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An update from Woods Hole Science Aquarium: I’m halfway through my internship, and it’s been awesome!

By Jessica Perelman It has been five weeks since I began working as a NOAA intern at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA), and what an amazing experience it has been! As I expected, this summer is presenting me with every opportunity to learn about animal husbandry, interact with aquarium visitors, and discover all that…

Canada oks use of Corexit for oil spills—Despite What We’ve Learned in the Gulf

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After Shell Oil’s Brutus oil well platform 90 miles south of the Louisiana coast spewed more than 88,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico this May, Shell contracted Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation to clean up its mess. The two companies deployed workers in boats…

Learning by Listening to the Whales of New York

Co-authored by Erica Cirino New York City may be home to more than 8.4 million people, but here also resides quite a bit of wildlife. On a recent summer afternoon in the Big Apple, I spotted hoards of colorful songbirds and dozens of squirrels in street-side trees; several red-tailed hawks in the skies; and a…

Study Quantifies Climate-Change-Related Deaths

A study in Environmental Research Letters suggests a fifth of premature deaths during a 2003 heatwave in Europe are linked to human-caused climate change. “We are now able to put a number on the deaths caused by climate change in a heat wave,” said lead author Daniel Mitchell of the University of Oxford. “This has…

Mobula Munkiana – The Secret of El Barril

Clap, slap, clap clap clap! Mobula munkiana, also known as “Munk’s Devil Ray” explode out of the water around us like popcorn. Each, about the size of a coffee table in diameter, they leap out of the water and flap their wings as if they were able to take to the sky and fly like…

More ocean acidification, less coral?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Scientists have known for about 15 years that ocean acidification has made it more difficult for hard corals and shelled marine organisms to survive. To grow, hard corals as well as clams, oysters, and others pull calcium and carbonate molecules out of the water and join them together to create calcium…

North American Leaders Commit to Clean Energy Goal

At the North American Leaders Summit on Wednesday, Mexico, Canada and the United States pledged to generate 50 percent of their energy from clean sources by 2025. The joint commitment by the three countries, according to White House Adviser Brian Deese, is “an aggressive goal” but one that is “achievable continent-wide.” “The Paris Agreement was…

Coral Reef Bleaching Event Forecast to Worsen; NASA Studies Cause in Pacific

Coral in every major reef region across the world has already experienced bleaching, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts that temperatures in much of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans could reach a point at which significant bleaching of corals is present this summer. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch suggests that the greatest…

It’s Catching, If You’re a Clam: Infectious Cancer Spreading in Soft-Shell Clams, Other Mollusks

It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: Malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of…

From Miami to Australia—Dredging and industrial activities killing coral reefs

Co-authored by Erica Cirino In the Port of Miami, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recent dredging project has buried as much as 81 percent of the area’s reef in silty sediment with up to 95 percent of the reef area surveyed no longer suitable habitat for corals, leaving its corals vulnerable to death, according…

NOAA Animal Husbandry and Public Education Internship: Woods Hole Science Aquarium

By Jessica Perelman Through the generous support of The Safina Center, I have just begun my summer as an animal husbandry and public education intern at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA). I am a 2016 graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in biological sciences, and want to share my experiences…

Coral Bleaching Linked to Climate Change, Other Factors

The Great Barrier Reef, which last year narrowly avoided being put on the World Heritage endangered list, is experiencing its worst bleaching in recorded history. According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, overall mortality of the reef is 22 percent, but along Lizard Island, off far north Queensland, it’s 93 percent. Coral bleaching is also occurring along…

A New USAID-funded Community-based Conservation Initiative Launches in Northern Tanzania

Several years ago, the African People & Wildlife Fund integrated rangeland management into its four-step process towards long-term conservation success in Tanzania. Recently, a collaboration of ten organizations kicked off a five-year project to ensure that Tanzania’s rangelands, ecosystems, and the communities within those ecosystems, are protected.  By the African People & Wildlife Fund Wildlife…

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…

On World Oceans Day, A View from the Top

A conversation with Bertrand Piccard, the scientist-adventurer currently on the American leg of his global solar flight on the Solar Impulse 2, on the view from 28,000 feet, how we nearly turned our ocean into a dump for nuclear waste and win-win solutions for a healthy planet. We spoke on the eve of World Oceans Day.…