modules and glossary terms, managing the blog, and outreach through social media.

(60) results in Blog

Indian Collecting Cochineal with a Deer Tail by José Antonio de Alzate y Ramírez (1777)

April 6, 2015

Bugs to Dye for: The Colorful Science and History of Cochineal

What gives that red hue to your strawberry yogurt or the pinkish tint to the vitamin tablet you take every morning? It just might come from an insect. For hundreds of years, a small, parasitic bug...

The loudest (and quietest) places in the U.S.
Credit: National Parks Service Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division

February 21, 2015

Image of the Week: Picturing—and Preserving—Soundscapes

Shhh. Do you hear that? Last week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in San Jose, CA, all eyes (and ears) were fixed on a new map from the National...

Nicolaus Steno Portrait

January 9, 2015

Nicolaus Steno: An Unlikely Geology Genius

Portrait of Nicolaus Steno as a bishop. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons Nicolaus Steno could not have guessed that he would one day be known as a father of modern geology on the fateful day in October...

Colorful gum drops

October 19, 2014

The Science of Sugar

With Halloween just around the corner, candy is on the brain. So it’s fitting that the American Chemical Society has chosen “The Sweet Side of Chemistry–Candy” as the theme for this year’s celebration of National Chemistry...

Researcher with skeleton of Dreadnoughtus schrani

September 14, 2014

Meet Dreadnoughtus and Dendrogramma, New Species Great and Small

Last week, scientists announced two incredible discoveries of new species, one an enormous land animal and the other a tiny marine creature. Researcher Kenneth Lacovara with the skeleton of Dreadnoughtus schrani. Image: Kenneth Lacovara Measuring nearly...

Southern Ocean phytoplankton

August 17, 2014

Pieces of an Atmospheric Puzzle

Take two breaths. One came from the ocean. More specifically, it came from microscopic plant-like organisms known at phytoplankton, which produce half of Earth’s oxygen as they drift around the ocean (and other water bodies). Together...

purple nut sedge

July 18, 2014

Studying Food and Culture with Chemistry

Earlier this week a team of researchers from the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain published a paper in the journal PLOS ONE with new details about the diets of ancient people who lived in what is...

June 13, 2014

Video of the Week: Clues about our Origins from New Fossils of Prehistoric Fish

Getting a clear picture of our early evolutionary ancestors is challenging, in part because one of the biggest tools in reconstructing the past is fossil evidence. Fossils are very telling when it comes to bones, but...

white lab mouse

May 16, 2014

Fixing (the Other) Gender Bias in Scientific Research

You’ve probably heard about research indicating that–despite significant progress–there is still a gender gap in science. Women are underrepresented in many STEM fields. They may face subtle biases from professors and potential mentors. And, on average,...

In 1912, five British scientists and explorers set out to reach the South Pole.

April 4, 2014

Tragedies in Science: The Terra Nova Expedition

On March 29, 1912, Captain Robert Falcon Scott made the final entry in his journal, which concluded: We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot...