Bob Lalasz

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.


Bob's Posts

Does Biodiversity Really Protect Us From Disease?

The idea has gone mainstream over the last year — but new scientific evidence might dash hopes that conservation could be directly relevant to human health.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Climate Change & Typhoon Haiyan: What’s the Connection, Science?

Was climate change to blame for the intensity of Typhoon Haiyan? The Cooler rounds up climate science literature and scientist responses…and finds a scatterplot of answers.

Posted In: The Cooler
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Scientists: Is It So Hard to Know Your Audiences?

It’s easy to dump information on people; harder to know what would really speak to them. The good news: We already know more than we think we do.

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New Science: Time to Step Away from the Ecological Footprint?

How sustainably are we managing Earth? A new study co-authored by Conservancy scientist Peter Kareiva says we can’t even answer the question with the most commonly used metric.

Posted In: Science
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Natural Allies for the Next Sandy: Nicole Maher & Mike Beck in The New York Times

How important are natural habitats in blunting the effects of storms like Hurricane Sandy? The New York Times reports on the question, quoting Conservancy scientists Nicole Maher and Mike Beck.

Posted In: Marine
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‘Competent But Cold’: New Research on Why Scientists Don’t Connect with People

Why doesn’t the public trust scientists? New research says they’re in the “envy” group of professions — respected but cold, and resented by the rest of us. Is there a way out?

Posted In: The Cooler
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Meet the NatureNet Fellows: Wilfred Odadi

He’s completed “some of the most detailed and extensive foraging ecology ever done on cattle in Africa.” Meet NatureNet Fellow Wilfred Odadi, and learn what his research means for people, rangeland management and wildlife in northern Kenya.

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The Zombie Idea of Science Communications

The key audiences for science are most often targeted and local. So why do science communicators still dream of mass media home runs?

Posted In: The Cooler
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The Cooler: Bob Paine Looks Forward

Legendary ecologist Bob Paine — inventor of the “keystone species” concept as well as the “kick-it-and-see” school of ecology — gives a wonderful interview to the website Biodiverse Perspectives. Will nature become so diminished and boring in the future, he wonders, that ecology will go extinct?

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The Cooler: Recycling and Our Mental Categories about Nature

New research says people are more likely to recycle standard-sized pieces of paper over “trashier” looking ones. Could conservation learn something from the findings about how to get people to value nature?

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Peter Kareiva on How Nature Can Protect Us from Coastal Risk: An Interview

New York Public Television interviews Peter Kareiva on a new study touting the importance of nature in reducing the risk to people from coastal storms. Click through to watch the interview.

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The Cooler: Don’t Be Such a Science Communicator

Science communication is full of bumper-sticker advice — Don’t Be Such a Scientist, Tell Stories, Not Data, Use the 6×6 Rule. A new essay in PNAS says we should try more science instead.

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For Scientists: SNAP Request for Proposals

Science for Nature and People (SNAP), a new scientific collaboration launched by the Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, is requesting proposals for SNAP Working Groups that will be initiated before the end of 2013.

Posted In: Science
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The Cooler: Why Everyone’s Being Rational About Climate Change

A new study from Yale’s Dan Kahan says that everyone is being rational in their positions about climate change — even people who deny that it’s happening. How could that be? And what does it mean for climate communications?

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The Cooler: 5 Lessons for Live Animal Cams

What makes for a great animal live cam feature? Of course you need some compelling animals — but that’s just one key ingredient in the recipe. You need science, community and a willingness to let people project their imaginations onto the critters, too.

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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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