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Wildlife
Great Barrier Reef Australia
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Great Barrier Reef Australia Australia is currently dealing with a major conundrum—whether to focus on environmental conservation or its own tourism industry. In a recent United Nations report entitled “World heritage and tourism in a changing climate,” a section on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef was removed...

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Types of Oysters
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Types of Oysters Over the past 250 years, our Earth’s oceans have absorbed about 25% of the carbon dioxide that human activities have emitted. Unfortunately, this has had a domino effect on the world’s oyster population. Oysters are a delicacy for some and a long standing family tradition and business for others. Oysters have a very important part to play in...

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Who is Jane Goodall
Wednesday, 02 March 2016
Who is Jane Goodall Jane Goodall – scientist, activist, educator, the list goes on. Her fascinating and inspiring life story is one from which we can all learn lessons of patience, perseverance, and acceptance. For most of us, we think of Jane Goodall and Chimpanzees, but let’s take a deeper look at who Jane Goodall is and the importance of her work...

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Marine Mammals in Captivity
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Marine Mammals in Captivity While the two types of marine mammal tourism discussed above have been proven to be unsafe for marine mammals, these practices are not safe for humans either. Even for the trainers that have close relationships with the animals, marine mammals are still unpredictable beings. Hargrove believes that the best solution for places such as SeaWorld would...

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Animal Domestication
Tuesday, 01 December 2015
Animal Domestication Food sources, they have and always will be the key to human survival. In addition to agriculture, the domestication of animals was an incredibly important step in the evolution of human society. What was the process of domesticating certain animals like? Greger Larson, an expert on genetics and domestication at Durham University, states, “My working hypothesis...

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Humans and Chimpanzees
Thursday, 08 January 2015
Humans and  Chimpanzees Dr. Jane Goodall opened my eyes to the world of chimpanzees, as she did for many people. It was not until I read In the Shadow of Man, in which Goodall recounts her early fieldwork at the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania, that I realized...

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Tasmanian Devil Disease
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Tasmanian Devil  Disease Health is arguably the most important thing in life, probably for all living creatures and ecosystems. While we as humans get caught up in our own personal battles with diseases, we often forget that other animals also suffer from many of these same diseases. However, unlike us, animals in nature do not have the benefit of antibiotics and...

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Endangered Species Update II
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Endangered Species Update II This past November of 2013, the United Nations held climate talks in Warsaw as a prelude to larger U.N. climate talks scheduled to occur in Paris in 2015. However, due to both developed and developing countries’ refusal to set carbon emission reduction targets, these talks were not an encouraging sign for future efforts against climate change...

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Genetic Pollution
Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Genetic Pollution Media reports and environmental discussions at nearly all levels of politics and academia have made most of us aware of the perils of air pollution and water pollution and its overarching global impact. Today, even the elementary school child is beginning to learn that pollutants in the water or air can be dangerous, and consequently legislation over decades...

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Indicator Species
Thursday, 03 October 2013
Indicator Species Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels are higher than ever before and twelve of the hottest years, to be recorded, have occurred in the last fifteen years. Global warming is as real as it is unrelenting, and extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent. With an environment that has been so insidiously compromised by human advancement...

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Aquaculture
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Aquaculture Do you love a good old cup of clam chowder, or perhaps some popcorn shrimp, or maybe you just like to go fishing for sport? If you fall into any of these categories, and in fact many more, then you have already reaped the benefits of aquaculture, which is commonly referred to as fish farming. Formally, aquaculture refers to “the breeding, rearing, and...

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Oysters
Thursday, 30 May 2013
Oysters In the famous story of Alice and Wonderland, the Walrus and the Carpenter coaxed a hoard of oysters to follow their lead. The Walrus and Carpenter fed on the oysters until, eventually, “they’d eaten everyone.” As the prose is so profoundly found in the story...

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Protect the Sharks
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Protect the Sharks Did you know that you are more likely to be killed by a vending machine than by a shark? Most people think of sharks as vicious predators that pose a threat to beachgoers, but the reality is that humans pose a far bigger danger to sharks than they do to us. Our depiction of sharks as...

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Mass Extinctions
Thursday, 18 April 2013
Mass Extinctions It is no question that the variety of life on this planet is huge, but diminishing. There are over 6000 species of amphibians, and over 9000 species of birds in existence today, but if we look at the history of the Earth, these numbers are nothing. Over 90 percent of animals that have...

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Monarch Butterflies
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Monarch Butterflies Monarch butterflies are not usually found in Tennessee, but climate change has led the butterflies to abandon their normal overwintering migration stop in Mexico for a similarly mountainous location farther North. This change in migration routes is worrisome because if the temperature...

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Illegal Animal Trade
Thursday, 07 March 2013
Illegal Animal Trade Since the beginning of time, people have loved to showcase their wealth. Wealth has been represented by things that were considered hard or almost impossible to attain. Throughout most of European history, displaying paintings was the choice way of showing off wealth. In ancient Chinese and European civilizations, people chose to display their wealth with...

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Habitat Destruction
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Habitat Destruction Loss of biodiversity is an ongoing threat to our planet’s environment, our wildlife’s survival, and our own human health. Scientists have speculated that the current string of extinctions will be known as one of the largest, possibly the largest, mass extinctions in earth’s history. As the list of extinct, endangered and threatened species continues...

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Reindeer Population
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Reindeer Population Reindeer are popular this time of year. With the help of Rudolf, these creatures have become a quintessential feature of the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately, reindeer herds—also known as caribou—are in decline. New studies indicate that reindeer belong alongside endangered species like the polar bear on the climate change watch list.

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Caribbean Lionfish
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Caribbean Lionfish The lionfish invasion strikes at one of the worst times in the Caribbean. More than 75 percent of the coral reefs are already in endangered due to overfishing, pollution, acidification, and coastal development. Overfishing has been especially devastating—when larger herbivorous...

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Migratory Birds
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Migratory Birds Millions of birds make the journey from the Gulf of Mexico up to Canada every year. In the spring, migratory birds fly north to the lakes and forests of Canada to nest and reproduce, then fly south in the fall to escape freezing temperatures. Why make this arduous journey every...

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Shark Fin Soup
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Shark Fin Soup It’s 11am and you want a nice light meal with many different flavor options. In my native country of China, this calls for only one thing – Dim Sum. This meal has also become more and more popular in the United States. One of the most highly demanded delicacies served in this meal is shark...

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Giant Squid
Thursday, 06 September 2012
Giant Squid Humboldt squids were once so rare that scientists could only examine them when their dead bodies washed onto shore. Such occurrences have become more and more frequent, with carcasses washing up on the shores of Florida...

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Amphibian Decline
Tuesday, 07 August 2012
Amphibian Decline “It’s not easy being green” for Kermit the Frog, but his color may not be the problem. Since the late 1960s, amphibians, mainly frogs, have been disappearing for unknown reasons. To this day, no definite answer has been provided to explain this sudden drop of these complex creatures...

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Overfishing
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Overfishing It seems that the enormity and mysteriousness of the world’s oceans have led us to believe that their resources are inexhaustible. However, according to some estimates, the commercialization of fishing practices (starting about 50 years ago) has reduced the populations of large commercial...

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Importance of Biodiversity
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Importance of Biodiversity Biodiversity can simply be defined as the variation of life at a given site or ecosystem. However, it is through this diversity that natural systems adapt, evolve, and thrive. This link is so strong that the term biodiversity is regarded as synonymous with ecosystem health. Diverse ecosystems usually have “increased stability, increased productivity...

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Beekeeping
Monday, 30 August 2010
Beekeeping Urban beekeeping is on the rise! Urban communities have started a fairly new movement—beekeeping in small plot backyards, on rooftops, in hotels, restaurants, and in small urban gardens. Honeybees are an instrumental part of our global food system and our natural environment. These little creatures are responsible for pollinating over one-third of the crops...

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Animals and Testing
Thursday, 08 July 2010
Animals and Testing This decade has brought a number of environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness, words like global warming, carbon footprint, and deforestation have become part of our everyday vocabulary. As these environmental issues have become more prominent, so have others receded, with mantras of “save the rainforest” and “save the...

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Lost Species
Tuesday, 01 June 2010
Lost Species We are currently witnessing the 6th major mass extinction in the planet Earth’s history. While the reasons for this decline in life are many, one of the biggest causes is global warming. Global warming is directly affecting our planet’s biodiversity,and if carbon dioxide levels continue to rise at their current rate, “over 35 percent of our...

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Asian Carp
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Asian Carp The tenacious eating machine, the Asian Carp, was imported by catfish farmers to eat algae to clean their ponds and released into the rivers during floods of the early 1990s. Since then, they have steadily created a stronghold on the Mississippi river system, growing and reproducing at staggering rates. Along some stretches of the Illinois...

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Save the Bees
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Save the Bees! It’s not news that our bee population is declining; beekeepers have slowly seen the crisis unfold for years. The New York Times reports statistics on just how bad the decline is: “Bee losses are ranging from 30 to 60 percent on the West Coast, with some beekeepers on the East Coast and in Texas reporting losses of more than 70 percent...

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Species Conservation
Monday, 12 April 2010
Species Conservation - Condor On October 28, 1805, explorers Lewis and Clarkencountered what they named the “Beautiful Buzzard of the Columbia.”1 On February 16, 1806, they captured a live one of these birds—a “relic of the ice age”—and measured its wingspan at nine feet two inches. Less than two centuries later, in 1967, the massive bird that had become known...

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Species Endangered
Monday, 15 March 2010
Species Endangered As discussed in the previous Greeniacs article titledEndangered Species, over 350 species across the world will likely be affected by climate change in the coming years if we do not reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is the most abundant heat-trapping greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, and if we do not control it...

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Madagascar Lemur
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Madagascar Lemur On January 8th, 2010, the TERRA podcast revealed a two part program titled “Angels of the Forest: Silky Sifaka Lemurs of Madagascar.” Produced by Sharon Pieczenik and Erik Patel, the program discusses his efforts to conserve the unique Silky sifaka Lemurs in Madagascar. The program notes that about 98% of land animals in...

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Mekong River
Monday, 04 January 2010
 Mekong River I am sitting in a wooden long-tail boat with Thomas, a Lao man whose white teeth contrast with near-black skin as he creases his face into a smile. From beneath the shade of his billowing hat, Thomas (his adopted English name) tells me that he was born, and will also die, on Don Det, one of Laos’ Four Thousand Islands. The Four Thousand...

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Endangered Species
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Endangered Species Although the debate around climate change still continues, many species around the world are being affected by warming temperatures. Some may argue that the Earth is going through a natural warming cycle, while others may argue that the warmer temperatures are a product of global warming and excessive greenhouse gases in our...

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Jellyfish and the Climate
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Jellyfish and the Climate Jellyfish are, indeed, increasing in number thanks to at least three different things we humans have done. First off, many of the jellyfish's natural predators and competitors for food have been over-fished, allowing jellyfish to thrive and grow in population in their absence. Second, nitrogen and phosphorus run-off into the ocean creates areas...

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Invasive Species
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Invasive Species An invasive species can be defined as a non-native species that adversely affects the ecosystem, usually by out-competing native species. Over 50,000 non-native species have been introduced to the United States alone, either intentionally or unintentionally, and cost an estimated $130 billion annually. Almost half of the species...

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Pest Control It Can be Eco Friendly
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Pest Control—It Can be Eco-Friendly! Spring is the time of year that many people are getting their gardens ready for the warm summer weather and sunshine. For many of you, this time of year also means planting and planning your gardens strategically to avoid deer and other pests from eating your blooms. Small insects like mites, grubs, and aphids or even large pests like rabbits and...

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Fisheries Progress Design and maintaining Sustainability
Thursday, 07 May 2009
Fisheries: Progress, Design, and maintaining Sustainability Ninety percent of the world's big fish are gone or over fished. Yikes. Quite a heavy opening liner, I know, but declining fisheries is one serious topic. If you thought the first fact was grave, digest this one: the world takes out a half a billion pounds—yes that is billion with a “b”—of seafood from the oceans every single day! How...

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Reconciliation Ecology
Thursday, 30 April 2009
Reconciliation Ecology Reconciliation ecology is the idea that humans and endangered species can live side by side, even in advanced civilizations. Humans now occupy over 95% of terrestrial earth, and other species are being enclosed into smaller and smaller spaces. The more humans contribute to habitat loss, the more species are lost. Reconciliation ecology...

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Bats Another Species on the Decline
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Bats! Another Species on the Decline The winter of 2008 saw a heavy decline of bat population in the Northeastern United States. Hibernating bats in caves across New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were dying in numbers of up to tens of thousands. The species affected include little brown bats, Indiana bats, and northern long-eared, tri-colored, and small-footed...

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Where Are the Honey Bees Going
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Honey Bees Where Have They All Gone It is a hard thing to explain and an even harder thing to imagine. The disappearance of millions of honey bees across the United States with no tangible explanation and no dead bees left behind to examine. Bees are simply vanishing. But before you declare a spiteful “good riddance” from all those stings or embarrassing situations where you run...

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Animals and The Environment in Politics
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Animals and The Environment in Politics This year voters were faced with a series of controversial issues on their November ballots. In particular, Californians were given the opportunity to vote on environmentally related issues explicitly and implicitly. One initiative that may have been an implicit vote for the environment was Proposition 2, also known as the Standards for Confining Farm Animals...

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Biomimicry
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Biomimicry Very literally translating to mimicking biology, biomimicry is an old idea emerging as a new sustainable method of smart design at a time where industries are searching for more eco-friendly ways to produce their goods and services. Biomimicry is the idea that imitating nature's design, either through species design or ecosystem function, people...

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Where Have all the Species Gone
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Where Have all the Species Gone? It seems that every time you look, another species is being added to the endangered list. Just recently, the federal government placed the beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet under the protection of the United States Endangered Species Act. A decade-long recovery program has failed to assure their survival, mostly due to development and a range of economic and...

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Backyard Habitats
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Backyard Habitats Since we moved to our "rural-burban" neighborhood, I've noticed that we're not the only ones calling this spot home. Take our bird population: the grackles appear in April to setup their raucous housekeeping in our river birches. During the summer, I can also count on robins, cardinals, chipping sparrows, cedar waxwings, wrens...

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