Browsing Category "Natural Science"
BioBlitz:  Counting All Creatures Great and Small

BioBlitz: Counting All Creatures Great and Small

Picture this: you’ve been dropped into the middle of 1000 acres of woodlands, fields, and water. Your job is to count everything. Not just the birds flying by. Not just the types of trees in the forest. Nope. Your task is to count every plant, insect, fungus, bat, snake, fish, clam, flower, in fact to count every species of every living thing that calls that region home. And you have […]

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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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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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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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Moving Microscopes and Monkey Skulls: RI Natural History Survey Relocates
By     |    Jan 24, 2016
Posted in: Natural Science, RIDEM, RINHS, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Uncategorized     |    No Comments

Moving Microscopes and Monkey Skulls: RI Natural History Survey Relocates

Note: There is a photo gallery at the bottom of this story. Click once to see a thumbnail, then again to see a larger file. Moving out of somewhere you’ve lived for a long time is no one’s idea of fun. There are books, papers, and computers. Sorting through what to keep and what to throw out. Movers can help, but you need friends to pack things up, especially the […]

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“Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” Searching for bears in Rhode Island Woods
By     |    Aug 4, 2015
Posted in: Natural Science, RIDEM, Uncategorized, URI     |    No Comments

“Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” Searching for bears in Rhode Island Woods

Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a house in the forest. There was a great big father bear, a middle-sized mother bear and a tiny baby bear. One morning, their breakfast porridge was too hot to eat, so they decided to go for a walk in the forest. While they were out, a little girl called Goldilocks came through the trees and found their house. […]

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Where are all these coyotes coming from?
By     |    May 18, 2015
Posted in: Narragansett Bay Coyote Study, Natural Science, RINHS, Uncategorized     |    No Comments

Where are all these coyotes coming from?

    Note: This is part one of a two-part story. In 1996, the bay froze and the coyotes came. No one knows exactly why. The winter was harsh, like the one just past. Food was tough to come by, and perhaps the signs were promising that on Aquidneck Island, or maybe Conanicut Island, life would be easier. Anyway, they came. And that was when the trouble began. Sometime later, […]

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Fly like an Eagle: The Surge of an American Icon

Fly like an Eagle: The Surge of an American Icon

Note one: Unlike my other stories, none of the photos here were taken by me. I have noted sources of each. Note two: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 edition of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Report. Along the Seekonk River, the wind sweeps bitterly cold air into the cloudy day. If it was chilly and breezy inland, it’s downright windy and freezing here. This is an […]

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