Archive for the 'Wildlife' Category

“We were frozen out,” said Knowles.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

The Washington Post: Nearly all members of National Park Service advisory panel resign in frustration.

“More than three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service have quit out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year.

The resignation of 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration.”

NPR: Majority Of National Park Service Board Resigns, Citing Administration Indifference.

“”The President still hasn’t nominated a director for the National Park Service and Secretary Zinke has proposed tripling entrance fees at our most popular national parks,” [Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell] said. “His disregard of the advisory board is just another example of why he has earned an ‘F’ in stewardship.”

“To not have any meetings, to not have their phone calls returned, to not have any opportunity to have an audience with the officials at the interior department is really a slap in the face and I think sometimes you have to make a statement,” Sally Jewell, the secretary of the interior during President Obama’s second term, told NPR’s Here and Now on Wednesday.

“They were being ignored, and I have to believe that’s consistent with what this administration has done with other advisory boards and councils in other agencies, as well,” she said.

Since taking office, President Trump has sought to roll back protections of national parks and public lands under the auspices of the Department of the Interior. The administration has ordered a dramatic downsizing of two massive national monuments in Utah and has announced plans to open up oil drilling in protected areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic.

“If we lose the people with the knowledge and the ability to educate the next generation of young people, to appreciate our history, our culture, our natural world,” Jewell said, “then we lose the value of the national parks.””

“So aufgeräumt und so sauber, wie man es sich immer vorstellt, ist es nicht.”

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Deutsche Welle: Plastikpiraten: Tausende Schüler erforschen Müll an deutschen Flüssen. “Über 5500 Jugendliche haben Müll in Flüssen gesammelt und gezählt – und ihre Daten mit Wissenschaftlern ausgewertet. Die Ergebnisse sind erschreckend, sagt Lehrerin und Wissenschaftlerin Katrin Kruse.”

“Uns wird immer mehr klar, dass auch in Deutschland jede Menge Müll in die Meere gelangt. Für die Schüler sind es aber doch noch neue Kenntnisse. Sie denken, dass das bei uns in Deutschland kein Problem sei. Hier werden Straßen, Ufer und Strände regelmäßig gereinigt. Doch die Untersuchungsergebnisse haben ein anderes Bild gezeichnet. Für die Schüler ist es dann doch sehr erschreckend, wenn man mal genau hin guckt, was eigentlich so am Flussufer rum liegt. Auch dass so viel Plastik unter dem Müll war, ist für die Schüler einigermaßen überraschend gewesen. Ich glaube, dass die Untersuchung für die beteiligten Schüler sehr, sehr nachhaltig ist.”

Virtueller Wochenendausflug

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

SWR Expedition in die Heimat: Die Loreley, der Fels am Strom.

Bevor wir in die Pfalz gezogen sind, haben André und ich über sechs Jahre oberhalb des Mittelrheintals gewohnt und sind in der Zeit den größten Teil des Rheinsteigs gewandert. Die Köngisetappe, auf der die Moderatorin hier unterwegs ist, sind wir gleich mehrmals gelaufen, gern auch mit Besuch aus Nah und Fern.

Zuletzt war ich diesen Sommer im Mittelrheintal wandern. Auf der Loreley war allerdings gerade eine riesige Baustelle, weil das Areal völlig umgestaltet wird. Schade, es ist nicht mehr so beschaulich wie früher… aber Busladungen an Touristen verlangen nach Infrastruktur.

Dennoch: Das Weltkulturerbe Oberes Mittelrheintal ist immer (wieder) eine Reise wert!

Ecology meets Art

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology”. He was heavily influenced by Alexander von Humboldt, about whom I recently read a book called The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf (highly recommended, by the way).

Haeckel is most well-known for his incredibly detailed and beautiful drawings of radiolarians and other Kunstformen der Natur (art forms in nature). Recently, a new book with his drawings was published:

The Guardian: Ernst Haeckel: the art of evolution – in pictures.

“The influential evolutionary scientist, who coined such terms as ‘stem cell’ and ‘ecology’, was also a virtuoso illustrator. The editor of a new book celebrating this work introduces some highlights.”

Creative Review: Feast your eyes on the art of Ernst Haeckel. “A new book from Taschen compiles 450 drawings, watercolours and sketches of living organisms by artist and biologist Ernst Haeckel.”

The book is fairly costly, but if you prefer a cheaper, sort of do-it-yourself version, there’s always the Art Forms in Nature: Coloring Book. 😉

Und für Menschen, die der deutschen Sprache mächtig sind, existiert eine HTML-Version von Kunstformen der Natur (vollständige elektronische Faksimile-Ausgabe). Dort kann man sich einzelne Tafeln anschauen oder zum Ausdrucken herunterladen. Es gibt auch eine tar-Datei mit allen Tafeln (16MB) sowie das komplette Buch als PDF (272MB).

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How to train your kitty to stop waking you up in the middle of the night

Friday, October 27th, 2017

NPR Fresh Air: Who Says You Can’t Train A Cat? A Book Of Tips For Feline-Human Harmony. (36:53min, transcript)

“The common wisdom about pets is that you can train a dog, but you can’t train a cat. Today’s guest says you can train a cat, but it takes an understanding of how cats learn. Sarah Ellis is the co-author with John Bradshaw of the book, “The Trainable Cat,” which is now out in paperback. Among the things she’s trained her cats to do is come when she calls, voluntarily walk into the cat carrier to go to the vet, take medicine and be friendly to her dog and her baby.”