UCS Science Network

UCS

Through our Science Network, UCS collaborates with nearly 20,000 scientists and technical experts across the country, including physicists, ecologists, engineers, public health professionals, economists, and energy analysts. Science Network Voices gives Equation readers access to the depth of expertise and broad perspective on current issues that our Science Network members bring to UCS. The views expressed in Science Network posts are those of the author alone.

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Photo: Tim Evanson/Flickr

Organizing a Science Policy Workshop: What we learned in Bozeman, Montana

Dr. Emma Kate Loveday and Dr. Racheal Upton

The Bozeman 500 Women Scientists pod held a science policy workshop in February 2018 for 30 female scientists from all career stages, undergraduate to professor and government-based scientists. Sound intimidating? Here’s how we got there.

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Tim Evanson
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A Failure of US Biosecurity: How Federal Regulators Helped a Japanese Beetle Cross the Border

Christy Leppanen, Ph.D.

With a partial government shutdown now in its 3rd week, many Americans are learning the hard way about the wide range of functions their federal government normally serves. One of those little-known functions is preventing the spread of invasive plants, insects, and other species that threaten native ecosystems and valuable natural resources, costing the United States an estimated $120 billion every year. Just last week, the shutdown forced conference organizers at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to cancel an annual meeting of 300 scientists working to coordinate research and find solutions. Even before the shutdown, however, USDA regulators had failed to fully live up to their obligations—designated by law—to protect US resources from invasive species.

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Climate Change Is Strengthening Typhoons, Hurricanes and Cyclones. The US Isn’t Paying Attention.

Alyssa Frederick, Ph.D. candidate; Steven Mana`oakamai Johnson, Ph.D. student

On October 25th, one of the worst storms to strike US land hit the islands of Saipan and Tinian, killing two people and destroying thousands of homes. Because of Super Typhoon Yutu, the islands remain without power, and likely will for the months to come. Fresh water is scarce, and recovery efforts are hindered by lack of access and resources. (Read more about this here.)

Typhoons and hurricanes, or more generally, tropical cyclones, are all spinning storms of high winds (sustained winds of 73 miles per hour or greater) and intense weather like thunderstorms. The only nominal difference is the ocean basin where they originate. The most alarming factor they all share is that intensity and frequency of these cyclonic super storms is increasing with climate change. Read more >

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Photo: mopictures/Flickr

Understanding Local Impacts to Inform Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Christie Sampson, and Charles C.Y. Xu

It’s 16:30 in rural Myanmar and my field crew, who had spent the day surveying for elephant dung, are racing our caravan of motorbikes back to the field camp before dusk descends. As the day fades tempering the oppressive heat, elephants emerge from the shade of the forest to begin foraging, sometimes in the sugarcane and rice paddies that are increasingly spreading across the country. Running into one of these giants as they too use the network of dirt roads to travel through the landscape can be fatal, necessitating a strict policy of returning to camp before dark for the safety of the team. While my field season lasts a short three months, this is one of many concessions residents are forced to make or risk their lives encountering an elephant as night falls. Read more >

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Hope and a 250-mile Bike Ride Through Colorado with a Mother-Daughter Duo

Melissa McShea Valentin

Melissa and Natalie Valentin are a mother-daughter duo devoted to sports and biking for the planet. But, with wildfires raging across the West and a president actively reversing our country’s progress on climate change, they have been finding it very hard to be hopeful about the future of the planet lately. Rather than give in to climate despair, they joined Climate Ride Colorado in order to meet other inspiring riders and to become a part of the Climate Ride community. They were looking to reinvigorate their optimism and activism by raising money for charities working on climate (one antidote to a lack of spending on our government’s part) and surrounding themselves by similarly committed activists. They hope that their story inspires you to fundraise for the Union of Concerned Scientists or other climate charities by registering at climateride.org. 

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