VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for North America
Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the BioBlitz hosted last week by the U.S. National Park Service and the National Geographic Society in Louisiana’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve yielded hundreds of observations, including the discovery of a rare Louisiana milk snake not previously recorded in the park. “This is the first time anyone has done this level of work on a bottomland, hardwood, freshwater system like this,” said Victoria Bayless, curator at the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum.
Whether a tiny invertebrate or a large, invasive nutria, all of the species observations collected during the BioBlitz will be mapped out and visualized on the National Geographic FieldScope tool. FieldScope is a web-based GIS for visualizing and analyzing scientific data collected by professional and citizen scientists. It is also a tool for exploring the geography of a place.
The annual BioBlitz hosted by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society is underwritten in part by the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation, a private grant-making philanthropy based in Chicago. Every year for five years the Morrison Family Foundation helps make the event possible. And every year the foundation’s executive director, Lois Morrison, participates in the BioBlitz with her husband Justin Daab and their daughters Josephine and Addie Daab.
News Watch interviewed Lois Morrison about her passion for both nature and education, and why she sees the BioBlitz as a special opportunity to reinforce our connection with the natural world.
In this guest blog post, Ed Stewart, president, and co-founder, of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, takes issue with a News Watch post by Jordan Carlton Schaul about elephants in zoos. “The reason the management of elephants in captivity is coming under such scrutiny, is not, as [Schaul] states, because zoos and sanctuaries offer different environments for elephants, but because zoos and sanctuaries have different philosophies about captivity itself,” Stewart writes. On top of that, he adds, there presently exists no state-of-the-art keeping of elephants in captivity.
California condors Sisquoc and Shatash welcomed a baby chick this week, in full view of the world watching them via webcam. “With just over 400 California condors in existence, this endangered species is still an uncommon sight, making this hatching all the more significant,” San Diego Zoo Safari Park said in a news statement about…
John-Michael Lee caught thresher sharks off Redondo Beach in California when he was a boy. “We’d float on a mat in the water, reach down with our hands and just catch them by the tail,” recalls John-Michael. “They were about three to four feet long, but most of that was tail.”
“When I go diving now,” he remarks, “I don’t see many sharks anymore.”
Mountain lions are spreading east of the Rockies—a challenge for wildlife managers and communities. Some friends who live a few blocks from me in the small town of Whitefish, Montana, had a house cat named Dandelion. After it went missing for two days, the family began a search through their wooded lot. In a nearby…
Polar bears are not souvenirs. They are an iconic, beautiful species that is rapidly disappearing. Starting this week, countries from around the world will gather at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), where protection for polar bears will be an important topic of discussion.
‘All things must pass,’ sang George Harrison. With time, suns turn into ice, civilizations into dust, and species go extinct. And so ‘black dwarfs,’ ‘biodiversity loss,’ not to forget ‘Armageddon,’ have all become part of our daily alphabet. Strange planet… though the risk of a 6th species extinction wave is quite real (see my previous…
With little fanfare, the Inuit people of Nunavik in northern Quebec, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Government of Quebec announced the creation of Tursujuq National Park—a 6.5 million acre protected area along the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. Not only is this remarkable for its size—it’s the largest protected area in eastern North America and one of the top 10 largest parks on the continent—but perhaps even more incredible is that the park is several million acres larger than it had been expected to be a few years ago.
Scientists and meteorologists examining data from Hurricane Sandy think the massive super-storm that caused widespread devastation from North Carolina to New York City in October could be a harbinger of changes for the U.S. coastline. Exactly how those changes might unfold isn’t clear. But some scientists who study hurricanes and coastal environments outlined some possibilities at…
A new species of freshwater fish found in Mexico has several interesting – and perhaps cringe-inducing – characteristics, including four hooks on the male genitalia, North Carolina State University said this week.
The panda cub born a week ago at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., was found dead early today.
Five outstanding female scientists were granted 2012 L’Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science at a ceremony in New York City this week. Each Fellow receives up to U.S.$60,000 to continue post-doctoral research. The program also offers professional development workshops for the Fellows to help them build networks with accomplished female leaders in corporate, academic,…