Lessons in Listening

For the first time in its 59-year history, the Australian Science Teachers Association’s (STAWA) Secondary School of the Year award, an annual prize handed out in Western Australia, went to a school outside of Perth. That kind of anomaly deserves a second look. The school that won the award for science research is the Christian…

Read More

A Murder, A Charm, A Gulp

A Murder It must be confusing for wild animals when humans constantly grow so much tasty food, only to try and keep it all to themselves. I see it in my own garden when the various fruits become ripe. All the birds I’ve fed through the winter are suddenly competition for my harvest in summer…

Read More

Portrait of Living Wind

A century ago this month, the world’s last passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)¬†died in the Cincinnati Zoo, long¬†after the last passenger pigeon had been seen in the wild. The passenger pigeon, once populous beyond imagining, took only a century to disappear. It seems that more than one factor was responsible for the population decline and how…

Read More

The Right Tree

According to this article, the word ‘tree hugger’ was coined in 1730 to describe a hundreds of Bishnoi villagers in India who clung to the trees of their home to prevent them from being cut down for the construction of a palace. The non-violent form of protest was adopted in the 1970s by the Chipko…

Read More

Spawn Skimming

Coral reefs spawn beneath a springtime full moon, sending up a synchronized release of countless coral eggs and sperm to mingle in the sea, sometimes across great distances. These form planulae, coral larvae, which first float to the water’s surface, then swim back down to the reef or seabed, and form new coral. And yet,…

Read More

The Hot Koala

Last week, the image of a heat-struck koala in parched Australia inspired a tweet: And @Curt_Ames noted that ‘hot koala’ sounded like a good name for a cocktail. I agree. So I made a Hot Koala. My first version, without the Tabasco sauce or fresh mint, suffered from both a lack of heat and cool.…

Read More

Mud Pie

There was an encouraging study released in early January that describes how denuded reefs off the coast of Sydney Australia have been partially restored through seaweed transplants. Crayweed (Phyllospora comosa) is an ecosystem cornerstone in some reef system, providing a habitat for fish and crustaceans. In 2008, researchers found it had disappeared from a 70…

Read More