Author Archive | Emily Benson

Ashy storm petrels spend most of their time at sea. Unless they’re incubating an egg, adults typically visit their nesting sites for just a few hours in the middle of the night, making them a challenging species to study. Photograph by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Jeff Poklen via Flickr.

Eavesdropping on seabirds

Ecologists trying to pin down the complex web of connections swirling around a particular species need to start with the basics, things like the size of the population, and whether or not its members are breeding successfully. Simple questions, but if a scientist’s quarry is elusive or cryptic, it can take more than the powers…

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A new streetlight, powered by solar panels bolted to its spine, sits at the end of the Santa Cruz wharf.

Solar streetlight illuminates innovative solutions

This story starts with poop. Bird poop. A solar panel shouldn’t be caked in white crust. It should be a dark flat shelf open to the sky, soaking up sunlight, resting near the streetlight it’s meant to power perched on the end of a wharf. But imagine you’re a seagull used to roosting on that…

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