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Commentary — Page 3

Delivering On Science’s Social Contract – Guest Post

By Jane Lubchenco, Department of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR This article has been republished with permission from the Michigan Journal of Sustainability.  5(1) 2017 DOI: 10.3998/mjs.12333712.0005.106   As an environmental scientist, I think about the questions that you have been discussing today in light of my own experiences in the world of science, engagement, management, policy and public understanding….

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Cuyahoga River Fire

Extreme Makeovers: Clean Water Edition

Lauren Kuehne, a research scientist in the Freshwater Ecology and Conservation Lab at the University of Washington, shares this Frontiers Focus on the 1972 Clean Water Act and a review of progress and trends in freshwater assessments since the passage of this groundbreaking law, from the May 2017 issue of ESA Frontiers. Stories of transformations are fascinating – especially about deserving people who…

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Save The Waters of the United States Rule

By Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., professor of biology and environmental science and associate director of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. Klemow is an ESA Fellow and a Certified Senior Ecologist. This essay was originally published in The Huffington Post on February 8, 2017.   During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly proclaimed that he would “drain…

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Appreciate Trees this Holiday Season

By Gary Lovett, Senior Scientist and Forest Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY Tis the season when many Americans welcome trees into their homes. For millions of us, fresh-cut evergreens are at the heart of Christmas celebrations – a symbol of hope and joy. Sadly, the situation facing America’s trees is neither hopeful nor joyous. The Fraser fir, one…

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Armed conflict catches animals in the crossfire

Kaitlyn M Gaynor, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California–Berkeley (Berkeley, CA), shares this Frontiers Focus on the effects of war on wildlife. When people make war, wildlife often becomes a casualty. Explosives and war materials kill living things that are not their targets. Valuable wildlife products, like ivory,…

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White-winged Terns (Chlidonias leucopterus) take flight from a meadow in Biebrza National Park, a Natura 2000 site (PLB200006) in Poland. Credit, Frank Vassen CC BY 2.0.

We can harvest bioenergy from preserves while protecting biodiversity

Koenraad Van Meerbeek, a researcher in the Departement Aard- en Omgevingswetenschappen (Earth and Environmental Sciences) at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, shares this Frontiers Focus on the potential of Natura 2000 preserves to contribute biomass for bioenergy, without losing  biodiversity. Renewable energy from biomass, i.e. “bioenergy,” holds promise for climate change mitigation, but converting big tracts of land to bioenergy crops…

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USA needs a sustained national ecosystem assessment

By Cliff Duke, ESA’s director of Science Programs Americans are deeply divided about the proper uses of federal and private lands and the goods and services they supply us. Recent events, including the acquittal of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, protests of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, and the potential reopening of debates about the Keystone XL…

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What is illegal wildlife trade?

By Jacob Phelps, lecturer in tropical environmental change and policy at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. My co-authors and I study and think about wildlife trade in a wide range of contexts, from the actions of wildlife harvesters imprisoned in Nepali jails, to orchid traders at Thai markets, to criminal groups poaching South African rhinos. In the context of…

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Biodiversity hotspots are also hotspots of invasion

By Xianping Li, of the Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology within the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, as well as the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. Li and colleagues’ Research Communications paper “Risk of biological invasions is concentrated in biodiversity hotspots” appeared in the October 2016…

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Q&A on public engagement with UMN IonE Director Jessica Hellmann

ESA Fellow and AAAS Leshner Fellow Jessica Hellmann is director of the Institute on the Environment and a professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. Some ESA members regularly practice public engagement, but it often falls by the wayside due to lackluster support from their workplace and time pressures. Four ESA members, who are in the fist…

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An ancient thatched-roof farm house in Ogamachi, Japan, is typical of the traditional Japanese Satoyama agricultural landscapes, which benefit both people and nature. Farm stay programs, in which urban residents spend time living on farms, often participating in daily farm life, are increasingly being implemented in depopulated rural areas. Credit, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Envisioning a good Anthropocene

By Elena Bennett, associate professor at the McGill School of Environment and Department of Natural Resource Sciences in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Canada. Bennett and colleagues’ Concepts and Questions article “Bright Spots: Seeds of a Good Anthropocene” appeared in the October 2016 issue of ESA Frontiers.   We are constantly being bombarded with negative visions of the future, which may inhibit our ability…

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