Tag: oceans

Conservation Science 101: Understand Coral Bleaching

Coral bleaching is one of the major threats to reefs around the globe. But what exactly is coral bleaching? What does it actually do to reefs? Our Conservation Science 101 guide gives you the information you need to understand the most pressing issues.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: Plankton Portal

Plankton, these seemingly inconsequential organisms affect the entire ocean. And you can help scientists understand them. Discover new life with Plankton Portal.

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From Theory to Practice: Managing Coral Reefs for Resilience

Scientists and reef managers agree: the key to successful reef management is resilience. But how do you manage for resilient corals? It was hard to know. Until now.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: Microplastics Project

Have you heard of microplastics? Every time you wash your clothes, you release 2,000 into the water system. But now you can help—as a citizen scientist.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: Floating Forests

You could contribute to citizen science that protects an entire ocean ecosystem without traveling or learning to dive. Try Floating Forests online.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: SEANET

Today’s citizen science: Survey Atlantic beaches to help sea bird conservation with SEANET.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: COASST

Looking for an excuse to visit the Pacific year round? COASST will give you a reason and a new understanding of the birds and sea creatures around you.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: JellyWatch

Like to go to the beach? JellyWatch gives you a meaningful reason to visit and a new perspective on those stranded jellies and summertime is prime jelly watching time!

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A Hackathon for Fish Conservation

Hackathons have swept through the tech industry, and have been used to quickly find innovative solutions in software, gaming and apps. Could a hackathon ever be used to solve a conservation challenge?

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Citizen Science Tuesday: iSeahorse

Citizen Science Tuesday this week: identify some of the cutest ocean creatures, add new data to science, and influence conservation policy with iSeahorse.

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Citizen Science Tuesday: Horseshoe Crab Survey

Citizen Science Tuesday this week: Learn why horseshoe crab conservation is good for shorebirds and human health. Then find out what you can do to help.

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Mola Mola: The Weirdest Fish in the Ocean?

When it hatches, this species is the size of a pinhead but will grow to be the heaviest bony fish in the ocean—and the weirdest. Meet the Mola mola.

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Kareiva: Marine Pollution and a World of Waste

I was just revising the “marine chapter” for a textbook I have coauthored, and looking at reviews from professors who had taught a conservation course using our first edition. We were criticized for making marine conservation too much about fishing and marine protected areas, while neglecting ocean pollution as a big deal, and probably the greatest threat to our oceans.

It turns out these critics were right.

For much of human history the ocean has been viewed as a place to dispose of waste where it would be so diluted that it does no harm. We now know better.

Dead zones, floating mats of plastics, and toxic chemical residues in marine fish tissue are striking evidence that human waste and by-products could be every bit as much of a threat to our oceans as over-fishing.

Dead zones now affect more than 400 systems, and cover vast areas of the ocean — more than 475,000 square kilometers. Plastic debris in the oceans is now so common it is hard to find a beach without washed up plastics. This plastic is much more than a matter of aesthetics; all sea turtles, 45% of marine mammals, and 21% of seabird species are harmed by plastic.

The sheer volume of human waste products and the fact that most people live along coasts means that there will be no simple, single measure that can address marine pollution.

Take something as specific as cigarette butts — over 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are discarded annually, and researchers have observed a 96-hour mortality effect (measured as LC-50) in larval topsmelt (a Pacific ocean silverside) at a dilution of one cigarette butt per liter of water. Latte-drinking enthusiasts in my hometown of Seattle have given rise to elevated caffeine concentrations in Puget Sound, which are known to cause chemical stress in mussels and other marine invertebrates.

So what are we to do?

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Diverse Conservation

Call for Inclusive Conservation
Join Heather Tallis in a call to increase the diversity of voices and values in the conservation debate.

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

Infrared Sage Grouse Count
The challenge: find a chicken-sized bird in a million-acre expanse of rugged canyons & bad roads. Infrared video to the rescue.

Wildlife Videos In Infrared
Infrared enables us to see minor variations in temperature. See how this technology is revolutionizing conservation science.

Nature As Normal
TNC Lead Scientist Heather Tallis is researching how to make people see nature as critical to life through three lenses: education, water and poverty.

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