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24 May 2016

Tidal Troubles In The Mid-Atlantic

NOTE: This post is based on some research I did for an on-air story that aired today: Sea level rise is what’s called a slow motion disaster. These kind of events tend to be blamed on the symptoms rather than the cause, and often the preparation/ response to these type of events is inadequate. This is much the case where I live and work here in the Mid-Atlantic, on the …

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22 May 2016

Where The Fault Lies

Rural students in America who want a good education have a steep mountain to climb. Rural areas are generally poor, conservative, and tend toward fundamental religious beliefs, and this is turning out to be a real issue when it comes to teaching science. If you don’t believe me, ask a Biology teacher in rural Alabama, or almost anywhere in Texas. Too often, it’s not just angry parents they have to …

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9 May 2016

Visualizing the Heating of the Planet

An ingenious animated graphic by Ed Hawkins (Climate scientist at the Uni. of Reading in the UK) is going viral online today, and it is well worth sharing. Finding a new way to show raw data in a way that allows you to visualize what is happening, is always worth pursuing. Ed has another graph that shows how 2016 so far compares to last year. Last year was the warmest …

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4 May 2016

Chesapeake Bay Grasses Making a Comeback

My colleague Ty Butler did an excellent piece on our air (WBOC TV Eastern Shore of Maryland/Delaware) tonight about the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay grasses. This is really good news, and a sign that the health of the Bay is indeed improving. Ty has some great underwater photography in his piece, and it’s an exc. example of really good environmental science reporting. Call me impressed. Click the image below …

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2 May 2016

Songs of the Earth: Using music to connect students to the geosciences

By Jennifer Beauregard I distinctly remember a conversation I had as a graduate student. It was with a faculty member in my department and he was lamenting about how scientifically illiterate his undergraduate students were. I asked him why he did not include certain topics in his classes to address this issue. His response was that he was only going to talk about his area of expertise, not geosciences in …

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27 April 2016

Properly Communicating a Forecast Is Just As Important as Accuracy

The Storm Prediction Center’s outlook for severe weather verified fairly well yesterday. There were not that many tornadoes and the reason for this was likely that the wind shear was not that favorable in spite of an extremely unstable airmass. Still, the graphic above shows where the reports of wind damage, hail, and tornadoes were, and it matches well with the forecast outlook. The storms forecasted for New Jersey developed, …

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Oceans, policy, and high school students

By Shane M Hanlon & Lexi Shultz “Our Changing Ocean: Science for Strong Coastal Communities.” That was the theme this year for the Finals of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), an “education competition that tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, which include cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology.“ NOSB fills a gap that exists in many schools across the nation as ocean sciences are not a core part of many high …

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22 April 2016

You Can Thank These Three People for Earth Day

I remember very well watching the CBS Evening News (46 years ago today) on the first Earth Day. It was a major story, and I believe Walter Cronkite led the broadcast with it. We know a lot more about our planet now than we did then, and there have been some amazing successes in protecting our environment. We now know something that was not well understood then, and that is the …

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20 April 2016

What do students in coastal AL, TX, & GA all have in common? We’re all part of the same ocean!

By Lollie Garay In 2007 I was chosen as a PolarTREC teacher assigned to an oceanographic expedition to Antarctica. It was that amazing voyage that teamed me up with marine scientist Dr. Patricia Yager (UGA). Our successful collaborations have produced many educational outreach presentations, lessons, and published papers. Having experienced first-hand the important work of marine scientists, I knew that I needed to bring this type of experience to my …

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13 April 2016

Informal education equal opportunities for girls in STEM

This is a guest post by graduate student Mayra Sanchez as part of our ongoing series of posts where we ask students to share their experiences in science communication.  I became interested in outreach in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), because I’ve always seen a gap in communication between the scientific community and the general public. I have been an informal educator for the past 10 years with most of my …

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14 March 2016

NASA: February Temperatures Hottest Ever

  NASA has released the February global temperature data, and the rumors that it would smash the record set just last month by an incredible margin are true. The global temp. was 1.35C above the average of 1951-1980. This passes last month’s record of 1.14C above that average. The overwhelming opinion of experts is that any rise above 2 degrees C will bring unexpected and serious consequences to our climate …

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11 March 2016

Attributing Extreme Weather Events to Climate Change

My friend Heidi Cullen at Climate Central in Princeton has an excellent Op-Ed in the New York Times today. It’s about a new study released by the National Academies on attributing extreme weather events to climate change. The study itself is on my reading list for tonight, and you can read it yourself for free. Just click the image below. I know several of the researchers who worked on this …

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4 March 2016

Looking Back Toward The Beginning of Time Itself

  NASA released a video today that shows the most distant object ever photographed. A galaxy that is 13.4 billion light years away. The Universe was 3% of its present age then and the red shift is an incredible 11.1. This object is now much farther away than 13.4 billion light years, because the Universe is expanding and remember we are seeing this forming galaxy as it looked 13,400 million …

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29 February 2016

23|5 Talks at the AMS Annual Meeting

I was honored to be master of ceremonies at the 23-5 session (23.5 degrees is the tilt of Earth respect to the ecliptic) at the AMS Annual Meeting in January, and the video from the session is now online. The talks were all fantastic, and the evening ended with the movie based on Dr. Oreskes’ book Merchants of Doubt. When someone who thinks climate change is a hoax made up by …

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19 February 2016

Why Some Teachers Are Teaching Climate Change Wrong

I mentioned this subject last week, and thanks to my friend Ed Maibach at George Mason Univ. for the tip about this op-ed piece in U.S. News and World Report. It’s well worth a read, and I agree with the authors that the likely reason for this is that teachers are unaware of the overwhelming consensus among scientists. There’s no greater science myth in America, than the stubborn belief that …

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13 February 2016

Climate Change and Teachers

There is a very noteworthy paper out today in Science about the teaching of climate science in America’s classrooms, and it’s open source, so non-subscribers can read it. The piece is excellent, so if you know are (or know) a teacher, please share it with them.  The short summary of the Science paper, is that some teachers are telling students things about science that the facts just do not support, chief among …

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11 February 2016

Einstein’s Gravity Waves Are Real

The American Physical Society has a good write up on the gravity wave discovery announced today here. AP Science writer Seth Borenstein has some background as well. The actual published paper is here: http://journals.aps.org/prl/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102 More on how LIGO works here:

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8 February 2016

60 Minutes of Real Climate Science

It’s almost impossible for the average person with no science background to get good basic info about climate change (on TV or online). So, here’s some information that you can rely on. First dispelling a popular myth, and then a lecture by Dr. Michael Mann to Physics students at the Univ. of Virginia recently. Regurgitated Climate Myth Those who find the truth extremely inconvenient to their political worldview, love to …

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7 February 2016

If Journalism is About Truth, Then Why Are Top Newspapers Knowingly Publishing This Lie

Astrology is bunk. Hopefully you know that, but it really does beg the question of why almost every Sunday paper in America will publish a load of silly lies tomorrow, and yes it does matter. Science literacy is a serious issue in America, and I know this because not ONE of the top Republican candidates for President of the United States will admit that climate change is real, much less …

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21 January 2016

Historic Storm Aims for the Mid-Atlantic. Why it’s so hard to predict it!

There is little doubt that a major and perhaps historic blizzard will hit DC, Baltimore, and up toward Philadelphia Friday afternoon, lingering into late Saturday night. Winds will be very high along the Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey coasts, with gusts well above 60 mph, and significant coastal flooding. There’s very high confidence in this forecast based on a close agreement among all the numerical weather models, but the details …

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