David Shiffman • Thursday Afternoon Dredging • January 5, 2017
Cuttings (short and sweet):
- Here’s NOAA Okeanos video of a “ghost shark” from 2013.
David Shiffman • marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharks •
Bonnethead sharks, one of the smallest members of the hammerhead shark family Sphyrnidae, have a special place in my heart. For many years, the avatar I used for science communication efforts, including posts on this blog, was a picture of me with a bonnethead.
Remember this avatar? That’s a bonnethead (on the left).
These sharks, which can grow up to about 5 feet long, are found throughout North, Central, and South America. However, new research by Fields and friends suggests that they may actually be a species complex, not a true species. “A species complex is a group of distinct species that are incorrectly classified as one species because they look very similar to one another,” explained Dr. Demian Chapman, an Associate Professor of Biology at Florida International University and a co-author on this new study. “A great example is the white spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) that was once thought to be one, globally distributed species, but now has been shown to be a group of very similar-looking species, each of which lives in a particular region.”
Andrew David Thaler • #SciComm, climate change, Conservation, Natural Science, Science • January 3, 2017
Climate Change is real. It’s happening now. And the best available data points to us as the cause.
That the foundational science is settled is a point of unending frustration to scientists, science writers, and policy advocates who face continuous partisan push back, from whitewashing government websites to threatening scientists with legal repercussions for reporting the data. During my International Marine Conservation Congress keynote last year, I argued that Climate Change denial is not a science literacy problem, but rather a product of increasing political bifurcation. Political ideology is a much stronger predictor of Climate Change understanding than science literacy.
The term “Climate Change” is now loaded with so much political baggage that it becomes almost impossible to hold a discussion across political lines. In stakeholder interviews, people generally understand and acknowledge the impacts of climate change on local and regional scales, as long as you don’t call it “Climate Change”. This has been my experience working in rural coastal communities, which tend to be strongly conservative and intimately connected to the changing ocean.
Which is why, when I talk about Climate Change, I don’t talk about science. (more…)
David Shiffman • #SciComm •
Last night was the premiere of the Bachelor, which is just about the only reality TV show that I do not watch. However, an incident occured on last night’s episode that several of you brought to my attention. Apparently, one of the contestants wore a shark costume for the entire episode…but kept referring to it as a dolphin costume. (While not everyone can reasonably be expected to know the difference between a shark and a dolphin, this contestant stated that she wants to be a dolphin trainer.)
Here is a screenshot:
Screenshot from the Bachelor season 21 premiere, H/T Buzzfeed
Andrew David Thaler • Monday Morning Salvage • January 2, 2017
Welcome to 2017 and the ninth year of marine science and conservation at Southern Fried Science!
Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)
- Alex Warneke knows exactly how to push all of my ocean outreach buttons: Low-cost teaching tools? Check! Hands on student engagement? Check! Open-source materials and datasets? Check! 3D Printing? Check! Meet 3D Cabrillo:
Courtesy A. Warneke, DSN.
Jetsam (what we’re enjoying from around the web) (more…)
Kersey Sturdivant • A Renewed Sense of Wonder, Fun Science Friday, Life in the Lab • December 31, 2016
As 2016 winds to a close, and in the spirit of the holiday season behold the world’s smallest snowman, measuring in at 3 microns. To put that into perspective, the smallest grains of sands are approximately 60 microns.
Mini snowman, ~3 microns in height (Photo credit: Western Nanofabrication Facility)
This creation is the work of Canadian nanotechnologists from the Western Nanofabrication Facility. The snowman is made from three ~1 micron silica spheres stacked using electron beam lithography. The eyes and mouth were cut with a focused ion, beam while the arms and nose were sculpted with platinum.
Tiny snowman amongst other 1 micron silica spheres. (Photo credit: Western Nanofabrication Facility)
A cool feel good story to round off 2016 as we head into 2017. Happy New Year all!
David Shiffman • Thursday Afternoon Dredging • December 29, 2016
Cuttings (short and sweet):
Taken from a NOAA Okeanos Explorer video
Spoils (long reads and deep dives):
Feel free to share your own cuttings and spoils in the comments below!
Andrew David Thaler • Conservation • December 28, 2016
Early this December, the National Park Service announced that the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument made the short list for UNESCO World Heritage designation. Though hidden beneath the water’s surface, the Mariana Trench, a unique geologic and ecologic landmark and a natural treasure, dwarfs the Grand Canyon in scale and scope.
The Mariana Trench is more than a mile deeper than Mt. Everest is high and hosts Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth. It is also home to numerous sites of exceptional scientific value, including submerged volcanoes that host deep-sea hydrothermal vents, the largest documented mud volcanoes, coral atolls and fringing reef ecosystems that support apex predators like sharks and whales, as well as habitat-forming stony corals.
David Shiffman • Blogging • December 23, 2016
Year-in-review news roundups are one of my favorite parts of December. I really enjoy remembering all of the interesting and inspiring things that happened over the past year, especially after a rough year like this one. I especially enjoy “top science news of the year” roundups, and I was pleased to see marine science stories make the cut on many of them. For your “but why is this considered a top story but that isn’t” debating pleasure, here are the marine science news stories that made top science news stories of the year listicles!