Right now, the world is a bit upside from how we usually experience it, and many families are currently learning from home as schools are closed. If you’re looking for some extra activities to spice up your learning experience (or you’re just a fabulous nerd – which is the best), here are some great resources to spice up your science plans! Continue reading
By Maria and Rob
Uh oh, folks.
A major study of waste practices around the world reaffirmed what we already knew: we in the US are really bad about our trash. Per person, we produce three times the global average amount of trash, and we do unfortunately create the largest amount of trash per person of any other country in the world. Continue reading
Piranga olivacea, the formal name for the scarlet tanager, has such bright plumage it should be hard to miss. With a brilliant red body and head, which is even more highlighted by its black wings and tail, it reminds me of some royal guard’s parade uniform. Yeah, but still I had a hard time finding one… Continue reading
When Maria got to my car for me to pick her up after work this evening, she mentioned hearing a different sound that she didn’t recognize. Continue reading
It’s no secret: I feel very strongly that scientists should be regularly involved in outreach. From a community standpoint, I would love to see scientists be recognizable individuals that local school children can reference. From a funding perspective, when scientists receive either private or federal funding, outreach should be a significant way to give back to those who have supported your work. On top of it all, science communication shouldn’t be limited to academic journals and conferences—exciting findings should be shared, and preferably by the scientists themselves! Continue reading
As the long line of people slowly moved towards our destination, I could feel my hands start to tremble with nervous excitement. I clutched my worn book more tightly. In my head, I rehearsed a speech that included my admiration and my aspirations—I want to be just like you someday. I want to make a difference for conservation like you someday. I was only fifteen; plenty of time for dreaming of the future. Continue reading
By Maria and Rob
Early spring is a wonderfully unique time of year to go for a walk in the woods. The landscape is still mostly draped in browns and grays, but here and then, little blushes of green glow from thickets and undergrowth while fat little buds tentatively wait to burst from the ends of tree branches. Last weekend, we went on such a walk at a nearby park, just to see the magic in progress, and we were not disappointed!
It may be a brown hillside now, but soon it will be a bright, vibrant green.
If you can’t handle the cuteness of little bear cubs – look out! The Pennsylvania Game Commission has a live-stream camera on a female black bear (called a sow) denning for the winter. This sow picked a spot under a house deck in Monroe County, PA as it’s cozy den to hibernate for the winter. We’ve been able to watch her and her new cub napping, nursing, and the mom just trying to keep the little one out of trouble. Continue reading
By Rob and Maria
If you’ve been following the wildlife news circuit, you probably were quite intrigued by the story that broke earlier this week about the “type D” orcas, sometimes also referred to as the New Zealand killer whales, found in the Southern Ocean! These whales (well, dolphins, technically) are much smaller than other known killer whales; they have shorter, more rounded heads; their fins are pointier; and their classic killer whale eye patches are distinctively small. A handful of these unusual individuals were first observed in New Zealand in 1955, but they had not been definitively spotted since then. Of course, marine biology fans are abuzz—are they a whole separate species than the killer whales we all are familiar with? Time will tell. NOAA biologists (including a married couple team—we can appreciate a good nerd love story) are hard at work to unravel the mystery of these mysterious killer whales. Continue reading
This past weekend, we came across the little, round fruits of a sycamore along the banks of the Ohio River on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, next to the Carnegie Science Center. It was pretty windy, but we had some time to kill before meeting my parents inside. The February weather was too nasty for any bird watching except for one lonely duck, so we turned our attention to some trees along the river. They looked as cold as we felt, no leaves for shelter from the gray, stormy sky and the bases of their trunks were unceremoniously caked in mud from the recent flooding from the yet another winter rain storm. Yet, they still stood along the riverbank, maybe hoping that stupid groundhog had been right about warmer days coming. Continue reading