Category: Science

New Science: Wild Pollinator Habitat Benefits Agriculture

When most people think of pollinators, honey bees are the first thing that comes to mind. But wild pollinators–like bumblebees, sweat bees and squash bees–can be more effective at pollinating than managed honey bees. Despite the evidence of wild pollinators being a viable alternative to managed honey bees, they are only just beginning to catch on as a strategy in the agricultural community, primarily due to a lack of understanding of the costs and benefits of investing in them. The Nature Conservancy has completed an economic analysis of wild pollinator contribution to 10 major crops grown in the northeastern United States – tomatoes, blueberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, soybeans, cucumbers, squash, apples, peaches, and bell peppers.

Full Article

Spotting Banded Birds: Another Way Birders Can Contribute to Citizen Science

Anyone with a pair of binoculars is able to contribute to our understanding of migratory birds by simply keeping a look out for birds with bands. Birders Pat and Doris Leary have made significant contributions to science by focusing on bird bands and reporting their findings. You can help, too. Our blogger tells you how birders can turn every outing into an exciting citizen science project.

Full Article

Quick Study: What Do New Food Safety Protocols Mean For Habitat and Wildlife?

No one wants to eat a salad full of E.coli. But are new farm-based food safety practices that aim to reduce potential contamination from wildlife really helping? And what impact could these practices have on nature and wildlife?

Full Article

After the Clearcuts: People, Ecology & the Way Forward in an Alaska Rainforest

Is there a way to ecologically restore the forests on Prince of Wales while also creating economic opportunities for local communities? That’s the question at the heart of research and work here by Nature Conservancy foresters.

Full Article

The Cooler: Conservation’s Identity Crisis

Teenagers go through it, mid-lifers too — the angst of figuring out who you are. In recent years even conservationists have been grappling with it. What does conservation mean in a world that will soon have 9 billion people?

Full Article

2014 NatureNet Fellowships: A Call for Conservation Scientists

The world faces unprecedented demands for food, water and energy — how can we meet these demands without exacerbating climate change and degrading natural systems? The Conservancy’s new fellowship program aims to tackle those challenges by training the conservation scientists of tomorrow.

Full Article

Dead Heat and June Gloom: Connecting California’s Disparate Summer Climates

Summertime, and the living is easy? Or are we in the midst of the dog days of summer? It depends. In California, you can go from the hottest place on record to the oft-quoted “coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.” California ecologist Sophie Parker reflects on California’s widely varying summer and what it means for ecosystems and people.

Full Article

Traveling Naturalist: 5 Top Spots to See Yellowstone’s Wildlife

Heading to America’s first national park? Our blogger points you to the best spots to see Yellowstone’s diverse wildlife, including creatures very, very large and those very, very small.

Full Article

JournalMap: Where in the World is that Research?

Scientific journals are stuck in the 19th century, says Conservancy scientist Bob Unnasch. They index their articles by topics and concepts and not locations — making them difficult to search for place-based conservation scientists. Enter JournalMap, an ecological literature search engine that allows users to track down relevant scientific research based on location and biophysical variables as well as traditional keyword searches.

Full Article

Kareiva: Are We Thinking Globally When We Do Conservation?

Conservancy chief scientist Peter Kareiva argues that a key lesson in conservation — and one backed up by recent research — is to realize that when we impose strong conservation policy in one country, there is almost always leakage of our impacts, such that protected areas set up in one country may simply mean damage is done elsewhere.

Full Article

People and Nature: Announcing Our New Social Scientists

To solve today’s conservation problems, we need multi-disciplinary scientists who can look at how nature impacts people. Enter The Nature Conservancy’s 3 new social scientists, who will be working on the front lines of conservation for the benefit of people.

Full Article

Cloud Computing: A Key Tool in the Fight Against Invasive Species

iMapInvasives is a cloud-based database and mapping system that tracks and monitors invasive species in real-time. It’s also a great way to get citizen-scientists and conservation volunteers involved in the fight against invasive species. And the use of the tool is spreading fast (much like an invasive species does, you might say).

Full Article

Disrupting Bacterial “Communication”: A New Idea for Sustainable Agriculture

Group communication may seem tough at times for humans, but not for bacteria. But new research suggests that we might be able to disrupt that bacterial “group communication” (also known as “quorum sensing”) in ways that could make agriculture safer without the use of traditional pesticides.

Full Article

New Study: Coastal Nature Reduces Risk from Storm Impacts for 1.3 Million U.S. Residents

Nature reduces risk from coastal storms for millions of U.S. residents and billions of dollars in property values, says a new study from scientists at the Natural Capital Project and The Nature Conservancy.

Full Article

Science Video: Why Do We Value Some Species More Than Others?

Why does one endangered species get lots of conservation attention, while a similar one doesn’t? In the case of two very similar threatened birds, says a new video from Australia, it’s about familiarity and values.

Full Article


Featured Content

Osprey Cam: Watch Our Wild Neighbors
Watch the ospreys live 24/7 as they nest and raise their young -- and learn more about these fascinating birds from our scientist.

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 at the Conservancy, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

Editors’ Choice

Where Have The Monarchs Gone?
Monarch butterflies are disappearing. What's going on? Is there anything we can do about it?

North America's Greatest Bird Spectacle?
The Platte River is alive with 500,000 sandhill cranes. Learn how you can catch the action--even from your computer.

The Strangest Wildlife Rescue?
Meet the animal that was saved from extinction because someone broke a wildlife law.

Latest Tweets from @nature_brains

Categories