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Iguanas Research Trip to Bahamas with Shedd Aquarium

Hello everyone: I’m Dr. Chuck Knapp, the Director of Conservation and Research at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois. When I started working at Shedd Aquarium as a young aquarist in 1991, I became fascinated with the world’s most endangered lizards: West Indian rock iguanas. Come along with me as I post blogs and photos of…

Cherry Tree Planting in March 1912 Shaped Public Face of Washington, D.C.

The cherry trees are blooming in Washington. Tuesday, March 27, 2012, marks 100 years since First Lady Helen Taft and the Japanese ambassador’s wife, Viscountess Iwa Chinda, planted the first two trees. No photographs of the event exist, and newspaper accounts were sketchy. But historical records offer a picture of what happened that day and how it came about.

Nuclear Power in New England: Lessons for Ecological Diplomacy

As the United States considers the role of nuclear power in its national energy strategy after the Fukushima disaster, I requested policy analyst Dr. Richard Watts to share perspectives from his recent book on environmental conflicts around the license renewal of The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.   Guest post by Dr. Richard Watts On…

Dogs Sniff Out Exotic Pythons in the Everglades

The giant invasive snakes that are thought to be breeding and munching their way through the native animals in Florida’s Everglades may have found their nemesis in the form of one of America’s most beloved pets, the Labrador retriever. “The scenario sounds like a low-budget movie from the 1970s: Humongous snakes are on the loose,…

Putting Fish Over Politics

Remarkable things can happen when key stakeholders and leaders in Washington find common ground for a common good. An excellent case in point is the congressional effort to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, a landmark conservation measure signed into law by President George W. Bush five years ago this January. In the mid-2000s, we…

Did the Chesapeake Bay Turn the Corner in 2011?

2011 may go down in history as the turning point for the Chesapeake Bay. The largest estuary in the United States, the Bay’s watershed includes almost 20 percent of the country’s Atlantic coast and produces an estimated 500 million pounds of seafood every year.

Durban Plan for Climate Treaty Greeted With Mixed Feelings

The COP17 round of climate negotiations in Durban has once again shown just how hard it is to devise a cohesive international response to this threatening phenomenon. It is for this reason that the conference’s agreement to sign up to an all-inclusive legal commitment to reduce carbon emissions has been hailed as a major breakthrough,…

A Soldier’s Sketchbook: From the Front Lines of World War II

As we remember and honor today all the men and women who did war service, National Geographic has published A Soldier’s Sketchbook, the remarkable drawings and memories of Joseph Farris, an internationally published cartoonist whose works have appeared in the New Yorker and many other major publications.

Saving This Small Fish Can Help Save the Ocean

I’ve always loved fresh fish. As a chef, there’s nothing like cooking a striped bass or bluefish straight from the Chesapeake — watching as the skin darkens, caramelizes, and releases just a hint of the unmistakably sweet, yet salty, fragrance of the Bay. But as a sustainability advocate, I’ve also grown concerned about the health of a key food source for these and many other species along the Eastern seaboard — a small fish known as menhaden.

Path of the Pronghorn Leading To New Passages – Part 2

WCS Scientists blog from the field in a 2-part series that looks at pronghorn encountering difficult highway crossing points during their fall migration. The animals get a glimpse of the construction of underpasses and overpasses meant to keep wildlife and motorists off a collision course.

Mapping Our Nation’s Ascendancy

This year marks the beginning of the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial. Just six months after commemorations began, sales of National Geographic’s Battles of the Civil War map have increased exponentially. It appears this key period of our nation’s history remains in the hearts and minds of many of our citizens. I was well reminded of this…

Path of the Pronghorn Leading To New Passages

WCS Scientists blog from the field in a 2-part series that looks at pronghorn encountering difficult highway crossing points during their fall migration. The animals get a glimpse of the construction of underpasses and overpasses meant to keep wildlife and motorists off a collision course.

Pumpkins for Halloween for Disney Animal Kingdom’s Wildlife

Disney’s Animal Kingdom joined a number of leading zoos today in treating their animals to Halloween pumpkin treats. The animals are entirely unaware of Halloween, of course, but their keepers seem to welcome any opportunity to have fun for themselves and visitors — while the animals no doubt welcome a change of diet and an…

How the BioBlitz Ties Us All to the Sacred Earth

Cecil Manuel, of the Cecil B. Manuel Inter-Tribal Dancers, shared his cultural and spiritual knowledge at the recent BioBlitz in Saguaro National Park. Among the dances he demonstrated was the Hoop Dance. “There are so many different stories that we tell about the dances. Different tribes have different versions of how they came about,” he…

Halloween Storm Freakiest Ever

If you can’t recall the last time such a bizarre snowstorm hit the northeastern U.S. in October, it’s not because your memory’s failing. The nor’easter that dumped snow from Virginia to Maine over the weekend—as much as 30 inches in some places—was something new.