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Fulgurites are the rocks that form when lightning strikes sand (there are other types as well) and it creates a hollow tube. Think of it as petrified lightning--super cool!
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"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B. Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."
Even if only a small fraction of strays have figured out how to navigate the subway system, it represents another example of how animals have adapted to the urban ecosystem in a way that human did not intend. The dogs get on the subway in the morning and go downtown searching for food and return to the suburbs to sleep. This has been circulating on social media sites, and I find it endlessly fascinating.
Tags: urban ecology, Russia, environment adapt, biogeography.
This just shows how smart dogs really are. They see humans doing it, so they learn how to get around using the subways as well. They probably even get a free snack along the way! Just proves yet again why dogs are so much better than cats. You wouldn't find a cat taking the subway. They would think they're too good for that.
WNYC is asking "armchair scientists, lovers of nature and DIY makers" for their help to predict this year's cicada emergence in the Northeast. The bugs have been underground for the past 17 years. (RT @nprscience: The Cicadas Are Coming!
App-ly Yourself to Tackle Today's Scientific Challenges
The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) scientists are encouraging app developers and earth scientists to design creative apps that will aid researchers in tackling the important questions. USGS datasets include biogeographical, vegetation and land cover change data. Submissions will be judged on their relevance to today’s scientific challenges, innovative use of the datasets, and overall ease of use of the application. Prizes will be awarded to the best overall app, the best student app, and the people’s choice. Do you have an idea?
Tags: physical, ecology, visualization, biogeography, edtech.
Africa has a lot to offer the adventurous traveller. We've compiled a list of the must-see places any trip should include.
There are great iconic places of Africa in this Top 10 list (and yes, I'd love to see Victoria Falls from above).
Tags: tourism, Africa.
All these pictures have really opened my eyes to what is out there in the world. For a guy that was never really interested in traveling these pictures opened the imagination and actually make me think that traveling could be highly rewarding.
it's very cool spot on the plant, thats for sure.
Jeffrey Gettleman, The Times’s Nairobi bureau chief, reports on how Kenya’s wildlife conservation corps is learning from a reformed poacher how to counter the growing threat to elephants.
In Somalia, former pirates are helping to patrol the coasts to prevent piracy. This idea of reforming and recruiting past criminals is also seen in Kenya as former poachers are trying to protect elephants that are essential to the local ecology as well as the tourism-driven economy. In addition to the attached video is this article which expands on these issues.
Tags: biogeography, tourism, Africa, consumption, resources, ecology, Kenya.
In an impoverished country, elephant poaching is a quick way to make big money. A pair of poachers explain how they track and kill elephants in one of Africa's top game reserves.
The illegal sale of ivory in places such as Asia drive the elephant poachers to prey on Elephants in protected game reserves and national parks. The Selous Game Reserve is larger than Switzerland and yet they only have 10 rangers to protect and patrol the wildlife.
Tags: biogeography, poverty, globalization, Africa, consumption, resources, ecology, podcast.
Our modern society depends on greater connectivity between places. Regionalized economies, politics and transportation networks are increasingly integrated with far-flung places now more than ever before. Our biosphere and natural environments are exceptions to this pattern. Wilderness areas are 'islands' in an ocean of human controlled environments. We create transportation linkages that unite people economies and cities, but separate herds from there extended habitat.
We've all seen road kill on major highways. Species like deer, elk, and grizzly bears and other large-bodied animals need a wide range for numerous ecological reasons. These bridges are an attempt to ameliorate some of the problems that our roads pose for the non-human species that still call Earth home. From a purely economic standpoint, many argue that these bridges save society money given the accidents and property damage that can be avoided.
UPDATE: This is a hilarious/painful video of a woman who clearly doesn't understand these principles.
Tags: biogeography, transportation, environment, land use, sustainability, environment adapt.
Projections of urban growth indicate areas where biodiversity is at high risk.
The AAG Smart Brief is a fantastic source of geographic news. This is what they said about this article: "Areas such as tropical Africa and eastern China are expected to be hot spots of urbanization during the next several years, according to researchers, who used satellite imagery and other data to project future urban expansion through 2030. 'We're not forecasting population, we're forecasting the expansion of urban space,' said Yale University geographer Karen Seto. Their efforts could be used to assist conservation initiatives, Seto noted."
Tags: AAG, urban, sprawl, land use, urban ecology, biogeography, unit 7 cities, environment.
One of a number of large wildfires that have affected northern California in 2012, the Chips fire burned more than 75,000 acres by the time firefighters had contained it.
2012 is going to go down in United States history as the year with the most acres burned in a single year (statistics only go back to 1960). The two featured images were taken earlier this month to display a Northern California wildfire; both with the same spatial resolution and acquired for the same instrument (Advanced Land Imager on EO-1 satellite), yet they are quite distinct. One shows an aerial photograph, displaying exactly what standard visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (showing us what our eyes would normally see). The other image displays a false color (near infrared) image.
Questions to ponder: what advantages does each image have for analyzing the fire damage? Drawbacks? How does the data from both images work together to create a more complete picture of the situation?
Tags: remote sensing, images, environment, land use, disasters, biogeography.
This a visually stunning video montage with clips compiled from the Discovery Channel's series "Planet Earth."
Using newts, coyotes and mice, Jason Munshi-South shows how animals develop genetic differences in evolution, even within an urban city. "Evolution in a Big ...
Humanity has obviously had an enormous impact on the environment and our sprawling metropolitan areas are the primary example. However, we often fail to think about how urbanization is impacting other species inhabiting the planet. Our cities have essentially created 'islands' of livable habitat for many species and the same evolutionary processes of divergence and extinction are now seen in our urban areas. Island biogeography is becoming increasingly important as we continue to fracture and fragment the environment within which other species can live. This incredible Ted Talk can be seen (and flipped) on the new TED-ED site at: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/evolution-in-a-big-city
By bringing together all types of information about species distributions, providing model-based integration, and providing a system for users to build upon our knowledge, the Map of Life project hopes to support our community in understanding and...
This site stores an online database of the spatial distribution of over 25,000 species, and with GIS layer tools, allows users to map biogeographical patterns. If you want to teach geography in collaboration with a biology project, this is the perfect tool. For a press release about the project funded by Yale, UC Boulder, NASA, WWF and others, see: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/filling-in-the-blanks-on-a-map-of-life/ ;
"The photograph is real, no photoshop, no digital manipulation, no nothing, in fact it was shot on slide film Fuji Provia 100 using a Nikon F5 Camera and 17-35 mm lens. For those conspiracy fans who still doubt its authenticity please read how I took the photograph." --The true story by Thomas P. Peschak
March and April are key months for harvesting sap from trees, making this sugar time in New England. New England's climate and biogeography make this the right time because the because the combination of freezing nights and warm spring days gets the sap in the native species of maple trees to flow. The sap get boiled down to syrup, but did you know that it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap that to get 1 gallon of pure maple syrup?
De-extinction is a new term for to me but this week a TEDx conference hosted by National Geographic focused completely on this concept on the possibility of reviving formerly extinct species. Just because we think we can bring back a lost species, does that mean we should? What would be the benefits? Disadvantages?
I've read enough about passenger pigeons to know that beyond overhunting, the species went extinct as large swaths of North American forests became fragmented and modified. While we may be able to theoretically bring back a species, we cannot rewind the clock and bring all the essential ingredients to their former ecosystem that allowed them to thrive in the first place. De-extinction would NOT be repairing the world so that it was as if the extinction never happened, since other species in the ecosystem have adapted to their absence. Given the length of their absence, could these be considered "invasive species?"
Tags: biogeography, environment, National Geographic, environment modify, ecology, historical, TED.
In #NatGeo with engineers from Remote Imaging.Very cool.CritterCams and remote flying cameras. twitter.com/lkeysmathews/s…— Lisa Keys Mathews (@lkeysmathews) February 27, 2013
In #NatGeo with engineers from Remote Imaging.Very cool.CritterCams and remote flying cameras. twitter.com/lkeysmathews/s…
Today I've been at the the National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C. with other Geography Education Alliance coordinators. They have the coolest toys to capture some amazing footage, including crittercams.
Seen one of these used on mt washington to get aerial footage of people on the summit.
"In this fantastic sighting by photographer Horst Kiechle, we see the roots of a tree in Bangkok, Thailand (Lat Yao, Chatuchak to be exact) growing into the grooves and cracks of an interlocking sidewalk. Even the colour of the roots gradually fade into the pavement."
This startling image is a powerful testament to the adaptive nature of many species to the urban environment. Some species will adapt in beautiful ways such as this tree, while other will adapt in ways that go against our plan for that urban space (think rats, pigeons and cockroaches). We adapt to our environment and the environment adapts to us as well; but that relationship is not always peaceful and symbiotic. We can also destroy ecosystems that are fragile and not as resilient to change as this tree is. See this same tree's root network one year later.
Tags: urban ecology, environment adapt, sustainability, biogeography.
Live presentations have been a part of National Geographic since the 1800s, and today more than 140 are viewable online. See this year's best.
These talks are always quality presentations and this set of 10 videos is a part of the Explorers Journal sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
Videos on various geography topics
Top 10 National Geographic Talks!!!!
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is a fabulous resource in Washington D.C., but now this museum available virtually. Teachers can now bring the museums to the classroom with these fantastic Smithsonian virtual tours.
Tags: biogeography, virtual tours, environment, ecology, historical, physical.
Amazing things about Google Earth - news, features, tips, technology, and applications...
I wasn't planning on an ocean mapping portion of my class today, but this new development changes that.
Tags: water, biogeography, mapping, google.
According to a study published in the June 2003 issue of "Conservation Biology," there are 561 known butterfly species in the U.S. and Canada.
"Not only are these insects beautiful, they're important pollinators and vital to the health of their natural habitats. You can encourage these gentle creatures to visit your yard by using easy-to-make butterfly food and feeders."
the undersea work & world of Michael Lombardi...
Michael Lombardi is a both a scientific and commercial diver; as an author and environmentalist and an Explorer in Residence with the National Geographic Society. This Saturday he will be the guest speaker for the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance meeting and I am incredibly excited to hear from him.
Tags: water, National Geographic, RhodeIsland, physical, biogeography, environment.
The 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption was one of the most significant natural disasters in the U.S. in the past half-century. Landsat captured the extent of, and recovery from, the destruction.
The accompanying satellite images (also compiled in a video to show the temporal changes) demonstrate one way that remote sensing images can help us better understand the spatial patterns in the biosphere.
Information about the endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and what you can do to save it.
So many of our student passively accept what they read on the internet as truth, especially if the website looks professional. Since we are trying to help foster critical-thinking skills, we can present this website as though it were factual and encourage our students to analyze, critique and evaluate the 'information' presented. Personally, I wish I lived in a world where the Tree Octopus was safe to freely climb in the old-growth forests.
The NDVI (Normalized Digital Vegetation Index) is on of the primary methods for detecting healthy vegetation using satellite imagery. This also serves as a useful way to distinguish between distinct ecological and agricultural regions and the temporal patterns of planting seasons.
This video was found on a site titled "Explorations in agricultural research" with many great links http://zerogravitygardening.blogspot.com/