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Bikepacking The Abandoned

My bicycle is knee deep in mud. The snowline on the nearby mountains is closer than the previous day. The abandoned track has been softened by the stomping of cattle. After an hour of pushing my loaded bike half a mile through the mud, I begin the task of setting up camp. The only suitable…

The largest fossil forest in Africa is in Mozambique

Gorongosa, Mozambique — The world 251 million years ago was very different from today. Was it, really? Well, maybe not so much. It was around a quarter of a billion years ago that the largest mass extinction on earth exterminated 95 percent of life on Earth, the Permo-Triassic extinction. The anthropogenic pressures our planet suffers today rival those that happened in the past.

How scientists and developers can work together to prevent the mass extinction of life on Earth

The 6th mass extinction in the history of the Earth is underway — and it has been triggered by mankind! (eowilsonfoundation.org). Despite this horrific reality, all hope is not lost and there are still things we can do to stop it. Here is what a bird of prey researcher in Kenya believes is a vital part of halting this catastrophe.

Studying the air-breathing lungfish, a descendant of the first terrestrial animal

Gorongosa National Park is an amazing place for research because of the diversity of habitats, and especially because of what I study:  the little-known but fascinating lungfish and its environment. The lungfish (Protopterus annectens) is an air-breathing fish found in the coastal rivers of Mozambique and other parts of southern Africa. Researchers have described its ability to “walk” on its fins on the river or pond floor.

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…

Learning the Secrets of Ants and Plants in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park

Studying small animals is very challenging. More than 50 percent of organisms on Earth are insects (Grimaldi & Engel, 2005). Ants are important because they distribute nutrients in soil, and they are the cleaners and engineers of the ecosystem. This is why there is a need to understand insects, particularly ants and the plants that interact with them.

My research has to do with the interaction these organisms have with one another. With this research I intend to learn what kind of relationship there is between them, how important they are to each other, and finally correlate that with DAP (diameter from the breast), because sometimes the diameter of a tree as measured at breast height can determine the amount of species in that tree.

Life & Glaciers

  Life & Glaciers (Patagonia’s Untold Stories)   Its skin is splitting open down its back. Three pairs of lateral attachment points keep its streamlined body glued to the submerged rock. It will use the glacial raging torrent to its advantage. With the last air in its body, it inflates its thorax to free itself from…

Science for Conservation at the Edge of an Erupting Volcano

What strange things might happen when you embark on a trip to film and photograph penguin and cormorant conservation efforts?

Tequila sunrise, or Floreana sunrise, a story of hope for humanity

Imagine yourself, at the break of dawn, sitting at the highest point of othe Galápagos Archipelago, one of the most remote inhabited group of islands in the world. Very few people will have in their lifetime the opportunity to see and feel nature as alive as I did one day while sitting on the edge…

Back To School In The Garden, A Digital Lesson Guide For Educators

“I have a question,” Iliana said raising her hand and beckoning me over to her seat just before class ended. “Maybe you won’t be able to answer this,” she paused. “Well I’ll try, what’s up?” “So all this stuff with this environment and climate, is it irreversible?” Words piled up in my mouth, not sure…

A Dive Into the Galapagos Deep Sea on World Oceans Day

After 15 hours’ traveling from New York City, I arrived on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos and started my summer as a Seamounts Research Intern at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). On World Oceans Day, just two days into my new position, I experienced first-hand the prevailing passion in the archipelago for conservation. Since 2002, this annual celebration of the beauty and intrinsic value of the ocean has taken place , where the community is encouraged to collaborate, find solutions for a healthier future, and become stewards of the world’s oceans. On World Oceans Day, the Seamounts team at CDF shared the unique mysteries of deep-water ecosystems with the community.

Monitoring macroinvertebrates on the Galapagos ‘Enchanted Islands’

My experience with the ecological monitoring 2017

By Camila Arnés Urgellés

It was 5:30am when the motor of the Queen Mabel ship was turned off after navigating all night towards Punta Moreno, our first stop in the west of the archipelago. The sun still wasn’t out and we were getting ready for our first dive of the day. A cold breeze swept against us as we propelled ourselves by Zodiac toward the first dive site, but I was more overcome by the excitement of knowing that soon I would be below the water, immersed by this enchanted place. “Ready, one, two, three…” was our signal to enter the water at the same time. While I descended, I could see a garden of corals, algae, fish, turtles and stars of thousands of colors. Having only started my volunteer program at the Charles Darwin Foundation less than three months ago, I could not believe that this was going to be my work-site for a week…

Expanding science and knowledge on the largest island of the Galapagos

I have been very lucky to visit Galapagos numerous times, first as a volunteer at the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and then at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). At the start of 2016 I returned to support the Foundation’s work as a “Local Liaison Coordinator” on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. I liked the idea of coming back and helping the Foundation, which has a long history of scientific advice for the management of the conservation of the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands, my home and living laboratory that inspires millions

Being a biologist and reading so many books on the origin of life, evolution and unique species, has so much meaning when choosing a place to live, and even more if this place becomes your home. For me, the Galapagos Islands were always only a dream, just like for millions of people worldwide.

New technologies allow rare endemic cactus to be restored to the Galapagos

At the southern end of the Galapagos archipelago lies Española, with 60 km2 of volcanic rock, sandy shores and spectacular marine and terrestrial biodiversity.

As one of the oldest islands in the Archipelago, Española has been the scene of successful conservation efforts for several iconic species such as the Española giant tortoise, rescued from the brink of extinction, and the ongoing work with the waved albatross, with its only breeding ground on the coasts of the island.

More recently, Española once again became a natural laboratory where an ambitious project initiated the plant propagation of another Española endemic species, Opuntia megasperma var. orientalis, commonly known as the Española cactus.