Team Discovers a Significant Role for Nitrate in the Arctic Landscape

This press release was originally published on the Marine Biological Laboratory’s website

Nitrogen, an essential plant nutrient, is most readily absorbed by plants in its ammonium and nitrate forms. Because of the very low nitrate levels found in arctic tundra soil, scientists had assumed that plants in this biome do not use nitrate. But a new study co-authored by four Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Ecosystems Center scientists challenges this notion. The study has important implications for predicting which arctic plant species will dominate as the climate warms, as well as how much carbon tundra ecosystems can store.

Continue reading

Advertisements

How Renewable Energy Advocates are Hurting the Climate Cause

This article was originally published on Ensia’s website

Overly optimistic reports of renewables’ success are not only misleading but also counterproductive

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the proliferation of misinformation on social media is finally getting the attention it deserves. Or so I thought.

Continue reading

Writing When You Have a Strong Opinion

This article was originally published on the National Association of Science Writers’ website, and in the winter 2016-17 print edition of NASW’s ScienceWriters magazine

When science journalist Gary Taubes speaks publicly about nutrition and weight loss, he’s wary of mentioning carbohydrates too early in the presentation, especially when he knows there are physicians in the audience. He doesn’t want to be dismissed as “one of those Atkins people.”

This is a problem many science writers face. How do you clearly communicate where the evidence lies without coming off as biased, turning off many readers?

Continue reading

Blackstone and Taunton Rivers: Preserving History and Beauty for Generations to Come

This article was originally published in the Narragansett Bay Watershed Counts 2016 Report

Various federal recognitions have helped to preserve waterways across the country. In recent years, the two largest rivers that empty into Narragansett Bay—the Blackstone and Taunton rivers—received particularly noteworthy federal designations from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Continue reading

Old Man River Regains His Voice: Cleaning Rivers, Fighting Crime, Building Community

This article was originally published in the Narragansett Bay Watershed Counts 2016 Report

The Woonasquatucket River winds quietly through the Olneyville neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island. Unless you are next to it, odds are you might not even know the river is there. But, it played an important role in the area’s history and, following a period of abuse and neglect, it is making a comeback to play an important role in its present and future.

Continue reading