Climate-induced warming alters walrus behavior

USGS Science Feature: October 1, 2014

“Once again, an extreme retreat of Alaska’s summer sea ice has led large numbers of Pacific walruses to haul out on land to rest instead of resting on offshore ice. The walruses are hauling out on land in a spectacle that has become all too common in six of the last eight years as a consequence of climate-induced warming. Summer sea ice is retreating far north of the shallow continental shelf waters of the Chukchi ...

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Vertebrate species populations have declined

Message from the World Wildlife Fund International Director General

livingplanet“The latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted.  One key point that jumps out and captures the overall picture is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, has declined by 52 percent since 1970. Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes ...

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A Special Supplement from PNAS: The Science of Science Communication

A special supplement to this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is dedicated to science communication.

“Better communication to the public and policy makers can help scientists send clearer signals regarding the accomplishments, promises, and uncertainties of their work. Better communication from the public and policy makers can provide scientists with clearer signals regarding the public’s concerns and science’s role in addressing them. The result would be a more productive dialogue about the science and the political, social, ...

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Heather Govenor receives the 2014 William R. Walker Award

Heather is a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and a fellow in the Interfaces of Global Change Program

Heather will be using the funds from this award to support her participation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Vancouver, Canada in November. She will be presenting a poster entitled “Sediment as a Surrogate for Multiple Stressors in Freshwater Ecosystems: ...

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Madeline Schreiber’s research will trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills

Monday, July 21, 2014 
By Tonia Moxley, at The Roanoke Times 

DANVILLE — Virginia Tech researchers hope a $25,000 National Science Foundation grant will help them find better ways to trace the long-term effects of coal ash spills like the one in February that fouled 70 miles of the Dan River from Eden, North Carolina, to Kerr Lake in Virginia.

The NSF RAPID grant will “help us get a snapshot of what’s going on,” said Madeline Schreiber, ...

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Bees and Colony Collapse

Our Bees, Ourselves

From the New York Times Opinion Pages: July 14, 2014

AROUND the world, honeybee colonies are dying in huge numbers: About one-third of hives collapse each year, a pattern going back a decade. For bees and the plants they pollinate — as well as for beekeepers, farmers, honey lovers and everyone else who appreciates this marvelous social insect — this is a catastrophe.

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Rhododendrons, nitrogen cycling, and global change

From VT News:

Global change research in Jeb Barrett’s lab is featured this week in VT News :

“How important is the soil beneath our feet to what grows above it? 

The short answer is very, according to Virginia Tech’s Mahtaab Bagherzadeh of Annandale, Virginia, a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science and a 2014 Fralin Life Science InstituteSummer Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Bagherzadeh recently participated in a ...

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