Cool Green Science: The Best of 2016

December 26, 2016

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Portrait of a youthful Santa Cruz Island fox (urocyon littoralis santacruzae). Photo © Ian Shive

As our fourth year of Cool Green Science draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the most popular content from 2016.

We’d like to thank each of our readers, the more than 1.5 million people who visit our site, share our content, sign-up for our newsletter and contribute to the conversation in our comments. Your engagement has made Cool Green Science one of the most popular conservation science blogs on the web.

Our New Year’s resolution is to bring you more of the content that you love — field reporting from Conservancy projects, the latest conservation science news, opinion and essays from leading conservation writers and scientists, and facts that help you live “smarter by nature.”

Here are ten of the most popular stories of the year. We hope you enjoy them.

  1. Conservancy scientists are working to understand how climate change will impact global biodiversity. Many animals will migrate to find suitable habitat; this visualization (that went viral across the web) highlights the course of their predicted migrations.

  2. Swallows in a snowstorm. Photo © Keith Williams / Flickr through a Creative Commons license

    Winter is a tough time for birds, but a warm place to sleep and some friends to huddle with can give them an edge. Our ornithologist shares stories of whimsical roosting places and tips on creating places for your backyard birds to roost.

  3. A hawksbill sea turtle awaiting tagging in the Arnavon Islands conservation area. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Justine E. Hausheer)

    Join Conservancy scientists in the Arnavon Islands, where they’re tagging hawksbill sea turtles with satellite trackers to discover where and when these turtles migrate in between nesting.

  4. A quadcopter drone flies over a red mangrove forest. Photo © Tim Calver

    Cool Green Science often features the latest technological innovations in conservation. From artificial intelligence to bioacoustics to DNA analysis, this post offers a look at the cutting-edge and often surprising technologies used by conservation scientists.

  5. Because You're a Man

    By Heather Tallis

    Conference panel. Photo © Ian Forrester/Flickr through a Creative Commons license

    A thought-provoking post by Heather Tallis challenges assumptions by looking at a “typical” science panel.

  6. Research from our NatureNet Science program confirms that removing natural habitat around agricultural fields is not only bad for wildlife, it’s bad for farmers and consumers.

  7. A Google self-driving car. Photo © Grendelkhan / Wikimedia through a Creative Commons license

    Driverless cars will be efficient and good for the environment, right? Not so fast. Rob McDonald, our expert in the science of cities, looks at how driverless cars could contribute to urban sprawl.

  8. Bison graze on Ordway Prairie, owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy. The site has a USFWS grassland easement protecting it in perpetuity. Photo © USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

    Does that bison look smaller to you? Studies show that bison living in warmer climates are smaller than their cold-weather counterparts.

  9. Photo © Chuck Graham, courtesy of the National Park Service

    Ted Williams shares the remarkable story of how collaboration led to the fastest mammal recovery in Endangered Species Act history.

  10. Scientists Chris O’Bryan and Eddie Game check a dissolved oxygen monitor in the Australian desert. Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Justine E. Hausheer)

    Take a journey to Martu country, where feral camels roam the Australian desert. What impact do these sloppy drinkers have on native waterholes? Our scientists are using the latest technology to find out.

Lisa Feldkamp

Lisa loves all things citizen science and enjoys learning about everything that goes on four legs, two wings or fins - she even finds six and eight-legged critters fascinating at a safe distance. She has a PhD in Classical Literature and Languages from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and enjoys reading Greek and Roman literature or talking about mythology in her spare time. More from Lisa

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What's Your Favorite Conservation Science Story of 2016?

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  1. I’m not surprised that bison in colder areas are larger. Larger surface area makes it easier for them to keep warm.

  2. The movement of the three north american flyways are just breath taking beautiful and how most birds fly around instead of over the great lakes are just fascinating!!!!!!!!
    Wish they could have been more detailed and shown mountain ranges too…