By Forest Schenck What’s in a name? The Greek or Latin roots of a scientific name often describe some unique or defining characteristic of the species in question. For instance, the etymology of Phragmites australis reveals that the genus name is derived from the Greek word phragma meaning hedge or fence and the species name (australis) means southern in Latin. Likewise, species common names are … Continue reading Report from the Field: Phragmites australis
(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) Driftwood. It’s one of the most common sights on our New England beaches. But did you ever wonder where it comes from? Ocean Genome Legacy Director Dan Distel does, and on a recent walk on the beach in Nahant, he found a surprising clue: an unusual castaway hiding in a piece of storm-tossed wood. The unlucky traveler was Teredora … Continue reading A Tiny Tropical Castaway
(Cross-posted from Ocean Genome Legacy news) On Sunday, September 20, Ocean Genome Legacy (OGL) and Nahant S.W.I.M. Inc. (Safer Waters in Massachusetts) rallied local citizen scientists to explore and protect their beaches at the first Nahant Bioblitz, an exciting “scavenger hunt” for marine biodiversity. Our 58 participants and 17 volunteers explored five beaches, recorded 41 datasheets, and documented 203 observations of marine life. Citizen scientists … Continue reading Citizen Scientists Celebrate First Ever Nahant Bioblitz
Sorry, I can’t resist a good pun. Anyway… Many of you have probably heard of the left brain/right brain theory of personality. It is the belief that the left side of the brain is responsible for logical and analytical thinking while the right side of the brain is responsible for more creative endeavors. Artists and musicians are supposed to be left-brained while, as a scientist, … Continue reading Mona Listeria: Microbes as Art
A couple weeks ago, Revere Beach held its 12th annual International Sand Sculpting Festival, which if you haven’t been, is a festival definitely worth a visit. You can watch professional sand artists creating beautiful, elaborate, very large sculptures using nothing but sand and water. Plus there are food trucks (an impressive lineup), vendors giving out free stuff, live bands, and fireworks. I learned this year … Continue reading Sand, Sharks, and Shearwaters
Sometimes fieldwork goes exactly how you planned, however, most of the time you end up getting to Plan C before anything starts working. Let me tell you about my week of making all the plans and changing them over, and over, and over again. For the next 5-7 weeks, I am running an experiment at Mote Marine’s Tropical Research Lab (TRL) in Summerland Key, FL, … Continue reading Field Notes: Out with the New, in with the Old… and then Back in with the New?
My knowledge of US-Cuba geopolitics pretty much draws from that time I fell asleep while watching Thirteen Days, a particularly lengthy and serious movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Apparently this is exactly the sort of gripping historical thriller my parents thought a tween couldn’t possibly miss. However disinterested, I do remember plenty of fraught glances and yelling about whether or not the US should … Continue reading The Cuban Coral Crisis