Algae Predictors, Conservation Drones, Honeybee Havens, Farm Incubators, and - Drill Baby Drill!

Tons of new Nooze today (and here's a spoiler: there will be tons tomorrow too. Our alumni are being awfully prolific these days!) First off, from Karen Schaefer reporting for Great Lakes Echo, a look at innovation in the world of algal forecasting:

New tool helps Great Lakes cities, businesses predict harmful algae

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Last year’s record-setting Lake Erie algae bloom hurt many tourism businesses like charter fishing and resorts that depend on clean water and beaches. The high concentrations of toxins from the blue-green algae also meant cities like Toledo had to spend more money to clean up drinking water. This summer, federal researchers unveiled a new tool for forecasting seasonal algae blooms. Independent producer Karen Schaefer reports that scientists are hoping it can help cities and businesses across the Great Lakes and the nation plan ahead... Read and hear more.

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On PRI's The World, Rhitu Chatterjee discusses in a science podcast a number of stories that she's been covering lately, including conservation drones, sounds of the earth's magnetosphere, and a mystery disease in Sri Lanka.  Listen to it all, here.

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Chris Bowman, writing for the California Environmental Legacy Project, talks about bees that are finding some new digs - in a place named after ice cream:

Saving Bees in a Post-wild California

Henry David Thoreau once famously said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world,” and environmentalists to this day invoke the declaration as an article of faith.

But is it true?

The celebrated 19th century hermit-philosopher himself might have second thoughts had he been able to join my colleague Shahla Farzan and I on a recent stroll with Robbin Thorp.

Thorp is a retired UC Davis entomology professor who has studied native California bees for nearly 50 years. We met on the agricultural west side of campus at the Haagen-Daz Honey Bee Haven. This is not an ice cream parlor but a demonstration garden designed to attract and feed honeybees... Read more. 

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Jennifer Langston, writing for Sightline Daily, talks to a Somalian farmer who is relearning his trade in the Pacific Northwest - and grappling with the difficulties of making a living as an agriculturalist:

Betting on a Farm

Ali Isha used to work on a large family farm in Somalia, growing maize, rice, sweet potatoes, beans, bananas, onions, tobacco and livestock. Until the soldiers came.

They took the cows and the corn and everything else. Thelarge food stocks on Somali Bantu farms had become valuable as war blew apart civil society. Rogue militias would rape and murder farming families as they robbed them. Isha’s family fled into the woods, cooking at night so the smoke wouldn’t give them away. It became clear they couldn’t return home. So Isha, about 20 years old at the time, began shuttling family members to refugee camps at the Kenyan border, a two-day walk each way.

“I came like this,” he said, holding up his outstretched palms. “Empty. We didn’t have anything.”... Read more.

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And finally, Sarah Gilman with High Country News weighs in with a newfound appreciation for the phrase "Drill Baby Drill!"

Another Win in the Wyoming Range

I’m not usually sold on catchy one-liners, but today, I have a favorite conservation slogan. Care to guess? I bet you won’t get it.

Nope, it’s not “What Would Hayduke Do?” (Though I saw that one in Bluff, Utah, this weekend and had a chuckle.)

And no, it’s not “Go Green: Eat People.” (Though that one does call up the amusingly campy 1973 classic starring Charlton Heston, Soylent Green … er, oops ... that information has nothing to do with the film’s shocking conclusion!)

And, also no, it’s most definitely not “May The Forest Be With You,” (for what I hope are obvious reasons).

In fact, Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney might be proud of me for one fleeting moment here, because, by Jove, the answer is “Drill Baby Drill!”... Read more.