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Category archives for Science

Cats and Rats Lead Extinction Sweepstakes

As we travelled around the globe humans transported our favourite mammals with us. Either inadvertently such as rats, or intentionally such as cats. These species introductions have gone on to have unrivalled impacts.

How Climate Change Is Fueling a Food Crisis in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria

The frontline of global warming is on farms. But the story is about much more than hunger. The village of Nowcaca is nestled in the verdant hills of northwestern Mozambique, some 600 miles north of the coastal capital Maputo. A footpath winds through a sea of shoulder-high grasses, leading from a two-lane highway back to…

How Forensic Technology Can Help Fight the Ivory Trade

Here at the CITES conference in Johannesburg, almost anyone can tell you that African elephants are being slaughtered at a rate of tens of thousands per year. There are lots of approaches on how to solve the problem: reducing demand for ivory, providing alternative livelihoods for would-be poachers, training anti-poaching units—and forensics.

Sam Wasser of the University of Washington uses DNA testing to identify where the ivory confiscated in major seizures comes from. This makes it easier to know where law enforcement and anti-poaching efforts should be concentrated.

The Expedition to Niue Sets Sail

The waters surrounding the world’s largest raised coral atoll are about to get their biggest close-up yet.

Inaugural Governor’s Institutes of Vermont on Astronomy Challenges Students to Make a Positive Impression

The Governor’s Institutes are some of the best educational opportunities for Vermont teenagers in the summer. This year they launched their first Institute on Astronomy in partnership with the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation, Lyndon State College, and the Vermont Space Grant Consortium. Their hope was to expose the 25 students who attended to astronomy…

DJI announces Mavic Pro

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography. New York – Yesterday DJI launched the new Mavic Pro, a compact yet powerful drone. It incorporates 24 high-performance computing cores, an all-new transmission system with a…

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…

Devil rays in distress: Protecting the “mini mantas”

Why devil rays, or “mini mantas,” need our help!

Recent Books Recount Horror of 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane

Eighty-eight years ago, a savage hurricane tore across the Caribbean, killing thousands. Its winds probably reached 160 mph at times. The storm turned and crossed the Bahamas before smashing ashore at West Palm Beach, Florida on September 16-17, 1928. It tore across the Everglades to giant, shallow Lake Okeechobee, where uncounted thousands of migrant workers…

U.S. Ocean Leadership: Getting from 1% to 30% Marine Protection

The U.S. Department of State is set to host the third annual Our Ocean conference this week. This gathering of political leaders, philanthropists, scientists, diplomats, NGO executives, filmmakers, and private sector leaders, will be focused on the themes of marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, and marine pollution. Many of us in the ocean…

How Fighting the Bushmeat Trade Protects Lions

Sometimes, when traveling through Maasai Mara, visitors may see elephants with half of their trunk missing. The poor creatures must kneel to pluck grasses, and they are unable to reach leaves from the canopies of trees at all. It is no mystery what maims these elephants. Over smoky fires, well hidden from passersby on the…

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…

The Hawaiʻi Commitments from the 2016 IUCN Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) holds a congress every four years and this year it was in the island archipelago of Hawai‘i. Concluding today the congress adopted ‘The Hawaiʻi Commitments’.

30 Days, 30 Rivers: A Kayaker’s Quest for Adventure & Science

There is such vivid, exultant energy in the kayaking community; how can it be directed to tangible issues? Kayakers are driven to explore, travel, and experience new rivers, but what do we do to help conserve them?

Using Swimming Robots to Warn Villages of Himalayan Tsunamis

Climate change is having a devastating impact on the Himalaya. On the Ngozumpa glacier, one of the largest and longest in the region, hundreds of supraglacial lakes dot the glacier surface. One lake in particular is known for its continuous volume purges on an annual basis. Near the start of the monsoon this summer, in less…