This is my last post on Culturing Science. I’m leaving the network as Scientific American is taking it in a new direction. Thank you for reading my writing on ecology, conservation and whatever else over the past four years.
There is currently a person on this planet who has traveled to outer space and to the deep sea. Many of us dream of one or the other; to dream of both at once seems overly ambitious or even greedy.
Several times a week, if not every day, I look at Doppler radar maps so I know whether to take an umbrella when I leave the house. These maps, shown on TV weather reports or websites, are commonplace enough that they don’t feel like impressive technology: mere green blobs slowly shifting across the screen at [...]
#IAmANaturalist because to try and understand a completely different way of living, of being, is to transcend oneself.
Last month, I set out to write a fairly basic story about the Gulf oil spill and whether the oil really caused deformities in fish. I first called an oil chemist to get some background on how oil could cause those problems in the first place.
I have never seen a glacier (or any sea ice for that matter) in real life, though I’ve seen them in countless photos. I’m spellbound by James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey, at the shapes and scale of ice in the Arctic.
No matter the temperature, I don’t consider it to be really spring until I spot the first spring beauties of the year. These sweet whitish/pinkish mid-Atlantic florets (Claytonia virginica) are among the first to stretch out of the mud and leaf litter to add a spritely touch to an otherwise brown woodscape.
Fiddler crabs are strange little beasties. Males have what amounts to one giant claw, which can be as long as his body is wide, and one tiny T.
A seemingly humdrum little molecule has found itself responsible for not just one but two positive feedback loops, one moderating climate and the other gathering animals across the food web.
Although I mostly think about conservation, ecology and nature, I have a soft spot for medicine and, in particular, genetics. It's partly due to my own family history and experience, partly my interest in how people think about medicine and death, and partly my 6-month internship at Nature Medicine , which began more than two years ago this month.
After surviving cicada emergences and witnessing several cycles of journalism's cicada beat, you'd think I'd have seen it all. Articles about prime number cycling and climate change, evolution and recipes.
Today’s programming on Culturing Science is brought to you by Dennis Waters. He currently serves as the historian of Lawrence Township, New Jersey when he’s not squatting near a tree trunk or gravestone collecting lichens.
The winners and finalists of the inaugural ScienceSeeker awards were announced yesterday, and I'm honored to announced that two of my posts were selected!
Today, Angelina Jolie published an Op-Ed in the New York Times about her decision to get a double mastectomy (removal of breast tissue in both breasts) to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
The eastern bluebird ( Sialia sialis ) has lived in Bermuda as long as recent human memory can recall. It's considered a native species, and some people even consider the population to be a subspecies--the Bermuda bluebird ( Sialia sialis bermudensis )--because it looks a bit different from its mainland counterparts: its blue is a little more purple, and its orange is a bit more "cinnamon," according to a 1901 account by zoologist (and science fiction writer) Alpheus Hyatt Verrill (Volume V, Number 6).However, the idea that these birds are native to the island is reliant upon a rather unreliable source: human observation.
Winner of Best Biology Blog Post of 2013 from Scienceseeker.org The TedxDeExtinction conference, discussing how and whether to resurrect extinct species from DNA, took place on the Ides of March 2013 at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC.
Animals with backbones (vertebrates) make up only 4% of the species on our planet. Yet when you walk into a natural history museum, they’re all you see.
I've never really appreciated how lucky I am to have grown up with the blue marble. A poster of the earth floating in an endless black sea decorated the walls of my science classrooms since I was in elementary school.
Dillon Marsh's photographs of sociable weaver nests, taken in the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, beautifully illustrate traditional nature--the realm of wild animals--overlapping with human civilization.
That post about stray cat management sure set off a firestorm, both here and at Salon , where it was syndicated. It ended up being a story people either loved or hated, which didn't entirely surprise me.