Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/13/2018 - 04:50
Councillor calls for sign to be removed from battlements saying it is ‘beyond irony’ A historic town in south Wales has been criticised for celebrating becoming a plastic-free community by hanging a banner made of plastic from a 13th-century gateway. Chepstow fixed the large banner to the battlements of its town gate after being granted plastic-free status by the green charity Surfers Against Sewage. Continue reading...
06/13/2018 - 04:50
Sir William Worsley is tasked with stopping the unnecessary felling of trees and support plans to plant 11 million trees The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has appointed a “tree champion” to stop the unnecessary felling of trees and boost planting rates. Sir William Worsley, chairman of the National Forest Company which oversees the National Forest, has been appointed to support government promises to plant 11 million trees, plus a further 1 million in towns and cities. The move, part of the pledges in the government’s 25-year environment plan, comes after a controversial tree-felling programme in Sheffield. Continue reading...
06/13/2018 - 00:30
Study also suggests they can spot similarities between patterns of scent and those made with colour Pollinators don’t just wing it when it comes to finding a sweet treat: the shape, colour, perfume and even electrical charge of flowers are all known to offer clues. But now researchers say bumblebees also use another floral feature to guide them: how the concentration of a scent varies across the flower’s surface. Continue reading...
06/13/2018 - 00:01
Species including the wildcat and black rat may be lost within a decade while others such as deer are thriving, analysis shows The wildcat and mouse-eared bat are on the brink, but deer are spreading and otters bouncing back, according to a comprehensive analysis. At least one in five wild mammals in Britain faces a high risk of extinction within a decade and overall populations are falling, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date. Continue reading...
06/12/2018 - 23:30
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: There were masses of southern marsh orchids, many of which were in the early stages of flower opening like a slow-motion firework display The southern marsh orchids, Dactylorhiza praetermissa, are almost knee high, with apple-green leaves, thick hollow stems and a spearhead of extraordinary purple-pink, cryptically lined flowers. They have suddenly and ceremoniously materialised in the abandoned field like ambassadors from another planet. Despite their indolence, everything about them – their form, colour, identity, presence, future – is mysterious. They stand among us, splendidly alien, as if they’ve entered consciousness from a terra incognita outside our everyday experience. These are not just flowers but an event with a magenta aura. Only last week I wandered into this field, really just a fenced-off patch of limestone quarry spoil, to check on what might be flowering. In some years there are dense colonies of common spotted orchids and one year there were dozens of bee orchids, but the larger groups of orchid never last long and some years they are few and far between. I was beginning to think this year would be a poor show until I came across a couple of big southern marsh orchids, opening from places that had been really wet all winter. Continue reading...
06/12/2018 - 15:30
Garden warblers in fact prefer thick scrub, which is dying out in our tidy countryside Some birds are very well named: such as the cuckoo, treecreeper and song thrush. Others, including Kentish plover, grey wagtail and garden warbler, are almost wilfully misleading. Garden warblers are, unlike their cousin the blackcap, hardly ever found in gardens. They prefer thick scrub, a transitory habitat that is becoming harder and harder to find in our increasingly tidy countryside. Continue reading...
06/12/2018 - 15:19
Ocean Leadership ~ The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university located adjacent to beautiful Tampa Bay on Florida’s spectacular west coast. It is one of the largest public universities in the nation, and ranked 28th in the nation among public universities for total research expenditures by the National Science Foundation. The university is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity category, a distinction attained by only 2.5 percent of all universities. At the heart of USF is a vibrant, diverse and engaged student body. More than 50,000 students are enrolled in the USF System, with an annual budget of $1.7 billion and an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. The College of Marine Science has 26 ranked faculty covering biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography and marine resource assessment, ~110 graduate students, ~$15 million in annual research, a total endowment of ~$18 million, ~80 full-time support personnel (including engineers, technical, and College administrative staff). Additional information is available at http://www.marine.usf.edu/ and http://www.usf.edu. The University of South Florida College of Marine Science, located in Saint Petersburg, Florida, is actively seeking to fill two open rank positions in oceanography: 1. We seek a Geological Oceanographer whose research complements the strengths of the current faculty. We seek a hypothesis-driven scientist who uses a process-based approach to understand problems central to the ocean and its connections to the Earth systems. The candidate will use innovative techniques to investigate the effects of environmental change on the evolution of the stratigraphic record over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. For questions regarding the available position please contact Dr. Brad Rosenheim, brosenheim@usf.edu or Tim Trowbridge, ttrowbridge@usf.edu (727-553-3375). Applications must be submitted through Careers@USF. Direct link to job posting can be found here. 2. We seek a Chemical Oceanographer who will contribute to an understanding of the ocean/climate system, from basic disciplinary topics to ecosystems analyses. Qualified candidates will employ modern tools of multi-disciplinary science to understand regional and global issues critical to the ocean system. For information regarding the available position, please contact Dr. Kristen Buck, kristenbuck@usf.edu or Tim Trowbridge, ttrowbridge@usf.edu (727-553-3375). Applications must be submitted through Careers@USF. Direct link to job posting can be found here. Candidates for both positions will be selected on the basis of their potential to conduct transformative research within their discipline, their productivity with respect to peer reviewed publications, acquisition of external research funding, and a potential for outstanding mentoring and teaching. Successful candidates for both positions would be expected to contribute to core courses in oceanography and teach specialty courses at the graduate level. Minimum Requirements: Must have a PhD in a relevant scientific discipline at the time of hire with research experience in the respective fields (Chemical Oceanography or Geological Oceanography). Preferred qualifications: Applicants should be capable of interacting with colleagues in multi-disciplinary oceanographic research. For the Asst Professor rank, candidates should have a record of scholarly products and demonstrate potential for a career of creative work and scholarly publications, demonstrate potential for acquisition of extramural research funding, exhibit a commitment to exemplary instruction and mentoring of graduate students, and demonstrate a culture of high ethics and service to their professional community and to the public. For the Assoc Professor/Professor rank, candidates should have an outstanding record in research including a substantive publication and other scholarly product record, evidence of success in attracting extramural research funding, a commitment to exemplary instruction and mentoring of graduate students, and demonstrate a culture of high ethics and service to their professional community and to the public. Application procedures: Apply online at Careers@USF (Geological Oceanographer: 17208 and Chemical Oceanographer: 17211). Please submit a cover letter stating qualifications. Please append research and teaching statements, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three referees. Position is open until filled, however, priority review of applications will begin by August 1, 2018. Appointment is anticipated to commence August 1, 2019. USF is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Institution. To request disability accommodations in the application and interview process call (813) 974-2970. According to Florida law, applications, and meetings regarding them, are open to the public. The post Two Tenure-Track Faculty Positions in Chemical and Geological Oceanography (Dec. 18) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
06/12/2018 - 13:00
Andrew and Jane Clifford promise to match donations in bid to stop feral cats A $1m donation to the fight against feral cats could help to double the size of the world’s largest cat-free sanctuary or help genetically neuter cats, conservationists say. Sydney philanthropists Andrew and Jane Clifford have pledged to match every donation made to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy up to $1m before the end of the financial year, hoping to create a $2m fund to eradicate Australia’s cat plague. Continue reading...
06/12/2018 - 12:13
Readers react to George Monbiot’s article on dropping meat and dairy, news about Sainsbury’s selling vegan ‘fake meats’ , and a report on meat being found in vegan and vegetarian meals Alongside George Monbiot’s suggestion (Want to save the planet? Drop meat and dairy, 8 June), another way to reduce greenhouse gases is to stop keeping pets. It’s been calculated that an average dog has an ecological footprint twice as large as that of a large car. Like meat-eating, pet ownership is nowadays encouraged by a vast industry; the pet insurance sector alone is said to generate more of Britain’s GDP than fishing does. The production of pet food, provision of veterinary services and breeding the creatures are big businesses, all with an interest in promoting the alleged benefits of owning a furry friend. Continue reading...
06/12/2018 - 10:17
With names like Strawberry Breezecake and Cherry Gale-cia, ice-cream maker pushes for government re-think Tubs of Strawberry Breeze-cake, Cherry Gale-cia and other wind-themed ice-creams will feature in a campaign by Ben & Jerry’s to persuade the government to rethink its opposition to onshore windfarms. The renamed flavours will be sold at half price on “windy Wednesdays” to support a pro-renewables push by the Unilever-owned firm, which has a history of campaigning on climate change and environmental issues. Continue reading...