Science & Environment

Science news

Courtesy of Buzzards Bay Coalition

Long before crowd-sourcing and citizen science were buzzwords, volunteers for Buzzards Bay Coalition were monitoring water quality along the estuary's edges, from Westport to the Elizabeth Islands. The resulting data set spans twenty four years, and includes information about nutrients, temperatures, oxygen levels, and algral growth at two hundred locations. It's a scientific treasure-trove, but one which has gone relatively un-mined ... until now.

At this time in July, gulls are fledging young, the beaches are crowded with people, making it time to talk about behavior at the beach. Gulls are adaptable, and once they figure out how to find a meal they quickly learn new behavior. The gulls I am talking about belong to the following species - Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull and Laughing Gull. They have beach smarts, often operating like a rogue gang, terrorizing beach goers. They are getting smarter as you read this.

Ken Kostel / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In 1998, Ben LeComte swam some 3,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, eight hours at a time. It took him seventy three days in total. Now, he's taking on an even bigger challenge - The Longest Swim - a 180-day, 5,500 mile swim across the Pacific Ocean, from Tokyo to San Francisco. His goal is to boost our understanding and awareness of ocean health issues.

Scup don't get a lot of publicity. You can't even find them in most fish markets on the Cape and Islands. But scup - or "porgy," as they're also known - can be delicious to eat. And they sure are fun for kids to catch.

AP Photo

There are people in Africa who have to walk hours to get to clean water, and then carry it back to their family.

The students of Morse Pond School in Falmouth learned about them in a book. They decided to try it out themselves as a class project. So they put water bottles in backpacks, slung them on and … it was raining, so they walked around in the halls for about two hours.

Rupa Shenoy / WGBH News

Doug George hops away from an incoming wave, and points up.

"Dry sand, this is a good thing," he said.

I look up to where he’s pointing, and what I see there looming above my head frightens me.

James Grellier / Wikimedia Commons

On a Friday this spring, a group of students from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies drove two hours to visit Swansea, Mass., a community with rolling green hills on the commonwealth's southern coast, for a surprising reason — to see the town's newest water treatment facility.

Rupa Shenoy / WGBH News

Martin Suuberg balanced precariously on a muddy bank and stretched with a net to reach what looked like a soggy old tennis ball.

"You thought I was going to go in?" he said. "There was a couple of moments where I thought I might too."

Pope Francis has called climate action, variously, a moral, religious, and ethical imperative.

Pope Francis recently released a 184-page letter, Laudato Si, dedicated to environmental issues. In it, he argues that respect for the poor, future generations, the Earth, and God all demand major changes in how we use resources.

AP Photo

Water might as well be a person. It has moods like a person: maybe a running brook when it’s happy; a gentle rain when it’s blue; a storm when it’s angry.