Preventing future oil spills: Congress discusses need for environmental science

This post contributed by Madeline McCurry-Schmidt, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment intern at the Ecological Society of America. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced yesterday morning that exploratory oil drilling off Alaska and deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico will be suspended due to safety concerns. The White House also said it has cancelled a drilling lease off the coast of Virginia. Fearing another spill...

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The oil spill comes to Washington

This post contributed by Madeline McCurry-Schmidt, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment intern at the Ecological Society of America.         Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) at a press conference today in Washington Credit: McCurry-Schmidt Last month, Obama surprised conservationists when he added plans to expand off-shore drilling to his energy policy in an effort to sway votes in Congress. Then—just as both sides rose to debate...

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It’s raining ash! Hallejulah!

This post contributed by Madeline McCurry-Schmidt, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment intern at the Ecological Society of America.          2nd fissure on Fimmvörðuháls, close to Eyjafjallajökull Credit: Boaworm While stranded tourists and airline companies curse Iceland’s belching volcano, atmospheric scientists have found a ray of hope in the clouds of ash. In a press conference today, experts from the National Oceanic and...

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Establishment of the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

ESA News and Views readers may be interested in the following announcement from the USDA (see http://www.csrees.usda.gov/business/reporting/stakeholder/an_stakeholder_afri.html for details.) The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is creating a new research, education, and extension program called the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). CSREES is designated to act on behalf of the...

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Heinz Center Reports Highlight Environmental Trends, Call for Action on Better Data

The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems 2008 report, released by the Heinz Center, provides authoritative documentation of key environmental trends. A companion report calls for bold federal and state action to strengthen and integrate the nation’s environmental monitoring. The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems 2008 shows that the acreage burned every year by wildfires is increasing, non-native fish have invaded nearly every watershed in...

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