Mountain View, CA
Everyone has a question. What’s yours? Have you asked a question today? What did you do with it? Did it take you somewhere new? The Google Science Fair is an online science competition seeking curious minds from the four corners of the globe. Anybody and everybody between 13 and 18 can enter. All you need is an idea. Entries taken until April 1st.
To learn more, or to enter the competition, visit the GoogleScience Fair site. The grand-prize winner will receive a National Geographic expedition to the Galapagos Islands, a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a learning experience of their choice at Lego, Google, or CERN, a personalized Lego prize, and one year of digital access to Scientific American’s archives for their school.…
Monthly Archives: March 2012
Mountain View, CA
By Kurt Repanshek
National Parks TravellerEdited by Deb Castellana
Some environmental heavyweights — E.O. Wilson, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Sylvia A. Earle, Thomas E. Lovejoy, and Tundi Agardy — have urged Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to see that an oyster farm is removed from Point Reyes National Seashore when its lease ends this fall.
Their letter, released Thursday by the National Park Service’s Washington office, comes as Point Reyes officials are crafting a final environmental impact statement examining the impacts of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. on Drakes Estero.
(c) Robert King Photography
“You are now in a position to protect the only marine wilderness area on the West Coast for the benefit of the public and generations to come,” reads a portion of the letter.…
By Rachel Nuwer
The ongoing battle to outlaw Bisphenol-A—a chemical found in products ranging from baby bottles to shower curtains to food cans—comes to a head this week.
Since 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council has pushed the Food and Drug Administration to ban BPA in any container that holds or comes in contact with food. When the FDA failed to respond within its allotted 180 days as required by law, the NRDC sued the administration. Now, the FDA is required to respond to the NRDC’s petition no later than March 31.
“There is no doubt that BPA is dangerous for human health,” said Daniella Russo, the executive director and co-founder of the non-governmental organization Plastic Pollution Coalition. “The question is, why are we not moving to do something when this is a well known fact?”…
By Rachel Nuwer
Parents face a difficult decision when it comes to serving seafood at the dinner table: does the risk that fish contains toxic contaminants outweigh its nutritional benefits? TheEnvironmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration sometimes provide contradictory information about what quantities of seafood are safe to consume, and the extent of contamination for many populations and species of fish remains unknown.
Fish become contaminated in a variety of ways. Mercury, for example, can makes its way into an aquatic ecosystem from power plant runoff,. Rivers feed into the ocean, and so the contaminant finds its way into the marine ecosystem as well. Microbes change the element into methyl mercury, which travels up the food chain and bioconcentrates in larger and larger fish.…
“It isn’t just about polar bears,” says Dr. Sylvia Earle. Although they are the Arctic’s biggest predator and cutest mascot, there is much more at stake in this rich and largely unexplored ecosystem than you’d think.On April 20th, in select theaters, our partner One World One Ocean will premiere their groundbreaking new IMAX film, “To the Arctic.”
To see the trailer of the film, narrated by Meryl Streep, click here. We cannot wait to see it!…
After 160 years of competition, the battle for the world’s oldest sporting trophy will be fought for in a dramatically different way this time around. The history and the tradition of this great competition—which exceeds even that of the Olympics—remain, but the 34th America’s Cup is a brand new game with a brand new message: saving the ocean.
In 2013, San Francisco will welcome the America’s Cup race to her waters. For the first time ever, stadium-style racing will put over 7 million spectators at the heart of the America’s Cup action. Coverage of the event will allow more people in more places around the world to tune in than ever before.
But beyond the appeal of fast boats and extreme sports, the America’s Cup team has vowed to deliver the next race as a model sustainable sporting event.…
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron announced that he will attempt to reach the world’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench, nearly 7 miles (11.2 km) beneath the ocean’s surface, in the next few days. Cameron’s dive in his specially designed submersible marks the launch of Deepsea Challenge, a joint scientific project by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research and exploration to expand our knowledge and understanding of these largely unknown parts of the planet.
Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic
DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, the submersible designed by explorer and filmmaker James Cameron and his engineering team to travel to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, is lowered into the water for testing off the coast of Australia.…
We asked Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist at the University of British Columbia, to expand upon his recently posted TED talk. He delivered the presentation on the 2010 Mission Blue voyage to the Galapagos and spoke about the concept of shifting baselines.
Why did you decide to speak about shifting baselines as the topic of your TED talk?
Because the other things that I could talk about were covered by the other speakers at the conference. That’s one thing. The other thing is the state of the world’s resources and the ocean fisheries and the reduction of biodiversity. By speaking about shifting baselines I added the dimension that explains why we do not perceive this shift. The conference, then, as a package presented the decline of marine biodiversity and explained it.…
Washington PostMarch 13, 2012By Abby McGanney Nolan
On the cover of Claire Nivola’s picture-book biography of Sylvia Earle, a small figure in a wet suit swims with a large school of fish in an expanse of blue. As the book goes on to make clear, this pioneering oceanographer has long been immersed in her work. Even as a child, Earle felt at home in nature, scrutinizing the flora and fauna on her country farm. When she moved to the Gulf Coast at the age of 12, the ocean world opened up for her. With wonderful details and color, the book follows her quest, starting with just a pair of goggles, to explore more and more of the sea.
One highlight involves spending two weeks in a deep-sea laboratory, swimming among ocean creatures for up to 12 hours a day.…
March 14, 2012By Dr. Sylvia Earle
(c) Kip F. Evans – Mission Blue
This month, the National Park Service released the results of its final public input process that will inform its upcoming decision on the fate of wilderness protection at Drakes Estero, within the spectacular Point Reyes National Seashore. The outcome is good news for the Seashore, its marine plants and wildlife, and for the tens of thousands of people throughout California and the nation who support achieving the historic objective for the Estero as the first protected marine wilderness on the West Coast.
An overwhelming majority — 92% of the over 52,000 public comments submitted — were in favor of full wilderness protection. This response is compatible with the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act, which conferred full wilderness protection for Drakes Estero starting in 2012, when an existing oyster company’s lease expires.…