Thomas R. O'Donnell

Posts Tagged ‘Iowa State University Extension Service’

Climatologists offer evidence – and encourage action – on climate change

In Government on August 19, 2019 at 7:27 am
An aerial view of flooding at Camp Ashland, Nebraska on March 17, 2019.

An aerial view of the flooding at the Camp Ashland, Nebraska on March 17, 2019, after a Platte River levee broke. Nebraska experienced its worst flooding ever in spring 2019, something climatologists say is likely to become more common under global climate change. Credit: Staff Sgt. Herschel Talley, Nebraska National Guard, via photopin (license).

When you want to learn about climate change, talk people who study climate.

SciLine, the science information service for journalists, did just that. As part of a science essentials boot camp for political reporters, the nonprofit (associated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science) gathered three state climatologists before a Science Center of Iowa audience earlier this month.

The climate mavens from Iowa, Nebraska and North Carolina were unequivocal in their assertion that man-made climate change is real. Doubts among the public, especially farmers, are fading as bouts of extreme weather become more common, they said.

The three experts varied somewhat, however, in their thoughts on how we should respond to the climate change threat. And it seemed to me that the discussion mostly missed the point in a substantial way.

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The woollybear boogie: a fall trek of Lilliputian proportions

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2018 at 2:00 pm
A fuzzy forager beating multiple feet across a little-used blacktop in Van Buren County. See you hanging around my yard light next spring, little fella.

A fuzzy forager beating multiple feet across an Iowa blacktop. See you flitting around my yard light next spring, little fella.

If you drive the little-traveled county blacktops of rural Iowa, as I do, you’re sure to notice a slow (and sometimes not-so-slow) march at this time of year.

They’re easy to spot in the distance: small smudges inching across the blue-gray pavement. The contrast of dark on light and the steady movement draws the eye, making the sojourns of woollybear caterpillars hard to miss, even though they’re relatively tiny.

I saw countless fuzzy travelers on my trips through southeast Iowa one recent weekend. There seemed to be one every few yards, crossing the pavement and, with luck, avoiding the many tires that would halt their travels (and their lives).

What’s going on here?

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Talkin’ science talks and Cyclone Survivor

In STEM on June 12, 2014 at 8:11 am
Gray wolves looking cute.

Canis lupus: the gray wolf, once roamed Iowa. Credit: Steve Jurvetson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters via Compfight cc

A quick post to spread the word about two lecture series now in progress for folks living in Central Iowa. If you have a Friday night or Saturday afternoon free, they’re great destinations for engaging talks on wildlife, astronomy, biology and more. They’re at no charge and in beautiful settings.

I’ll also note the accomplishments of a Williamsburg FIRST LEGO League team in this year’s Global Innovation Award competition.

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Iowa Science Interface

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the Story within the Story

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tsmith

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Deixis Online

A blog about research and STEM in the Hawkeye state