Drones in Conservation? Twitter in Conservation? Gaming Google Scholar? & More

Conservation drone. Image credit: Lian Pin Koh/Conservation Drones.org/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.

Conservation drone. Image credit: Lian Pin Koh/Conservation Drones.org/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.

By Bob Lalasz, Matt Miller and Lisa Feldkamp of the TNC Science Communications team

We find tons of cool conservation and conservation science stuff every week on the Internets — now we’re sharing some of the best with you every week in The Cooler:

Science Communications

Google Scholar has quickly become essential for scientists and scholars — but it can be gamed, and competitors are gearing up, writes John Bohannon. (Science)

Can being Twitter-literate benefit conservation scientists? Five say yes. (Conservation Biology)

Do the facts make a difference in communicating science? Keith Kloor gives a thumbs-up to the six-month project of Grist’s Nathanael Johnson to report methodically and dispassionately on the science of GMOs. But Kloor says such analysis is useless without a parallel look at the psychology of how people decide on risk issues. (Collide-a-Scape)

Climate Change

Human responses to climate change are going to impact biodiversity conservation big-time, says James Watson — and it’s time for conservation to plan its responses. (Conservation Letters)

As the Arctic melts, could the High Arctic Tundra become a carbon sink? (Nature Climate Change; HT Science)

Add caribou to the list of species climate change is threatening. (Science Codex)

Mangroves are on the move northward because extreme cold events are on the decrease, say researchers. (PNAS)

Did rescue of the Spirit of Mawson detract from serious science? (DotEarth)

A new evaluation of atmospheric convective mixing and low-level clouds in climate models suggests that Earth’s climate will warm more than was thought in response to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. (Nature)

New Research

Did conservation measures to save the black robin actually doom it? Great piece by Ed Yong. (Phenomena/Nat Geo)

Why what doesn’t kill you makes you speciate. (Carl Zimmer/New York Times)

Corey Bradshaw lists the conservation papers that made the biggest splashes in 2013. (Conservation Bytes)

“Pac-man” protozoa grow larger when they eat larger prey(Oikos)

As forest transition theory predicts, China is seeing a boost in forest conservation after a period of forest degradation(International Forestry Review)

Humans, honeybees and sharks: They all use the same kind of walk when foraging for food. (University of Arizona; HT Science360.gov)

Nature News

Why Eastern hemlocks are in a world of hurt in the Appalachian Mountains — and how they might be saved. (Quest; HT Science360.gov)

Can conservation make the Platte River a mile wide and a foot deep again (instead of 100 yards wide and 3-4 feet deep…which is not so nice for migrating birds)? (Quest)

This & That

NOAA’s Phil Levin makes the case for decolonizing conservation. (SNAP Magazine)

Are drones the answer to conservation’s prayers? (TED)

Wired Science picks its favorite maps of the year. (Wired; HT Science 360.gov)

How smart are plants? Michael Pollan says it’s not a secret life anymore. (New Yorker)

Was that shark photographed in a wave behind kids off the SoCal coast really a shark…or a dolphin? (Deep Sea News)

Have suggestions for next week’s Cooler? Send them to rlalasz[at]tnc.org or m_miller[at]tnc.org.

Opinions expressed on Cool Green Science and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.

Posted In: The Cooler

Bob Lalasz is the director of science communications at The Nature Conservancy and the editor of the new Cool Green Science. A long-time editor and writer, he was previously the Conservancy's associate director of digital marketing. He now blogs here about the Conservancy's scientific research and on-the-ground work as well as larger conservation science and science communications issues.

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