I’m on a Podcast!

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Really happy to share a positive, optimistic and (hopefully) interesting conversation I had with Nils von Heijne for his podcast. We talked about “Nature and the Future of Humanity.” You can listen here.

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For Nat Geo: Phenotypic Plasticity in Salamanders & Climate Change

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Pleased to share my second article for National Geographic: This one came about because during a trail run with a big German Shepherd I was caring for, we came across a long-toed salamander. I didn’t recognize this species since I grew up in New York and this is a west-coast-only type of sal. I moved her off the road we were crossing and then Instagrammed the picture I took.

A month later I was talking to a Forest Service scientist about amphibians and wildfire and she mentioned the long-toed salamanders. I got excited as I had just learned about them from my post-trail-run research and I said I was learning about them and she said “did you know they can grow fangs and turn into cannibals?” I did not! And so a story was born.

For Medium: What Makes Women Strong?

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I’ve been working on this article for years (in my head), so it’s amazing to finally see it in print! This is for Medium’s new science section, “Elemental” and it’s about how women are just as physically strong as men, and maybe stronger.

If you disagree, read through the science I put together here, and think about how we have always defined what physical strength is—as those things men have. Whereas the things women are bodily powerful in don’t “count.” Why would that be?

For those of you who knew my grandma, she makes several appearances here!

For Scientific American: 3D Printing for Organs

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What a fascinating piece to research and report.

From the article:

“Would-be organ printers previously have been stymied by the complexity of certain organs. Our lungs and livers, for example, contain physically and biochemically entangled networks of blood vessels and airways (in the lung) or bile ducts (in the liver). Being able to recreate this vasculature—and make the fluid dynamics work so blood and other fluids flow properly—has been an ongoing challenge.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of Washington and Rice University say they have produced functional tissue models using a 3-D printing technique called projection stereolithography. This method exposes thin layers of liquid resin to blue light, which solidifies them into intricate arrangements of hydrogels—gels made up of tangled strings of polymer molecules.”

For Nat Geo: Wildlife Bridges!

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For my first article National Geographic, a positive human-wildlife story!

This story highlights a brand-new wildlife crossing on I90 east of Snoqualmie pass (my rainy-day pic, above) which unites animals from the north and south Cascades regions so their populations aren’t cut off from each other by a hazardous road. There are beautiful underpasses too. Read the story for more on this good news accomplishment that will help elkdeerblack bearlynx, and little guys like pika and even bulltrout!

“Studies that looked at a cross-section of native species’ deaths on highways in Florida, bandicoots and wallabies in Australia, and jaguars in Mexico, just to name a few, all show that wildlife crossings save money and lives, both human and animal. ‘You can get reductions of 85 to 95 percent with crossings and fencing that guide animals under or over highways,’ Ament says.”

 

For Earther: Ancient Shipwrecks Are a Treasure Trove of Climate Data

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My first article published in 2018, and one of my favorites to report on in 2017!

“Thousands of sailors perished in stormy seas throughout the Caribbean in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Surely they would never have guessed that their terrifying ends would help scientists in the future. But creative researchers have found a link between historic Spanish shipwrecks, hurricanes, and the climate.

 Their initial research, published last year, takes on added urgency after a devastating hurricane season has sparked conversations about the linkages between powerful storms and climate change.”
Read the rest of this story over at Earther, Gizmodo’s newish site for environment coverage.

For Vice: California’s Wildfires Could Be the New Normal

I connected the dots between loss of Arctic sea ice and California’s recent devastating wildfire season in this piece for Vice:

“Calling this [fire season] the ‘new normal’ —that’s not out of line at all,” says Professor Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist and research professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Professor Francis has spent her career focused on the Arctic and energy exchanges between that region and the rest of the planet. She says the warming she’s seen in the polar region has impacted weather patterns throughout the Northern Hemisphere. “Those changes up north, they’re impacting the billions of people down here.”