Science

Florida's Aquifer
11:16 am
Wed January 30, 2013

How Florida's Aquifer Models Are Inaccurate, And Why That Might Be A Problem For Our Water Supply

Florida's current computer models for tracking underground water flow are coming up short.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr Creative Commons

Understanding how water flows through Florida's aquifer is integral to maintaining  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. 

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Florida Panthers
4:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

The Florida Panther Was Saved By Its Cougar Cousin From Texas, Report Says

Today's Florida panther owes the Texas cougar for its survival as a species.
Credit USFWS/Southeast

Today's Florida panther is struggling for survival, but things could've been much worse, according to a recent report from the University of Florida. Research shows Florida's big cats were given a boost in 1995, when eight female cougars from Texas were brought in to help diversify the ailing Florida population, the News-Press reports.

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Baby Quails
6:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

How Baby Quails Are Helping Baby Humans Before Returning To The Wild

Robert Lickliter, is the director of graduate studies in the Psychology Department at FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences. He leads a research team that studies quail embryos for clues about pre-term baby development.
Credit Patricia Sagastume

One day more than seven years ago, Debbie Brunson  woke up to an unfamiliar sound. She and her husband were camping on their land in the Redlands farming area. The sound she heard was that of an adult male Bob White quail.

It shocked her because she hadn't heard that bird call for over a decade.

"In Florida, there use to be quail everywhere.  But because of farming and pesticides and buildings,  they’ve disappeared," Brunson said.

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Science
12:08 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

House Cat-Odyssey Highlights The Mysteries Of Animal Migration

A Sandhill Crane flies in at sunset to roost for the night in the wetlands of the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. Migrating along the same route they've followed for thousands of years, about 25,000 Greater Sandhill Cranes pass through the San Luis Valley in late winter every year.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:50 pm

Early in November, a tortoiseshell cat named Holly jumped out of her human family's RV in Daytona Beach, Florida, and ran off. After a fruitless search, the husband and wife returned home to West Palm Beach without their cat.

Holly showed up back in West Palm Beach, only a mile from her house, on New Year's Eve. Because she had been micro-chipped, the family, two surprised and grateful humans and one bedraggled cat, were readily reunited.

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9:29 am
Thu January 24, 2013

More Pythons Than Mormons (But Give The Mormons Time)

Lead in text: 
Florida's great python hunt out in the Everglades continues to fascinate. Here's Lizette Alvarez' New York Times piece about a group of amateur snake catchers that includes three Mormons from Miami.
  • Source: Nytimes
  • | Via: New York Times
But on the outskirts of the Everglades this month, a different kind of hunt is taking place, and among those on the trail are three men with little macho swagger and zero hunting finery. They drive up gravel roads alongside the brush in a red "man-van" (a well-lived-in Toyota Sienna) and a blue Prius ("You can't beat the mileage," says one).
Florida Everglades
8:31 am
Mon January 7, 2013

State To Send Hunters After 'Glades Pythons

ONE LESS PYTHON: Sending out amateur hunters may be a good way to handle the python problem, experts say. Or not.
Credit David Callister/Alamy

Evidently at its wits' end over the Burmese pythons swarming the Everglades, Florida has declared a month-long snake season for armed amateurs. They'll go into the 'Glades to compete for cash prizes by killing as many as they can.

What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty, says Oklahoma biology professor and "reptile industry spokesman" Warren Booth. He told the Sun-Sentinel bullets will be flying in a dangerous environment where sometimes you can’t tell one snake from another.

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Sea Level Rise
12:07 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

South Florida Readies For Rising Seas

Fort Lauderdale's State Road A1A has been overrun by the sea
Credit Broward County

2012 will be forever remembered as the year of Hurricane Sandy.

The storm did over $50-billion in damage in the Northeast, playing out a worst case scenario exacerbated by sea-level rise. In low-lying South Florida, the problem of rising seas is more apparent than ever, the issue has recently come front and center in planning for the future.

Talk about your good timing.

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Sea Level Rise
11:54 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Quick Fix For A Disappearing Beach

Broward leaders need a quick fix for North Fort Lauderdale beach, where State Road A1A has been overrun by the ocean
Credit Broward County

Sand dunes and steel sheets driven underground will be used as temporary fixes to shore up a portion of Fort Lauderdale beach and State Road A1A that have been overrun by the ocean.

The $4.5-million-dollar plan was announced at a public meeting Monday night, the Sun Sentinel reports today, and it will serve as a band-aid until a permanent fix is found.

Broward Mayor Kristen Jacobs says it's the best they can do to deal with the problem in the short term.

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Hurricane Season
7:00 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Busy Hurricane Season Ends; El Niño A No-Show

Hurricane Sandy as it appeared on October 29, 2012
Credit NASA Goddard Photo and Video /Flickr

The Atlantic Hurricane season comes to its merciless end today.

It concludes in a busier-than-expected year punctuated by one of the most damaging storms on record, Hurricane Sandy.

When it began, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a near-normal season of anywhere between 9 and 15 named storms.

The final number turned out to be 19, with most systems--including the season's only major hurricane, Michael-- spinning out harmlessly in the ocean and posing little threat to land.

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Environmental Degradation
11:47 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Water Pollution Costs Florida More Than $10 Billion A Year

Algae Bloom On A River: Water pollution is costing Florida a lot of money every year.
Credit Galen Herz /Flickr

Local officials around the coast in Florida have already started to deal with the price of sea level rise. Now, another report has put a price tag on the cost of water pollution throughout the state-- the verdict: it's about $10.5 billion a year.

According to the Stockholm Environment Institute, which conducted the study, a lot of the pollution we are dealing with in our water comes from human activities.

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Exotic Insects
8:17 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Scary Termite Invader Returns To Broward

They're Back: Tree termites, with their special set of skills that increase their threat potential, have a new foothold in Dania Beach.
Credit University of Florida

State pest control officials are renewing the war against a versatile and destructive termite they thought they had defeated a decade ago.

But the tree termites -- mobile, airborne, prolific and voracious -- have gained a new foothold in Broward County. Experts who met Wednesday to develop a termite strategy say the insects have overrun a square mile of Dania Beach.

The usual anti-termite tactics won’t work this time, they say, because:

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Reptile Day
2:27 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Miami Science Museum Is Going To Teach You How To Eat Like A Lizard

You can eat like a lizard if you go to Reptile Day at the Miami Science Museum.
Credit Ashley Lopez / WLRN

Here's a break from the relentness news about this year's election.

For those of you not stuck in a long line on the last day of early voting on Saturday, you can distract yourself at the Miami Science Museum's Reptile Day.

Among the many activities they are putting together is a "live python animal presentation," a turtle race and an "eat like a reptile cooking demonstration."

Yes. You read right. There will be food served that is typically eaten by lizards.

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Most Doctors Don't Learn About Nutrition
4:42 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Doctors And Dieting May Not Mix

Some doctors say teaching nutrition is difficult.
Kahala Flickr/Creative Commons

In South Florida it's pretty easy to find a plastic surgeon for a little nip and tuck. But finding a primary care doctor who can tell you how to lose weight by changing your diet is a different story.

When doctors write prescriptions, they know what their patient will receive. But when a patient asks what they should eat, it's hard to be that specific. A developing body of research shows most doctors receive little to no instruction in nutrition.

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