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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HIV virus buds from host cell
HIV virus buds from host cell

Natural Selections: Are Viruses Alive?

The simplicity of viruses leads to the question, "Are viruses alive?" Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss what it takes to be numbered among the living. Disease-causing bacteria pass muster, but viruses may fall a little short.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Science Projects

Some suggestions for interesting, low-cost science projects! Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley offer ideas for budding scientists to try at home or at school.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Snow Flies

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about snow flies. This tiny wingless fly likes the cold, making their own antifreeze to survive the weather. They are a pest only to rodents, carrying the roundworm parasites that infect them.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Snow Fleas

Anyone who has had pets has heard of fleas. But snow fleas--that's a different story! As Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley explain, these tiny critters look like pepper on the snow on days just above freezing.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Cat Intelligence

Cats are pretty smart--the whole setup proves that. But just how smart are they? Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley stack up man's second-best friend against other mammals.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Alcohol

Why is it that sometimes consuming alcohol can be pleasurable and at other times have devastating effect? Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley talk about how alcohol operates in the body and brain.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: White Meat, Dark Meat

The Thanksgiving holiday brought some questions to mind for Martha Foley about turkeys. For instance, why is dark meat dark? She and Dr. Curt Stager discuss turkey anatomy.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Blue Jays

If you've ever had a bird feeder in your yard, perhaps you've had the chance to admire blue jays hungrily munching away. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about the habits of this year-round resident of the North Country.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Vultures

Natural Selections co-host Martha Foley has noticed an increase in the vulture population near her home. She asks Dr. Curt Stager to explain more about the large scavenging birds and what they look for in a good meal.  Go to full article

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