Students become ‘citizen scientists,’ track D.C.’s wildlife with cameras

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Jasmyn Hill had been attending the same charter school in Southeast Washington for five years before she ever ventured into the woods that surround the campus.

“I had no idea what was in there,” said the 16-year-old junior with long turquoise nails and waist-length braids. She described herself as “not really the type who goes camping.”

But the city kid joined a “Green Team” at her school, and she now spends afternoons taking walks in the woods to learn about what lives there. She also helps set up cameras to record the wildlife. The experience has kindled an interest in environmental science, she said.

Hill and other students at the SEED Public Charter School are joining a growing army of “citizen scientists” who are gathering data about wildlife for the Smithsonian collection, information and images that can be used for scientific research and conservation efforts.

Michigan’s bald eagles full of flame retardants

Read the full story in Environmental Health News.

Michigan’s bald eagles are among the most contaminated birds on the planet when it comes to phased-out flame retardant chemicals in their livers, according to new research.

The study, published last month in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, found that the top predators in the Great Lakes are highly exposed to banned flame retardants, still widespread in the environment.

Urban Ecologists Are Studying How Wildlife Have Evolved to Fit Their City Environment, Block by Block

Read the full story in New York Magazine.

In August, I joined a trio of scientists on an expedition to a recently recognized hot spot of evolution: Not a geologically young archipelago of volcanic islands like the Galapagos, nor some previously unexplored tract of rainforest, but a corner of Highbridge Park in Washington Heights. Jason Munshi-South, an evolutionary biologist who teaches at Fordham University, waved to me from our agreed meeting spot at the intersection of 167th Street and Edgecombe Avenue. Beside him were two of his research collaborators, Stephen Harris, a PhD candidate in biology at CUNY, and Erin Dimech, a master’s student in conservation biology at Columbia.

A day earlier, they had set traps baited with birdseed. Now it was time to collect their specimens.

2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) is pleased to announce our 2015 Saving Endangered Species youth art contest, which is open to K-12 grade students residing in the United States, including those who are homeschooled or belong to a youth/art program. The contest is an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2015. For more background on the contest, including an art lesson plan for teachers and other resources, please visit


U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and Climate Science Center Projects Announced

Fifty new research projects have recently been announced by the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and Climate Science Centers. The Centers fund projects that align with a set of scientific priorities identified in consultation with management partners. Projects are reviewed with partners and funded based on their alignment with scientific priorities, the strength of the scientific proposal, and the project’s relationship to management decisions. These studies will focus on the impacts of climate change on wildlife, ecosystems, and communities and their ability to adapt to these changes.