VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Tag archives for nature

Book saves bird’s life: The story of Albie the Albatross

Co-authored by Erica Cirino About a year and a half ago, Melissa Ursey was riding in the car as her husband Jerry drove across the Southern California desert back to their home in Rancho Mirage from their friends’ house in Desert Springs. As the car cruised through the town of Palm Desert, Jerry noticed something…

Woods Hole Science Aquarium update: One internship ending, new doors opening

By Jessica Perelman Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in biological sciences. She will attend veterinary school next year and plans to pursue a career in wildlife and conservation veterinary medicine. When I first stepped through the doors at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium ten weeks ago, I…

Banding Florida’s Snowy Plovers

At first, it was almost impossible to see the Snowy Plovers as they ran along the waves ahead of me. I was walking along the surf on Okaloosa Island, part of the Emerald Coast on Florida’s Panhandle. With their pale tan and white plumage, the birds seemed to melt into the sugar-white sand beach. The…

An Arctic gift-wrapped in plastic?

Let’s hope not. But—. All of us who’ve traveled long and far have seen the amount of plastic on beaches increase incredibly in our lifetime. And it isn’t slowing anytime soon. The worst plastic accumulations I’ve seen are in the tropics, near where most of the people are. A lot of it comes to the…

Spectacularity—While it lasts

The high Arctic is—well, it’s cold. It’s the Arctic after all. And we are very far north. Far north of Iceland, way up at 78º N and way north of Norway, in the waters around an astonishing group of rock-and-ice islands known as Svalbard. Greenpeace has invited me to join them for a while on…

Glimpse of Arctic seafloor reveals trawler’s damage

I’m in the Arctic in the waters of Svalbard, north of Norway, at 78º North Latitude during the time of year when the sun never sets. For a few days I’m a guest aboard Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise. We’re concerned about damage to the seafloor by a recent influx of fishing trawlers into the high…

Natural Fluctuations Responsible, in Part, for Antarctica Ice Growth

Natural fluctuations specifically related to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) are responsible for the increased growth of Antarctic sea ice, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience. A negative shift in the IPO has caused cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific, allowing Antarctic sea ice to expand since 2000. “The…

The Safina Center celebrates World Oceans Day

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Oceans are essential to life on Earth: They cover more than two-thirds of the planet and contain 97 percent of its water. They absorb carbon from the atmosphere, helping regulate our climate. They provide humans with food and transportation routes for trade and travel. And best of all, they’re filled with…

What’s up with microbeads? An update on a tiny terror wreaking havoc in our waterways

Co-authored by Erica Cirino In March, I wrote about a new study with a scary conclusion: Experts estimate there are more than 165 million plastic pieces in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, a region where fresh river water meets seawater close to shore. Many of those plastic pieces are exceedingly small in size—called, “mircoplastics,”…

The unseen significance of whales

Co-authored by Jessica Perelman Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in biological sciences. She will be attending veterinary school next year and plans to pursue a career in wildlife and conservation veterinary medicine. When the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, the initial…

Gaining a better understanding of the seas through citizen science

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Twice a day, every day, Kera Mathes hops aboard a ship that sets off from Long Beach Harbor in California. As education specialist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, she helps visitors aboard the ship identify the animals they see. Mathes also supervises the aquarium’s interns (college students and…

Uncharted Arctic waters: A new opportunity for exploitation, or conservation?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino When thick sheets of sea ice began melting in the Arctic waters around Svalbard, Norway, a few years ago, a new expanse of sparkling blue sea opened up. As climate change continues to drive ice melt here on the previously untouched waters of the North Barents Sea, what many ocean conservationists…

So you live near a coral reef: Why experts say that’s not good news for reef conservation

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My favorite beach on Long Island’s North Shore, where I live, is more than 700 miles away from the nearest coral reef (in Bermuda). This distance may be a good thing: Recent research suggests the further a coral reef is from human civilization, the better. (To get close from far away,…

A First Post-Cyclone Look at Coral Reefs in the Vatu-I-Ra Seascape

We knew the eye of Cyclone Winston passed over Ra, destroying up to 90 percent of people’s homes throughout the province while churning up the sea in its path. So we were expecting some damage to the reefs. Heading out to our first dive site, we saw in the distance Vatu-i-Ra – an island of cultural and historical importance to the village of Nasau and home to nine species of breeding seabirds. With more than 20,000 pairs of breeding Black Noddies (Anous tenuirostris), the island is recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.

Best Job Ever: Filming a Wild Beluga Whale Party by Drone

Thousands of beluga whales congregate in Canada’s Cunningham Inlet each summer for what National Geographic Young Explorer and nature photographer Nansen Weber calls “a big beluga party.” Using a drone, Weber captures the breathtaking view from above.