Discovery Channel's Shark Week isn't until August, but South Florida is in the midst of its own shark celebration of sorts. Now through the end of April, the inshore waters off the coasts of Palm Beach County to Miami-Dade County will teem with shark activity.
Tom Rahill knows the Everglades. He has been camping, hiking, clearing trails, and "hanging out" in Florida's River of Grass for an estimated 35 years. When he sweats, Rahill says he "even smells like the Everglades." A participant in the recently-wrapped and much-maligned Python Challenge, Rahill recognizes that much of the press and public appear unimpressed with the contest's final tally of 68 snakes.
The wacky challenge that grabbed national headlines -- and perhaps more than its fair share of derision -- will come to a head Saturday morning, when the 2013 Python Challenge awards are presented in Miami.
Dust off those binoculars and brush up on your birding skills. The 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count is on and South Florida is a historical hotbed of action.
The four-day count -- a joint effort by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada -- is a large-scale citizen-science project with participants from around the globe. There's no cost to join and it's open to birders of all levels, from the casual feeder watcher to hardcore "listers."
A new study from a German research institute identifies urban areas most threatened by sea level rise and indicates that although sea level rise has been occurring for more than a century, it's not happening at a steady rate around the globe. This is due to regional variances in temperature, circulation, and ocean density.
One of Florida's endemic species, the Florida grasshopper sparrow, is on the path to extinction. The bird lives only in the dry prairies south of Orlando and it's believed that less than 200 of the highly-specialized sparrows remain in the wild, though funding doesn't exist to adequately track the population. Part of the problem has been drumming up the public support -- and money -- necessary to study what has happened to the subspecies.
Each of us is surrounded by music every day; music plays a significant role in our lives in many forms and settings. This understanding forms the basic impetus of the music education research we are conducting in the Florida International University School of Music with Miami teachers and children.
Our research is strengthened by the understanding that music is a diverse practice, offering the opportunity for enriching experiences to anyone interested in music – not simply the “talented.”
It's often said that there is no other place in the world like Florida's Everglades. Despite man's best efforts, the 'glades endure as one of the world's most widely recognized sources of biodiversity and an example of the fragile nature of human/ecological relations.
Citizen scientists and environmental stewards take note: Two state agencies are in the process of soliciting public comment on issues that could impact Florida's overall ecological outlook.
First up is the South Florida Water Management District, which is accepting public comments on four parcels of land in the Upper Lakes Management Region located north of Orlando. These include Tibet-Butler Preserve, Shingle Creek, Lake Marion Creek and Reedy Creek, and SUMICA.
With just a little more than a week remaining in the hunt, the 2013 Python Challenge has seen the capture and (hopefully relatively swift and painless) killing of 37 Burmese pythons in the Everglades. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission -- which is sponsoring the hunt -- announced the latest kill count on Tuesday morning via its official Facebook page.
A scathing guest column that appeared Wednesday in the Orlando Sentinel says "severe budget cuts are seriously compromising the ability of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection and Legislature and water management districts to adequately protect our state's natural resources."
Understanding how water flows through Florida's aquifers is integral to maintaining a safe and sufficient supply of fresh water, but current computer models used to monitor the state's aquifers and springs are "full of holes," according to some critics.
A teddy bear of a cat stretches across a desk. His baseball-sized orange paws skim the keyboard as his purring body contorts into a position that exposes an expansive patch of striped belly. The tableau, which plays out in my home office on a near-daily basis, is a pleasant distraction from this week's reminder that my loyal companion is a natural born killer.