Scientists are Digging up the Dirt for Clues to Disappearing Nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay

Thomas Fisher of UMCES enters data from a stream logger into his computer at his makeshift office near South Forge Branch, one of the Choptank’s tributaries. The logger measures water depth and temperature. (Dave Harp)

by Rona Kobell 
Rona Kobell is a staff writer for the Bay Journal. Her work has won numerous awards and in 2008, she was selected as a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying the use of economic incentives in environmental policy. Call it the case of the missing nitrogen.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Journal, scientists have wondered what happens to the nitrogen that farmers apply to fields over the past several decades.

The Pros and Cons of Potential Development in National Parks

Yellowstone Canyon, from Shutterstock

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays between 2-4pm. With the National Park Service turning one hundred this week, discussions continue on how to make the parks financially lucrative.  More than 300 million tourists visited the national parks in 2015, a five percent increase from the previous year. Of those visitors, more than five million flocked to Grand Canyon National Park alone. With a surge in hikers and bikers come more parking lots and developments.

DEC is Seeking Help Monitoring an Invasive Species

Asian Longhorned Beetle Photograph credit: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,
www.forestryimages.org/

The Asian Longhorned Beetle showed up on New York City around 1996, likely hitching a ride in cargo containers. This pest is most destructive in its larval stage, according to the New York State DEC. This pest was collected on maple and horse chestnut trees by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department at Green Point in northern Brooklyn. It was initially identified by E. Richard Hoebeke of Cornell University. The Longhorned beetle is a pest found in China, Japan and Korea. This was the first detection of this pest in the United States.

EPA Science Advisory Board Sharpens Criticism of Fracking Report

EPA science panel calls on the agency to produce more evidence for its assertion that fracking by gas rigs like this one does not have a widespread effect on drinking water. photo by JOE ULRICH/ WITF

By John Hurdle, State Impact Pennsylvania 

A scientific advisory panel on Thursday stepped up its criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial report on fracking, calling on the agency to provide evidence for its landmark conclusion that fracking for oil and gas has had “no widespread, systemic impacts” on drinking water.  

 

Read the rest of the story here. 

Would You Eat a Plate Full of Worms?

image by Lisa Brown 

by Alison Baitz, NPR Goats and Soda 

In southern Venezuela, the Ye’kuana people gather them from the mud around streams or dig them up from the floor of the highland forest. They’re gutted and boiled and eaten — or smoked and sold at prices three times that of other smoked meats. What is this lucrative, forageable fare? Earthworms.

“These edible worms are as much a part of the food supply as chicken is [in the U.S.],” says Darna Dufour, a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado – Boulder and a colleague of Maurizio Guido Paoletti, a professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Padova in Italy. He’s the co-author of a paper on the “Nutrient content of earthworms consumed by Ye’Kuana Amerindians.”

New Radio Programming on WSQX highlighting our Climate

Climate Connections comes to WSQX, weekdays at 4:59pm, beginning on Monday July 11, 2016. Climate Connections is hosted by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, with original reporting from a national network of environmental reporters and researchers. A ninety second climate story will be highlighted each weekday begging July 11th. The program examines how climate change is already impacting our lives and values as well as “solution stories” about what diverse people and organizations are doing to reduce carbon pollution and increase resilience to climate impacts. The series “connects the dots” between climate change and energy, extreme weather, public health, food and water, jobs and the economy, national security, the creative arts, and religious and moral values, among other themes. Weekdays, 4:59pm | WSQX RADIO

The Great Polar Bear Feast

 A polar bear eats at the Bone Pile, with the town of Kaktovic in the background. photo: Andrew Brown/Renegade Pictures

 

The Great Polar Bear Feast airs on WSKG TV June 22, 2016 at 8pm. The Great Polar Bear Feast is the astonishing story of an annual natural phenomenon that occurs in early September on the north slope of the Arctic. Every year, up to 80 polar bears gather on the frozen shores of Barter Island, near the village of Kaktovik, to feast on the hunter-harvested bowhead whale remains. This extraordinary gathering is highly unusual because polar bears are known as solitary predators, rarely if ever moving in a group.

Sea Lamprey Invade the Great Lakes

By Angelica Morrison

 

(WBFO) The sharp scent of chemicals bites the air as Jason Krebill wades in a creek and pulls out two slippery, slimy, parasitic creatures. He was holding dead adult sea lampreys one in each hand. They were about two feet long, with suction-cupped mouths, lined with nearly a dozen rows of sharp teeth. Like a vampire, the sea lamprey latches onto its prey and sucks the blood and nutrients out of fish in all five of the Great Lakes. Krebill, a biological science technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a part of a team whose job it is to control the invasive species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is contracted by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to apply lampricide to the creeks and tributaries throughout the Great Lakes Corridor.

Will Wasps help to slow down the Emerald Ash Borer?

SUNY ESF graduate student Mike Jones is studying parasitic wasp as predators of the emerald ash borer. Photo credit: Ellen Abbott, WRVO

 

By Ellen Abbott. (WRVO) Scientists are going to war against an invasive insect that’s decimating the ash tree population in central New York, by using one of its natural predators. While these tiny wasps may not stop the current infestation in its tracks, they may help deal with these kinds of things in the future. SUNY ESF graduate student Mike Jones spends a lot of time scraping the bark off of dead ash trees.

Nature's Perfect Partners

Nature’s Perfect Partners airs on WSKG TV on May 11, 2016 at 8pm. It won’t come as any surprise that survival is the number one goal in the animal kingdom. But to ensure success on a continual basis, many creatures have opted to form alliances rather than go it alone. There are all kinds of partnerships to fulfill different needs, but as this film explains, these relationships are not only between animals of the same species. What is really astonishing is that completely unrelated species also form unlikely collaborations to succeed in the wild.