Ocean Acidity and the Makah Tribe

Here’s my first feature for Chemical & Engineering News, a magazine published by the American Chemical Society in Washington. I flew out to Seattle in late January and met with Micah McCarty, the former tribal leader of the Makah. They live at the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula, right on the water. He’s worried about the effects of ocean acidification on shells they use for both food and ceremonies. There’s also a great video produced by C&EN with some of the video and stills I shot on our scramble down to the tidal rocks at Cape Flattery.

Sandcastle worms and geckos feet

Here are some new bio-inspired devices coming out of research labs that make use of new nano-technology techniques to sort tumor cells, create surgical glues that work inside the body and electronics wrapped in spider silk that evaporate. From today’s Washington Post Health/Science section.

Behold the Cuttlefish and Its Power!

Fun story here in today’s Washington Post Health/Science section about cuttlefish and their powers of changing colors and camouflaging themselves even though they are color-blind. This came from visit to Roger Hanlon’s lab last summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., where I was an environmental journalism fellow.

Drones for Science

Here’s a look at drones and their use by atmospheric scientists and others to scan the skies. It appeared in September in the Washington Post Health/Science page.

Batteries in the Post

Here’s my recent piece in the Washington Post on new battery technology – which is actually pretty interesting despite the financial problems of some of the bigger firms going after the EV market.

Thorium as a new green nuke fuel

With nearly a year gone since Fukushima, I took a look at one possible alternative for nuclear fuel called thorium. Proponents haven’t had much luck getting either private industry or the U.S. labs to build a thorium reactor, but they’re hoping for some help from Congress to get it off the ground. Here’s my report in this Tuesday’s Washington Post.

Scott’s Scientific Discoveries

There’s been lots of ink spilled over the past two months as the centennial of the discovery of the South Pole – and the race between Amundsen and Scott – is remembered. What sometimes is forgotten is that Scott’s expedition, even though it turned out to be a disaster, was primarily a scientific one. His colleagues returned with thousands of samples, new findings and even new theories about the origins of Antarctica. Here’s more in a piece for the Washington Post’s Health/Science page.

South Pole Rescue

Got up early to talk about the South Pole rescue mission to pick up Renee Douceur, who had a stroke back in August. Here’s clip of my interview on CBS Early Show today. And here’s my report for Discovery News from a few days ago that included an interview with Douceur. Word from NSF is that flight may be canceled because of severe cold, which turns aviation fuel into jelly.

Here’s my Oct. 17 interview with national talk show host Jim Bohannon of CBS Radio/Westwood One on the South Pole rescue, starting at 1:25:50 to 1:37:00. http://www.jimbotalk.net/programhighlights

 

Recent radio with PRI’s The World

Last week, I spent a few days at the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a contest for college teams to design and build energy effecient, solar-powered homes all within $250,000 and 1,000 square feet. Some of the projects were inspiring, and incredible to see where technology and green homes are headed. I followed the Kiwi team of New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington in this report for PRI’s The World which includes a slideshow of images I took.

Last month, I also reported for The World on the controversy over the Keystone XL project, which would pipe oil from Alberta’s tar sands deposits south through the Midwest to Texas refineries. The 10-day protest at the White House saw celebrities and environmentalists join religious leaders and college students.

Swimming With the Sharks

My first travel piece appeared today in the Washington Post, an account of our recent trip to Holbox Island, Mexico, which is just off the Yucatan Peninsula, not too far from Cancun. We had a great time, and I really have to recommend the food, nature and of course, the chance to get up close with a 24-foot whale shark. Read it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/on-mexicos-isla-holbox-even-the-sharks-are-peaceful/2011/08/04/gIQAcCR6AJ_story.html?hpid=z12