(112) results in Blog

This Iowa farm uses eco-friendly no-till practices to grow corn and soybeans. (Credit: Jason Johnson, USDA NRCS Iowa)

February 10, 2016

Organic farming could help feed the planet and protect it

Every day, it seems, there’s a new food trend. Low fat, gluten free, sugar free, organic. That last one probably conjures up images of a quaint country farm, with orderly rows of leafy vegetables and free-range...

A teacher and her audience at Acadia National Park, Maine. ©NPS

January 25, 2016

A natural beauty: American geoheritage

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) recently announced that the 2016 Earth Science Week theme is “Our Shared Geoheritage.” A somewhat new term for American ears, geoheritage is defined as … the collection of natural wonders, landforms,...

800px-Ocean_surface_wave

January 5, 2016

A bright future powered by clean energy: Three projects to watch in 2016

Industrial waste is converted to gasoline, drinking water powers a city, and ocean waves supply an electric grid – these are just some of the advances in green energy that made news in 2015. Let’s take a...

2015

December 30, 2015

Selected Science of 2015

With 2015 coming to a close, here’s a selection (and by no means a complete list) of some of the significant science stories of the year:   Homo naledi expands the Homo genus As Prof. Nathan H. Lents wrote...

Ocean temperature patterns shift atmospheric circulation during El Niño events. (Credit: Climate.gov)

November 6, 2015

What’s so monstrous about “Godzilla El Niño”?

This week, an early season storm hit the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, burying them under feet of snow. The blizzard allowed one ski area, Mammoth Mountain, to open for business yesterday, ahead of schedule. And...

Footfalls of large mammals, propagating along the surface of the earth as Rayleigh waves, are measurable in the ground at varying distances depending on the energy of the signal.  ©O’Connell-Rodwell, C.E. (2007). Keeping an "ear" to the ground: Seismic communication in elephants. Physiology, 22(4), 287-294.

November 4, 2015

Shake and quiver: Vibrational communication in animals

Living underground, moles experience a world very different from our own. The dark, subterranean environment lacks the usual cues for direction, distance, or time, forcing moles to use other methods to perceive their habitat. Using senses...

Artist's rendition of a primitive ocean on Mars.
©NASA/GSFC

October 19, 2015

Water, Water, Everywhere

We’ve long known that water was present in the atmosphere of Venus and that frozen water is trapped in the polar ice caps visible on Mars. However, it seems that there have been a slew of...

The Yeung family cat (or rather, an image of the family cat) is seen at about 70,000 feet above Earth's surface.  ©Winston Yeung

September 15, 2015

Image of the Week: Cat at the Edge of Space

The Yeung family cat (or rather, an image of the family cat) is seen at about 70,000 feet above Earth’s surface. ©Winston Yeung Two bright and determined young scientists, Kimberly and Rebecca Yeung, built a helium...

Self-driving cars use sensors to determine the flow of traffic and avoid obstacles. (Credit: Sam Churchill via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

July 7, 2015

Self-driving taxis could help commuters and climate

Today, if you need to get somewhere, you might catch a lift with another driver using a ride-sharing service like Uber. But twenty years from now, you might just catch a ride with a car —...

Discarded cigarette butts, the most common environmental waste product, attract egg-laying mosquitoes. (Wikimedia Commons)

June 28, 2015

Cigarettes kick butt in mosquito control

What happens to the 6 trillion cigarettes smoked around the world every year? About two-thirds of them end up tossed into the environment. Besides being non-biodegradable, smoked cigarette butts contain 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69...