Understanding Farmer Attitudes Can Help Address Water Quality Issues

satellite view of gulf of mexico dead zone

The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is predicted to be a near record size in 2019. By the end of summer, the hypoxic region at the mouth of the Mississippi River is expected to occupy over 22,000 square kilometers—an area the size of Massachusetts. The culprit? Nitrogen-based fertilizers applied to crops across the Midwest that… Read more »

Can corals ride the tide of climate change?

Damselfish and their coral host (Pocillopora eydouxi).

Researchers at Mo’orea LTER did not observe evidence that corals acclimatize to ocean acidification, but they did observe that some are more sensitive to it than others.

When it Rains, it’s Gonna Pour

Fires and floods are becoming all too common for coastal Southern California residents — but are these ‘extreme’ events likely to become even more frequent? Answering this question requires a comprehensive understanding of precipitation patterns in the region and how they are likely to change in the coming decades. Most previous research on climate change… Read more »

Got Shrubs? Woody plants are changing ecological communities around the globe

The Knights Who Say “Ni” would be delighted by a growing trend across many of the planet’s major biomes—tree and grass species are being taken over by shrubbery. Unfortunately, this phenomenon isn’t so favorable for native vegetation that struggles to compete with an invading shrub army (the term ecologists often use is ‘woody plant encroachment’)…. Read more »

LTER Road Trip: A Shrubby Invasion

PhD researcher Joe Brown looking out over a barrier island in the Virginia Coast Reserve.

Islands on the Move I stood on a windy barrier island, hair whipping around my face as my boots crunched across beach seashells. The waves crashed into the sand, here and there stirring up food for one of the many gulls seeking rest or prey on this island. Before me stretched the Atlantic Ocean, as… Read more »

Oyster Reef Soundscapes (VCR)

Martin Volaric (UVA Environmental Sciences) & Eli Stine (Music) Researchers studying intertidal oyster reefs are using sound recordings as a proxy for reef activity. During Summer 2018, researchers at the VCR-LTER made a series of recordings with two goals in mind:Credit: Cora Ann Johnston1) Pair sound with environmental measurements to study how reefs respond to… Read more »

Environmental History of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MCM)

Lake Bonney Camp, Antarctica. Steve Chignell, 2016.

As part of their current project, researchers at MCM LTER are writing a detailed study on the environmental history of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The monograph will be available online and published as a book with an academic press. For more information visit the McMurdo Dry Valleys History website.

Art & Ecology (VCR)

Each year, art and science teachers are invited to Art and Ecology workshops that link Plein Aire landscape painting and observational drawing to salt marsh ecology and climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems. Nearly 30 teachers per year participate in these professional development opportunities, and over half return for a 2nd workshop. Workshops focus on… Read more »

Collaboration with artist Cynthia Rubin (NES)

Jellyfish and Krill in Antarctica by Cynthia Ruben and Susanne Menden-Deuer, 2017

Biological oceanographer Susanne Menden-Deuer at the University of Rhode Island has an ongoing collaboration with artist Cynthia Rubin. Murals are on display on the doors to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) PI labs, while other art is showcased during exhibits and conferences. Project Status: Ongoing

STEAM with Falmouth High School (NES)

Ying Yang by Garret Bentley and Ness Uitti, 2018. Inspired by work at WHOI researcher Ann Tarrant's lab.

Several WHOI PIs have participated in the “STEAM” program with Falmouth High School art teacher Jane Baker. The STEAM educational movement advocates for the integration of Arts (“A”) into more traditional grouping of STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). For more information, visit Ann Tarrant’s website. Project Status: Completed

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