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How to Build a Smarter Rock

Joel Johnson of the Jackson School has crafted metal rocks to mimic a natural stone’s shape and density, and then inserted custom-made electronics to measure and record the faux rock’s movements in real streams and rivers. The mission: to better understand how waterways move tons of rock and other sediment downstream. Improving sediment transport models…

The crowd of about 75 people milled about beneath the giant Texas pterosaur skeleton in the stately polished marble main hall of the Texas Memorial Museum. Display cases filled with gems, fossils and other natural history curiosities lined the walls. In attendance were university professors, staffers, and students, as well as friends and family members….

El Tatio: Science for Society

Last year, Suzanne Pierce was selected as one of the first 20 Fulbright Nexus Scholars, a group of early to mid-career experts working to bridge the gap between science research and the needs of society. The program is the newest initiative of the U.S. Department of State. Pierce’s project focused on helping indigenous communities in…

Eavesdropping on the Secret Lives of Fish

Marine scientists are using “earthstones” from Southern flounder to determine the age, growth history and migration patterns of fish. Nate Miller’s geochemical analyses are a critical part of the process.

Linking Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy was dubbed a “Super storm” for its unusual formation. Kerry Cook, a climate scientist at the Jackson School, calls it a hybrid that was “drawing energy from the warm tropical Atlantic, but also from strong temperature gradients associated with the jet stream and the cold front.” Cook cautions against making any direct connection…

Perhaps the only positive thing about the 2011 drought in Texas, the state’s worst single-year drought in history, is that it ended up being the mother of all teaching moments. The lessons learned are not pleasant, but addressing them will give the state a fighting chance when the next major drought comes around.

With the rapid disappearance of its protective buffer of wetlands, New Orleans is becoming more vulnerable to storms every year. But recent research has revealed important clues about how to shore up these vanishing wetlands and generated new optimism about saving the delta.

Dr. Bayani Cardenas – Hot Springs

Academic Minute (WAMC in Albany, NY), June 12, 2012 Featuring: Bayani Cardenas

Reuters, LiveScience, Wall Street Journal (blog), Daily Mail (UK), Alcalde, May 26-June 6, 2012 Featuring: Earle McBride

Researchers from Harvard University, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have found evidence that the evolution of birds is the result of a drastic change in how dinosaurs developed. Scientists have long understood that modern birds descended from dinosaurs. Rather than take years to reach sexual maturity, as many dinosaurs did, birds sped…

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