Burn it down to build it up: Controlled burns at Trustom

Burn it down to build it up: Controlled burns at Trustom

Trustom Pond has been scorched. The path that normally leads visitors to a lush meadow now leads them to a scar that blackens a third of the field. The smell of burnt grass and brush can be pungent, and the rectangle is almost offensive in contrast to the rest of the region. Yet the scar is not the result of vandals, nor even of a lightning strike. The burn at […]

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PROTECTING PLOVERS: USFW calls for volunteers

PROTECTING PLOVERS: USFW calls for volunteers

How do you help a bird that seems bound and determined to put itself in harm’s way? The Piping Plover, a small bird that frequents South County beaches, has a habit of building its nests right on the sand. The same camouflage that makes its eggs remarkably difficult for predators to see also means they may be accidentally stepped on by beachgoers and their pets. Fortunately, US Fish and Wildlife […]

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Spike in Sea Bass Numbers Sparks Skepticism
By     |    Mar 9, 2017
Posted in: Natural Science, Uncategorized     |    4 Comments

Spike in Sea Bass Numbers Sparks Skepticism

Recreational and commercial fishermen reporting dramatic increases in the number of black sea bass (BSB) had their observations confirmed at a recent Rhode Island Natural History seminar. However, getting people to believe the numbers and forecasts is no easy task. Dr. Gary R. Shepherd, fisheries biologist with NOAA’s Fisheries Science Center, attributes the apparent spike to increasing water temperatures in the northeast. “We’ve seen a sharp northern redistribution of BSB […]

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By     |    Feb 12, 2017
Posted in: Uncategorized     |    8 Comments

Thunder Snow

At its most intense, last Thursday’s snow storm was piling on flakes at a rate of two inches an hour. In those whiteout conditions, many people online began to report hearing a strange sound. Some initially thought it was snow plows rumbling through the neighborhood. A few reported flashes of light, and wondered whether those might have been electrical lines blowing. Neither of those occurrences would have been unusual for […]

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By     |    Jan 23, 2017
Posted in: Uncategorized     |    No Comments

Carter Preserve and the Railroad: Concern, not Panic

The map tells a disturbing story: a proposed railway change slicing The Nature Conservancy’s Carter Preserve in Richmond in half, effectively eliminating it as a recreation area. The Federal Railway Administration (FRA) has proposed the change as part of a controversial plan to shave time from the Northeast Corridor commuter rail system. As it stands, the proposal will affect conservation areas, Narragansett Tribal land, historical farms and a host of […]

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Self-Improve with Conservation
By     |    Dec 29, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized     |    2 Comments

Self-Improve with Conservation

At holiday time, life is a flurry of activity, followed by a period of hibernation. We busy ourselves now with buying, giving, and celebrating. Then, with the start of the New Year, we resolve to somehow do better. To lose weight, to read more, to self-improve. Perhaps we look ahead to the changes in politics and wonder what that future will hold; a time of change in social, economic, and […]

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Save the Bay Cruises for Wildlife

Save the Bay Cruises for Wildlife

It’s November, and it feels like it. Though it’s sunny and the wind is calm, aboard Save the Bay’s educational vessel Elizabeth Morris, the passengers wisely left their boat shoes and shorts at home and wore winter coats and hats instead. Perched on a rock in the Pawcatuck River is a Harbor seal. The first-year plump, gray animal is happily ignorant of the chilly temperatures, lying on its side with […]

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Stone, Sturgeon, and Golden Eyes:  Celebrating RI Natural History Week

Stone, Sturgeon, and Golden Eyes: Celebrating RI Natural History Week

It lay on the Block Island beach in October, looking for all the world like a medieval missile. Four feet long, body fortified with bony plates. A shortnose sturgeon, a fish that normally resides in rivers and a species that has been cruising around North American waters for 70 million years, had somehow washed up on the beach, at least twelve miles from the nearest river.  How did it get […]

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Audubon and Providence Parks bring nature to the neighborhood
By     |    Sep 11, 2016
Posted in: ASRI, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Uncategorized     |    No Comments

Audubon and Providence Parks bring nature to the neighborhood

  The line of a dozen children has traveled all of 100 yards when one child calls out, “I don’t know where I am!” Kimmie Lavoie, assistant camp director, has just the answer. “Come here,” she says, leading the group of six- to eight-year-olds to a map painted on a building. She points out the different trails, as well as habitats and animals likely to exist on their hike. The […]

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New Hope for Urban Waterways

New Hope for Urban Waterways

Note: This is a .pdf file from 41N Magazine, a publication from Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. 41N_Summer16_Urbanwaterways

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