Archive » July, 2012

Bug Problems? Call in the Chickens
July 25, 2012

Bug Problems? Call in the Chickens

Oregon State Extension experiments with pest control in organic apple orchard

“Aw, no bugs!” exclaims Betsey Miller after meticulously pouring over a wheelbarrow’s worth of decomposing leaf litter and manure. “The chickens are doing a great job, but it’s still fun for us entomologists to find insects once in a while!” A pen of praiseworthy red-ranger chickens peck away at the grass a few yards away, […]


The Heart of Mass
July 25, 2012

The Heart of Mass

Discovery of the Higgs opens a new chapter in the exploration of nature

The term “God particle” tends to rankle physicists. The flippant reference to the recently discovered particle believed to be the Higgs boson was coined by Leon Lederman, the former director of the Department of Energy’s Fermilab and Nobel Prize winning physicist. But, says Ken Krane, nuclear scientist and emeritus professor of physics at Oregon State […]


Horns of Africa
July 11, 2012

Horns of Africa

Dylan McDowell studies endangered rhinos in Tanzanian reserves

In the place where Dylan McDowell grew up, wildlife meant sea lions, sandpipers, salmon and passing pods of spouting whales. Where he’s going this summer, wildlife means something else entirely, something reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, exotic and fearsome: wildebeests, jackals, baboons, leopards, warthogs. And rhinos that have been poached nearly […]


Sea Urchin
July 11, 2012

Sea Urchin

Caitlyn Clark takes her love of ecology to Ireland's first marine reserve

On her first-ever research trip, Caitlyn Clark trudged up and down hundreds of spongy hummocks spanning miles of arctic tundra, all the while swatting at giant mosquitoes and scanning for hungry polar bears. She was in Manitoba to collect data about the habitats of boreal frogs and stickleback fish for Earthwatch Institute Student Challenge Awards […]


The Milky Way
July 11, 2012

The Milky Way

Mais oui! Rachel Miller puts French ice cream to the taste and texture test.

When Rachel Miller was shadowing a pie scientist in her hometown of Spokane, Washington, no one — not her teachers, not her parents, and certainly not she herself — could have predicted that her high school job shadow would lead to possibly the coolest summer internship in the universe: tasting ice cream in France. OK, […]


The Earth Burps and Burns
July 11, 2012

The Earth Burps and Burns

WeiLi Hong measures methane emissions in Korean ocean waters

When the Earth burps, WeiLi Hong listens. Whether Earth’s gaseous emissions bubble up from “mud volcanoes” on the planet’s surface or seep out of fissures on the ocean floor, the Oregon State University Ph.D. student has his monitoring gear to the ground. And sometimes, he’s actually in the ground. “I fell in twice,” Hong admits, […]


Legacy of a Whale
July 11, 2012

Legacy of a Whale

Renee Albertson’s childhood encounter led her, decades later, to French Polynesia

Rain was pouring hard the day Renee Albertson first connected, face-to-face, with a marine mammal. She was a 7-year-old visiting British Columbia’s Sealand aquarium (Canada’s now-defunct answer to California’s SeaWorld) with her mom and dad. The daily show had been cancelled because of the downpour. The usual crowds were absent. As the soggy trio from […]


Dolphin Defender
July 3, 2012

Dolphin Defender

Rebecca Hamner boats New Zealand’s coastline collecting DNA from endangered dolphins

A dolphin’s dorsal fin can be as distinctive as a human fingerprint. As the fin slices through the sea, its unique pattern of pigments, nicks and scars relays the animal’s personal story to observers on the surface. Often, scientists can use these markings to ID individual dolphins. But for some species, fin IDs are not […]