Science & Environment

Science news

Daniel Colon-Ramos is associate professor of cell biology and neuroscience at Yale University.
Courtesy of Daniel Colon-Ramos

Daniel Colón-Ramos got the email just a few hours before he was due to lecture before a class of minority students in neuroscience at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), in Woods Hole. A teaching assistant had been expelled after threatening to burn a cross in front of an African-American student’s home. It’s an incident that might seem shocking to many, but to Colón-Ramos, it was the response that stood out.

Lighting has changed a lot since 1850. New Bedford has been in the thick of things, every step of the way. It began with the moniker “the city that lit the world,” earned with its leading role in the whaling industry. Later, the Whaling City became a hub of electrical manufacturing. Today, New Bedford boasts more solar power per capita than any other city in the continental United States. Still, the city is struggling to move beyond the legacy of pollution and economic challenges left bygone industries.

Courtesy of Steve Curwood

Steve Curwood has spent twenty five years reporting on environmental issues. Before that, he was an investigative journalist with a focus on human rights and social justice. Turns out, those issues aren’t as disparate as they may seem.

As a young, African-American man, the son of a single mother, and a Quaker, the issues on Curwood’s mind were civil rights, poverty, women’s rights, and the war in Vietnam.

woodley wonderworks / CC BY 2.0

Growing up, Sarah Zielinski wanted to be a marine biologist. Six weeks at sea – and miserably sea-sick – as an undergraduate in Sea Education Association's  SEA Semester program made her think otherwise. After college, she got a job at the National Science Foundation and learned another important lesson: there are a lot of things you can do with a science degree. She found her niche in science writing.

I Gotcha7 /

The bluefin tuna bite south of Martha's Vineyard has a lot of fishermen talking. Last Saturday, by one account, there were upward of 200 fishing boats in the area. Plentiful bait seems to be holding tuna in the 60-90 pound range.

Most of the action is centered about 20-30 miles south of the Vineyard. Andy Nabreski of On The Water magazine was out there on Sunday, and he joins us for this week's Fishing News to give us a feel for the fishing and explain the trolling strategy.

The boom of four iron cannons broke the relative silence of North Beach Island in Chatham on Sunday, heralding the start of another season of Red Knot trapping. 

Science historian Naomi Oreskes
Adrian Grycuk / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Poland

Last week, at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton declared “I believe in science!” In contrast, Donald Trump has called climate science a "hoax." He's far from alone; a deep distrust of science seems to be spreading, particularly within the Republican party. While we expect politicians to disagree on how best to address the issues we face, it now seems that science, itself, has become a wedge issue.

Gregory Breese/USFWS /

It may not feel like fall, but if you ask a migratory shorebird, they’ll tell you summer is over and it’s time to pack your bags and head south. Since early July, adults of the many species of Arctic nesting shorebirds that pass through our area have been massing on local beaches, mud flats, and salt marshes.


Madagascar is the hottest of biodiversity hot spots. The island is home to approximately five percent of all the species on earth. Four out of five of them are found nowhere else, including dozens of species of tenrecs and lemurs that have evolved over tens of millions of years.

On Martha’s Vineyard, Lyme Disease and other tick borne illnesses are common topics of conversation. WCAI correspondent Angela Scionti reports about a new project that could stop transmission of these diseases.