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Dr. Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute.

Peter Gleick: top water scientist doggedly pursues conservation

The man in the shirt and tie with thin-rimmed glasses, a graying beard, and slightly tousled hair spoke with confidence and carefully chosen words. He was being interviewed on “Inside Story,” a TV news program on Al-Jazeera America, at its San Francisco studio. The segment, called “Poor People’s Water,” aired in late January and focused […]

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Under Lock and Chain Photo Credit: Pictures of Money via Flickr.

Medical advances yield ethical quagmire: Does NIH research ban protect or harm?

Lately it seems like the field of biomedical research has been incessantly presenting society with a whirlwind of game changing medical advances. Among other exciting recent developments, scientists have used 3-D printing to implant an artificial trachea in a sick infant, retinal prostheses have restored rudimentary sight to patients with degenerative vision loss, and scientists […]

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Has Smokey Bear’s message of forest fire prevention been taken too far? Photo credit: 	US Department of Agriculture via Flickr.

Rethinking Smokey

As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the woods. Every summer my parents would pack my four siblings and me into the back of our turquoise Ford Windstar and we’d set off for adventure in whatever western wilderness destination we’d chosen that year. Smokey Bear was always there to greet us as […]

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Beyond GPS: The Next High-Tech Frontier in Wild Animal Tracking

Conventional collars show scientists where in the forest a wolf is, but new technology also tells you what the animal is doing hour by hour For years, researchers have been able to track where wolves roam using GPS technology—but that’s about it. Without direct observation, scientists have had no way of knowing exactly what these elusive predators are up to […]

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A fog collector waters chard on top of a campus building at California State University, Monterey Bay. Photo: Dan Fernandez

Trees Capture Fog — So Why Can’t We?

[This is cross-posted from Bay Nature. Thanks to Alison Hawkes for editing assistance.] A gauzy marine layer regularly envelops California’s Central Coast, wafting waves of misty air over the landscape. Even during a crippling drought, all that water, albeit airborne, is all around us. What if you could capture it? It’s an idea that’s been […]

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Valeriy Yurko

Tracking wildlife in Chernobyl: The emotional landscape of a disaster zone

Mammals are thriving among the vestiges of nuclear disaster. It’s fraught work for the researchers who study them. Nature is taking back Chernobyl. Three decades after a flawed nuclear reactor spewed radioactive material over 200 towns and villages across the borders of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, trees grow through abandoned houses, owls hoot from rafters, […]

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