Pondering the Ponds of Nags Head Woods Again

November 13th, 2016. Exactly four years ago I wandered around The Nature Conservancy’s Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve, and what I saw triggered a cascade of ideas that I described in a story posted then called “Pondering the Ponds of
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The View from Chikala Hill: Birds, Butterflies, and People in Southern Malawi

July 2016. I was back in southern Malawi as team leader for a small, biodiversity-related component of the Shire River Basin Management Program, a large project funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Government of Malawi’s Ministry of
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Mapping Mahogany on the Border with Belize

January 2016. In my mind mahogany is one of nature’s wonders, one of the most beautiful woods in the world. Maybe that’s because my dad decided to use mahogany paneling in my bedroom when he was building the house where
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More Ecological Musings in the Maya Forest

January 2016. The Department of Petén covers the northern third of Guatemala. It is a vast region of lowland forests, rivers and lakes, home to only around four percent of Guatemala’s population of 15 million. It’s a long way from
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Sugar Maples, Climate Change, and Ecohydrology in the Sierra de las Minas of Guatemala

February 2016. Guatemala City was covered by a dense fog when César picked me up at my hotel at 5:30 AM. I’d already filled my travel mug with hot coffee, brain fuel for at least part of our drive to
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Morning Visit with Aldo Leopold at the Shack

In his essay “The Round River,” Aldo Leopold wrote: “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, ‘What good is it?’ If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part
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Facing the Anthropocene in Florida: The Ecological Society of America’s 2016 Annual Meeting

The Ecological Society of America held its annual meeting this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference theme was “Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene.” I’ve written about the “Anthropocene,” or alluded to it, in many stories I’ve posted here, most
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Nature’s Warm Heart: Following John Muir’s Footsteps at Fountain Lake, Wisconsin

“This sudden plash into pure wildness – baptism in Nature’s warm heart – how utterly happy it made us!” John Muir wrote in The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, describing his arrival, in 1849 at the age of eleven,
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Another Visit with John Burroughs at Slabsides

May, 2016. A year ago in May, 2015, I visited the rustic retreat and writing cabin of the influential American nature writer John Burroughs (1837-1921) in the Hudson Valley. I wrote about it here, and the story eventually made its way
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How Federico Albert Stopped the Sand from Swallowing Chanco, Chile

April 2016. In trying to figure out how John Muir finally found his way to the slopes of Volcán Tolhuaca in November of 1911 to camp under his “long-sought for” Araucarias, our research soon led us to the name of Federico
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