Photo Four views from Karupa Lake in Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park, where a sound station peaked the interest of a curious bear that eventually destroyed it this past summer. Credit Noah Hoffman/National Parks Service Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park is so vast that it stretches across an area bigger than Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware combined.Karupa Lake, tucked off in its northern corner, is so remote that reaching it takes a four-hour skiplane flight from Fairbanks. And it’s so quiet — a day alone there could leave you thinking humans no longer existed.Scientists recently set up audio recording equipment at Karupa Lake as part of a larger effort to document the changing soundscapes of our national parks. They retrieved the equipment months later. It was destroyed. They then salvaged … [Read more...] about It’s One of North America’s Quietest Places. Along Came a Bear.
Dentists are waging a war against SmileDirectClub, a startup whose mail-order product promises to straighten teeth at a fraction of the cost of braces, without the hassle of a dentist’s office.The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), representing 18,000 dental professionals, has lodged complaints with dental boards and attorneys general in 36 states, alleging that SmileDirect’s service — which allows customers to skip in-person doctor visits and X-rays — is “illegal and creates medical risks.”At least three state dental boards — in Alaska, California, and West Virginia — have opened investigations into the company, though none have yet been completed. In August, Alaska’s board voted to ask the state’s licensing division to send a cease-and-desist letter barring SmileDirect from selling there.“It became very clear to us that they were violating the law,” Kevin Dillard, general counsel at the AAO, told … [Read more...] about This Company Is Trying To Disrupt The Braces Industry And Dentists Are Fighting Back
MOSCOW (AP) — An unmanned Russian cargo ship has been launched to take supplies to the six astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The Saturday launch from Russia's main space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, came after a two-day postponement and docking plan change. Initially, the Progress cargo ship was to test a new regime for docking with the space station less than four hours after launch. But the Thursday launch was aborted for unspecified reasons, and the ship is now to be in orbit for two days before docking on Monday. The Russian space agency Roscosmos says the Progress, carrying 2.5 metric tons (2.75 tons) of water, food and scientific equipment, reached orbit about nine minutes after its launch at 0846 GMT (4:46 a.m. EDT). … [Read more...] about Russian cargo ship launched to International Space Station
A federal survey of National Park Service employees released on Friday reveals a toxic workplace culture for the stewards of some of America's most beloved public lands.Some 39% of the broadly dispersed National Park Service (NPS) workforce has experienced harassment or discrimination on the job, employees reported to the Interior Department.In the last year, over 10% of NPS employees experienced sexual harassment, almost 20% reported experiencing gender-based harassment, and 0.95% reported experiencing sexual assault.The agency released results of the survey to the media on Friday, along with a summary of steps Secretary Ryan Zinke and NPS Acting Director, Michael Reynolds, intend to take to address the crisis. Last year, the NPS employed 22,000 permanent, temporary, and seasonal staffers, and 340,000 volunteers.The results indicate dwindling faith in the system among rangers: Nearly 75% of those who said they had been harassed said they did not report the incidents, and nearly half … [Read more...] about 39% Of National Park Employees Say They’ve Faced Sexual Harassment Or Discrimination
NICOLET, Quebec — I’m sitting in an outdoor pen with four puppies chewing my fingers, biting my hat and hair, peeing all over me in their excitement.At eight weeks old, they are two feet from nose to tail and must weigh seven or eight pounds. They growl and snap over possession of a much-chewed piece of deer skin. They lick my face like I’m a long-lost friend, or a newfound toy. They are just like dogs, but not quite. They are wolves.When they are full-grown at around 100 pounds, their jaws will be strong enough to crack moose bones. But because these wolves have been around humans since they were blind, deaf and unable to stand, they will still allow people to be near them, to do veterinary exams, to scratch them behind the ears — if all goes well.Yet even the humans who raised them must take precautions. If one of the people who has bottle-fed and mothered the wolves practically since birth is injured or feels sick, she won’t enter their pen to prevent a … [Read more...] about Wolf Puppies Are Adorable. Then Comes the Call of the Wild.
Photo Credit Victoria Roberts Q. When the recent hurricanes hit, how did animals seek refuge?A. For most wildlife, there is no early warning system when a big storm approaches. Most animals have no choice but to shelter in their usual environments.Some birds, however, respond to weather signals like changes in barometric pressure and fly ahead of the storm. A few get caught in high winds and sent many miles away. A displaced roseate spoonbill, presumably from Florida, recently was observed in New Jersey.The American Bird Conservancy reported that after hurricanes Irma and Maria reached the Caribbean, many flamingos left the islands of Inagua in the Bahamas ahead of the storm, returning in force afterward. But flamingos on the Cuban island of Cayo Coco died in the thousands.In Puerto Rico, conservationists are worried about several species of birds and … [Read more...] about During Storms, Most Animals Take Shelter. But Some Birds Take Flight.
Barry Myers, the chief executive of the private weather forecasting company AccuWeather, is President Donald Trump’s pick to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The appointment of Myers, a businessman and lawyer, breaks from the recent precedent of scientists leading the agency tasked with a large, complex and technically demanding portfolio. The agency oversees the National Weather Service, conducts and funds weather and climate research, and operates a constellation of weather satellites as well as a climate data center. It also has critical responsibilities in monitoring and protecting the nation’s coasts, oceans and fisheries. Myers’ supporters say he brings valuable experience from the private sector that will help NOAA advance its capabilities. “[I]n an Administration that places high value on business acumen, Barry brings a strong track record in growing one of the most successful companies in the weather industry,” said Ray … [Read more...] about Trump taps AccuWeather CEO to head NOAA, breaking with precedent of nominating scientists
A small green dot lost in the vastness of the southeastern Pacific Ocean, Easter Island has long enchanted archaeologists and the public. Hundreds of giant stone figures, or Moai, that decorate the volcanic island remain a source of fascination.One of the greatest mysteries about Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, concerns the identity of its earliest inhabitants, the architects of the stoic statues. Did they have genetic ties to natives on the South American land mass thousands of miles away, or were their origins solely in the Pacific islands to the west?A study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology found only evidence of Polynesian DNA in human remains on the island that predate European contact in 1722. Though the sample size was small, the findings may change what we know about the early explorers who found the remote island and constructed perhaps some of the most iconic statues in the world.“They are 100 percent completely Polynesian ancestry as far as we … [Read more...] about In Easter Island DNA, Evidence of Genetic Loneliness
Caption Close WASHINGTON (AP) — A new NASA satellite has found another thing to blame on El Nino: A recent record high increase of carbon dioxide in the air. The super-sized El Nino a couple of years ago led to an increase of 3 billion tons of carbon in the air, most from tropical land areas. The El Nino made it more difficult for plants to suck up man-made carbon emissions and sparked fires that released more carbon into the atmosphere. The effect was so large that it was the main factor in the biggest one-year jump in heat-trapping gas levels in modern record, NASA scientists said. Scientists have long known that carbon dioxide levels spike during an El Nino, the natural occasional warming of parts of the central Pacific that causes droughts in some places, floods in others and generally adds to warmer temperatures worldwide. Data from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, which was launched in 2014, provides more specifics on how that happens and by continent. Researchers … [Read more...] about Another El Nino problem: More carbon dioxide in air
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Mission Control says the launch of an unmanned Russian cargo ship to the International Space Station has been postponed. The Mission Control didn't immediately give the reason for the postponement of Thursday's launch, which was announced minutes after the designated launch time at 12:32 Moscow time (0932 GMT). It said the launch is now set for Saturday. The Progress MS-07 ship, carrying 2.5 metric tons (2.75 tons) of supplies, was to blast off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan and dock at the station three hours later. The ship is to deliver water, food and scientific equipment, among other items. … [Read more...] about Russia postpones launch of cargo ship to space station