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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.      

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…

I wonder what’s up there?

Five years ago I met an anteater that changed my life. As a first-year grad student, I was in the midst of my academic identity crisis trying to figure out what exactly I was going to study. I joined a team of researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to survey wildlife in…

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…

Is Zootopia Creating Demand for Pet Fennec Foxes in China? (SPOILER: Probably Not)

You might have heard that Disney’s newest blockbuster, Zootopia (titled Zootropolis in some European countries), is driving a “huge demand for fennec foxes as pets” in China. What you probably have not read is the evidence to support such headlines. And the reason for that is simple: there isn’t any. It is time to stop…

Important and Overlooked: Protecting Open Water

The open ocean may be vast but it’s not limitless. Under that glassy expanse, the pelagic environment is more than empty blue water. It’s streaked and spotted with migratory thoroughfares and breeding grounds for marine mammals, turtles, fish, and seabirds. Thousands of miles from shore, the sea still thrums with life. Yet there is no…

SWITCHing to a Low-Carbon Future

By Diego Ponce de Leon Barido and Josiah Johnston Rolling black outs and high electricity prices were a common ritual in Nicaragua a decade ago. Schools and shops often languished for hours without power. Hotels and restaurants relied on kerosene, candles and expensive generators to keep businesses open. From a financial and health perspective, this…

How Citizen Science Changed the Way Fukushima Radiation is Reported

Photos By Ari Beser Tokyo – “It appears the world-changing event didn’t change anything, and it’s disappointing,”said Pieter Franken, a researcher at Keio University in Japan (Wide Project), the MIT Media Lab (Civic Media Centre), and co-founder of Safecast, a citizen-science network dedicated to the measurement and distribution of accurate levels of radiation around the…

Climbing Into Volcanoes, Collecting Rocks—and Hopefully Saving Lives

When a growing population lives below two major volcanoes, someone better figure out how they work.

Salamanders Lost, Found and Saved

An expedition to find species missing for decades in the remote cloud forests of northwest Guatemala leads to a new sanctuary for rare and elusive salamanders.

Mesoamerican Race to Protect Parrotfish and the Reef

In a dramatic twist to the typical fishing tournament, this friendly competition among the four countries sharing the Mesoamerican reef (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico) rewards international players who catch less fish and protect more coral reefs.