Tag: jon fisher

Weird Nature: Is “Ugly” Produce the Next Big Thing at the Farmers’ Market?

Jon Fisher looks at unsprayed but “ugly” produce at the farmer’s market and asks: Could blemished apples be the next big thing? And are there environmental benefits?

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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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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.

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Go Deep: Using DataThief to Rebuild Misleading Figures

Have you ever looked at a difficult-to-read graph and wished there was a way to figure out what the precise values of the data were?

Or maybe you wanted to extract the data so that you could do your own analysis (or at least produce a clearer graph)? You’re in luck!

DataThief is a program that lets you take an image of a graph or chart and extract the underlying values.

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Everyday Nature: How I Came To Love House Centipedes

I’ve been called a lot of strange things in my life, but I never thought I could be called a nematode-lover.

I certainly never envisioned a day when my wife would start referring to house centipedes – those terrifying huge invertebrates that seem to have a million legs and run at top speed – as our “honored guests.”

We’re definitely not “bug people,” so what turned us around?

As an ecologist, I can appreciate that even unlovable critters serve valuable functions in nature like decomposing organic matter and keeping the populations of other organisms in check.

Then again, I never thought the indoors had room for biodiversity or strange “guests.” Living in the aptly named “eco-house” in college (where a dirt floor basement and holes in the walls contributed to hefty populations of slugs, moths, flies, and more) forced me to get used to it, but it certainly wasn’t my ideal living situation.

So you can imagine my unhappiness when I discovered several years ago that I’d moved into a condo chock full of house centipedes.

Then the ecologist in me started wondering why they were there, and what would happen if I successfully got rid of them.

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Citizen Science: Reveling in Urban Ecology

I’ve always lived in cities, and I’ve always loved nature, but for most of my life I took the concept of “wild animals” in cities for granted. Sure, there are some birds, and squirrels, but so what?

It wasn’t until I took an urban ecology class that my eyes were opened to how much you can learn just by watching wildlife in a city.

One of our major assignments for the class was simply to observe wildlife in two different types of urban locations every week for a semester, and write a paper about everything we learned.

I managed to spot about 40 species without any formal training or expertise, and since then the way I perceive urban wildlife has completely changed. If you want to give it a try, I’ve outlined a few tips to help you get started.

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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.

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