April 2006

Today is the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. National Geographic had a nice overview article in their April issue, and has a multimedia presentation on their web site. Human impacts have been documented, but what about the…

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I’ve been convinced of the reality and seriousness of global warming for a long time. But in spite of my interest and my personal commitment to a climate-preserving lifestyle, even I have reached the saturation point when it comes to…

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I’ve written before about Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis), a common little sparrow throughout much of North America. This species generally breeds at high latitudes (e.g., across Canada), or further south at higher altitudes (usually over 1500 feet/460 m). There it…

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book review: silent snow

April 18, 2006

in Books

Silent Spring , Rachel Carson’s landmark book about the ecological devastation of chemicals and pesticides, alerted the public to the lurking dangers of the toxins around them. Nearly 45 years later, reporter Marla Cone’s Silent Snow renders a very similar…

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This week I’ve been trying to finish up some especially obnoxious paperwork on a project before my field season begins in earnest. Since I’m annoyed, I thought I’d take a little break and write about an annoying creature: the earwig….

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I know a lot of ornithologists, but I can’t think of any that look like celebrities. Perhaps that makes Emmet (Bob) Blake unique. He died in 1997, and was eulogized in an issue of the Auk, the journal of the…

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A nice article in this morning’s New York Times, “A Weed, a Fly, a Mouse, and a Chain of Unintended Consequences,” gives another lesson of one of the hazards of using biological control — unanticipated ecological chain reactions. The most…

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Recently, we have been being warned left, right, and center that avian influenza H5N1 was likely to enter the United States via migratory birds this year (or this spring, or next week, depending on the tenor of the article). I…

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