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Biodiversity

Central Park, Part II, Success!

Last week we successfully collected 595 samples from across Central Park in NY City. I described this huge undertaking in my previous post, so you can find out a bit more here about collaborators and sampling scheme.

An Unexplored Urban Jungle- Part 1

Tomorrow morning a group of soil ecologists will meet on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History to begin a day-long effort to sample the soils of Central Park, New York City. Within soil lives an astounding amount of biological diversity, scaling from microbes to insects and worms that is mostly invisible to the naked eye. One question researchers are interested in is how this biodiversity compares to soils in natural systems-  Yellowstone National Park, for example.

Successful trip for the GSBI at RIO+20

This last week Diana Wall, Science Chair and Kelly Ramirez, Executive Director of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) Secretariat attended the UN Conference on Global Sustainability, RIO+20. The GSBI was fortunate to have Drs. George Brown and Heitor Coutino of Embrapa in Brazil organize a very successful side event- “Towards a Truly Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative”. (More details to follow on our website.)

Amazing Adaptations - On the Pacific Crest Trail

The final 200 miles of the desert hiking are finally over! They included a 25 mile stretch of the Mojave Desert through several large windfarms that was some of the hottest and most difficult we’ve experienced. In order to avoid the heat we woke up at 1 in the morning and started hiking across the desert floor in the dark. Along the trail we saw lots of little eyes glowing in the light of our headlamps and realized that there were bouncing kangaroo rats. You can learn more about out fellow night hikers and the interesting pupfish below! Next week we’ll be reporting from the mountains of the High Sierra!

GSBI @ Rio+20: The Future We Want

Tomorrow GSBI Leadership Dr. Diana Wall and Dr. Kelly Ramirez will be heading down to the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. They will be meeting up with Dr. Luca Montanarella to participate in the GSBI organized side event- ‘Towards a Truly Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative’. This side event was organized by Dr. Heitor Coutinho and Dr. George Brown of Embrapa. The goals of GSBI at Rio+20 is to promote GSBI scientific activities, including a Global Soil Biodiversity Assessment, and help establish the role of GSBI alongside the Convention on Biological Diversity and other global environmental agreements.

I would do anything for food... but I won’t eat that.

The days are getting longer and hotter here in the desert of southern California . But we are now almost finished with this part of the trail! This week we made it to the 500 mile mark!
Recently we’ve noticed lots more desert horned lizards. They are so well camouflaged that you can’t see them until they move out of the way! One hiker picked one of them up and learned all about the lizard’s interesting way of defending itself. Learn more below! Hiking in the evenings is a good way to avoid the heat. It’s also a good time to spot coyotes. We have been lucky enough to see two of them this week! One more week in the desert to go. Wish us luck!

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Climbers & Bats GCRT

This research team creates a working group of rock climbing interest groups, CSU biologists and human dimension specialists, and CSU students to strategically collect information on bat roost locations and share bat conservation information with the climbing community. View details of their GCRT here and their blog entry here.

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