science

It was the year when the Serengeti National Park’s music, or at least one section in its chorus-of-the-wild, died. In 1991, the twitters and whines of African wild dogs went strangely silent in Tanzania’s iconic protected area. Scientists began tracking wild dogs, also called painted wolves, here in 1964. Over the next quarter-century, researchers watched...

By Jessica Perelman, PhD Student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa “95% of our oceans have never been explored.” This is a statistic that I hear regularly, and it holds a pretty strong message. What’s out there beneath the surface? How is the ocean changing? One of the greatest challenges in conveying the significance...

With the planet facing an exploding population and unprecedented levels of biodiversity loss, National Geographic Society Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist Dr. Jonathan Baillie and Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Dr. Ya-Ping Zhang urged the world’s governments to dramatically scale up global conservation targets. They detailed their opinions in an editorial...

Imagine a coral reef, bone white as far as the eye can see, lacking in fish and other marine life. Now imagine spending three years diving around the world, seeing virtually nothing but reefs like this. You start to think to yourself, where do we find hope for coral reefs? Imagine after those years of...

By Thomas Leitner, Ph.D. One of the challenges with stemming the spread of HIV lies in understanding how it is spread. Because HIV mutates so rapidly, it has historically been difficult—if not impossible—to trace exactly who transmitted the virus to whom. Without that understanding, it’s easy for the disease to run unfettered through a population—with...

The steep ravine of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania lies behind me. Ahead are the plains of the Serengeti, grasses reaching toward the far horizon in a wavering line that finally bends into the curvature of the Earth. It is June, and the Serengeti’s “long rains” have just ended. The air is washed clean by the storms...

By Safina Center Staff It took the United States decades to develop and perfect an effective fisheries management plan that helps keep enough fish to feed both the nation’s people and its animals. The landmark legislation that turned around the country’s widespread overfishing problem was called the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, passed in...

Within a few short decades, we are faced for the first time with losing an entire ecosystem on which we depend. Humanity’s pivotal challenge to save coral reefs will be a test of our will, ingenuity and ability to collaborate globally. If we succeed, we will not only save up to a million species that...

Hog waste is providing farmers and power companies with a new source of renewable natural gas, or what’s known as swine biogas. In North Carolina, the electric utility Duke Energy is capturing methane gas from the hog waste at area farms and piping it to a central location where the gas is cleaned and converted...

By Jennifer Molnar, Managing Director and Lead Scientist of The Nature Conservancy’s Center for Sustainability Science Recently, I watched my 5-year-old nephew and 2-year-old twin nieces dig into my mom’s garden in New Jersey—looking for worms and pill bugs and other crawling treasures in the early spring dirt. It brought back early memories of doing...

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday announced that greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light duty trucks should be revised. “The Obama Administration’s determination was wrong,” said Pruitt. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set...