Vegetables under plastic

Weighing the costs and benefits of plastic vegetable greenhouses over conventional vegetable production. By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offers “seasonal high tunnel” kits as part of a three year trial to assess the potential of the plastic houses for conserving water and soil, reducing pesticide use, and improving yields for small farmers. Credit, NRCS. THE economic benefits,...

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Depression-era drainage ditches emerge as sleeping threat to Cape Cod salt marshes
Jan24

Depression-era drainage ditches emerge as sleeping threat to Cape Cod salt marshes

Contemporary recreational fishing combines with old WPA project to hasten marsh die-off By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer   CAPE Cod, Massachusetts has a problem. The iconic salt marshes of the famous summer retreat are melting away at the edges, dying back from the most popular recreational areas. The erosion is a consequence of an unexpected synergy between recreational over-fishing and Great Depression-era ditches...

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Baltimore’s Watershed 263 experiment in socioecology
Jan16

Baltimore’s Watershed 263 experiment in socioecology

Ecological restoration makes city dwellers happier and healthier. by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer IN the first summer after my move from the cool green climes of western Washington State to Washington, DC, I gained a primal, physical understanding the urban heat island effect. Summer in the District of Columbia is a hot, humid shock for a native northwesterner, and last summer was record-breaking hot. Cycling away on humid...

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A yellow perch in murky water

Big fish, little fish, hump-shaped foraging curves, and the landscape of fear. by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer IN LIFE, much depends on context. The benefits accruing from the pursuit of liberty, lunch, and other forms of happiness, are tempered by the presence of risk. This is as true for small fishes as for anyone. In Lake Erie, young yellow perch (Perca flavescens) forage for the grab-bag category of microscopic,...

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A coordinated national strategy for wildlife conservation
Dec15

A coordinated national strategy for wildlife conservation

Meretsky and colleagues propose a national conservation-support program to help knit together state level efforts and larger federal programs, such as the recently established Landscape Conservation Cooperatives delineated here, and prevent species from falling through the gaps.

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Elk bones tell stories of life, death, and habitat use at Yellowstone National Park
Dec10

Elk bones tell stories of life, death, and habitat use at Yellowstone National Park

Josh Miller is one among a small cadre of ecologists looking at living ecosystems through the relics of their dead. by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Flags mark bone locations as field assistant Jared Singer maps a carcass near a lake in Yellowstone National Park. Credit, Joshua Miller. ________________ JOSH Miller likes to call himself a conservation paleobiologist. It’s a label that makes sense when he explains how he uses...

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Where the ecologists are: a Field Talk podcast with Erle Ellis
Nov26

Where the ecologists are: a Field Talk podcast with Erle Ellis

The UM-Baltimore County ecologist talks about geographical context in field research and why he thinks the value of nature is more than the sum of it’s services. by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Listen to the podcast on the Field Talk page, or download it from iTunes. Ellis collaborated with Laura Martin and Bernd Blossey of Cornell University on the Frontiers article featured in this podcast . Stay tuned to Ecotone...

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Putting Hurricane Sandy into context

By Nadine Lymn, ESA director of public affairs As the reports began coming in about the approaching “superstorm” known as Hurricane Sandy, the chatter about how and if it was connected to global warming was not far behind.  Indeed, it seemed that in the days following its devastating coastal landfall, attention on climate change was revived. In his Bloomberg view editorial, the New York mayor wrote that “Our climate is changing. And...

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