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News stories tagged with "biology"

Mary's "Fish Out of School" quilt
Mary's "Fish Out of School" quilt

Watertown quilter inspired by math, science

A Watertown quilter uses science and the outdoors as inspiration. Mary Knapp's quilts are on display through May 23rd at TAUNY in Canton. She'll share stories of inspiration behind her quilts, and give a tour of the display on Saturday. Mary is a retired high school biology teacher who's been quilting for more than 25 years. She told Todd Moe that her quilts share a theme of art and science.  Go to full article
Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Scientists celebrate Darwin's bicentennial

Next Thursday marks the 200th anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin's birth. Darwin collected scientific data and was among the first to ponder the issue of how animals and plants change over long periods of time. This year is also the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his famous book, On The Origin of Species. Colleges and high schools around the region are hosting Darwin Day events, as part of a global celebration of science and reason. So, we invited two North Country biologists into the studio to ask where evolutionary theory is now, how it got there and the relevance of Charles Darwin today.  Go to full article
Dragonflier Nick Donnelly searches a Franklin County pond
Dragonflier Nick Donnelly searches a Franklin County pond

Dragonfly devotees swarm for the hunt

Take a paddle or hike along a stream, or spend some time gardening and you'll likely hear the familiar click of wings or glimpse a flying glint of blue or green. Dragonflies are a familiar and favorite sight in the North Country. And now, during the summer months, excitement is high among "dragonfliers" whose calendars are extra full because this is the time of year when dragonflies are most commonly seen. But researchers say there are more questions than answers about dragonflies. This is the fourth summer that the DEC and Nature Conservancy have seriously studied dragonflies and their close relatives, damselflies, in some of the more remote parts of the state. With the help of volunteers, biologists are out to foster public interest in the conservation of the colorful, winged insects and their aquatic habitats. Todd Moe found that, for a hobby that includes searching for large bugs in swampy areas, it has a lot of followers.  Go to full article

Counting birds on Tug Hill

More than 140 species of birds were sighted during the 9th Annual Tug Hill Bird Quest last weekend. It was sponsored by Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. Six teams trekked through the woods, fields and swamps in Jefferson, Oswego and Oneida counties to count birds and raise money for conservation efforts. Todd Moe asked Chris Reidy, an avid birder in Pulaski, to describe the birdathon.  Go to full article
Wolves have helped strengthen several species of plants and animals in Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Marlene Foard)
Wolves have helped strengthen several species of plants and animals in Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Marlene Foard)

Wolves bring subtle benefits to Yellowstone

The idea of reintroduction of wolves to the North Country has faded in recent years because of biological and political hurdles, though it continues to be the dream of some environmentalists. A controversial reintroduction program did go forward in Yellowstone National Park in the mid-90s, and wolves are now reestablished there after an absence of almost 70 years. According to the Yellowstone website, packs are now found in various parts of the park. Since the wolf returned to Yellowstone, the predator's had wide-ranging and unexpected effects on the ecosystem of the park. As Kinna Ohman reports, top predators such as wolves might be more important than biologists had realized.  Go to full article

Books: The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State

Biologists from SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University are in Costa Rica this semester studying the deadly impact of roads on frogs and other amphibians. Todd Moe talks with Potsdam biologist Glenn Johnson, who co-wrote the book The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State.  Go to full article
The American eel
The American eel

Eel release "grand experiment"

Biologists in Canada are taking extreme measures to prevent the disappearance of a mysterious and fascinating fish. For the first time ever, they've stocked the St. Lawrence River with 144,000 American eels. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Wild Cats

Cats have adapted to association with humans, but their wilder cousins can still be found, from Africa to Scotland. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about the history and habits of cats.  Go to full article
The "Phantom of the North", photo by Brian Sullivan
The "Phantom of the North", photo by Brian Sullivan

Great Gray Owl Glides Into NNY

The Great Gray Owl usually lives deep in the boreal forests of Canada. It's the official bird of the province of Manitoba. But due to scarce food and severe weather, thousands of the raptors have drifted south this year. They've invaded Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, even southern Ontario and Quebec. But a Great Gray hadn't been spotted in New York State since 1996, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Until last Wednesday, that is, when ornithologist Gerry Smith spotted one in the farm fields between Clayton and Cape Vincent in Jefferson County. It so happened that David Sommerstein was there too and has the story.  Go to full article
SLU researchers check weight, gender and then tag mice living on the local golf course
SLU researchers check weight, gender and then tag mice living on the local golf course

SLU Biologists Hit the Links to Study Wildlife Habitat

Golf is booming - even in the North Country. New courses are being built, and in urban areas they can be valuable green space. When landscaped sensibly, golf courses can be ideal habitats for plants and animals. Besides well-tended greens, there are roughs and wooded areas, which are important for wildlife. Trees and hedges provide nesting and food sources for several species of birds and small mammals. St. Lawrence University biologists are using the local golf course to study "unseen" wildlife populations and habitat. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article

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