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Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Getting More Water from Less: The New Business Trend in a Hotter, Drier West

By Karen Yacos Director, Water Infrastructure, Ceres The Sonoran desert, where rainfall averages just nine inches per year, may seem like an unlikely place for a high tech company with big water demands to settle. But Chandler, Arizona is precisely where Intel Corporation has chosen to develop its second largest manufacturing facility in the United…

Tracking Antarctica

The largest wilderness on Earth – Antarctica is also the most isolated continent. The oceans around Antarctica are some of the most pristine in the world with more than 8,000 marine species, more than half of which are seen nowhere else in the world. However, this epic wonder is under pressure. Parts of the Antarctic…

Pangolins On The Brink

My focus in particular is the pangolin: a small, scaly, creature, rather like an armadillo, with an innocent nature, despite its resemblance to a four-footed, flightless dragon. It is also the world’s most highly-traded mammal, with more than a million being poached from the wild over the last decade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The organization says a pangolin is taken from the wild, either to be killed or sold, every five minutes.

Surveying Canopy Wildlife: A Brief Look at Looking Up

There is more to come in the way of introductions, but here is a quick first look at my project, Looking Up: A Canopy Wildlife Expedition. Throughout the year, I’ll be conducting wildlife surveys in forest canopies of Malaysia and Ecuador. As a scientist, I’m excited to expand my work to new research sites. Camera trapping…

Tiny ants may pose a big threat for diversity in Laikipia

In the shadow of Mt. Kenya, everyone has a story about a small, shiny ant that steals their cooking oil and sugar. When the seasonal rains come, they retreat into their underground nests, but they strike with full force during the dry months. The “big-headed ants” (Pheidole megacephala, which literally means “big head”) don’t bite or…

Woo-woo; Whale Magic?

Whales leave us with questions so puzzling they are unsettling, unshakeable, at times even disturbing. Are whales a product of magic, or something else?

NPS Centennial: Celebrating Conservation Worldwide

As we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service and look at the effect that protected lands and parks around the world have had on those who visit them, we see that protected lands are far more valuable than simply providing a place for a camping trip. The protected lands around the world enable people to wonder, to study, and to share their experiences with others through conservation and inspiration, though they may be a world apart.

Frank Ocean Versus the Actual Ocean

  It’s nice that Frank Ocean just released his long-anticipated new album, ‘Blond’, that some say is truly awesome. But the fact that his name linked to 12 of 20 articles on Google’s News search under the word ‘ocean’ on Sunday and on Monday had proportionately grown to 6 out of 9 ‘ocean’ news stories might also…

Icelandic cod: carrying the torch for sustainable seafood at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

The Olympic and Paralympic Games present a great opportunity to forge positive links between sport and the environment. This year, as part of a commitment to sustainability, 100% of the cod served to athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Village comes from Visir, a family-run fishing business in Grindavik, south west Iceland.

Reflections by a Conservationist Watching the Burning of 100 Tonnes of Ivory

“As the smoke rises and the flames crackle, it is hard not to be swept away by the mixed emotions this spectre creates. It is hard not to think about the thousands of elephants that died to make this fire. It is hard not to wonder if there isn’t a better way to honor their…

Putting TED2016’s Biggest Ideas to Work for Archaeology

The cross-pollination of ideas that happens at TED is priceless, and as the recipient of this year’s TED Prize, several talks inspired new ideas about my own big project.

What Went Through My Head When I Found Out I Won the 2016 TED Prize

People in some of the most dangerous areas on Earth are risking their lives to protect ancient sites. What if we all could lend a hand?

Close Encounter with a Polar Bear

After photographer Cory Richards joined the Pristine Seas expedition to Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic, he spent over a month trying to capture an image of a polar bear from a relatively close distance. On his final attempt, a teammate launched a remote-controlled quadcopter, or drone, and the polar bear ended up right where they wanted him.

Fighting Dynamite With Marine Protection in Borneo

This is the devastation left by blast fishing also called fish bombing, an illegal but rampant form of fishing here in the Coral Triangle. In the practice, a fisherman tosses dynamite, or homemade bombs made from a bottle filled with fertilizer and kerosene lit by a short fuse into the water. The blast kills or stuns all fish within the vicinity, which are easily collected for market. Dangerous to the reef, this method also maims and kills fishermen, and it is not uncommon to see men with fingers or hands missing. What is left behind is a wasteland of flattened coral rubble that can take decades or even centuries to recover.