“Mixed score on tuna fisheries report card”

The world’s tuna fisheries have made strides toward sustainably harvesting target species like skipjack and yellowfin but still have some distance to go in meeting other standards for ecosystem‐based management (EBM) practices. That’s the conclusion of a new “report card” by an independent team of fisheries scientists.

Read the rest of my story for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment here (fifth item).

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“Rare Intersex Shark the First of Its Kind”

Many fish are switch-hitters: they have the ability to change from male to female, or vice versa, when it’s convenient for reproduction. Not so for sharks and rays, which develop either male or female organs before birth. But off the coast of Taiwan, fishers discovered a shark with a fully developed set of male and female reproductive organs. The animal is one of only a handful of such sharks ever documented, and the first of its species.

Read the rest of my story for Hakai magazine here.

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“Exact Moonlight Measurements Could Aid Earth-Observing Missions”

As our nearest neighbor in space, the Moon is one of the most familiar objects in our sky. Yet there are still things we don’t know about it—like exactly how bright it is. In a new project, scientists will seek to make the most accurate measurements to date of lunar irradiance, the amount of light coming from the Moon.

The findings should interest more than just lovers and poets. For Earth-observing satellites, which use the Moon as a calibration tool, better moonlight measurements could mean more accurate observations of climate, land, and weather phenomena.

Read the rest of my story for Eos here.

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“Humpback Whales May Have a Secret Hideout”

The humpback whales that summer in Russia’s Far East are among the least studied of their species. Now, new research that uses photo ID to track the locations of individual whales has added significantly to what’s known about this remote population. The research has also led to renewed interest in the curious hypothesis that there is a secret, undiscovered humpback whale mating ground somewhere in the North Pacific.

Read the rest of my story for Hakai Magazine here.

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Posted in Latest Articles, Oceans, Science

NASA sensor to study space junk too small to be seen from Earth

The film Gravity dramatized the risks of space junk. But although flyaway wrenches and broken-off rocket parts may pose the deadliest threat to spacecraft, most orbital debris is actually much smaller—think flecks of paint and the splinters of shattered satellites. Now, NASA hopes to learn more about the dust-size microdebris orbiting Earth with the Space Debris Sensor (SDS), set to be attached to the International Space Station (ISS) following a 4 December cargo launch by SpaceX.

Read more of my story for Science here.

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Posted in Science, Space

“Rating smallholder shrimp farmers’ sustainability challenging, controversial”

For more than a quarter century, Sri Lanka was devastated by civil war. As fighting raged in the east of the island nation of some 21 million people, life and economic development continued in the relatively peaceful northwest. After the conflict ended in 2009, and the country began to rebuild, Canadian researchers examined an important source of income in this developing country off the southeast coast of India: shrimp farming.

Read the rest of my story for the Global Aquaculture Advocate here.

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Posted in Aquaculture, Environment

“A Perfect Maui Getaway”

Just a short hop from Honolulu, the island of Maui is the perfect place to get away from the traffic and bustle of the city. Hawaii’s second largest island offers spectacular natural beauty, a taste of local culture, and a variety of accessible outdoor activities. Take a long weekend to reconnect, share an adventure, and enjoy some of the highlights Maui has to offer.

Read the rest of my story for HawaiianAirlines.com here.

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Posted in Hawaii, Latest Articles, Travel

“Mystery Quakes May Be Among World’s Longest-Lived Aftershocks”

Central Washington State isn’t known for being very seismically active, especially compared with the western part of the state, where earthquakes are fairly common. But the town of Entiat, about 3 hours east of Seattle, is an exception: The area recorded hundreds of earthquakes over the past century. A group of scientists investigating this unusual and long-lasting activity recently reported that the quakes may actually be aftershocks of a larger earthquake, one that occurred 145 years ago.

Read the rest of my story for Eos here.

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Posted in Earth Science, Latest Articles, Science

“Under Antarctic ice, microbes gobble up greenhouse gas”

Trapped beneath blankets of ice in Antarctica are huge amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Scientists have long feared that climate change will melt these ice sheets and release the climate-altering gas. But a new study suggests the threat might not be as bad as it seemed. That’s thanks to some microscopic helpers: bacteria.

Read the rest of my story for Science News for Students here.

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Posted in Environment, For Kids, Science Tagged , , |

“Giant Antarctic sea spiders breathe really strangely”

Sea spiders just got weirder. The ocean arthropods pump blood with their guts, new research shows. It’s the first time this kind of circulatory system has been seen in nature.

Read more of my story for Science News for Students here.

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Posted in Biology, For Kids, Latest Articles, Science

“Mirror delivered to giant solar telescope despite Native Hawaiian protest”

Trucks carrying the primary mirror for the world’s largest solar telescope advanced past a line of protesters in the early morning hours on Wednesday, delivering it to the top of Haleakalā, the 3055-meter summit of Maui. Just after 4 a.m. Hawaii time, several people were arrested in a peaceful demonstration that suddenly turned confrontational.

Read the rest of my story for Science here.

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“Trees in the Amazon make their own rain”

The Amazon rainforest is home to strange weather. One peculiarity is that rains begin 2 to 3 months before seasonal winds start to bring in moist air from the ocean. Now, researchers say they have finally figured out where this early moisture comes from: the trees themselves.

The study provides concrete data for something scientists had theorized for a long time, says Michael Keller, a forest ecologist and research scientist for the U.S. Forest Service based in Pasadena, California, who was not involved with the work. The evidence the team provides, he says, is “the smoking gun.”

Read the rest of my story for Science here.

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“House of the Sun”

How did the world’s largest solar telescope rise on the summit of Maui’s Haleakala volcano, while another major telescope was derailed by protests an island away? I explored the politics and culture behind Hawaii’s telescope debate in this feature story for Science magazine.

Read the full story here.

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Posted in Latest Articles