Voices for Biodiversity

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. A group of scientists attending a Jacksonville-based living shorelines conference, garbed in knee-high wading boots, walked across a mudflat toward a…

Changing Planet

by Erika Zambello, based on an article by Alex Mullarky. Alex Mullarky was in the depths of Australia’s Toolangi Forest, part of a citizen science group  sweeping the inky shadows with headlamps and infrared cameras. They spotted sleeping birds, a greater glider, a mountain brushtail possum, but their eyes were constantly looking for one, specific species: a Leadbeater’s Possum….

Changing Planet

by Erika Zambello In 21st century agricultural practices, monoculture dominates. “Most commercial agriculture around the world comes in the form of monocultures, where whole fields are devoted to a single plant,” Andrew Flachs writes in a new article at Voices for Biodiversity, “Monocultures are stark landscapes, built around the logic of factories rather than the…

Changing Planet

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Located on the Florida Panhandle, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) borders encompass over 245,000 acres, including Apalachicola Bay, wildlife…

Changing Planet

Though I felt immensely connected to nature on my Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hike (an end-to-end hike of a long-distance trail within one season), I was disappointed by how environmentally degrading backpacking can be. I found countless coolers and campsites full of trash, and eating individually wrapped packets of ramen and Pop-Tarts generated an uncomfortable amount…

Human Journey

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve The Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) encompasses over 6,000 acres in coastal Alabama, opening a…

Changing Planet

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When popular movies come out, especially those made by Disney, most people extol the brilliant animation, the clever storylines, the box office blowouts. However, conservationists sometimes ask another question: How will this film affect the environment? When Finding Nemo and Finding Dory emerged as instant Pixar classics, Shannon Switzer Swanson and her team — recipients…

Changing Planet

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) was designated in 1984 and encompasses 1,600 acres of coastal…

Changing Planet

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I sleep on the sun-warmed roof of  the house. As I wake periodically through the night, gently and instinctively awoken by rustling, I notice the moon’s progress across the sky. For the first time I am fully aware of how the night sky changes overhead, the simple revelation of something I already know: the planet…

Wildlife

At first glance, the relationship between large, charismatic wildlife species and comparatively invisible carbon compounds is not abundantly clear.  In terms of an ecosystem’s carbon dynamics, it’s more intuitive that soil microorganisms do a lot of the work by breaking down carbon compounds and respiring carbon dioxide; also intuitive is that plants draw carbon back…

Human Journey