The scope of the inquiry will include examining the extent to which the government’s approach to the Arctic is fit for purpose including how its promotion of scientific research and business best practise increases its influence among Arctic States and reduces environmental harm in the region.
As explained on the EAC inquiry webpages, in 2012, the predecessor Committee recommended that the Government develop an arctic strategy to bring together the UK’s diverse interests in the Arctic. In 2013, the...Read the full article.
(For email readers: make sure you come to the website so you can see the video. Also, for full screen – which I highly recommend – you might have to click the vimeo button in the lower right to watch it there.)
One of the pieces of equipment I was most eager to try on Redonda was the Mavic Pro drone that we’d brought along to survey vegetation and record a glimpse of just how it looked and felt to be on the island. That goal was very nearly foiled by the knock-you-over wind that never let up over much of the island, but luckily, the western cliff faces (picture below) were fairly protected from the prevailing easterly tradewinds.
...Read the full article.
The liberal arts are important, people say. I agree. Some of us scientists will point out that science is a part of the liberal arts. Okay, sure. But what do people mean when they say “the liberal arts?”
I’ve heard the phrase, “the value of a liberal arts education” so often, that the only thing it really means to me anymore is “the price tag of a small liberal arts college.” I think when the phrase is invoked by administrators of liberal arts colleges, it’s easy to imagine that it’s not about the actual education you receive at a liberal arts college, but instead the opportunities that are opened to you as a result of attending such an institution. Because small liberal arts colleges have no monopoly on the liberal arts.
Whenever someone says “the liberal arts,” I think it that...Read the full article.
Today Karin and I took a drive up to Birmingham to visit my daughter Ellen, who is studying applied performance and community theatre at Birmingham School of Acting. After picking her up we went for lunch at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Now, I’m a bit of a botanic gardens collector; I love visiting them, and keep a life list of those I’ve visited and a wish list of those I’d like to visit. So I was sure I had been to the Botanical Gardens as a PhD student during a British Ecological Society conference at the University of Birmingham. But when we arrived there I had no recollection of the glasshouses or the layout, it was not familiar at all. Odd how the memory plays tricks, one way or another.
I can recommend a visit, though – the Gardens looked stunning even this early in the season; lots of plants in flower and even a buzzard circling low overhead. It...Read the full article.
An Endangered Generalist?
Soon after germination orchids must be colonized by fungi whose hyphae both enter orchid cells and create an extensive mycorrhizal network in the soil, thereby transferring nutrients to the plant. Orchids may be mycorrhizal generalists able to associate with many different fungal species, or specialists only able to associate with one or a few fungi. Thus, the distribution of fungi can limit or promote the distribution of the plant. In this paper (sub), researchers measured which fungi associated with an endangered orchid Liparis loeselii, and measured fungal diversity at sites where the orchid did and did not grow. They found that this orchid associated with many species of fungi from multiple different families. While fungi diversity and abundance was different in soil...