Taxonomy term

conservation

Down to Earth With: Paleobiologist Rowan Lockwood

In 1608, Captain John Smith noted that oysters “lay as thick as stones” on the floor of the Chesapeake Bay. The shell reefs — built up by hundreds of years of oyster generations — were so large, ships wrecked against them. And each oyster was so massive, to eat one, you had to cut it into pieces — like a steak.

27 Jul 2018

Down to Earth With: Conservation engineer Emily Pidgeon

“I can be a very blunt object,” says Emily Pidgeon, describing how she moves through the world and how she approaches her work. Her Australian accent, drawling yet punctuated, rises above the din of the lunch crowd at a café. She pauses a moment, and declares herself a larrikin. “Do you know that word, larrikin?” She explains that Australians have a larrikin culture — they’re troublemakers, but in a good way. “We have a healthy disrespect for authority,” she says, sipping her tea.

30 Mar 2018

Benchmarks: January 10, 2013: Pinnacles National Park is founded

On Jan. 10, 2013, when President Barack Obama signed legislation granting national park status to the former Pinnacles National Monument — designated as such by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 — the land became the country’s 59th national park. Tucked away in California’s Coast Ranges about an hour’s drive inland from Big Sur, Pinnacles covers almost 11,000 hectares of wilderness near Paicines, Calif., and is one of the main refuges for the critically endangered California condor, which nearly went extinct in the 1980s. Recently, with conservation programs like the one that exists at Pinnacles, the birds are on their way toward recovery.
 
10 Jan 2016

Methane be dammed!

Beavers were nearly killed off in the 19th century as trappers hunted them for their soft pelts. A successful conservation effort over the past 100 years brought the dam-builders back from the brink, but a new study published in the journal AMBIO has found that all those beaver-built ponds may be producing significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas.

 
05 Apr 2015

Protecting the mineral treasures of Antarctica's Larsemann Hills

In 2003, scientists visited the Stornes Peninsula in Antarctica's Larsemann Hills to study the rocks — especially boron and phosphorus minerals. What they found set them on a decade-long path to protect the geology, culminating in 2014 with the naming of the site as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area.

19 Jan 2015

Travels in Geology: Peru's petrified forest: The struggle to study and preserve one of the world's most remarkable fossil sites

Tucked high in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru is a remarkable fossil find: a 39-million-year-old petrified forest preserved in volcanic deposits in nearly pristine condition. Researchers are working to preserve the site.
 

07 Jul 2014

Celebrity climb

One billion people are without access to clean water today. When glacial deposits like the one atop Kilimanjaro melt away, that number will increase, some researchers say. To raise awareness about what some people are calling the global clean water crisis, a team of celebrities climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in January in the “Summit On The Summit.” 
 
02 Apr 2010

Thirsty Cities: Water management in a changing environment

On a clear day in November 2007, the governor of Georgia held an unusual public vigil. Before the doors of his state capitol, Gov. Sonny Perdue bowed his head, took his wife’s hand and prayed for rain.

Some called it a stunt. Others admired the gesture. Above all, one thing was clear: Northern Georgia was facing its worst drought in 100 years, and there was no easy fix. It would take unprecedented statewide efforts to save Georgia from ruin.

31 Dec 2009