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.
January 14, 2019 4:28 PM EDT
August 8, 2016 4:37 PM EDT
When I first moved to the Sonoran Desert to pursue my doctoral degree I expected to find seas of sand and rocks, sparsely populated by tumbleweeds fighting for survival in the brutal spotlight that is the hot desert sun. Instead, I was met by an abundance of life, especially small plants, covering the desert floor and likening it to a golf green. This unexpected experience led me to ponder the strategies these plants employ to survive and even thrive in the dry, unpredictable desert environment. Read more >
December 9, 2014 3:24 PM EDT
, UCS Science Network, UCS
October 3, 2014 11:52 AM EDT
I should have known I would become an ecologist. As a child, I always seemed to catch a salamander while waiting for the school bus, or bring home precious flowers to press through the seasons. I could stare from the bus window out into the grasslands, which transitioned into foothills to give rise to the Rocky Mountains, and imagine infinite ecosystems beyond. My passion as a naturalist and ecologist flourished as a biology undergraduate on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Read more >