Biota Project Opinion 

Data Literacy in South Asia: From Outsourced to a Lead in Tech

Opinion By Sabah Ul-Hasan (@sabahzero) on behalf of The Biota Project Blog (@thebiotaproject) What is outsourcing? Reverberating effects from British colonization of South Asia and the ‘modern’ world I live in the United States, and I was recently in a room full of scientists when someone made a wonderfully distasteful joke about receiving a call from customer support and that the person on the other end of the phone line had a “funny accent.”  If you’re unfamiliar with the term “outsourcing,” fear not. There’s an entire NBC television series about…

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Book Reviews Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Seeking the Sasquatch

Book Review: When the Sasquatch Legend Teaches Us About Critical Thinking By Patricia Balbon (@watscicomm) Gordon, David George. The Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual: Using Citizen Science to Uncover North America’s Most Elusive Creature. Mountaineers Books, 2015. 176 pages. Paperback US$12.26. It’s late, and you’re seeking shelter for the night after a long hike. Something’s lurking among the shadows; pungent wafts of musk barrage your nostrils. In the soft mud, you glimpse a fresh footprint with claw contours.  The fronds of a nearby fern are in shreds—could it be a bear?…

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mass extinction events Environment 

Anthropocene mass extinction: are we there yet?

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) In the last few decades, scientific observations have highlighted that we are now facing a mass extinction, caused in major part by human activity: habitat fragmentation, invasive species, spread of pathogens and diseases, climate changes leading to global warming, and, of course, direct killing of endangered species. However, this is still a debated topic among scientists. Some say that we are not in a mass extinction event, and that if we were, conservation biology and all the efforts we have been putting into conserving animal species…

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Hurricane Patricia Biota Project Climate Environment 

Community Perspectives Strengthen Hurricane Preparedness

By Helen Cheng (@ms_helenc / @thebiotaproject) For those who live along the United States East Coast, October is the height of the hurricane season. According to the National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The peak of the season is mid-August to late October, as shown in the graph below, with the number of storms increasing during this time of year. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season. Understanding communities’ past experiences of hurricanes and how they perceive forecasts for…

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marine mammals Marine Biology Oceanography 

Marine Mammals Need a Voice in the Fishing Industry

By Neha Jain (@lifesciexplore) You might feel satisfied with your consumer choice after buying fish with a “dolphin-friendly” label. But you might want to look closer. It is likely that your tuna fishery is not actually friendly to dolphins, because most “sustainable” fishing labels do not consider the welfare of marine mammals, an issue that has long been neglected from fishing policies. The well-being of marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises—considered highly sentient animals—concerns more than how many are killed as a result of being caught accidentally in…

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the science of fear, anxiety, and phobias Biology Education Videos 

The Science of Fear, Anxiety, and Phobias

What happens to you when you feel fear? What about anxiety? And while we’re on the subject, what is a phobia, anyway? Today, Science with Sophie spoofs TV to bring us PHOBIA FACTOR and expose our greatest fears… and why we have them. Featuring TUGGS THE CORGI – back by popular demand. We love you, Tuggs! There is a science experiment inside this video! To join Sophie in conducting the simple science experiment in this episode, you’ll need: a timer a notebook a pencil your heartbeat Go find those things…

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Photo 5726794, (c) Sean Blaney, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). This observation on iNaturalist is of a species tracked by the Northeast Alpine Flower Watch project. Biodiversity Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Ecology 

Explore Biodiversity with iNaturalist

Do you want to know more about the world around you? You can get outside and explore biodiversity and the natural environment with iNaturalist!  iNaturalist allows anyone, anywhere to contribute to a global record of biodiversity by uploading pictures of plants and animals with their smartphone or computer. In a new podcast episode (listen below!), co-host Justin Schell talks with Dr. Carrie Seltzer, the Stakeholder Engagement Strategist for iNaturalist, and with representatives and a volunteer from the Appalachian Mountain club. Tip: add your iNaturalist username to your SciStarter dashboard, and…

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mass extinction events Environment Oceanography Paleontology 

The Forgotten Mass Extinction

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) Yes, we are in a mass extinction event Recent research has spotted a new major mass extinction, termed the “end-Guadalupian (259.8 Ma),” according to a scientific paper in the journal Historical Biology. Previously, scientists knew of only five mass extinctions in the history of Earth: the end-Ordovician (443.8 Ma), the Late Devonian (372.2 Ma), the end-Permian (251.9 Ma), the end-Triassic (201.4 Ma), and the end-Cretaceous (66 Ma). Our current biodiversity crisis has been called the sixth mass extinction, but with these new findings it will probably…

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Proof of evolution is in your DNA Anthropology Biology Education Genetics Videos 

Proof of Evolution Is in Your DNA

Another great video from our friend Dr. Joe Hanson and the team at It’s Okay to Be Smart, brought to you by PBS Digital Studios. This time, we’re looking at the proof of evolution that’s embedded right there in our DNA. Humans are special, and we got that way thanks to evolution and natural selection. The proof is right there in our bodies! From anatomy to genes, here are some stories of how you got to be the way you are. Dr. Joe Hanson, It’s Okay to Be Smart References…

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A red crane sits idle at the SWRP mine next to Boulder Ridge. A chain link fence separates the two properties. Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Environment Health 

Researchers, regulators, and residents collaborate to test air quality sensors

This article was originally published by SciStarter on February 4, 2019. By Margaret Hinrichs In early 2018, Scistarter and Arizona State University began the process of collaborating with a local community, Boulder Ridge, to measure the quality of its air. Boulder Ridge is a 55 and older retirement community in Phoenix. Over the past three years, Boulder Ridge residents began to notice increased blasting, crushing, and trucking out of rock and dirt from an open stone mine next door operated by Southwest Rock Products, LLC. On days when there were no…

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