Nat Geo – Planting a New Shoreline

It was already hot by the time mid-morning rolled around the Florida Panhandle. Light sparkled off the surface of Joe’s Bayou, reflecting a bright blue sky clear of clouds. My co-workers and I waited at the edge of the water, 12 plastic tubs of soil sitting next to us. It was time to plant a…

Nat Geo Voices – Everglades Restoration

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Changing Waters At first glance, the waterways within Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RB NERR) seem pristine. While I kayaked…

National Geographic – Two Days at Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Day 1 The Reserve Founded in 1999, the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) covers over 18,000 acres along the…

Nat Geo Voices – Te Aroroa and the Increasing Popularity of Thru-Hikes

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Dan Hawkins. New Zealand is known for breathtaking scenery, popularized in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Since 1975, citizens have been working toward a scenic, thru-hiking trail to showcase the country, culminating in an official trail that opened in 2011. Today,…

Nat Geo Voices – The Report Is In

After a three-month survey across 600 souvenir shops in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada and Colombia, researchers from 12 conservation organizations discovered that 30 percent of the establishments sold products made from endangered hawksbill sea turtles. Gifts ranged from $1 bracelets and rings to $200 for an intricate comb. Of the…

Nat Geo – Kayaking Within Rookery Bay Mangroves

A group of intrepid adventurers and I met at exactly 9 a.m. at the end of Shell Island Drive in the Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Reserve. Multi-colored kayaks had been set up by reserve staff, and were glistening in the morning light. Read the entire blog at Nat Geo Voices!

Nat Geo – Is Your Sunscreen Hurting Oysters? Probably.

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Madison Toonder. Though still in high school, Madison Toonder is passionate about science, and recently used the scientific method to study oysters in the coastal environment near her Florida home. “I discovered the importance of conservation at a young age,” she wrote in a new article for Voices…

Nat Geo – In Search of a Leadbeater’s Possum

Alex Mullarky was in the depths of Australia’s Toolangi Forest, part of a citizen science group  sweeping the inky shadows with headlamps and infrared cameras. They spotted sleeping birds, a greater glider, a mountain brushtail possum, but their eyes were constantly looking for one, specific species: a Leadbeater’s Possum. Read the rest on National Geographic Voices!

Nat Geo – Biodiversity on Indian Cotton Farms

In 21st century agricultural practices, monoculture dominates. “Most commercial agriculture around the world comes in the form of monocultures, where whole fields are devoted to a single plant,” Andrew Flachs writes in a new article at Voices for Biodiversity, “Monocultures are stark landscapes, built around the logic of factories rather than the logic of farmers…

Nat Geo – Two Days at the Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Located on the Florida Panhandle, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) borders encompass over 245,000 acres, including Apalachicola Bay, wildlife refuges, state parks and more. This is one of the most productive natural systems in the United States, fed by the mighty Apalachicola River and watershed. Beginning in Georgia, the Apalachicola River is born…