Natural Selections

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About
Natural Selections

On Natural Selections each week, join a short conversation on the natural world. Topics range from evolutionary biology to geology and wildlife, from climate science to animal and human behavior.

Ellen Rocco
The program is hosted by NCPR news director Martha Foley joined by naturalist Dr. Curt Stager of Paul Smith's College.

Support for Natural Selections is provided by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park, and by Paul Smith's, the College of the Adirondacks.

New Book: Deep Future

"The course we take in the coming decades will affect not just the next hundred years, but the next hundred thousand years of life on this planet." --Curt Stager

Deep Future
In bookstores now

Order at: Amazon | Borders
Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Powell's Books
And please remember your local independent booksellers. Find one near you.

 

Nature features

Curt Stager on On Point

Curt StagerListen to Dr. Curt Stager as the guest on On Point, 3/24/11, talking about his new book, Deep Future: the Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth.

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Curt's Save the Carbon Blog

Spring, 2012: Just A Fluke, or A Taste of the Future?

Partial ice-out on Lower Saint Regis Lake , March 22, 2012.Record-high March temperatures have driven the ice... more

The weather of 2011: a waste or a wake-up call?

We've been having a difficult time with weather this year in the North Country.  But let's not... more

The Power of Moving Water

Spread your arms out sideways and your hands will be roughly one meter apart.  Use that span to sculpt an... more

Upper Jay, six days after Irene.

Six days after Irene drove the Ausable River and its tributaries over their banks, Kary and I visited the heavily... more

Irene devastates the Ausable Valley

Former hurricane ("tropical storm") Irene did relatively little damage last Sunday near my home in Paul Smiths, here in... more


Natural History
The Smithsonian is set to unpack something it's never had before: a rare, nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. It's a gift from a Montana museum that says this T. rex deserves to be famous.
 
A 325 million-year-old fossil find shows that the gill structures of modern sharks are actually quite different from their ancient ancestors.
 
Curators say they'll use the big grant from Boeing to better highlight how exploratory flight — from the Spirit of St. Louis to the <em></em>Starship Enterprise — has transformed the world.
 
An apprenticeship program in New York City helps lower-income and minority students break into advanced sciences. For one, the love of the stars was motivation to tackle the tough field of astronomy.
 
OK, maybe it just munched vegetation, small animals and eggs. But this newly named dino looked like a cross between a chicken and a bulked-up ostrich. Five-inch claws? We'd have stayed out of its way.
 
more science news from NPR

Natural Selections with hosts Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager airs Thursday mornings during The Eight O'Clock Hour.

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 Recent Natural Selections programs
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Natural Selections: Eastern Hemlock

Stands of eastern hemlock can be kind of gloomy, and its bark is more prized than its lumber. Find out more about this North Country native from Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Biodiversity, part 2

Is it more important to keep a wild area as diverse as possible or simply maintain the plants and animals native to that habitat? A discussion about the difference between biodiversity and biointegrity with Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Biodiversity, part 1

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss our diverse biosphere. Is there a bias towards different species?  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Ospreys

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss the osprey--a large, black and white bird of prey that eats almost exclusively fish.  Go to full article

Natural Selctions: Bumblebee Fuzz

Are bumblebees actually furry? Martha asks Dr. Curt Stager to explain the nature and purpose of bumblebee fuzz.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Primates

A human male and a male chimpanzee have as much in common, genetically, as a man and a woman. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley look at our evolutionary cousins, primates.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Fat & Nutrition

Reducing dietary fat may not have predictable effects on health. A recent study suggests that cholesterol-reducing drugs are more effective at preventing heart disease than reducing fat in food. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss fat, cholesterol, and nutrition.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Carbon-14 Dating

Measuring the level of carbon-14, a natural radioactive isotope, in organic material has proven to be a reliable way of determining the age of archeological and paleontological remains. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss how it works.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Bird Migration

How do birds discover their migration routes? Are they taught, is it instinct, or a special sense? Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss what's known and what's guessed.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Oil and Water

What you might think is an oil slick on pond or bog water may actually be a film of bacteria. And some oil that flattens ripples and makes rainbow shimmers comes from natural sources. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley: oil and water.  Go to full article

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