Latest Articles

A New Paradigm For Conservation: Consider the Countryside

May 27, 2014 by Alison Hawkes

Conservation biologists are realizing that farmlands could play an important role in conservation.

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The Jumbo Squid Have Left California. Or Have They?

May 22, 2014 by Sean Greene

Humboldt Squid have moved into and out of California, sometimes for years at a time, for centuries. Now an El Niño approaches the Pacific Coast, and squid researchers are waiting.

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‘Slow Coast’ Will Stay Slow with Newly Protected Lands

May 21, 2014 by Elizabeth Devitt

For the first time in a century, the public will have access to two key sites along the Central Coast.

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The Last Oyster

May 20, 2014 by Sean Greene

The West Coast’s native Olympia oyster serves an important role as an ecosystem builder with its ability to filter the water. But owing to reasons that are still somewhat unclear, over the last few millennia native oysters have largely disappeared from the San Francisco Bay.

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Groundwater Depletion Could Lead to Earthquakes

May 15, 2014 by Katherine Bourzac

In a newly published paper, scientists link groundwater depletion in the Central Valley to geologic uplift and maybe even earthquakes.

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Peninsula Measure Would Get People onto More Public Lands

May 14, 2014 by Autumn Sartain

Election coverage: Almost half of Midpen's lands are closed to the public, but that could change if Peninsula voters approve funding for projects.

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What Follows a Fire? A Mount Diablo Botany Quiz

May 12, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

After a fire, botanists hustle out to burned areas to identify surviving and regenerating species. They’ve often got only a few leaves to go on, some from species that haven’t been seen for decades. So it’s tough. Want to test your skills against those of the botanists?

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Fire Followers Arrive, with Scientists Right Behind

May 09, 2014 by Joan Hamilton

An expert in rare plants, Heath Bartosh is especially interested in “fire followers,” plants whose seeds stay buried in the ground until heat or smoke stimulates germination. These annuals flourish for one to three years. And then they’re gone—until the next fire.

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The Inner Visions of Mark Kitchell

May 07, 2014 by Paul Epstein

“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then ...

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Tule Elk Relocated As Numbers Rebound

May 07, 2014 by Elizabeth Devitt

How do you relocate a 1,000-pound bull? Wildlife officials truck California's "homegrown elk" to new sanctuaries.

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New Genetics Research May Shed Light on the Secretive Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse

May 06, 2014 by Rachel Diaz-Bastin

Although many people are studying salt marsh harvest mice, or "salties," as they are affectionately known, San Francisco State graduate student Anastasia Ennis is one of a few people studying harvest mouse population genetics.

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A Long Time Coming, but the Bay’s Back at Former Hamilton Airfield

April 30, 2014 by Ariel Rubissow Okamoto

Last week a backhoe knocked a hole in the outer levee at the former Hamilton Army Airfield, letting the Bay seep back onto a landscape that had undergone 18 years of preparation for this moment.

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Tree Camping: A Bed of Boughs in a City of Lights

April 29, 2014 by Leath Tonino

My plan was really more of a prompt, a nudge from me to myself in the direction of urban-arboreal adventure. I’d wander San Francisco, neighborhood to neighborhood, park to park, paying attention to trees.

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The Drought Could Harm Research At Farallon Islands

April 24, 2014 by Alison Hawkes

Without rainwater, Farallon Islands research station is unable to function.

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