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On the Pika Trail: A Tree-Hugger’s Foray Into Wildlife Monitoring – August 20, 2013

Citizen scientist programs are increasingly being used to crowdsource wildlife data collection

“Glacier Dispatch, this is 249 Ouellet. I am beginning my backcountry itinerary.” A voice on the other end of the radio crackles back the time of my departure, and I step onto the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. In my backpack, I carry a GPS unit and map, four flags, four twelve-meter ropes, a survey chart, tiny envelopes, and a clipboard. Today, I am surveying pika - a tiny, cute, possibly endangered member of the rabbit family - for the park’s Citizen Science Program.

photoname Photo courtesy Glacier National Park
Scanning the talus: Citizen scientists help with surveys every summer at Glacier National Park… more

by: Nicky Ouellet

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Portland-Montreal Pipeline to be Converted for Shipping Tar Sands Oil into the US – October 12, 2012

ExxonMobil a major stakeholder in the pipeline, says new report

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Environmentally-minded Maine residents, already fighting plans for a highway connecting New Brunswick and Quebec that could be used to ship dirty tar sands oil into the United States, now face a new challenge — this time from oil giant ExxonMobil.

pipeline mapImage courtesy EcoWatch

Going in Reverse, a report released this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, and other environmental groups, names ExxonMobil as the majority owner of the Portland-Montreal pipeline that currently ships conventional crude oil from Portland, Maine, to Montreal, Quebec. The report says that Big Oil has plans to… more

by: Nicky Ouellet

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Working With Nature and Singing for the Rain – September 28, 2012

Book Review: The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in O’odham Country

Gary Paul Nabhan’s 30-year-old observations about traditional farming practices in drought-stricken areas seem exceptionally pertinent to the state of farming in 2012. His conclusion: work with what you’ve got, and sing for the rain to come.

The Desert Smells Like Rain is a series of 10 episodes, each depicting an aspect of desert life. Nabhan’s deep relationships with members of the Tohono O’odham (formerly known as Papago) affords him keen insight to the Native American peoples’ delicate interactions with the Sonoran Desert. He journeys to sacred caves and thriving oases, participates in rain-bringing ceremonies, and talks shop with sustenance farmers who cultivate lands in political protest. Throughout these adventures, he… more

by: Nicky Ouellet

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SEC Supports Environmental Provisions of Dodd-Frank – August 22, 2012

It’s not often that the financial sector takes on environmental issues, but that’s exactly what’s happening with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The SEC voted today on two sections of the act that seek to end the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals and deter abuse and mismanagement of oil, gas, and mining projects. Members of the Commission voted along party lines in support of both provisions.

Section 1502, the “conflict minerals provision,” prevents the mineral trade from funding human rights abuses and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eastern DRC holds a wealth of ores used… more

by: Nicky Ouellet

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Watch What You Eat: Endangered Sharks Show Up in Soup – August 14, 2012

Eight shark species found in shark fin soup samples from restaurants in 14 US cities

As if there wasn’t enough to worry about when trying to make sustainable choices about seafood, endangered species of sharks are now turning up in shark fin soup.

shark fin soup Photo by Flickr user Plasticchef1Many states and nations, including the US, are making strides to restrict and regulate the shark fin
trade, but where there’s a demand, there will come a supply.

Eight separate species of shark, most of which are on endangered and threatened species lists, were found in soup samples in 14 US cities. The study, conducted by the Pew Environmental Group, Stony Brook University, NY, and the Field Museum,… more

by: Nicky Ouellet

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