Conservation organizations working to conserve species and their habitats are faced with many challenges at present: shrinking financial resources, a burgeoning human population, and highly unpredictable threats such as climate change. The nationwide network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, or LCCs, emerged in response to this uniquely challenging moment in the history of conservation. There are 22 LCCs in the US, and together they encompass its entire geography.
When you do fieldwork far from where you are based during the year, particularly experimental field work, you find out just how much stuff can fit in a mini van. I go to school at the University of Wisconsin Madison but I do my research in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. This summer I jammed as much equipment as possible, two field techs, and my cat into a car and rolled out across Dakota prairies toward an adventure of bears, mountains, thunderstorms, and Big Skies of Yellowstone.
On August 29, 2005, many watched as Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. The satellite imagery from that day shows us how strong Katrina was. A category 5 hurricane at its peak, Katrina was a category 3 hurricane at landfall. This hurricane currently stands as the third deadliest and most costly hurricane in U.S. history (more than 1,000 deaths and $108 billion in damage according to the National Hurricane Center). Ten years have passed since Katrina made landfall.
The Ecological Society of America is having its 100th Anniversary Conference August 9-14 in Baltimore. The organizers of this year’s centennial meeting have challenged us to put together talks and symposia that celebrate 100 years of advancements in ecological research and peer into the future of 21st Century challenges. This has undoubtedly stimulated substantial interest in climate change as a hot topic.
This morning I’m sitting on my porch with my computer in my lap, sipping coffee from my Star Trek mug and enjoying the beautiful morning sky. I’m staring out over a temperate deciduous forest surrounding a beautiful lake, all beneath patches of clouds, the blue sky, and a faint moon descending over the horizon. What makes this even better is that I am near the middle of downtown Raleigh, NC surrounded by urban habitat and you can’t tell (at least not from this view).
The biggest climate change news of 2015 has come from a rather unlikely source: The Vatican of Rome.
A decade ago, I would have NEVER have believed that I would write the following words, but here they are: I love working with 7th graders! My twenty-something self would have further cringed at the idea of leading dozens of boisterous middle schoolers through quiet mountain landscapes. And yet, here I am, traipsing across alpine boulder fields with 60 of my closest 7th grade friends.
The restored stone walls of two ancient heiau (Hawaiian temples) rise black and strong out of the gentle waves of the Kona Coast. Large rocks sit farther out in the sea, and coastal plants and bushes spread along the tops of the dunes and farther back, behind the great stone structures. Small groups of university students can be seen peering into the tidal pools, snorkeling among the waves, and gesturing toward plants on the beaches while making notes on data sheets and comparing observations.
The folks who did the renowned "Six Americas" study are back with more interesting data on opinions toward climate change and climate change adaptation. The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication has recently published a paper that breaks down opinions about climate change in the United States down geographically, from the national all the way down to the county level. And since their focus is on communication they have also developed a nice website to graphically present their data.