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Shedd Aquarium Teens and Volunteers Lend an Eye to Global Research

The following is a blog post by Dr. Steve Kessel, director of marine research at Shedd Aquarium. You don’t have to be a scientist to contribute to a global research study thanks to a growing number of projects that rely on citizen science. These are projects in which volunteers and scientists work together to answer real-world…

One Fin, Two Fin, No Fin, Bluefin

By Carl Safina Atlantic Bluefin tuna might be the best studied marine fish in the world. But counting Bluefin in the wild is difficult. They can live several decades and reach 1,500 pounds, and they migrate across the ocean. It’s been particularly difficult for western Atlantic Bluefin. (Eastern Atlantic and western Atlantic tuna are named…

What Is Making All That Arctic Noise?

Working and living in the coastal Arctic, we have a particular interest in the impacts of noise on marine mammals and how that affects both their health and vitality and that of our indigenous partners, who rely on marine mammals for their food and economic security. With a range of colleagues within and outside WCS, we are developing an understanding of soundscapes, which helps us define and implement conservation strategies to protect these iconic animals in two of the most critical marine mammal habitats in the Western Arctic.

A “novel” approach to climate change education: “The Kingdom of Winter,” a book review

Author Dorothy Papadakos is working on “The Kingdoms of the Seasons” series of novels to help teach young adults about climate change in a more engaging way.

Dinner with a side of ocean destruction?

Every time you eat at a restaurant, university cafeteria, airport, corporate campus, or sporting event, your food was likely provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress 2017, a new Greenpeace report, evaluates whether food companies are helping or harming the oceans and workers. The world’s oceans are home to one million species, covering…

A Krill’s-Eye Video of New Zealand Seabirds

Music video or science documentary? This is both! We took a GoPro-rigged buoy out into New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, where multitudes of hungry seabirds were tracking swarms of fish and krill just below the surface of the sea. Featuring Darlingside‘s “The Ancestor” from the album Birds Say. Underwater footage courtesy of the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust.…

To Save Australia’s Outback, Indigenous Groups Connect With Nature

Note: This piece was updated on Nov. 14, 2017, with terminology to appropriately describe Indigenous communities in Australia. Flying across the width of Australia in July, from Sydney in the southeast to Broome in the northwest, I was mesmerized by the sweeping floodplains of the channel country and the seemingly endless rolling dunes of the…

Virtual Reality can help politicians make responsible decisions about the environment

There’s been no shortage of apocalyptic images lately, from massive hurricanes in the Caribbean and Texas to California’s deadliest wildfires ever. Scientists say global warming has magnified the impact of disasters like these. Still, some legislators deny the impact of climate change or oppose any restrictions on carbon emissions. I’ve long said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a virtual reality experience is worth 1,000 pictures. Could virtual reality change their minds?

UN’s Ocean Envoy Calls for a Decade of Ocean Science

The UN’s new Special Envoy for the Ocean says a new Decade of Ocean Science is needed to galvanize efforts to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources by 2030.

Rat Eradication on Ilha do Meio

In Brazil WWF is partnering with TRIADE to undertake a trial rat eradication on Ilha do Meio, one of the small offshore islands of Fernando de Noronha. I visited the island this week so that the team undertaking the project could bring me up to speed on their progress so far.

Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue: Ocean Conservation

National Geographic Society leaders converged on Capitol Hill in Washington. D.C. this week to deliberate with Congressional leaders on ways to address the many challenges facing the oceans. Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell convened the Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue on Ocean Conservation, held at the Library of Congress across the street…

Diving With Borneo Sharks: Shark Sanctuary or Slaughterhouse?

The shark appears from the blue, soaring in the current like a 707 in a holding pattern.  Doglike, the curious shark investigates open mouthed, eyeing my friend’s flippers. Six feet long and sinuous, she glides along behind us until with a switch of her tail and a flare of her pectoral fins, she is off,…

Global Handwashing Day: Reflecting on handwashing under the Ethiopian sun  

One hot afternoon last year, there was dancing and singing as a young girl named Nigisti stepped forward to wash her hands. Other students at the Abi Adi School in Trigray, Ethiopia stood in line behind her, grinning widely as they awaited their turn. As Nigisti scrubbed the soap between her fingers, the school’s principal…

Our Ocean Conference: Emerging Themes and Solutions to Plastic Pollution

By Lark Starkey Plastic – the word on so many lips during the 4th International Our Ocean Conference held in Malta last week. Plastic and it’s harm to oceans, communities, health, and economies. But as EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella succinctly and powerfully summarized: “This event is about solutions.” And solutions are rapidly emerging, both in…

How to Seabird in the Dark

I’m on a clifftop in the dark, on a remote island in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. An inky sea lies below, unfamiliar constellations glitter above, and a bird has just flown straight into my hand. Other pale squeaking shapes are brushing by me and bumping into me. A few minutes ago one smacked me in…