‘Black Birders Week’ promotes diversity and takes on racism in the outdoors

‘Black Birders Week’ promotes diversity and takes on racism in the outdoors

“We all have this shared experience where we have to worry about going into the field,” says Earyn McGee, a herpetology Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona and Black Birders Week co-organizer. Prejudice might drive police or private property owners to be suspicious of or antagonistic toward Black scientists doing field work in normal clothes, putting them in danger, she says. McGee conducts research near the U.S.-Mexico border and worries about encountering U.S. Border Patrol on her own while…

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One Water – Blue Hole primary school

One Water – Blue Hole primary school

While COVID-19 dominates headlines in 2020, groundwater protection efforts in the Texas Hill Country are set to realize a tremendous success story when the first One Water school in Texas officially opens its doors for classes this fall!  Blue Hole Primary School will serve the growing Hill Country communities of Wimberley and Woodcreek with one of the most water efficient and cost-effective approaches ever envisioned for a school campus in Texas. One Water is a water planning and management approach…

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Water access must be part of our COVID recovery

Water access must be part of our COVID recovery

Wash your hands, save lives — it’s a central message during the COVID-19 crisis. But what if you don’t have basic running water, as we assume everyone does? Incredibly, too many Americans don’t… Our recovery from COVID-19 must include a sincere investment in fixing the problems behind these water access failures. That includes assuring a reliable, affordable supply to all households, whether in city neighborhoods or rural communities, strengthening underfunded and struggling water utilities, both urban and rural, and modernizing…

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NASA-SpaceX launches will boost science research on the space station

NASA-SpaceX launches will boost science research on the space station

When NASA astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor arrived on the International Space Station for her six-month stay in June 2018, she was in awe of the vast array of science experiments on board. Before they launch, astronauts are only trained on about 20% of the science they see on the station. “I was stunned, in a good way, at the high quality of the science,” she told CNN. During her time on the space station, Auñón-Chancellor worked on hundreds of experiments…

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Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

Across Texas, diverse wetlands are benefiting Texans — and facing threats

“Historically, some people thought of wetlands like nasty places we need to fill in or useless land,” he said. “But really, they’re among the most productive and valuable ecosystem in terms of the goods and services they provide to humans.” Nicknamed the kidneys of the earth for their ability to filter water and improve water quality, wetlands are defined by three things: water, plants and soils. To be a wetland, water should flow through or stand in the area for…

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17 incredible photos from SpaceX’s historic mission to send NASA astronauts to the space station

17 incredible photos from SpaceX’s historic mission to send NASA astronauts to the space station

SpaceX launched NASA astronauts into space for the first time on Saturday — the company’s first human passengers and the first time people have ever flown a commercially developed spaceship. This mission was the product of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, a partnership between the space agency and two private companies (Boeing is the other) to build spaceships that can ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It was the first time the US  launch its own astronauts from American…

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#BlackBirdersWeek aims to raise awareness, grow community

#BlackBirdersWeek aims to raise awareness, grow community

Just four days after the encounter between a white dog walker and African American birdwatcher Christian Cooper, a group of approximately 30 Black scientists, birders, and outdoor explorers have created a new awareness campaign to encourage birding among more people of color. The project is called #BlackBirdersWeek, and it will take place from Sunday, May 31, through Friday, June 5. Anyone who is interested should follow the hashtag #BlackBirdersWeek on Twitter and Instagram… “This effort was borne out of a large…

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Resources for new landowners: Aldo Leopold’s five tools of wildlife management

Resources for new landowners: Aldo Leopold’s five tools of wildlife management

Aldo Leopold – author, philosopher, conservationist, and so-called “Father of Wildlife Ecology” –  is a pillar of the modern-day wildlife conservation and management movement. His revolutionary musings on the value of land and wildlife and his intentional management techniques often appear in the discourse on wildlife management. In Game Management, Leopold wrote, “Are we too poor in purse or spirit to apply some of it to keep the land pleasant to see, and good to live in?” This conveys a…

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The credible case for a resilient water supply in Texas

The credible case for a resilient water supply in Texas

In this time of crisis and deep uncertainty, one thing we must be able to depend on is our water supply. Access to water is critical to public health, fragile local economies, and food production. And the benefits are also intangible. Confined to our homes, many of us are realizing that time spent along the banks of a lake or clear flowing creek offers much-needed respite. Now, more than ever, we must protect our water resources. The world is a…

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Farms that sell directly to consumers are thriving amid Coronavirus downturn

Farms that sell directly to consumers are thriving amid Coronavirus downturn

“We feel pretty lucky,” Chris Newman admits. Newman is the owner and operator of Sylvanaqua Farms, a small permaculture operation that sells and delivers directly to consumers. Meat may be running low in grocery stores as farmers across the country face dire decisions about their animals but, in the midst of the coronavirus downturn, farms like Sylvanaqua are managing to thrive. Sylvanaqua delivers meat across a pretty wide area beyond the farm—surrounding areas in Virginia as well as north to…

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