Marty Downs

Marty joined the Nature Conservancy in January 2014 to write about TNC research and manage the Science Impact Project. She started her career in ecosystem ecology and climate impact research, but has focused on science communications since 1999. She’s now doing what she likes best – writing about cool science and helping scientists find and communicate what’s exciting about their work.


Marty's Posts

Safe(r) Spaces for Species under Climate Change

Climate change might change everything for conservation. How can we protect biodiversity as species move & adapt? New study says conserve “flexible” landscapes.

Posted In: Quick Study
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Resilient Sheep, Butterfly Cloud and 10 Vanishing Species

Also in our best of the web: the side effects of ‘antifreeze’ in fish, balancing environment with renewable energy and a farewell to the Krullwich Wonders blog.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Karen Seto on Cities and Conservation

What nature looks like in 2050 will be driven by cities. Are there ways to build cities that provide residents attractive amenities sustainably?

Posted In: Green Giants
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Ghost Lemurs, Seeking Nemo, and the $100B Hurricane

Also in our best of the web: drought maps, Jersey shore, plastic plunder and the eternal question: casket, cremate or compost?

Posted In: The Cooler
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Whale Pelvises, Pigeon Toes and Bee Belly Bacteria

Also in our best of the web: 2014 State of the Birds report, laser-mapping Earth’s forests, China gets cap-and-trade, and really smart fish.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Reforestation for Ozone Removal: An Attractive Option

Restoring forests, nature’s air cleaners, to remove smog-causing ozone and its precursors could cost less than high-tech approaches in some cases.

Posted In: Science
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Getting the Best Value for Conservation in Africa

Making smart conservation investments in Africa: a return-on-investment framework allows transparent data-driven comparisons across multiple habitats.

Posted In: Science
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Woodpecker Skull Design, Novel Ecosystems, Yawning Wolves and More

Also in our best of the web: bamboo reinforcements, climate inertia, bison return to Tribal lands, and E.O Wilson’s audacious plan.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Ant Zombies, Sunscreen’s Unseen Impacts and Bats in the Belfry

Also in this week’s best of the web: assessing aquaculture, how human structures affect bird nesting behaviors and the individuality of bumble bees.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Alluring Boomslang, Scaly Pangolin and Disappearing Aspen

Also in this week’s best of the web: social networks for science, averting bird-window collisions, biodiversity surveys go local, and reconstructing Acadia’s trails.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Ocean Mercury, Designer Fish and Best Shark-cam Ever

Also in our best of the web: penguin neighbors, scorpion rundown, downside of habitat corridors, and the psychology of litter.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Bike-Friendly Cities, Overheated Trout and Protein 2.0

Also in our best of the web: right whale baby boom, turtle hatchapalooza, scientists as human shields, and water as therapy

Posted In: The Cooler
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Biofuel White List Could Cut Risk of Invasive Weeds

As the acreage of biofuel crops grows, so does the potential for introducing invasive weeds. Identifying and promoting low-risk species offers a way forward.

Posted In: Science
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Coasts at Risk Report Expands Thinking on Natural Hazards

Nature has an important role in preparing for, and recovering from, natural disasters on coasts around the world. A new report substantiates the link.

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Mayfly Madness, Whale-Ship Collisions, and Microbial Detox

Also in our best of the web: tracking wood thrush migration, carbon sources and sinks, bat navigation, and skunk invasion.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Salmon Cam Returns

We’re pleased to return Salmon Cam, a live view of spawning Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout.

What is Cool Green Science?

noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

2. Blog with astonishing photos, videos and dispatches of Nature Conservancy science in the field.

3. Home of Weird Nature, The Cooler, Quick Study, Traveling Naturalist and other amazing features.

Cool Green Science is managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

Innovative Science

Forest Dilemmas
Too many deer. Logging one tree to save another. Beavers versus old growth. Welcome to forest conservation in the 21st century.

Drones Aid Bird Conservation
How can California conservationists accurately count thousands of cranes? Enter a new tool in bird monitoring: the drone.

Creating a Climate-Smart Agriculture
Can farmers globally both adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change? A new paper answers with a definitive yes. But it won't be easy.

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