Talking Turkey as Thanksgiving Approaches

This post contributed by Nadine Lymn, ESA Director of Public Affairs In a few days, many of us will partake in the American tradition of Thanksgiving Day. Declared a national holiday in 1863 by President Lincoln, this annual feast with family and friends more often than not features a turkey. Most American Thanksgiving dinner platters feature a domestic turkey, a descendant of the wild turkey. Habitat loss and overhunting drove wild...

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The genealogy of watersheds

This post contributed by Alison Gillespie, urban wildlife writer in Silver Spring, Maryland. When I was a kid, July and August always included at least one fishing trip with my grandmother. She was not a great angler, but she was brave. I will never forget watching her tramp through tall weeds in search of grasshoppers. Upon finding one, she would quickly snatch it up with her bare hands and then smilingly pierce it with a small hook...

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Scientists challenge century-old understanding of rain-soil interaction

In a recent Nature Geoscience study, scientists discovered that soil clings to water from the first rainfall of the summer and holds it so tightly it almost never mixes with other water. This discovery challenges the century-old assumption that rainwater, after it enters the soil through precipitation, displaces leftover water and pushes it deeper into the ground and eventually into neighboring streams.   Scientists discovered two...

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A Conference about Water and Ecology

Nancy Grimm welcomes attendees to the first ESA Millennium Conference. ESA’s first Millennium Conference kicked off today in Athens, GA. The meeting is bringing together ecologists and social scientists to engage in conversations about one of the most dramatic emerging challenges in ecology: that of clean water and water scarcity.  While ecologists’ main expertise is in providing and maintaining adequate water for healthy...

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Lawrence Slobodkin, 1928-2009

Lawrence Slobodkin, a revolutionary ecologist who played a major role in bringing the science of ecology into the quantitative realm, died last Friday. He was 81. Slobodkin’s most famous paper, titled “Community Structure, Population Control and Competition,” showcased his wide-aspect thought processes. The paper, sometimes known as “The World Is Green,” purports that because vegetation is abundant on...

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Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

Today we mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the most influential thinker in biology, Charles Darwin, renowned as the founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Publications worldwide have commemorated the day by publishing news articles on Darwin’s life and work and the current state of affairs in evolutionary theory.  Here’s a selection of impressive ones. Darwin Speaks, Scientific American. An...

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All hail the founding father

Charles Darwin was a great thinker, philosopher and naturalist who spent 20 years observing, tracking and analyzing the natural world. His collected data resulted in what is probably the most influential book in all of biology: his abstract about organismal evolution, “On The Origin Of Species”.* Today the theory of evolution by natural selection is the cornerstone of biology. The ideas in this volume were controversial at...

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Farewell to a field biologist

Last weekend our community lost a great friend, Jon A. Stravers, Jr.While traveling from his home in Idaho to visit family in Iowa, Jon and his young son, Jonah, died in a collision with a drunk driver in northeastern Colorado. Jon was a widely known and loved individual. For nearly twenty years, he worked as a traveling field biologist and environmental educator across the western United States. Many of us will remember Jon as an...

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