Science & Environment

Natural World
7:44 am
Wed November 26, 2014

A Mystery: Are Bats on Martha's Vineyard Free of Deadly White Nose Syndrome?

Wildlife biologists Liz Baldwin and Luanne Johnson of Biodiversity Works, check a bluebird box for bats at The Nature Conservancy's Hoft Farm on Martha's Vineyard.
Credit Photo by Louisa Hufstader

It’s a moonlit August night on Martha’s Vineyard, and deep in the woodlands on the island’s south shore, wildlife biologists Luanne Johnson and Liz Baldwin are setting up a weighing station for northern long-eared bats.

“Martha’s Vineyard and Long Island are among the few places where you can still find a northern long-eared bat,” Johnson said.

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Turtle Strandings
5:17 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Turtle Strandings Double Last Year's Numbers

Turtles Swim in a tank at the New England Aquarium Quincy Facility.
Scott Lebeda

  No, those aren't bananas in those boxes. The New England Aquarium and other organizations who are knee-deep in cold-stunned turtle rescues and have run out of the traditional plastic boxes used to transport the stranded animals. 

The record has nearly doubled from last year with reports of close to 1000 turtles washing up on Cape Cod shores this year. In the wee hours of Tuesday morning more than 190 turtles were packed up with the help of volunteers and shipped off to Florida, North Carolina and other Southern destinations.

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Science & Environment
1:29 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Liven Up Thanksgiving With Cranberry Fun Facts

American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon.

Can't talk about politics or religion at Thanksgiving dinner? No problem. Talk about cranberries, instead.

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Power Source: Part 6
7:33 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Keeping Nantucket Powered is a Challenge as Electricity Demand Rises

A file photo from December 2005 shows the installation of one of Nantucket's two undersea cables at Jefferson Avenue beach.
Credit Rob Benchley

Keeping an island 30 miles off the mainland supplied with fuel and electricity is hard enough, and on Nantucket, there’s also the need to account for the seasonal population that creates a short but significant surge in the demand for energy. It's a complex energy system that is constantly evolving with advances in technology and transportation.

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Power Source: Part 5
9:13 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Still Sparse On Cape, Islands And South Coast

EV charging station in Barnstable
Brian Morris/WCAI

There are a lot of upsides to plug-in electric vehicles, which is why state and federal officials are pushing hard to bring them into the mainstream. The technology promises to help reduce our reliance on imported petroleum products; the cars can be charged overnight or at times when the electric grid is less taxed; and they produce zero tailpipe emissions.

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Power Source: Part 4
7:44 am
Thu November 20, 2014

What's On This Electric Bill, Anyway?

NStar's Michael Durand sits down with electricity customer Barbara Meehan at her Wareham home to discuss her bill.

Utility company officials don't usually make house calls. But NStar spokesperson Michael Durand agreed to sit down with an NStar customer and talk about her electric bill. So we introduced Durand to 72-year-old Barbara Meehan of Wareham.

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Power Source: Part 3
7:44 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Energy Sources at Ends of Lines Could Benefit Everyone

Boothbay Harbor, Maine, has a message for end-of-the-line towns around New England.
Credit UGArdener / flickr

Boothbay, Maine has a message for end-of-the-line towns around New England: you could make the whole grid stronger.

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Cape Cod Notebook
2:28 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Of Solar-Powered Raspberries and Organic Electricity

Credit jenny downing / flickr

I am not someone who is usually obsessed with my energy consumption. Our house is pretty tight and well-insulated, and we use a relatively modest amount of electricity and fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. 

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Power Source: Part 2
7:33 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Changing Your Life to Use Less Energy

Choosing to live simply and off the grid, Chuck Cole uses a series of marine batteries and a single solar panel to provide all his electricity.
Credit Steve Junker / WCAI

Here’s a question for you: how much electricity did you use last month? That’s not how much did you pay on your electric bill – but how much electric power did you use?

If you're serious about using less, a good place to start is to understand how much you already consume.

In Falmouth I sat at the kitchen table with Ben and Kellie Porter and their two young children, as Ben opened his laptop to examine the family electric bill.

“It was 600 last month, 700 in July," he said. "Middle of the winter it was down to 400.  So between 600 and 400. Then July - big month.”   

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Science & Environment
12:35 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Islands Cope With Encroaching Seas, Some Better Than Others

Erosion at Nauset Light, Cape Cod National Seashore
Credit Cape Cod Times

Sea level rise and erosion have become defining features of coastal living in New England. Islands are particularly vulnerable.

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