fulab + gh   305

Darwin Was a Slacker and You Should Be Too - Issue 46: Balance - Nautilus
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang: When you examine the lives of history’s most creative figures, you are immediately confronted with a paradox: They organize their lives around their work, but not their days.
Figures as different as Charles Dickens, Henri Poincaré, and Ingmar Bergman, working in disparate fields in different times, all shared a passion for their work, a terrific ambition to succeed, and an almost superhuman capacity to focus. Yet when you look closely at their daily lives, they only spent a few hours a day doing what we would recognize as their most important work. The rest of the time, they were hiking mountains, taking naps, going on walks with friends, or just sitting and thinking. Their creativity and productivity, in other words, were not the result of endless hours of toil. Their towering creative achievements result from modest “working” hours.
How did they manage to be so accomplished? Can a generation raised to believe that 80-hour workweeks are necessary for success learn something from the lives of the people who laid the foundations of chaos theory and topology or wrote Great Expectations?
I think we can. If some of history’s greatest figures didn’t put in immensely long hours, maybe the key to unlocking the secret of their creativity lies in understanding not just how they labored but how they rested, and how the two relate.
[Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is the founder of the Restful Company and a visiting scholar at Stanford. His writing has appeared in such publications as Scientific American, the Atlantic, Slate, Wired, and American Scholar. He lives in Menlo Park, California.]
Darwin  creativity  blindfla  gh  KTP  from iphone
april 2017 by fulab
Naomi Oreskes - Wikipedia
Naomi Oreskes (born November 25, 1958)[1] is an American historian of science. She became Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University in 2013, after 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego.[2] She has worked on studies of geophysics, environmental issues such as global warming, and the history of science. In 2010, Oreskes co-authored Merchants of Doubt which identified some parallels between the climate change debate and earlier public controversies.[3]
KTP  gh  history  Environment  Rachel_Carson 
march 2017 by fulab
The Washington Post: Scientists create a part-human, part-pig embryo — raising the possibility of interspecies organ transplants
Scientists create a part-human, part-pig embryo — raising the possibility of interspecies organ transplants
Two new studies show the potential of "chimera" embryo research, which may one day be used to grow human organs in livestock.
blindfla  gh  genome  from iphone
january 2017 by fulab
Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation: Kyo Maclear: 9781501154201: Amazon.com: Books
[JB: Memoir about watching birds in the city by Kyo MacLear. Also on audio. Birds made author feel connected to migration, city, community. Bird song is underneath city noises.. have to listen. Lessons about waiting, cultivating patience, paying attention. Book is not just about birds. Also about the creative life and writing that allows for reader to bring in own thoughts. Book is worth a listen.]
A writer’s search for inspiration, beauty, and solace leads her to birds in this intimate and exuberant meditation on creativity and life—a field guide to things small and significant.
When it comes to birds, Kyo Maclear isn’t seeking the exotic. Rather she discovers joy in the seasonal birds that find their way into view in city parks and harbors, along eaves and on wires. In a world that values big and fast, Maclear looks to the small, the steady, the slow accumulations of knowledge, and the lulls that leave room for contemplation.
gh  books  birds  Toronto 
january 2017 by fulab
How To Make Broadcast Towers More Bird-Friendly: Turn Off Some Lights : NPR 012427
"Some research has documented that when birds are exposed to long wavelengths of light such as red or white that it actually interferes with their ability to use magnetic fields for navigation," Gehring says.
Animal CSI: Inside The Smithsonian's Feather Forensics Lab
She says that's especially true on cloudy nights when birds can't navigate by the stars. The towers' steady red lights seem to confuse them. Flashing red lights don't.
gh  birds  migration 
january 2017 by fulab
Dark Ecology | Orion Magazine2012
In a 2012 essay for Orion magazine—a piece Nicolas specifically recommended—the writer Paul Kingsnorth argued that one of the things green-minded people should do at this moment in history is build havens. “Can you think, or act, like the librarian of a monastery through the Dark Ages, guarding the old books as empires rise and fall outside?” he wrote.
blindfla  Henry_Thoreau  hermits  gh  sustainability  bf 
january 2017 by fulab
How Anarchists and Intentional Communities Are Reacting to Trump - The Atlantic
Emma Green : Why some Americans are withdrawing from mainstream society into “intentional communities”—and what the rest of the country can learn from them
blindfla  Henry_Thoreau  sustainability  gh  bf  community 
january 2017 by fulab
The Sexist Response to Andrea Wulf's Book Prize - The Atlantic 093016
After Andrea Wulf won the Royal Society’s highest honor for her book The Invention of Nature, a writer at The Guardian attributed it to a new fondness for “female-friendly” biographies among prize juries.
blindfla  gh  books  science_communication 
october 2016 by fulab
Conservation Center In Cambodia Hopes To Revive Nearly Extinct Turtles : NPR 091516
Cambodia's royal turtles were thought to be extinct but a small population was discovered in 2000. Efforts are underway to help the population thrive.
gh  turtles  NPR  conservation 
september 2016 by fulab
Outdated FEMA Flood Maps Don't Account For Climate Change : NPR 091516
The floods that hit Louisiana last month were caused by rainfall that was unlike anything seen there in centuries. Most of the southern part of the state was drenched with up to 2 or 3 inches in an hour. A total of 31 inches fell just northeast of Baton Rouge in about three days; 20 parishes were declared federal disaster areas. | Climate scientists and flood managers suspect there could more like that to come — in Louisiana and in other parts of the country. | There have always been extraordinary rainstorms — storms stronger than anyone can remember. But Nicholas Pinter, a geologist at the University of California, Davis, who researches floods, says we shouldn't write these off as once-in-a-lifetime freak events.
gh  climate_change  maps  floods  water  NPR 
september 2016 by fulab
Climate Change Happened Today - On The Media - WNYC 082616
The Red Cross estimates that the recent Louisiana flooding is the worst natural disaster in the US since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Yet Louisiana journalists noticed a distinct lack of coverage of the historically damaging rainfall for days after the devastation was clear. Even the public editor of The New York Times called the paper out for failing to give Louisiana the attention it deserved. | Andrew Revkin agrees. He writes for the Dot Earth blog at the Times, teaches at Pace University, and co-hosts the Warm Regards podcast about climate change. He talks to Brooke about the peculiarities of the story (the rainstorm didn't get a name, for instance) and how it fits into a bigger pattern of disastrous weather that accompanies climate change.
gh  climate_change  Louisiana  blindfla 
august 2016 by fulab
Louisiana Doesn't Look Like What You Think It Looks Like - On The Media - WNYC 082616
According to a famous statistic, Louisiana is losing about a football field of land every hour due to coastal erosion. That's 16 square miles lost every year; between the 1930s and 2000, land mass equaling the size of Delaware disappeared. | So why hasn't the shape of the state changed? Why do we still see the iconic boot as the symbol of Louisiana? | In 2014, Brett Anderson of the Times-Picayune wrote "Louisiana Loses Its Boot" for the website Matter. The piece proposes a radical reassessment of what we think of as "Louisiana," a new symbol that doesn't include marshland as solid land. Anderson talks to Brooke about why his map still isn't accurate, but why he hopes it'll start a conversation.
blindfla  gh  maps  Louisiana  climate_change  OTM 
august 2016 by fulab
Louisiana Loses Its Boot – Matter – Medium 2014
Brett Anderson: The boot-shaped state isn’t shaped like a boot anymore. That’s why we revised its iconic outline to reflect the truth about a sinking, disappearing place.
blindfla  gh  maps  Louisiana  climate_change 
august 2016 by fulab
Editing The Culture of Science With CRISPR - On The Media - WNYC 070116
CRISPR-based gene-drive is a new technology that enables scientists to quickly alter the genetic make-up of the entire population of a species. It's so powerful that just one genetically-modified mosquito could eradicate malaria. It's so easy to do that a grad student could (accidentally) enact these global ecological changes from their kitchen. It's also under-regulated. Under science's current culture of secrecy, ensuring that scientists are taking necessary precautions with gene-drive research is next to impossible, says CRISPR innovator Kevin Esvelt. Writing in Nature this month, Esvelt urged the scientific community to open all experiments to public scrutiny, beginning with the revolutionary and potentially world-changing gene-editing research he helped advance.
blindfla  gh  genome  RLC  science_communication  open_access  OTM 
july 2016 by fulab
New Looks at the Birth of Birding « ABA Blog 022516
A review by Frank Izaguirre: “Birders might not think of slavery as one of the catalysts of American ornithology, but maybe they should. In his illuminating Fatal Revolutions, Christopher Iannini argues that the writing of natural history in the Caribbean and southern United States was not a discrete activity pursued for its own sake, but instead was closely related to the development of a West Indian plantation economy crucially dependent on slave labor.
“In developing that thesis, Iannini draws on literary studies, history, art history, the history of science, and natural history. He explains that naturalists were often commissioned to document the natural history of the southern United States and the Caribbean—not out of idle academic interest, but with the goal of discovering how the region’s climate and ecology could be combined with slavery to produce lucrative tropical commodities for export. Much of the early knowledge of America’s birdlife was obtained in the course of explorations by sponsored naturalists such as Mark Catesby, William Bartram, John James Audubon, and even Alexander von Humboldt, names many birders are still familiar with.
gh  birds  books 
february 2016 by fulab
Wildlife Moment: Teddy Roosevelt wouldn't like what's going on in Oregon | Yakima Herald 020116
Andy Stepniewski: "And I’d also wager that the man who established the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge more than a century ago — Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican President — would not have liked seeing it turned into a political and philosophical battlefield.January’s occupation of the Malheur refuge by radical militant ranchers who demanded the return of those lands to themselves made headline news across the country. And, thankfully, it also drew attention to the value of those lands.Across the Pacific Northwest and, indeed, the United States, birders, politicians, Native Americans, conservationists and the public at large have mobilized to show their support for maintaining the Malheur and all National Wildlife Refuges as public treasures.The multitudes of snow geese and Ross’s geese in the accompanying photo is ample proof of the incredible wildlife values the Malheur region protects. Malheur is not only of critical importance in the Pacific Flyway — a major north-south route of millions of migratory birds — but, indeed, a preserve of global significance.Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1908 by Roosevelt, the “Conservation President,” whose passion for nature was lifelong and whose conservation legacy impacts America to this day. So what would Teddy think about these radical militants attempting to take from the American public this pricele
gh  NWR  Oregon_standoff  TR 
february 2016 by fulab
EDITORIAL: Western ways matter - Washington Times 020216
"There’s nothing like a fatal shooting to rile a community. The chain of events that led to
the death of a rebellious rancher along a country road in Oregon last week is still under
investigation, but for Americans who yearn for the wide-open spaces of the West,
freedom’s last refuge, the tragedy spells oppression. To them, Western lives matter. The
descendants of the pioneers complain that federally owned wilderness that nobody
wanted is more and more off-limits to them, threatening to end a way of life rooted in
the freedom to roam."
gh  NWR  Oregon_standoff  conservation  political_rhetoric 
february 2016 by fulab
4 lessons from the Bundys' Oregon misadventure | TheHill 020216
2. An extremist fringe wants to seize our public lands. The Bundy gang is simply the most militant expression of a political push in the West to take our public lands, which goes so far as to challenge the legality of the federal government to own property on behalf of all Americans. This effort includes laws passed in state legislatures in Utah and Wyoming to study state takeovers of federal public land. And in Congress, the land-grabbers are also pushing legislation to privatize Western public lands. For Americans who enjoy their public lands, from families who camp in national parks to sportsmen and women who hunt and fish on national forests and Bureau of Land Management-administered lands, to Western communities that depend on clean water from public land watersheds, the land-grab efforts of those like Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Raúl Labrador (Idaho) pose a direct threat to the rights of all citizens to enjoy our public lands and the clean water they provide. Congress needs to slam the door on this land-grab to safeguard one of America's most prized and unique assets: our public lands. [Mike Molvar is the Sagebrush Sea Campaign Director for WildEarth Guardians, a nonprofit organization working to protect wildlife, wild places, wild rivers and the health of the American West.]
gh  NWR  Oregon_standoff  conservation 
february 2016 by fulab
Owyhee Wilderness Proposal In Spotlight After Refuge Occupation . News | OPB 020216
[The Owyhee Canyonlands... is named for three Hawaiian trappers who were killed there on an expedition in the early 1800s. ] Following the militant occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife [] Refuge, the Obama administration is weighing whether to move forward with a huge land conservation proposal in an Oregon county that has drawn strong local opposition. | A decision by President Barack Obama to protect up to 2.5 million acres surrounding the remote Owyhee Canyonlands could help cement his legacy for protecting the country’s wild lands. | But the action could also further inflame critics of federal land management and complicate efforts to restore calm to the vast high plains country of southeastern Oregon.
The sensitivity of the fate of the Owyhee Canyonlands is such that the group leading the charge for the national monument — the Oregon Natural Desert Association — doesn’t want to talk about it while officials are still struggling to remove the remaining occupiers.
gh  Oregon_standoff  NWR  Obama 
february 2016 by fulab
Trained eagle destroys drone in Dutch police video - The Washington Post 020116
For hundreds of years in the skies over Asia, people have used eagles to hunt down prey with deadly results. | That tradition has been in decline for decades, but now the bird's keen eyesight, powerful talons and lethal hunting instincts are being used to take out a new kind of 21st-century vermin: drones. | The animal vs. machine moment is brought to you by Guard From Above, which describes itself as "the world’s first company specialized in training birds of prey to intercept hostile drones." | Its latest customers are Dutch police, who are looking for ways to disable illegally operating drones. A police spokesperson told Dutch News.nl that the effort remains in a testing phase, but called the use of birds to combat drones a "very real possibility."
gh  eagles  birds 
february 2016 by fulab
'Y'all Qaeda': People aren't taking the armed militia in Oregon too seriously | Mashable 010416
Brian Ries: “What do you call cowboy hat-wearing militiamen who have taken over a federal building while criticizing the federal government with a deep southern drawl? | They might call themselves defenders of "the people." But to most of Twitter, they're "Y'all Qaeda," "Vanilla ISIS," "Yee Hawdists," "Yokel Haram," "Talibundy" and "Meal Team Six" — all plays on real-life jihadist terminology. | Social media exploded late Sunday night with widespread mockery of the armed group, which is led by Ammon Bundy, the flannel-cloaked 40-year-old son of rancher Cliven Bundy, who once sparred with the federal government over grazing rights — and won. | Jokes alongside hashtags like #YallQaeda — which first surfaced in 2011 but seems to have finally found its calling — compared the Bundy crowd to a kind of redneck terrorism outfit and ridiculed their perceived incompetence, appearance and stated purpose (they say they are defending the Constitution by backing admitted arsonists who set fire to federal lands, hoping to conceal an illegal hunt).”
gh  NWR  Oregon_standoff  terrorism  social_media  satire 
february 2016 by fulab
Edited Version of FBI Video of Joint FBI and OSP Operation 01/26/2016 - YouTube
This is a shortened and edited version of FBI footage showing the joint FBI and Oregon State Police traffic stop and OSP officer-involved shooting of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum along Oregon Highway 395 near milepost 50 in Harney County. This condensed clip was shown at an FBI press conference in Burns, Oregon on 01/28/2016. The complete raw footage is available here: https://youtu.be/aAGxDWKrjPQ. Note regarding date/time stamp in the left corner of video: Pilots use Zulu Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), when they fly. Zulu time is eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). Therefore, although this footage was taken on January 26, 2016 in Oregon, the date/time stamp on the video shows just after midnight January 27, 2016.
gh  NWR  Oregon_standoff  FBI  terrorism  video_clip  documentary 
february 2016 by fulab
FBI Releases Full Video Of LaVoy Finicum Death | TPM 012816
The FBI has released the entire 26-minute video of the final moments of Arizona rancher and Oregon standoff leader LaVoy Finicum's life during their attempt to arrest him earlier this week. | In the days following his death, Finicum had become a martyr for anti-government extremists. | The following is the FBI's recounting of what appears in the video that they showed at the press conference. Video released by the FBI is embedded below. The pursuit of Finicum begins around the eight-minute mark. | In the beginning, two vehicles–a Jeep and a white truck–move along the Eastern Oregon road. Finicum is driving the truck. The Jeep is pulled over and the driver (who the FBI did not charge and whose name was not released) gets out along with Ammon Bundy and Brian Cavalier who were arrested without incident, according to the FBI. | At some point roughly 4 minutes later, in a moment that is obscured in the video by foliage, Ryan Payne gets out of the truck through the backdoor. He puts his hand up, is approached by officers and is taken into custody. Then, the truck continues to sit on the road for more than three minutes as the FBI says law enforcement agents give “verbal commands” to the individuals left in the truck. | At that point, Finicum takes off “at a high rate of speed.” The truck traveled some distance before it encounters a law enforcement roadblock. As Finicum approaches those barriers, there is a “spike strip across the road,” but the FBI explains that he seemed to have circumvented it as he drove around the roadblock. | “He nearly hits an FBI agent as he maneuvers to the left,” the FBI explained just before they showed the video. | Then, Finicum’s truck gets caught in a snow bank. He gets out of the vehicle. He moves through the snow. | On two occasions, the FBI says that Finicum reaches his right hand toward “a pocket on the left inside pocket of his jacket” where police eventually found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun. | Then, Finicum is shot by Oregon State Police. The FBI did not say how many times, but did comment it was in the single digits. | After Oregon State Police shot Finicum, the FBI says that the area was secured with "flash bangs" and later, "sponge projectiles" in an effort to "disorient" any other individuals who were armed. Shawna Cox, Ryan Bundy and another unnamed individual were taken from the car. Cox and Bundy were arrested.
gh  NWR  Oregon_standoff  FBI  terrorism  video_clip  documentary 
february 2016 by fulab
Audubon Society of Portland Statement on the Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge | 010316
The occupation of Malheur by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers. The occupiers have used the flimsiest of pretexts to justify their actions—the conviction of two local ranchers in a case involving arson and poaching on public lands. Notably, neither the local community or the individuals convicted have requested or endorsed the occupation or the assistance of militia groups. | Portland Audubon fought 100 years ago to protect this incredible place. The powerful images taken by Portland Audubon founder, William Finley, of Malheur’s incredible bird populations and the wanton killing that was being inflicted upon them, caused President Roosevelt to make Malheur one of the first wildlife refuges in the Western United States. Portland Audubon calls upon the local, state and federal authorities to once again protect this incredible place for the amazing wildlife that live there and to preserve this natural heritage for current and future generations. Portland Audubon greatly appreciates the outstanding federal employees that staff the refuge, as well as members of the local community who have rejected this occupation. We hope for a safe, expeditious end to this armed occupatio
gh  Audubon  NWR  Oregon_standoff  terrorism 
february 2016 by fulab
Living on Earth: What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other | 112715
Wen Stephenson was a moderate liberal and a journalist with NPR before an epiphany about global warming changed everything. Wen speaks with host Steve Curwood about his journey into the climate movement, and his new book about activists on the frontlines of the fight for climate justice ["What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other"]. STEPHENSON: So what I realized, around this time in my life, I had started taking walks around some really beautiful conservation land around near where I live. I live in Wayland, Mass., which is west of Boston and just down the road from Walden Pond really. My house is about five or six miles south of Walden Pond, and that was one of the places that I occasionally would walk. In fact, one time I decided to get up early on a Saturday morning and walk to Walden Pond. But it really didn't have much to do with Henry David Thoreau at that point. It was just for the sake of walking, but when I had my climate freak out moment in the spring of 2010, I decided to go back to Thoreau. And the thing I realized as I went back and reread Walden, read his great essays, is that not only is Henry David Thoreau really a deeply spiritual writer—something I never really thought about before. On top of that, Henry Thoreau, who is sort of this icon of the American environmental movement, was not an “environmentalist”, you know, quote unquote. That word would've meant nothing to him, but what he was, unquestionably, was a radical abolitionist. He was a human rights activist. He was deeply involved in the underground railroad along with his mother and his sisters. He personally sheltered runaway slaves defying the fugitive slave law there in the early 1850s. At one point, he even spirited an accomplice of John Brown's Harpers Ferry raid. And this is at no small risk personally to Thoreau. This man, he was smuggling out of Concord had a price on his head. And so the way I think of it, the way I articulate this in the book is that Thoreau's very spiritual awakening in nature really led him back to society and to a very radical political engagement on behalf of his fellow human beings. And so as I like to think of it, as I put it, for Henry Thoreau to live in harmony with nature, so to speak, really is to act in solidarity with one's fellow human beings because the two can't really be separated.
gh  Henry_Thoreau  climate_change  books  radicalization 
december 2015 by fulab
Your Brain On Sound - Only Human - WNYC 120115
MH: “Those kids” were rare. Kraus would come across them just once or twice a year. And they often had other diagnoses: They had behavior problems, or Attention Deficit Disorders, or learning disabilities. But they’d found their way to Kraus because all of them were deaf in noise. When they were somewhere quiet, they might be able to hear well. But in a noisy place, hearing became all but impossible. Rose was different: being deaf in noise was her only symptom, so she was a perfect subject for Kraus. She became almost a partner in her research.
gh  blindfla  dba  disability  podcast  playing_by_ear 
december 2015 by fulab
People are losing their s–t over this bird | New York Post 120215
Birders are flocking to Prospect Park to catch a glimpse of a rare bird that touched down in Brooklyn over the weekend. | At least 100 avian enthusiasts a day are showing up at the park’s LeFrak Center to see the Florida tweeter — called a painted bunting — with its multicolored plumage. | “A lot of people are losing their s–t over this bird,” crowed Doug Gochfeld, a birding-tour leader. | Keir Randall, of Brooklyn, was the first to spot the colorful bird while walking in the park on Sunday. | “When I first tried to photograph it, I was literally shaking so much I had to calm myself down to get the shot,” he said. | This is the first adult male painted bunting that’s ever had a recorded visit to Brooklyn — and one of only 10 birds of his species to have arrived since 1927, according to data compiled by the New York State Area Records Committee. | “People are just ecstatic,” chirped Rob Bate, the president of the Brooklyn Bird Club. | Photo: Sean Sime
gh  birds  NYC 
december 2015 by fulab
The Pelee Island Bird Observatory » Blog Archive » PIBO Migration Summary November 1st – 15th, 2015 | 113015
Eight fall ‘firsts’ were recorded from November 1st – 15th, which brings the fall species total of birds recorded at Fish Point during PIBO’s standardized six-hour count period to 162 (including 26 warbler species). The fall banding program concluded on November 5th with 2070 birds captured of sixty-six species (23 warbler species) in 2745 net-hours, along with a mere fifteen same-season recaptures i.e. of the 2070 birds banded this fall, just fifteen were captured again after their initial banding. Also – given the tens-of-thousands of blackbirds overhead – it’s remarkable that not one red-wing, cowbird, or starling, and only six grackles, were captured at the station this fall (from mid-August to November)! The average catch-rate from August 15th to November 5th was 0.75 birds/net-hour.
Thanks very much to everyone who contributed to another successful year of research, education, and outreach on Pelee Island! Have a safe and happy winter. | PIBO’s next migration summary will be posted April 15th, 2016.
gh  PIBO  migration  fm15  Lake_Erie 
december 2015 by fulab
'World's oldest bird' is back, and she's ready to mate | Stuff.co.nz 120115
The oldest known bird to lay an egg and raise a chick landed last weekend at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Ocean, apparently to do it again, at age 64. | Her name is Wisdom, but it should probably be Ancient Wisdom, because she apparently knows things that scientists don't. "It continues to just blow our minds," said Bruce Peterjohn, chief of the Bird Banding Laboratory at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Centre in Laurel, Maryland.
gh  birds  seabirds  NWR 
december 2015 by fulab
BBC World Service - The Forum, Reconciliation: Healing the Nation 112115
With the recent election of a new, Liberal government, the issue of reconciliation between Canada's indigenous peoples and the rest of the population is again high on the agenda. So what is the best way to atone for the wrongdoings of the past? The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Kristina Llewellyn, professor of Social Development studies at the University of Waterloo; and Torsten Klengel, a German psychiatrist and geneticist now based at Harvard Medical School in the USA offer their views to Bridget Kendall and the Spur Festival audience at the National Gallery in Ottawa.
gh  bl  Canada  Native_Americans 
november 2015 by fulab
Chickadee Brains Are Bigger in the Cold | BirdNote 110915
As the colder months arrive, birds that remain in northern climates face the harsh realities of staying warm and finding food. Some birds approach the food problem by storing it in advance — a behavior called caching. Chickadees, nuthatches, jays, and some woodpeckers are known to cache large supplies of mostly seeds — in a great many places. Scatter hoarding, it’s called, a kind of adaptive specialization that requires very good spatial memory. But what enables birds such as the Black-capped Chickadee to find the seeds they’ve stored? They amplify spatial memory.
gh  birds  memory  neuroscience 
november 2015 by fulab
Hippocampal volumes and neuron numbers increase along a gradient of environmental harshness: a large-scale comparison [Roth and Pravosudov 2009a]
[Roth and Pravosudov 2009a] Abstract: Environmental conditions may provide specific demands for memory, which in turn may affect specific brain regions responsible for memory function. For food-caching animals, in particular, spatial memory appears to be important because it may have a direct effect on fitness via the accuracy of cache retrieval. Animals living in more harsh environments should rely more on cached food, and thus theoretically should have better memory to support cache retrieval, which may be crucial for survival. Consequently, animals in harsh environments may benefit from more neurons within a larger hippocampus (Hp), a part of the brain involved in spatial memory. Here, we present the first large-scale test of the hypothesis that Hp structure is related to the severity of the environment within a single food-caching species (the black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapillus) with a large range encompassing a great diversity of climatic conditions. Hp size in birds collected at five locations along a gradient of environmental harshness from Alaska to Kansas ranked perfectly with climatic severity. Birds from more harsh northern climates (defined by lower ambient temperature, shorter day length and more snow cover) had significantly larger Hp volumes and more Hp neurons (both relative to telencephalon volume) than those from more mild southern latitudes. Environmental pressures therefore seem capable of influencing specific brain regions independently, which may result in enhanced memory, and hence survival, in harsh climates. [Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Feb 7; 276(1656): 401–405. Published online 2008 Oct 21. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1184]
gh  birds  memory  neuroscience 
november 2015 by fulab
Tough times call for bigger brains [Roth and Pravosudov 2009b]
[Roth and Pravosudov 2009b] Abstract: Memory is crucial for survival in many animals. Spatial memory in particular is important for food-caching species and may be influenced by selective pressures such as climate. The influence of climate on memory may be facilitated through the hippocampus (Hp), the part of the brain responsible in part for spatial memory. In a recent paper, we conducted the first large-scale test of the relationship between memory, the climate and the brain in a single food-caching species, the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus). We found that birds from more harsh northern climates had significantly larger hippocampal volumes and more neurons than those from more mild southern latitudes. This work suggests that environmental pressures are capable of influencing specific brain regions, which may result in enhanced memory, and hence survival, in harsh climates. This work gives us a better understanding of how the brain responds to different environments and how animals can adapt to their environment in general. [Commun Integr Biol. 2009 May-Jun; 2(3): 236–238. PMCID: PMC2717531]
gh  birds  memory  neuroscience 
november 2015 by fulab
10 important news stories about birds from the end of October - BirdWatching 110415
1. eBird gets richer: The geniuses who run eBird, the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon, announced that birders can now drag-and-drop rich media — photos and audio — into their checklists. The goal is a long-term, open-data resource that would be searchable by birders and scientists alike — a real-time, digital, natural-history collection. November 3 | 2. Redpoll record: Tadoussac Bird Observatory, on the St. Lawrence River about 150 miles northeast of Quebec City in Canada, recorded an astounding number of Common Redpolls during the last week of October — more than 125,000. Over 33,000 were counted on Tuesday, October 27, and more than 55,000 were spotted on Saturday, October 31. According to Kenn Kaufman, the Saturday total probably represents a one-day world record. November 2
gh  birds  birding 
november 2015 by fulab
International Vulture Awareness Day, Saturday 5th September 2015
The first Saturday in September each year is International Vulture Awareness Day. | Vultures are an ecologically vital group of birds that face a range of threats in many areas that they occur. Populations of many species are under pressure and some species are facing extinction. | The International Vulture Awareness Day has grown from Vulture Awareness Days run by the Birds of Prey Programme in South Africa and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England, who decided to work together and expand the initiative into an international event. | It is now recognised that a co-ordinated international day will publicise the conservation of vultures to a wider audience and highlight the important work being carried out by the world’s vulture conservationists. | On the first Saturday in September, the aim is for each participating organisation to carry out their own activities that highlight vulture conservation and awareness. This website, established in July 2009, provides a central place for all participants to outline these activities and see the extent of vulture conservation across the world. | Additionally this webpage is a valuable resource for vulture workers to learn about the activities of their colleagues and to perhaps develop new collaborations or exchange information.
gh  bird_org  hawks  conservation 
september 2015 by fulab
Daily Update: Navarre Marsh Banding Station... - Black Swamp Bird Observatory
Daily Update: Navarre Marsh Banding Station Date: Sunday, September 6, 2015 - Number of Birds Banded: 62 - Number of Recaptures: 8 - Number of Species Banded: 16 (+ 3 recap only) - Top Five Species Banded: Swainson’s Thrush 31, Gray Catbird 8 (+4 recap), Red-eyed Vireo 5, Ovenbird 3, and Magnolia Warbler 3.
gh  fm15  BSBO  Lake_Erie 
september 2015 by fulab
World Shorebirds Day | Official Website of the World Shorebirds Day
The World Shorebirds Day is a celebration. Shorebirds, those extreme migrants, as well as people, who do the most for them, are celebrated each year, on the 6th of September. Come and learn more about this event! | The Global Shorebird Counting is a program of the World Shorebirds Day, aiming to popularize bird monitoring and regular counting as a base of effective conservation
gh  birds  migration  shorebirds 
september 2015 by fulab
Regional Migration Forecast: 4-11 September 2015 : BirdCast
Continental Summary: More favorable conditions with persist across the West this week, with light to moderate flights featuring Killdeer, Warbling Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, MacGillivray’s Warbler, and Western Tanager, while the East experiences increasingly favorable conditions building to spawn moderate to heavy flights featuring Great Egret, Swainson’s Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and Chestnut-sided Warbler, by week’s end.
gh  birds  migration  other_vectors  eBird 
september 2015 by fulab
Detroit River HawkCount
The Detroit River Hawk Watch (a joint venture of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and its Friends group, the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance) is the Boat Launch at Lake Erie Metropark located approximately 20 miles south of Detroit, Michigan. The location is at the mouth of the Detroit River as it enters Lake Erie.
gh  hawks  migration  Michigan 
september 2015 by fulab
Detroit River Hawk Watch
During the autumn months, the lower Detroit River (MI) becomes a corridor for the passage of migratory birds, and has gained international recognition for the annual volume of birds of prey. Hundreds of thousands of migrating hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures are concentrated at this location where it is possible to systematically count them each year. A standardized monitoring program is conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR) and its friends group, the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance (IWRA).
gh  hawks  Michigan  birding 
september 2015 by fulab
Rare vintage footage of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Upper Peninsula ABC 10
Two videos ABC 10 and the CW-5 recently shared to Facebook are creating quite a buzz, with over a half a million views, and shared / liked by more than ten thousand. Here’s some stunning vintage footage of the Edmund Fitzgerald. One, making its way through the Soo Docks in 1967.
gh  Lake_Superior  shipping  ships  video_clip 
september 2015 by fulab
Three Cheers for the Amazing Asian Vulture | USFWS Open Spaces Blog 090215
In 2012, [USFWS] funded the establishment of a vulture restaurant in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Nepal. | Vulture restaurants don’t serve vulture, they serve carcasses to vultures, and they are an important way to help recover vultures – in Asia, IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, classifies four species as Critically Endangered. | This is largely due to a drug given to livestock. | In Asian countries, people give diclofenac, a drug similar to aspirin or ibuprofen, to livestock to ease arthritic pain. | But vultures are hyper-sensitive to diclofenac. When they feed on livestock carcasses that had received the drug when they were alive, vultures die. And vulture population numbers have tumbled drastically since the drug came into use. | IUCN says that the white-rumped vulture was at one time called “possibly the most abundant large bird of prey in the world,” adding that its overall population “almost certainly numbered several million individuals.” But since the mid-1990s, IUCN says, “it has suffered a catastrophic decline (over 99%) across the Indian subcontinent,” and IUCN puts the total population now at less than 15,000.
gh  blogs  USFWS  vultures  conservation 
september 2015 by fulab
Birdventure: BirdTrax
Welcome to BirdTrax, a popular Google Gadget with a unique approach to viewing recent eBird data! With BirdTrax, you can quickly browse bird observations and rarities in your neighborhood, county, or state. | Embed the BirdTrax Gadget on your webpage now! It’s free, it’s handy, and your webpage visitors will love it! You can also create your own webpage with your own collection of BirdTrax gadgets. Read on to learn more!
gh  birding  eBird  web2.0  tools 
september 2015 by fulab
Global count reaches 3 trillion trees : Nature News & Comment 090215
Rachel Ehrenberg: "There are roughly 3 trillion trees on Earth — more than seven times the number previously estimated — according to a tally1 by an international team of scientists. The study also finds that human activity is detrimental to tree abundance worldwide. Around 15 billion trees are cut down each year, the researchers estimate; since the onset of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, the number of trees worldwide has dropped by 46%. | “The scale of human impact is astonishing,” says Thomas Crowther, an ecologist now at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Wageningen who led the study while at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. “Obviously we expected humans would have a prominent role, but I didn’t expect that it would come out as the as the strongest control on tree density.” | The previously accepted estimate of the world’s tree population, about 400 billion, was based mostly on satellite imagery. Although remote imaging reveals a lot about where forests are, it does not provide the same level of resolution that a person counting trunks would achieve. | Crowther and his colleagues merged these approaches by first gathering data for every continent except Antarctica from various existing ground-based counts covering about 430,000 hectares. These counts allowed them to improve tree-density estimates from satellite imagery. Then the researchers applied those density estimates to areas that lack good ground inventories. For example, survey data from forests in Canada and northern Europe were used to revise estimates from satellite imagery for similar forests in remote parts of Russia."
gh  trees  ecology  ecosystem  climate_change  science_news 
september 2015 by fulab
Mapping tree density at a global scale : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
[Crowther et al 2015] Anstract: The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. We provide the first spatially continuous map of forest tree density at a global scale. This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion, an order of magnitude higher than the previous estimate. Of these trees, approximately 1.39 trillion exist in tropical and subtropical forests, with 0.74 trillion in boreal regions and 0.61 trillion in temperate regions. Biome-level trends in tree density demonstrate the importance of climate and topography in controlling local tree densities at finer scales, as well as the overwhelming effect of humans across most of the world. Based on our projected tree densities, we estimate that over 15 billion trees are cut down each year, and the global number of trees has fallen by approximately 46% since the start of human civilization. [Nature (2015) doi:10.1038/nature14967 Received 06 May 2015 Accepted 23 July 2015 Published online 02 September 2015]
gh  trees  ecology  science_news 
september 2015 by fulab
Tree Counter Is Astonished By How Many Trees There Are : Goats and Soda : NPR 090215
Here is a pop quiz: How many trees are on the planet? | Most people have no idea. | A new study [published this week in Nature] says the answer is more than 3 trillion trees — that's trillion with a T, and that number is about eight times more than a previous estimate. | Thomas Crowther was inspired to do this tree census a couple of years ago, when he was working at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He had a friend who was working with a group with an ambitious goal: trying to fight global warming by planting a billion trees. A billion trees sounded like a lot. But was it really?
gh  trees  climate_change  NPR 
september 2015 by fulab
DNR planted out more than 20 million fish last spring | Midland Daily News 083115
Think 95,000 walleyes for Sanford Lake is a lot of fish? It is, for one lake, but it’s a drop in the fishy bucket for the DNR, which last spring planted out more than 20 million fish — more than 325 tons — of nine purebred species and a hybrid. | To plant them, the DNR used 17 specially equipped stocking trucks, and drove more than 100,000 miles to 732 stocking sites. | Michigan has six DNR hatcheries and two cooperative facilities at which fish are raised, each facility with a distinctive water supply and temperature that matches it best to certain species. | The Marquette State Fish Hatchery, near Marquette in the Upper Peninsula, stocked 610,194 yearling lake trout, brook trout and splake (a cross of lake trout and brook trout), at Great Lakes and inland sites. | Also in the Upper Peninsula, Thompson State Fish Hatchery, near Manistique, stocked 8,003,760 fish that included walleye fry, yearling steelhead and brown trout, and spring fingerling Chinook salmon, almost all planted in the Great Lakes. | A cooperative teaching hatchery at Lake Superior State University, in Sault Ste. Marie, stocked 39,907 Atlantic salmon into the St. Marys River.
gh  Great_Lakes  Michigan  fish 
september 2015 by fulab
The Pelee Island Bird Observatory » Blog Archive » PIBO Migration Summary August 1st – 15th, 2015
After a productive summer of breeding bird studies and a brief break in July, on August 1st PIBO launched its thirteenth season of fall migration-monitoring studies at Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve. Although it’s typically quiet this time of year – the real advance of migrant songbirds in Southwestern Ontario comes towards the end of the month – some species were on the move during the summary period including shorebirds and swallows, some flycatchers, orioles and swifts, and ones-and-twos of a few warbler species. At the same time, many local breeding birds have left the area by early August or are lying low in the heat (while completing their fall moults), and it can be remarkably still, especially since most birds are no longer singing. Their cryptic fall plumage and the dense, sunless forest add to the challenge of counting birds at Fish Point in early autumn. | A small group of Common Terns at the tip that morning grew to six-hundred individuals by mid-month. Once a common breeder, this species now uses the area primarily as a roosting site in August and early-September. Caspian Terns were also numerous during the first week of coverage – up to 35 birds – along with 40 Great Black-backed Gulls.
gh  birds  PIBO  Lake_Erie 
september 2015 by fulab
Nature Watch: Rattled by the sounds animals make at night | lehighvalley live.com 083015
Arlene Koch: "One day last week my husband David and I drove to Lansdale to visit a bakery we'd heard about. Normally, buying baked goods in a mall store in the middle of a town would have nothing to do with nature. But as I stood by the store's front windows, a ruby-throated hummingbird suddenly appeared and hovered for about a minute in front of a flashing red "Bakery" sign. This wasn't a place where you'd expect to see any birds except for house sparrows or starlings, but when hummingbirds are migrating they can show up anywhere. That little bird could have been making its way as far south as Mexico."
gh  hummingbirds  nature_writers 
august 2015 by fulab
FINGER LAKES BIRDLIFE: Sandhill cranes a surprising success story - Finger Lakes Times: Lifestyle 083015
Charlie Rouse: "One migrant bird to look for during August is the (quite uncommon) common nighthawk. As a young boy I used to watch their spring aerial courtship displays over downtown Geneva and around the hospital, where they nested on flat, gravel-covered rooftops, but those days are long gone. With the change in commercial roofing design from hot tar and gravel to rubber membrane, so went the nighthawks. These once sprawling gravel rooftops were quite inviting for nighthawks as nesting sites, where they would lay their grayish speckled eggs amongst the stones. | Charlie Rouse, of Geneva, is a past president and secretary of the Eaton Birding Society and his column appears monthly in the Finger Lakes Times. For a free checklist of the birds seen regularly in our four-county area, or to send your comments, questions and unusual sightings, email him at flbirdlife@yahoo.com.
gh  birds  nature_writers 
august 2015 by fulab
Outdoors notebook | Numerous hunting seasons start this week | The Columbus Dispatch 083015
Those bonded to the hunting cycle can celebrate a new year on Tuesday when open seasons for squirrels, mourning doves, Canada geese, sora and Virginia rails, common moorhen and common snipe commence in Ohio. | Early teal season begins on Saturday
| Lake Erie Marsh Zone, Oct. 17-Nov. 1 and Nov. 14-Dec. 27. | The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has begun a streamlining process by which the guidelines that states follow for setting their fall/winter duck and goose seasons will be announced in May of each year rather than mid-summer. … USFWS has added 21 national wildlife refuges to those that may be hunted at some time during the year. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, which sits along Lake Erie between Port Clinton and Toledo, is among the 336 federal refuges where hunting opportunities are available.
gh  hunting  Lake_Erie 
august 2015 by fulab
Algae in western Lake Erie eats into fishing business | Detroitr News/AP 082915
OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Thick mats of algae spreading across western Lake Erie in recent weeks appear to be pushing one of the region's most-prized sport fish to flee, forcing some charter boat captains to cancel trips. At least one told out-of-state visitors hoping to catch walleye to stay home for now.Fishing guides who make their living on the lake say this year's algae bloom is quickly rivaling the worst they've seen in past years."There are places out there where it looks like you're running through green mud," said Bob Witt, who runs a fleet of charter boats east of Toledo.Scientists tracking the algae said Friday that the heaviest concentration is in the western third of the lake and that there aren't any blooms in the central or eastern areas near Cleveland or Buffalo, N.Y. The algae forecast in July predicted that this year's algae could be second only to one in 2011, when the bloom stretched more than 100 miles from Toledo to Cleveland.
gh  Lake_Erie  algal{bloom  pollution  fish 
august 2015 by fulab
Ron Simon: Reflections of a merchant sailor | Mansfield Journal 082915
As a merchant sailor, he served aboard two smaller ore/coal carriers, the Presque Isle and the Angeline. These were 605-foot-long vessels that could get up the rivers on the Canadian shore of Lake Superior to deliver coal. He said each ship carried a crew of about 35 people from the captain down to the coal bunkers, where a man with a shovel could sweat away 10 pounds a day in the summer.
Ports of call included South Chicago, Port Arthur, Green Bay, Duluth, Superior, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo.Every port on Lake Erie’s south shore was a coal port where long lines of railroad coal cars had their loads dumped into ships by loaders that rode on rails.Hoffman said the hardest job was cleaning the cargo bays after an ore shipment. Iron ore and coal didn’t mix, and it took fire hoses and hard labor to get the bays clear of the ore.During one summer, Hoffman estimated his freighter would traverse the Sault Ste. Marie Locks once a week.
gh  Lake_Superior  Great  Lakes  shipping  ships 
august 2015 by fulab
Couple’s journey of love and adventure leads them to dock in Duluth | Duluth News Tribune
Oney’s boat is registered in Delaware, and other cruisers in New York marvelled at how far they had come.“Ah, no, we came all the way from Turkey,” Oney recalled with a laugh.No doubt they met similar amazement on the Great Lakes.They wince that they have “so many places to go but so little time,” Oney said. They would have loved to have lingered longer on Superior. But they did spend three weeks on the lake after passing through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie.
gh  Lake_Superior  sailing 
august 2015 by fulab
Isle Royale Queen IV runs aground - MiningJournal.net | News, Sports, Jobs, Marquette Information | The Mining Journal 073015
COPPER HARBOR - The Isle Royale Queen IV, operating out of Copper Harbor, ran aground Tuesday while on an evening cruise. | The U.S. Coast Guard was contacted by the Negaunee dispatch and told that the excursion vessel had run aground inside the harbor. | Lt. J.G. Derek Puzzouli, of the Sault Ste. Marie Coast Guard station, said in response to the call, Guardsmen from Coast Guard Station By the time the crew from Portage reached the scene, the passengers had already been unloaded from the Queen by "Good Samaritans" in the area with boats, Puzzuoli said. | The vessel had run aground on rocks near Porter's Island, on the north side of the harbor, but its crew was able to get the vessel free without assistance, Puzzuoli said. | The Coast Guard trailered a small boat at the Portage station in Dollar Bay, and launched it from the Copper Harbor marina, Puzzouoli said. | There were no injuries. The Isle Royale Queen suffered no apparent damage in the incident and there was no fuel or oil leakage as a result of the mishap, Puzzuoli said. The Coast Guard remained on the scene to monitor the situation. The incident is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Service Unit out of Duluth, which investigates marine accidents.Portage in Dollar Bay were dispatched to the scene.
gh  Isle_Royale  IR  Michigan  ships 
august 2015 by fulab
Little Miami Scenic Trail
The Little Miami Scenic Trail is part of an 80-mile trail network that extends from eastern Cincinnati to Buck Creek State Park near Springfield. | The dream of a hike/bike trail between Xenia and Yellow Springs emerged as rail service faded into memory. Paving the way for the dream to become a reality, the City of Xenia, Village of Yellow Springs and Ohio Department of Natural Resources acquired the right-of-way between 1973 and 1983. | In 1986, the project received a 100% funding grant from the Federal Highway administration as an alternate means of transportation. These funds are administered by Ohio Department of Transportation. | Plans, public hearings, and engineering, were completed, and construction began in July 1990. With the opening of the trail in October 1991, the spirit of the Little Miami Railroad is resurrected.
gh  Yellow_Springs  eBird  walking 
august 2015 by fulab
Lake Erie algal bloom could grow difficult - Toledo Blade 082715
GIBRALTAR ISLAND, Ohio — It’s huge, and it’s probably getting bigger until the first of October. | But the 2015 western Lake Erie algal bloom has actually been a fairly easy tiger for area water-treatment plant operators to tame so far, according to Kelly Frey, Ottawa County Sanitary Engineer. | The hefty biomass that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects to be the second largest bloom on record is producing the harmful algal toxin microcystin but not in a concentration strong enough yet to push water-treatment plants to their maximum capability, Mr. Frey said. | Experts are still working to determine what that maximum capacity will be, Mr. Frey said Tuesday in a presentation to about 30 journalists, scientists, and outreach specialists at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island, during the first day of an annual two-day science and environmental writers’ gathering.
gh  Lake_Erie  water  pollution  conferences 
august 2015 by fulab
National Center for Water Quality Research | Heidelberg University
The National Center for Water Quality Research (NCWQR) is a leader in surface and ground water research and monitoring in the Great Lakes region and beyond. Chemical analysis of freshwater samples, biological assessment of aquatic communities, and watershed modeling are performed at our facilities in Gillmor Hall on the Heidelberg University campus. | The NCWQR staff uses the wealth of water quality data that is generated here concerning Lake Erie and numerous streams and groundwater wells across the nation to understand and interpret the impacts of food production on soil and water resources, the status of water quality, the effects of water quality on aquatic ecosystems, and future implications for the availability of healthy, usable water.
gh  Lake_Erie  water  pollution 
august 2015 by fulab
About Stone Laboratory (Lake Erie) | OSU
Established in 1895, Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University’s teaching and research on Lake Erie. The lab serves as a base for more than 65 researchers from 12 agencies and academic institutions, all working year-round to solve the most pressing problems facing the Great Lakes. In addition to its role as a research facility, Stone Lab offers 25 college-credit science courses each summer for undergraduate and graduate students, advanced high school students and educators. The hands-on sessions get students out into the field or out on the lake to study courses including biology, geology and natural resources.
gh  Lake_Erie  OSU 
august 2015 by fulab
Lake Erie algae bloom spreads to Cleveland, could set record, scientists warn | Cplumbus Dispatch 082715
Scientists who study Lake Erie say this summer’s growing toxic bloom is almost certain to be the worst on record. | The bloom, which started in the western part of the lake in June, has stretched to Cleveland and could still grow. The mass is on pace to peak in September. | Scientists originally thought the bloom would be about average this year, but heavy, sustained rains in June and July washed large amounts of phosphorus into the watersheds that feed the lake. | “All that rain just increased the load,” said Chris Winslow, interim director at Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory, which study the lake. | Algae feed, in part, on phosphorus, a key ingredient in manure, farm fertilizers and sewage. When phosphorus levels began to rise, scientists say, it became clear that this year’s algae bloom would be bad. | Still, they originally thought the bloom would be smaller than the record-setting one in 2011. The levels of phosphorus were high this year, but not as high as 2011 levels. | But new data about the amount of phosphorus that ended up in the lake show that this summer’s bloom likely will top 2011’s bloom. The data show that dissolved reactive phosphorus reached the lake in the largest amounts in recent history. | Dissolved phosphorus is blue-green algae’s favorite form of phosphorus to consume, said Laura Johnson, a research scientist at Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research, which monitors watersheds around Lake Erie. | The more fuel for algae, the larger the bloom. Large blooms can sicken people and hurt the summer tourism season at the lake, which already suffers from bacterial issues on its beaches. | Blue-green algae produce microcystin, a toxin that makes people sick and can kill pets. Microcystin contaminated Toledo’s drinking water in August 2014, forcing city officials to tell nearly 500,000 people to stop using their taps. | Scientists, including Johnson and former Stone Laboratory director Jeff Reutter, are meeting in Canada today to work on solutions to the lake’s perennial algae problem. | Those scientists have recommended cutting the amount of phosphorus that reaches Lake Erie by 40 percent from 2008 levels in order to reduce algae. | To do that, farmers will have to change the way they operate. Scientists say manure and fertilizers that wash from farm fields are responsible for a large portion of the phosphorus that gets into the lake. | Ohio State and other universities are studying ways farmers can keep phosphorus out of the Lake Erie watershed. | Winslow said soil testing could help. If farmers know how much phosphorus already exists in their soil, he said, they won’t need to add more than the soil needs to grow crops.
gh  Lake_Erie  water  pollution 
august 2015 by fulab
Animal migration tracking: how did we get to bee backpacks? | Alphr 082615
[A good overview of the history of animal tracking technology, with links] "Tiny bee backpacks... These microsensors have been glued to the backs of 10,000 honey bees to try to figure out the causes of colony collapse. The battery in each is powered by the vibration of the bee, meaning it will keep transmitting until the bee dies. | Receivers placed around bee hives track data from each sensor, including how far they travel and how long they’re gone, but also how each bee interacts with factors that have been blamed for the fall of bees: exposure to pesticides; air pollution; water contamination; weather; and diet. | Each 2.5mm x 2.5mm pack weighs 5.4 milligrams, which sounds like nothing, but it’s the equivalent of you or me having two 13in Macbook Pros strapped to our backs. And we don’t even have to fly anywhere."
gh  migration  tools 
august 2015 by fulab
Coop’s Scoop: Citizen science to study your dog, because your dog studies you - CitizenSci 082315
Caren Cooper: “Neanderthals were in Europe and Asia for two hundred thousand years, but began their demise as our people, Homo sapiens, expanded beyond Africa. Like Neanderthals, humans hunted, used tools, were pyrotechnic, and social enough to have cliques. Some researchers suspect that humans had one advantage that Neanderthals lacked: the precursor to (hu-)man’s best friend, the domesticated dog. Less wild than wolves, more wild than today’s collie, early humans likely survived an epoch of environmental change with the help of furry friends that were eventually domesticated as dogs. | That’s the argument made by Pat Shipman in her book, The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction. Shipman, a retired adjunct professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University, explores the evidence for a historic alliance between dogs and humans and what such an alliance enabled, including, for example, the hunting and transport of wooly mammoths. | Our longstanding relationship with dogs has led researchers in animal behavior and comparative psychology find our loyal companions (Canis familiaris) to be an excellent subject for studies of the mind. Some animal behaviorists prefer to study non-human primates because these are evolutionarily the closest relatives to our species. Even though we share more DNA with chimps, we’ve shared more of our social history with dogs. Now dogs solve social problems more similarly to human toddlers than many primates do. Their domestication process endowed them with skills to understand our verbal and body languages, and to read our emotional states which is something akin to empathy. | Children develop empathy after four. Dogs don’t necessarily have the mental capacity to imagine walking their paws in a person’s shoes, but they have emotional contagion, like toddlers. Emotional contagion means they can respond to the emotions of others without fully understanding what the other is feeling. When dogs display sympathy and behave in comforting ways, it is in response to their owner being sad. When dogs are wary, their owner is giving off a vibe of distrust or fear. When a dog is humping, their owner is feeling…well, never mind, that behavior is an independent, normal part of a dog’s life. | Dogs are so good at reading our intentions, practically reading our mind, that you probably can’t deceive your dog. Your dog, however, has no qualms about being deceptive. According to early findings in Dognition, dogs most bonded to their owners are most likely to have intelligent disobedience, such as watching their owners closely enough to capitalize on a distracted moment to steal food. | In The Genius of Dogs: How dogs are smarter than you think, by Brain Hare and Vanessa Woods, they suggest that natural selection favored those individual early dogs that were best able to figure out human intentions. Selection was not necessarily favoring the most intelligent dogs, but those with strong skills at social cognition. Through it all, dogs have been paying attention to us and now they are better at understanding us than we are at understanding them. No wonder we are the ones scooping up the poop. Maybe it was their master plan since the dawn of time.”
gh  evolution  cognition  wolves  dogs  citizen_science 
august 2015 by fulab
From his unique perch, Minnesota bird lover surveys the state | Minnesota Public Radio News 082415
"Birds are beautiful objects," Bob Janssen said. "They're everywhere you go. They are ever-changing, ever-beautiful, ever-intriguing, ever-mysterious. So I became a provincial Minnesota birder." And even with his magnum opus now in print, Janssen isn't finished yet. He said he may think up another book about Minnesota birds while he recovers from some knee surgery in coming weeks.
gh  birding  books  Minnesota 
august 2015 by fulab
Five Mystery Birds Among Audubon’s Paintings - The New York Times 082115
Roberta J. M. Olson, curator of drawings at the New-York Historical Society, which has all 435 of Audubon’s watercolor models, listed the five “mystery birds,” as they are often referred to, labeled by Audubon: Townsend’s Finch (identified in a later edition as Townsend’s Bunting), Cuvier’s Kinglet, Carbonated Swamp Warbler, Small-headed Flycatcher and Blue Mountain Warbler. | These birds have never been positively identified, and no identical specimens have been confirmed since Audubon painted them. Ornithologists have suggested that they might be color mutations, surviving members of species that soon became extinct, or interspecies hybrids that occurred only once.
gh  birds  Audubon  19th_century  NYT 
august 2015 by fulab
About Fluidr
Fluidr is a distraction-free way to view and interact with Flickr photos and videos. It was designed to allow you, the viewer, to discover and interact with Flickr photos and videos with as little distraction as possible. This is achieved by:
photo_blog  photography  photo_editing  gh  blindfla  accessibility 
august 2015 by fulab
Algal bloom spreading into Lake Erie's central basin | Sandusky Register 082415
The harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie is growing and has spread into the central basin, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says. | People and pets should stay out of the water in places where scum has formed, NOAA says in a bulletin the agency issued Monday. | "The Microcystis cyanobacteria bloom continues across a large part of the western basin along the Michigan and Ohio coasts and into the central basin. The recent southwesterly winds have pushed the bloom northward along the Michigan coast. Moderate to high concentrations extend eastward to midway between Cleveland and Rondeau, Ontario. Scum has been scattered in the last few days," the bulletin says.
gh  Lake_Erie  water  pollution  NOAA 
august 2015 by fulab
Ted Floyd :: xeno-canto
Ted Floyd's user page on XC, listing 196 recordings as of 082415.
gh  playing_by_ear  bird_song  XC 
august 2015 by fulab
Ted Floyd: How to Record Birdsong—Part 3 « ABA Blog 071114
This is the third in a three-part series on how to record bird vocalizations. We looked in Part 1 at which hardware to use and how to use it. In Part 2, we learned about software. In this third and final installment, we take a broader view—what to listen for when we’re actually out in the field with our recording gear.
gh  bird_song  playing_by_ear  ABA  audio  tools 
august 2015 by fulab
Ted Floyd: How to Record Birdsong—Part 2 « ABA Blog 071014
Ted Floyd: This is the second in a three-part series on how to record bird vocalizations. This part is about software—editing sound files and then sharing them with other birders on the internet. Click here to back up to the first part—an overview of the hardware you’ll need to get started.
gh  playing_by_ear  bird_song  audio  tools 
august 2015 by fulab
Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder
Audacity is available for Windows®, Mac®, GNU/Linux®; and other rating systems. Check our feature list, wiki, and forum.
gh  playing_by_ear  tools  audio 
august 2015 by fulab
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