Ideas & Insight from Explorers

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Secrets of Our Ocean Planet: Sponges as Civil Engineers and Pharmacists

By Rachel Downey (Australia National University & British Antarctic Survey) and Claire Christian (ASOC) In our last post, we introduced you to one of nature’s underappreciated animals, the sea sponge. Sponges have been around for over 600 million years, by developing some fascinating adaptations that make them one of our greatest global survivors. Long existence…

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Secrets of Our Ocean Planet: The Not-So-Simple Sea Sponge

    By Rachel Downey (Australia National University & British Antarctic Survey) and Claire Christian (ASOC) Every so often, conservationists make a concerted effort to get the public to care about some humble or overlooked species. Cephalopod Awareness Day, anyone? Photos of unusual species lacking the fur or feathers typically required for cuteness, might even…

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Transparency in Trinidad and Tobago: Charting a Pathway for Financial Inclusion from Oil Revenue

Guest article by Nneka Mentore In a recent visit to the resource-rich Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, I had an opportunity to meet with a graduate of the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, Nneka Mentore, Community Relations Advisor for a MNC, operating in Trinidad and Tobago. She had undertaken research on the country’s…

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How close are we to reaching the 2020 MPA targets? A perspective from World Heritage 

With a global ocean economy worth trillions, no conversation about marine protection is complete without considering socio-economic concerns. Billions of people around the world depend on a healthy ocean for food, jobs, and a way of life. Today, long-standing pressures like fishing, shipping and development are being compounded by a changing climate. It has never been more urgent to work across sectors and borders to plan a sustainable future for our ocean. That is why we at the World Heritage Marine Programme were so pleased to join the Monaco Blue Initiative in Edinburgh earlier this month to discuss global trends in marine conservation….

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Top 25 Arid Birds

Wild Bird Trust presents this week’s Top 25, “Arid Birds”. These birds face stressors such as aridity and heat but thrive nonetheless. Some birds made use of microclimates to escape the heat, using shade to keep cool. Others will dissipate the heat form their bodies by dilating blood vessels in their legs or by holding…

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Turn the Plastic Tide—for Seabirds, the Environment, and Human Health

When the United States Embassy in New Zealand asks if you’ll do an Earth Day post about impacts of mismanaged waste on the global environment—with a focus on seabirds—what do you do? Quick, call Lilly Sedaghat and Steph Borrelle! Sedaghat is one of my four fellow Fellows (2017-2018 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellows, that is), currently studying waste…

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Study Finds RGGI Benefits Economy, Cuts Emissions

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state carbon cap-and-trade program, continues to help lower emissionsof carbon dioxide and benefit local economies, according to a new study by the Analysis Group. The study estimates that RGGI states gained $1.4 billion in net economic value from program during 2015–2017. “I think this provides evidence of the fact that you can…

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Conservationists divided on Florida’s decision to kill off invasive iguanas

By Erica Cirino Florida is struggling with a fast-increasing population of invasive green iguanas that began as a small group of released and escaped pets. Thriving in the warm sunshine and humid climate, experts believe hundreds of thousands of nonnative iguanas now call the Sunshine State “home.” There, state conservation officials claim they threaten the…

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Better than Nessie: Freshwater Turtle Discovery Galvanizes Hope This Earth Month

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, GWC associate director of communications Somewhere between the legend of King Le Loi, Asia’s counterpart of King Arthur, and the tale of the Loch Ness Monster exists the world’s rarest turtle, the Yangtze Giant Asian Softshell (Rafetus swinhoei), a species that can grow up to 330 pounds and lives an enigmatic…

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Celebrating awe-inspiring fish migrations and understanding their quests

By Dr. Karen Murchie, Research Biologist, Shedd Aquarium Mighty fish migrations are among the greatest marvels of nature. On April 21, 2018, people around the globe will celebrate World Fish Migration Day, building awareness of just how critical moving between habitats is for many species. Why spend the energy to migrate? These fish are on…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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