Category: Science

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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Quick Study: Counterinsurgency, Anyone? How Conservation Can Better Prepare for ‘Wicked’ Problems

Conservation still uses a straightforward, engineering mindset that’s inadequate for tackling today’s complex problems, argues a new paper from Conservancy scientist Eddie Game. So what can we learn from counter-insurgency, business, psychology and other fields?

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Quick Study: Why Conservation Science Needs to Get Interdisciplinary–and Why It Hasn’t

Being multidisciplinary isn’t enough for today’s conservation science, says a new study by Conservancy scientist Sheila Walsh Reddy and others–we need to get out of our siloes in order to help solve the world’s most pressing problems. But being truly interdisciplinary can be costly and difficult.

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Research: Can Restoring Oyster Reefs Combat Nitrogen Pollution?

Oysters filter nitrogen from water — and nitrogen pollution is a huge and growing problem along many coastlines, not just for the United States, but worldwide. So could restoring oyster reefs combat nitrogen pollution? And if the answer is yes, could that service generate enough funding for broad-scale oyster restoration?

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Citizen Science: Survey Katydids in Your Neighborhood

That night music you hear coming from the trees? At least in part, that’s coming from katydids. Despite their ubiquity, very little is known about these charismatic critters. But you can help. Grab your smart phone and head into your neighborhood for a katydid census! Blogger Jon Fisher gets you started.

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The Cooler: Towards a Deeper Conversation on Invasive Species

You know the story: invasive species are bad, bad, bad. But what if that old story is a bit more…complicated? “Ecological hit men” Jeffrey A. Lockwood and Alexandre V. Latchininsky confront an invasive grasshopper on a remote island. And the more they look, the less clear the picture.

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People of the Salmon: Haida Tribe Defends Salmon with Science in Alaska

The Haida community on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, have long considered themselves “people of the salmon.” They rely on the fish for their food and culture. Now community members are being trained to become scientists. Their assessments could help get their streams protected under Alaska state law.

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Weird Nature: Shrew-Eating Trout!

The story of rodent-eating trout at The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve has been one of our blog’s biggest hits. But those Silver Creek trout look like dainty eaters compared to this one. Meet the shrew-eating trout documented by researchers at Alaska’s Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. And how did this many small mammals end up in a trout’s stomach?

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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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Cool Green Scientist: Dayna Gross

The Conservancy’s conservation manager for the Silver Creek area in Idaho is a Jill-of-all-trades and a master of opposites, blending a love for art and science, of things big and small, of being active and sitting still. Meet Dayna.

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Too Many Deer: A Bigger Threat to Eastern Forests than Climate Change?

Yes, white-tailed deer are beautiful, charismatic creatures. But there can be too much of a good thing. Three Nature Conservancy authors argue that deer are now the greatest threat to Eastern forest. To address the problem means not only managing deer, but managing people. What do you think?

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Forests: A Rising Global Climate Superpower?

It’s true: forests are already acting as a major solution to climate change, despite taking it on the chin from human activities. But does large role of forests in the greenhouse gas story translate to a large opportunity for an affordable forest solution to climate change? Bronson Griscom, the Conservancy’s director of forest carbon science, makes the case for forests as a rising climate superpower.

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Locally Based Monitoring: Are Scientists at Risk of Losing Their Day Jobs?

Are scientists at risk of losing their day jobs? Well, maybe. A recent study shows that people from remote areas of Papua New Guinea are able to collect quantitative data as accurately as trained scientist, but for a fraction of the cost. This is the second essay in a three-part series featuring blogs by the student prize winners at the University of Queensland’s Student Conference on Conservation Science,

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Can Protecting Core Areas Help Imperiled Sage Grouse Populations?

Can protecting core sage grouse habitat while allowing energy and housing development in less-sensitive areas help conserve this declining bird? That’s the focus of a recent paper in PLoS One journal that measures the effectiveness of sage grouse conservation actions in Wyoming, the state with the largest population of these birds.

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Forest Dilemmas

Too many deer. Logging one tree to save another. Beavers versus old growth. Welcome to forest conservation in the 21st century. Join us for a provocative 5-part series exploring the full complexity facing forest conservation in the eastern United States.

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

Investing in Seagrass
Marine scientists and fishers alike know that grass beds are valuable as nursery habitat. A new Conservancy-funded study puts a number to it.

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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