Dolphin-killing Kitties, Sasquatch-searching Drones, Boeing's Push for Toxic Fish, and Life Aboard an Icebreaker

Quite the lineup of Nooze today, from all over the country: Chris SolomonFirst, from Chris Solomon writing for Scientific American, a look at how our land-based pathogens are impacting our aquatic neighbors:

How Kitty is Killing the Dolphins

The detective story had begun, as they always do, with a ringing phone. A biologist was on the line. He had found a corpse. A few days later he called a second time, having found another. Soon the calls were coming "again and again," Melissa A. Miller recalls. "The the highest point, we were getting four a day." As the bodies piled up, so did the questions... Read more.


Jessica RobinsonNext, Jessica Robinson of the Northwest News Network, contributing to KLCC Radio, reports on an interesting tactic one cryptozoologist is employing to help track his elusive prey. Seriously? Seriously:

Northwest Professor Turns to Drones in Search for Sasquatch

A Northwest anthropologist has risked his career in pursuit of what the rest of science considers a myth. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University is the nation’s lone academic trying to make the scientific case for Bigfoot. It’s no joke. Now he's even raising money to launch an unmanned aircraft that would scan the Northwest's forests for the large, hairy creature.

Jeff Meldrum gets frustrated when he walks into Barnes and Noble. It's one of the stores that carries his book.

Jeff Meldrum: “But if you go into Barnes and Noble and ask for my book, they'll direct you to the New Age section, you know, somewhere between Bermuda Triangle and crop circles.”

Meldrum tries to tell them: his book is different.

Jeff Meldrum: “This is a natural history book! We're simply asking a biological question: Is there a species of primate behind the legend of Sasquatch? And I think, based on the evidence, the answer is yes.”... Read and hear more.

Jeff Meldrum is a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University. He maintains a collection footprint casts, photos and other materials that support his Sasquatch research. (Photo by Jessica Robinson.)


Robert McClureRobert McClure and Olivia Henry with InvestigateWest off an in-depth report on industry's influence of water quality regulations in Washington:

How Boeing, allies torpedoed state's rules on toxic fish

Gov. Chris Gregoire signs a 737 used to test new technologies at Boeing's
Renton, Wash., facility during "Aerospace Day," June 20, 2012.  Later that day she met with
a Boeing executive who had complained about the state's proposed rules.
 (Credit: Gov. Chris Gregoire/Flickr)

Entering her final year in office, former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire found herself in a difficult spot: Indian tribes, powerful supporters of the governor, wanted stricter water pollution rules. Why? Because the current regulations mean tribal members, along with sport fishermen and some other Washington residents, regularly consume dangerous amounts of toxic chemicals in fish from local waterways.

But Gregoire’s supporters in the aerospace industry—spearheaded by The Boeing Co.—were dead set against tightening the rules. The Washington State Department of Ecology pushed mightily to strengthen the pollution limits before Gregoire left office, successfully outmaneuvering Republican legislators, only to see the plans dashed one day after a high-level meeting between the former governor and former Boeing Executive Vice President Jim Albaugh, according to newly released government records.

“It was my expectation that this was not going to be a top-tier political issue,” Ted Sturdevant, the former Ecology director who tried unsuccessfully to shepherd through the changes, told InvestigateWest.

He was wrong. ... Read more.


Cassandra BrooksAnd finally, from Cassandra Brooks, who is working for National Geographic aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer in the Ross Sea, the viral video about life on an icebreaker. So awesome!