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popsci.comYes, a tax bill can—and likely will—spoil America’s most pristine wildlife refugeThe Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest swath of undeveloped land in the United States—a pristine frontier boasting unparalleled biodiversity and natural beauty. Protected by law for decades, the region is now at risk. And surprisingly, a tax bill is to blame for its peril.
tun.comUniversity of Melbourne's Nitrogen Footprint Inspires Guide To Pollution Reduction | The University NetworkAn international team of researchers has become the first to use a tool to calculate the nitrogen footprint of an Australian university, the University of Melbourne (UoM). They will use their data to help provide a guide for other universities and institutions to reduce their nitrogen footprints. Nitrogen pollution stands as one of the primary threats to the environment. Its abundance in the atmosphere can lead to smog, acid rain, stratospheric ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, cancer, intensification of the greenhouse effect and more. "We want to use the nitrogen footprint to set clear goals to decrease the university's nitrogen pollution, and also serve as a model for other Australian universities and institutions," said Deli Chen, a professor of agricultural sciences at UoM and co-author of the study. Previous research has shown that Australia has the largest per-capita nitrogen footprint in the world, mostly due to high levels of coal use and beef consumption. "This finding6
earthnworld.comTop 10 Most Dangerous Amazon Rainforest AnimalsAdvertisement In South America, spreading into nine countries is the Amazon rainforest – the largest rainforest in the world. It spans an estimated area of 55 lakh square kilometres and hosts a plethora of biodiversity including many species that have not been discovered and studied yet. There are few Australian animals that we will find […]2
tun.comClimate Change Forces Beloved Bird Species From Their Homes | The University NetworkBird species in the cloud forests of Honduras are losing their habitats and forced to move to higher elevation because of climate change and deforestation, a new study suggests. This 10-year study signals a real possibility of extinction for some of the world's most unique species. The paper is published in the journal Biotropica. Situated high up in mountains and surrounded by low-level clouds, a cloud forest is an ecosystem that drinks up moisture directly from clouds. Walking into this misty, evergreen place, you will almost believe that you have just crossed the bridge to the forest kingdom of Terabithia. Accounting for only 1 percent of the world's forests, cloud forests have the highest level of botanical and biodiversity. "Cloud forests are pretty special," Monte Neate-Clegg, the lead researcher and a doctoral student at the University of Utah, said in a statement. "The tropics hold most of the world's biodiversity to begin with, and then the mountain slopes hold the greatest7
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science.sciencemag.orgThe detour that became a shortcutLike many science students, I had always envisioned a pretty straightforward career path: a graduate degree, postdoctoral research, and—if all went well—a faculty position. But I was thrown off this track before I even completed my bachelor's degree in biology. A university strike delayed my graduation, and as a result I missed the graduate school application deadline. Suddenly I had no idea what my future might hold, and I needed to make a living. I was relieved to be offered a job managing a newly established conservation area in my home state of Sergipe in Brazil, and I was excited about working to support biodiversity. But in the back of my mind, I worried that the job would take me in the wrong direction, away from the academic career I still desired. ![Figure] ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT NEUBECKER The idea of managing a protected area was appealing, but my everyday workload was far from inspiring. I handled some interesting challenges, such as reaching a compromise with the ranchers whose cattle needed to cross the reserve for water. But I spent more time on paperwork and meetings than on ecosystems and biodiversity. And the only opportunities for career advancement were administrative positions, one step away from becoming a career bureaucrat. That was not how I wanted to spend my life. So, 3 years in, I decided that I needed to make a change. I had managed to complete a master's degree in ecology and conservation on the side while working at my day job, and in my spare time, I studied the reserve's frogs. But it was time to get back on the academic ladder full time. Applying to Ph.D. programs was the obvious next step. When I was accepted into a program in ecology and evolution, I couldn't wait to trade government paperwork for the intellectual stimulation of being fully immersed in research. Yet I was a bit unsure how well my transition back to academia would go. Would the skills I developed during my years at the reserve be of any use in my new endeavor, or would I be hopelessly rusty and lost? At first, as I had feared, I felt a little behind my fellow students. Despite the supportive environment, I couldn't escape the fact that I lacked skills vital to my new research field, such as programming and advanced statistics. I doubted that I would ever make any progress in my research or produce a decent thesis. But I soon realized that, during my time at the reserve, I had developed my own valuable skills. Managing the conservation area, which relied on community participation and compromise, had taught me to work collaboratively. Through juggling reserve management, community meetings, and endless paperwork, I had learned to work creatively and, above all, to get things done. I soon realized that doing multivariate analyses was no harder than dealing with the multidimensional problems of reserve management, and that writing scientific papers was no more demanding than compiling environmental policy reports. And my collaborative approach served me well as I worked closely with my new peers. In time, I gained the confidence I needed to succeed. Three years after starting my Ph.D., I found what I hoped would be my next career step: a permanent faculty position at my alma mater. As I went into overdrive to finish my thesis and put together a compelling application, I drew on abilities honed during my time managing the conservation area—including meeting deadlines and multitasking effectively—to wrap up my degree and land the job. Looking back, I appreciate how my precocious experience as a reserve administrator has contributed to my progress in academia. I had been thrown into the deep end, alone at a completely new reserve, where I was expected to mediate conflicts and solve problems with next to no resources. In turn, I developed creativity, persuasiveness, and patience. My initial detour from my academic goals ended up being a shortcut to the career I have always wanted. : pending:yes