From electronic noses to invasive bees, 15 surprising trends for 2017

Read the full story at Ensia.

What should we be thinking about when we think about the future of biodiversity, conservation and the environment? An international team of experts in horizon scanning, science communication and conservation recently asked that question as participants in the eighth annual Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation and Biological Diversity. The answers they came up with, just published in the scientific journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution and summarized below, portend both risks and opportunities for species and ecosystems around the world.

ENB statistical year in review: 2016

Here are the top 10 ENB posts (excluding the home page) from 2016. Posts in bold were published in 2016. The others were published in other years.

    1. 12 eco-themed Halloween costumes
    2. Giant park data repository will include almost 14,000 cities
    3. 10 Awesome Instagram Accounts That Science Geeks Should Follow
    4. Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana
    5. DOE commits more than $1.7 million to help commercialize promising Argonne-associated energy technologies
    6. New journal call for papers: Journal of Water Process Engineering
    7. Clif Bar Proves That Corporate Social Responsibility Can Win Customers
    8. Announcing the Winners of the Second Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge
    9. Neat reuse idea: Pallet sofa
    10. How Did the Flint Water Crisis Happen?

The top posts are half from 2016 and half from the archives. In the previous two years, 70% of the top 10 posts were from the archives, so this year’s list represents a change, although it’s too soon to say whether it’s a trend.

If you remove the archived posts from the top 10, here are the five other posts from 2016 that would have made the cut:

The biggest single issue that I covered in 2016 was the Flint Water Crisis (63 posts). Given the ongoing environmental health implications, I expect to continue posting on the topic fairly often in 2017 and beyond. I also expect that we’ll see more stories about similar conditions in other cities and towns (see The Next Flint Water Crisis) given that the nation’s water delivery infrastructure isn’t a public policy priority until a crisis occurs.

There were 8,816 visitors to ENB in 2016. They viewed 14,846 pages. Both of these numbers are down from 2015, although the number of pages viewed per visitor increased slightly from 1.67 to 1.68. Most traffic to the site comes from search engines, LinkedIn, and Twitter (in that order). There are also 76 people following ENB on WordPress and via e-mail. Their page views aren’t counted in WordPress’ stats counts.

Thanks for reading in 2016. I hope you continue to tune in during 2017.


A Regional Water Supply Framework for Champaign County and East Central Illinois

This report is the result of a multi-jurisdictional effort to recommend informed action in the spheres of research, public policy, and outreach. The report includes 35 strategies, all with the goal of protecting water quality and quantity in East-Central Illinois now and in the future.


Photographs and graphics from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

From the MPCA web site:

The MPCA has a wealth of photos available on the agency’s Flickr site. You don’t need to sign in or have an account to access our Flickr photos. The images are organized by topic and easily downloadable. To download, click the image you want, click on the down arrow icon on the right side under the photo, and choose the image size.

MPCA photos cover topics such agriculture, air pollution, solid waste and recycling, water quality, alternative energy, blue-green algae, stormwater, and more. You can also find images from the MPCA’s annual Eco Experience exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

Images on the Flickr site generally have caption and background information included. We request that you attribute the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as the source of any image you use.

Edge Effects

Edge Effects is a digital magazine produced by graduate students at the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE), which is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. From the About page:

Written by members of the CHE community (with occasional guest posts) and edited by CHE grad students, it offers a wide array of content relating to environmental and cultural change across the full sweep of human history. Its name—about which you can read more here—invokes our commitment to publishing across boundaries, at the intersections of the sciences with the humanities, of academe with the public, of narrated pasts with imagined futures.

Edge Effects features content in many formats—text, image, audio, video—while maintaining a commitment to clear, accessible prose. Its content is grouped into six broad categories: Essays, Commentary, Reviews, Exhibits, Fieldnotes, and Checklists.


2015 Was Officially The Deadliest Year Ever For Environmental Activists

Read the full story in Fast Company.

These are not good times to be campaigning to protect the environment, especially in countries governed by repressive regimes and powerful corporate interests.

Killings of environmental activists around the world have been on the rise for several years, as Co.Exist reported on a piece about this year’s death of Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres, who was shot in her home in March.

A new report from the organization Global Witness says that trend is continuing to get worst. Last year, it says, had the most killings of environmental activists since it started tracking over the last decade, averaging to more than three activists killed every week around the world in campaigns related to mining, agribusiness, logging, and hydropower. Indigenous activists—who often stand up to powerful development interests in relatively remote regions—have it the worst, representing 40% of those killed. Brazil (50 deaths), the Philippines (33), Colombia (26), Peru (12), and Nicaragua (12), and the DRC (11) are particular hot spots.