Injecting humor into climate change: Interview with cartoonist Neil Wagner

Many science communicators suggest that the key to effectively translating climate change research is to keep the message concise, accurate and interesting, all in one tight package. Perhaps the most streamlined of platforms to communicate this science is a comic strip in which the cartoonist has just a few panels to neatly and accurately convey the findings, the alternative viewpoint and the gravity of the issue at hand. Oh, and it...

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Science in a “culture of news-grazers”

When was the last time you sat down after dinner to watch the local news? How about the last time you forwarded or received a link to a news story? Odds are, with the prevalence of social networking, blogs and email, you probably sent or received news in some form during your lunch break this afternoon. In fact, just by reading this post you are providing evidence that consumers tend to prefer cherry picking news throughout the day,...

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Spontaneous fermentation: the role of microorganisms in beer

The four main ingredients in most modern beer recipes are water, a starch such as barley (usually malted), hops and yeast. And each ingredient has a very specific role in the brewing process. Any home brewer knows that the quality of the water used in brewing beer can significantly impact the flavor of the finished product. For example, excessive amounts of fluoride in the tap water can alter the flavor (and then some) of beer, not to...

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Putting ecology back in school

This post contributed by Lina Oliveros, ESA Urban Education Programs Coordinator Currently, U.S. students can graduate high school without taking a course that covers ecological science or that encourages ecological literacy—the ability to understand the interconnectedness of life on Earth. By not being exposed to this material, students’ career paths can be dramatically impacted. On a basic level,  they may not consider the...

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Pittsburgh bioblitz: biological inventory of an urban high school’s oasis

This post contributed by Lorna Moreno, SEEDS student from the AKKA SEEDS Chapter of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Just down the street from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh—where the Ecological Society of America (ESA) is holding its 95th Annual Meeting this week—is a vacant lot adopted by the City Charter High School. Last Sunday, ESA ecologists and students visited the lot which is being...

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Science communication: from the field to the press

The reasons for sharing research with the media are relatively widely known: If a certain research topic is going to be highlighted as an important issue, then it needs to be shared with the public. And reporters are one of the best ways to give research exposure. The question, then, is what makes research newsworthy? David Lodge from the University of Notre Dame, Maywa Montenegro from Seed Magazine and Natasha Gilbert from Nature...

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Going (all 400 miles) green

This post contributed by Jason Aloisio, graduate student in biology at Fordham University. The topic of this year’s Ecological Society of America annual meeting is global warming. So it is fitting that Jason Aloisio, graduate student in biology at Fordham University, and Anthony Gizzi, graduate student in pharmacology at Thomas Jefferson University are going green—all the way to the meeting, that is. Here is their story: It is widely...

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Spreading SEEDS, growing diversity

“Diversity fosters novel ideas that will soon begat significant changes to the global environment—whether that be through action-oriented ecology, bio-cultural conservation, policy or media,” said Iman Sylvain, Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Fellow and graduate student at the University of Michigan. SEEDS is an education program of Ecological Society of America (ESA), and Iman is one of several...

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