Category: Science

Natural Intersection: Understanding and Conserving Alaska’s Estuaries

Meet the estuary: where three powerful realms–river, ocean and land–meet. A new paper by Conservancy scientists classifies this important habitat, and helps conservationists better protect estuaries vital for both people and wildlife.

Full Article

Beyond Magic: Why SNAP Can Help Us Solve Wicked Problems

The new Science for Nature and People collaborative has unprecedented power to address some of the world’s wicked problems, says Conservancy Chief Scientist and SNAP Acting Director Peter Kareiva.

Full Article

The World Famous Shrew-Eating Trout: An Update

We’ve been inundated with questions about the shrew-eating trout featured in a blog published earlier this month. Get your questions answered, and more. (Including a fish that ate something even more disturbing).

Full Article

Is China’s Coastal Aquaculture Production a House of Cards?

No country exports more shrimp than China. Yet how sustainable is shrimp aquaculture production in China? Conservancy senior social scientist Craig Leisher looks to the literature for answers, and what he finds isn’t promising.

Full Article

Dragonfly Migration: A Mystery Citizen Scientists Can Help Solve

A dragonfly holds the record for the longest insect migration. And yet dragonfly migration remains a poorly understood ecological phenomenon. Take note, citizen scientists: your observations can contribute significantly to our understanding of the species, and it’s importance to conservation. Break out your field guide and look around city park or backyard.

Full Article

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?

Full Article

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?

Full Article

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.

Full Article

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?

Full Article

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.

Full Article

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.

Full Article

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.

Full Article

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?

Full Article

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?

Full Article

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.

Full Article


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.

Latest Tweets from @nature_brains

Categories