NASA: NASA Fosters Innovative Ways to Understand Biodiversity

NASA: NASA Fosters Innovative Ways to Understand Biodiversity. “To study and monitor changes in Earth’s biodiversity, or the immense volume of organisms in the world, scientists and citizen scientists record their sightings in the field. At the same time, sensors on the ground and on board satellites and aircraft monitor flora and fauna on a regional to global scale. NASA has funded four projects to create new, virtual portals that bring into focus this wealth of biodiversity information to help inform scientists, land managers and decision makers around the world regarding the status and health of terrestrial ecosystems.”

The Verge: Alphabet’s Tidal moonshot tracks individual fish to help sustainably feed humanity

The Verge: Alphabet’s Tidal moonshot tracks individual fish to help sustainably feed humanity. “Today Alphabet is announcing Tidal, an X division moonshot project with the goal of preserving the ocean’s ability to support life and help feed humanity sustainably. Tidal’s initial goal is to develop technologies that will give us a better understanding of what’s happening under water, with a focus on helping fish farmers to run and grow their operations in environmentally friendly ways.”

The University of Washington Daily: The complexities of the Anthropocene through multimedia, vampires, and pig farms

The University of Washington Daily: The complexities of the Anthropocene through multimedia, vampires, and pig farms. “Anna Tsing, professor of anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, presented a lecture Feb. 25 as part of the Katz Distinguished Lectures in the Humanities series. The talk featured insights from her new book ‘Feral Atlas and the More-Than-Human Anthropocene.’ Feral Atlas will also be appearing online as an interactive digital medium that explores ecosystems that have been changed and expanded by human facilitation.”

UC Santa Barbara: Take It or Leave It

UC Santa Barbara: Take It or Leave It. “Of California’s 23 federal offshore platforms, many are nearing the end of their lives, and regulators need to decide what to do with the underwater superstructures. Some advocate removing the platforms in their entirety, while others propose leaving their support structures in place to continue acting as human-made reefs. In an effort to inform this discussion, a group of researchers led by scientists at UC Santa Barbara has produced 11 studies in a dedicated issue of the Bulletin of Marine Science outlining the ecology of the state’s oil platforms. They’ve also compiled a searchable database of studies on platform ecology carried out worldwide.”

McGill Newsroom: World’s most detailed database maps characteristics of Earth’s rivers and catchments

McGill Newsroom: World’s most detailed database maps characteristics of Earth’s rivers and catchments. “Two researchers and friends from opposite ends of the Earth have created a world-first high spatial resolution atlas that maps the environmental characteristics of all the globe’s rivers and catchments. HydroATLAS was co-developed by Bernhard Lehner and his team from McGill University’s Department of Geography and Simon Linke from Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute.”

Phys.org: New VR game to help researchers understand predator and prey movements

Phys .org: New VR game to help researchers understand predator and prey movements. “Researchers have developed a free virtual reality game which allows players to experience the thrill of the hunt as a hungry predator feasting on swarming flies. The VR game, called FlyCatcher, has been created by scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, to help enhance understanding of the erratic, evasive movement of fleeing prey.”

BrockNews: Master of Sustainability student maps Niagara’s invasive species

BrockNews: Master of Sustainability student maps Niagara’s invasive species. “Plants and animals being introduced on purpose, or inadvertently into new environments, can have harmful impacts on native ecosystems. During her Master of Sustainability program at Brock University, Lyn Brown (MS ’19) learned all about the dangers of invasive species. As part of her thesis, Brown created the Niagara Region Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Control Database, which lists activities by organizations and groups in Niagara that manage invasive plant and aquatic species.”

Sea Grant North Carolina: New Mapping Tool Identifies Sites for Re-establishing Oyster Reefs

Sea Grant North Carolina: New Mapping Tool Identifies Sites for Re-establishing Oyster Reefs. “Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a mapping tool that identifies sites for re-establishing oyster reefs that maximize their ecological benefits — such as water filtration. This Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based tool could inform restoration of other vital, sensitive coastal habitats.”

EOS: Launching an Accessible Archive of Environmental Data

EOS: Launching an Accessible Archive of Environmental Data. “… emerging community repositories are enabling scientists to easily archive and publish data with essential metadata as part of the scientific workflow. These repositories increasingly serve a critical role in enhancing data sharing and use. A new data archive seeks to play this role for the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) environmental science community. The new archive, called Environmental Systems Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE), preserves, expands access to, and improves usability of data from the DOE’s research in terrestrial and subsurface environments.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: New Carnegie Museum app shows threat to wildflower diversity in the woods

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: New Carnegie Museum app shows threat to wildflower diversity in the woods. “Hikers and hunters have already seen changes in the woodlands of Appalachia in recent years, as deer overpopulation literally nibbles away at the many plant species that live under the trees. A collaboration of science and new media experts has introduced a new tool for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to educate people about the state of nature and inspire them as well. The tool is an app for smartphones and tablets, called AR Perpetual Garden, that gives even armchair nature lovers a way to compare two scenarios: the woodlands blooming with native wildflowers and the same scene stripped of botanical diversity because of too many deer.”

Japan Times: Battling ‘biopiracy’, scientists catalog the Amazon’s genetic wealth

Japan Times: Battling ‘biopiracy’, scientists catalog the Amazon’s genetic wealth. “Spread across nine countries, including Brazil, Colombia and Peru, the Amazon is home to 1 in 10 known species on Earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund, a conservation group. That makes the region vulnerable to biopiracy: the unlawful appropriation or commercial use of biological materials native to a particular country without providing fair financial compensation to its people or government.”

EOS: Coral Reef Video Game Will Help Create Global Database

EOS: Coral Reef Video Game Will Help Create Global Database. “Players dive off a research boat, identify and classify coral reefs using satellite and drone images, and bring marine life back to reefs. In doing so, they help scientists teach a machine to learn.”

Geospatial World: NASA and FAO jointly develop a new forest and landscape monitoring tool

Geospatial World: NASA and FAO jointly develop a new forest and landscape monitoring tool. “A new way of looking at the dense forests and tall trees has been devised as NASA and FAO( UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization) joined hands to create a new open-access tool. The initiative, which is backed by Google Earth Engine Team and the US governments SilverCarbon Program, permits any user to monitor change in landscape patterns across the globe.”

Ars Technica: What’s eating this 400-year-old painting? A whole ecosystem of microbes

Ars Technica: What’s eating this 400-year-old painting? A whole ecosystem of microbes. “If you could zoom in for a microscopic look at an oil painting on canvas, you would see many thin, overlapping layers of pigments—powdered bits of insects, plants, or minerals—held together with oils or glue made from animal collagens. Many of those pigments and binding materials are surprisingly edible to bacteria and fungi. Each patch of color and each layer of paint and varnish in an oil painting offers a different microbial habitat. So when you look at a painting, you’re not just looking at a work of art; you’re looking at a whole ecosystem.”

University of Helsinki: Bring­ing nature on­line – all 13 mil­lion samples of it

University of Helsinki: Bring­ing nature on­line – all 13 mil­lion samples of it. “In downtown Helsinki, the remains of millions of animals and plants rest in cabinets in the long hallways of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. They’ve been collected over 300 years, and in the era of climate change and biodiversity loss they are more important than ever. But how will one transfer more than 13 million specimens from the cabinets to the Internet?”