Scientists measure and tag a grouper before returning it to the water. Credit: Teresa L. Carey

Bringing Back the Nassau Grouper

When I first saw the acoustic tag, I couldn’t imagine inserting it under fish’s skin. It was the size and shape of the SPF 45 ChapStick that was melting in my pocket. The tag would soon be surgically implanted into a Nassau grouper, a medium-sized fish, but Dr. Rick Nemeth, and his team at University…

Continue Reading
storrs2

The science of barefoot running: A personal journey

I first heard about Born to Run, the Chris McDougall book that sparked the barefoot running craze, during my freshman year of college in 2012. At the time, before I got bogged down with trivialities like torn anterior cruciate ligaments (turns out those really matter), I was a running fiend. I ran every day. On…

Continue Reading
Baby king crab hangs  onto its nanny sea pig. Credit: ©2011 MBARI

Why are Juvenile Crabs Hitching Rides on Sea Pigs?

On the muddy grounds of the deep ocean, sea cucumbers are playing nanny to young king crabs. But are they being compensated?’ These sea cucumbers, commonly known as sea pigs, are bottom-dwelling creatures that look like grapefruit jelly with legs and could fit in the palm of a hand. Juvenile King crabs are around half…

Continue Reading
Tree mortality at Bass Lake, Sierra National Forest. Source: U.S. Forest Service, Region 5

Historical narratives drive debate over California’s forests

  The latest news release by the U.S. Forest Service reads ominously: the Sierra Nevada has over 100 million dead trees. Swathes of standing dry trees infested with insects populate the Stanislaus, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests. Climate change, a five-year drought and bark beetle attacks have together resulted in what the Forest Service has called…

Continue Reading
untitled-2

Mystery of the Red Tide

I stood with my feet buried in sand, staring at the ocean waves as they touched the beach. It was mid-October. To my untrained eye, the Monterey Bay shoreline looked like a child’s bubble bath. To California Fish and Wildlife scientists, it was a terrible déjà vu. Nine years ago, an algal bloom wreaked havoc—and…

Continue Reading
Black turban snail. Credit: Gabriel Ng

Sea Snails on Acid

Twice a day the rocky Pacific coast traps seawater in pools as the tide rolls in and out. Compared to the ocean, the puddles are so small and innocuous that it seems nothing momentous could possibly be happening there, but there is. It turns out tiny black turban snails may be getting a buzz from…

Continue Reading
Olive ridley sea turtle hatchlings on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Photo by Sukee Bennett.

How does one turtle’s tale promote ocean conservation?

I watched nearly 2,000 baby olive ridley sea turtles hatch while working on a sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica. Most of them were born in our human-made hatchery from wild eggs we had relocated— each hatchling crawled and tumbled upon dozens of siblings in a sheltered plot, eager to be free. Others were…

Continue Reading