Tag Archives | conservation


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…

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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…

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Oregon wolf OR-11, image courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

A cultural and emotional history of wolves in Oregon

On November 9th, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife voted 4-2 to remove wolves from Oregon’s state endangered species list, while increasing penalties for killing wolves. This surprised many people, myself included. You see, until 2008, there were no wolves in Oregon. They had been extinct for 70 years. Before I go any further,…

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“Monarch in May.” Image credit: Kenneth Dwain Harrelson via Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. http://bit.ly/1CbXgQf

Long Live the Monarch, an Ambassador for Nature

Monarch butterflies always take me back to elementary school. I remember watching and waiting for weeks as bright green caterpillars munched on milkweed plants in our classroom terrarium, then wound themselves overnight into snug chrysalises. Just writing ‘chrysalis’ makes me feel like I’m 10 again and peering at the dangling little insect sleeping bags, wondering…

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A genetics survey ‘resurrects’ a sailfin dragon species that was misclassified in 1872, while providing a new blueprint for patrolling a black market trade. Credit: Scott Corning

Lazarus Lizard

He’s grown bigger since the last video. Chico chopped off his own tail a few months back (I think maybe he was upset about being in his cage). Such is a life in captivity for a sailfin dragon as retold on YouTube, where there are over 1,400 videos of Hydrosaurus lizards. The vibrant reptiles are often…

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But is it Eco Art?

Environmental art pioneers Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison have an exhibit at UC Santa Cruz’s Sesnon Gallery this quarter. It’s part of a larger focus on environmental art, including a series of lectures on Wednesday nights. I’m in Mountain View on Wednesdays and couldn’t attend the lectures, but the guests are an intriguing mix of…

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Less Smoke, More Fire

I grew up near a fortress built during the French and Indian War and used to love historical reenacting, but I eventually quit. In the eyes of dominant reenacting culture, period-correct portrayal of a frontier woman meant that my male friends would be throwing tomahawks and shooting muzzleloaders, and I’d be mending bodices and cooking…

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Water in the California Aqueduct flowing south. According to Aquafornia, "70 percent of California’s runoff occurs north of Sacramento, 75 percent of California’s urban and agricultural demands are to the south."

Part of the Problem

It took me a long time to learn that I have a touch of road rage. The first time my husband watched me come slightly unhinged in gridlock, he only had one thing to say: “If you’re complaining, you’re part of the problem.” Now that I’m spending a year as a California road warrior, it’s…

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