When Disaster Looms, Take a Hard Look at Soft Mitigation

    Hard infrastructure, like sea walls and levees, prevent damage from smaller hazards but increase vulnerability to larger ones. The next generation of disaster prevention should focus on soft strategies like community preparedness.

    Jack Rusk

    October 8, 2019
    The cost of convenience: robot vacuums require more energy than you think

    Past generations predicted that the 21st century would be filled with exciting technologies. Self-driving cars, door locks managed by smartphones, and automated household appliances fulfill their futuristic vision. With these changes, however, come new standards of convenience and cleanliness. Considered through the lens of energy consumption, automated vacuums reveal how standards of cleanliness in the era of Smart Homes don’t always correspond to environmental sustainability.

    Anna Thurston

    October 1, 2019
    Indigenous knowledge in natural resource management: integrating local perspectives into conservation strategies

    Indigenous peoples are great contributors to sustainable resource management. A new study highlights how natural resource managers can improve their conservation mechanisms, by taking into account the needs and perspectives of indigenous people.

    Khin Htet Htet Pyone

    September 24, 2019
    Experiencing catastrophes: The emotional and spiritual cost of climate change

    How can we assess the non-economic costs of climate change? In a recent study, researchers worked to analyze the cultural, spiritual, and emotional costs of a changing climate.

    Haley Leslie-Bole

    September 17, 2019
Captivity conundrum: questioning the re-introduction of captive-bred frogs

To protect endangered frogs from disease, scientists sometimes capture and breed them in zoos to keep the species alive while it goes extinct in the wild. But new research has shown that captive-bred frogs have significantly fewer and less diverse skin bacteria than their wild counterparts, casting doubt on the possibility of using captive-bred frogs in re-introduction conservation programs.

Emma Johnson
September 10, 2019
Warmer Rain in Alaska Spells Trouble for the Climate

The thought of a warm spring rain might sound nice—but not when it’s in Alaska. Scientists have discovered that a wetter climate caused by a warming planet is increasing methane emissions from thawing permafrost in northern locations. Those extra emissions could escalate the pace of climate change, making runaway global warming even harder to stop.

Nathan Empsall
September 3, 2019
Protecting biodiversity in the face of climate change through landscape connectivity

Protected areas function as important survival refuges for many species facing the threats of climate change. However, new research shows that isolated protected areas are not enough to combat these threats. Hence, we need to connect and expand isolated protected areas to ensure the survival of important species.

Elvis Acheampong
August 27, 2019
Opening Pandora’s Box: Deforestation and Development on the Island of Borneo

The island of Borneo is changing rapidly. Infrastructure development and palm oil production are hastening deforestation on the island, which is occurring at alarming rates. Widespread deforestation has many consequences for biodiversity, including habitat loss and decreased habitat connectivity. Even more ominously, changes in land use and tree cover are shifting precipitation levels across the island.

Karam Sheban
August 20, 2019