Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • by Jared Huennekens When I stepped into the Village Nurseries’ Horticulture Encounter, ‘Plants with a Purpose’, at the Miramar Landscape Center and Growing Grounds, my senses felt bombarded with incoming stimulus. Like an owl who’s spotted a nest of mice, my head flew in circles absorbing an array of aromatic and beautiful plants. The Encounter, […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • by Jared Huennekens Our environment plays an instrumental role in determining our ability to rise in social and economic class in America. Yet, not all environments are created equal. By the year 2025, 65% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban environments. In America, people of color and low income Americans experience […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Gali Laska Your local city park is likely playing a vital role in your city’s health, and probably your own mental health too. Parks and other “green spaces” help keep cities cool, and as places of recreation, can help with health issues such as anxiety and depression. Just looking at greenery can make you feel better! […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
YouTube Video
  • Wood tiger moths(Arctia plantaginis) can be confusing: while they all have black-and-white forewings, males have yellow or white hindwings, while female hindwings are red or orange. This colouration makes the moths stand out on natural backgrounds, but as the moths taste bad, birds learn their warning colouration, and soon learn not to attack them. However, this would be even easier if all moths h...

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Liz N. Clift This year, Earth Day (April 22nd) falls on a Sunday. This year, Earth Day is focused on plastic pollution. Plastics take many different forms—ranging from drinking straws and Styrofoam to mattresses and medical supplies to cigarette filters and shopping bags, and many more items we use on a regular basis. Since […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Liz N. Clift In ecology, edge effect refers to changes in a population or community along the boundary of a habitat. A clear example of this is when an agricultural field meets a forest. Perhaps a less well-defined example is a fragmented habitat (such as those that occur because of selective logging or in […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Liz Clift It’s not always easy to know what’s happening in a landscape—or why it’s happening. This can be especially true if you’re not familiar with the native (or invasive) plants in your area, with natural local variations in topography, or with the presence/absence of certain animal species seasonally and generationally (among many other […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • Great Ecology is pleased to announce that Randy Mandel, Vice President, Technical Services has been elected as one of five Regional Representatives for North America for the Society for Ecological Restoration’s (SER) International Board of Directors! SER’s International Board of Directors is responsible for: Policy development and maintenance; Strategic planning; Operations; Fund-raising; and Rela...

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
  • by Liz Clift I was in middle school when Titanic hit movie theaters. The RMS Titanic, which sank in April 1912, rests more than two miles below the surface of the water, off the coast of Newfoundland. And while the footage in the early scenes of the movie showing a submerged ship turned artificial reef […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Liz Clift One of the gifts of TED talks is that you can learn a lot about a concept, idea, or experience in a fairly short amount of time. This may spark your interest enough to do further research on your own, provide fodder for a dinner conversation, help you reimagine the world, or […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
  • By Liz Clift We’ve watched the West burn. If you look at a map from last year—current as of December 28, 2017 at the time of this writing, the majority of the state of California appears freckled with fires of various sizes. Idaho and northern Nevada look much the same. Property damage is what a […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • by Liz Clift “What we contemplate here is more than ecological restoration; it is the restoration of relationship between plants and people. Scientists have made a dent in understanding how to put ecosystems back together, but our experiments focus on soil pH and hydrology—matter, to the exclusion of spirit.” — Robin Wall Kimmerer, a scientist […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
  • By: Liz Clift Not too long ago, sand cat kittens were filmed for the first time, and the internet went gaga over the brief video—especially the portion of the internet that’s convinced the internet is for cats. So, I pose this question to you: what could be better than cats wearing snowshoes? Yes, these exist. […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
  • By Kay Wiseman When was the last time you observed a healthy fox in Colorado? I moved from the mid-west to Fort Collins, CO in 2011. I work and play in the outdoors so I tend to take notice when nature seems a bit “off.” No sooner had I settled into my new city that […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
  • By Liz Clift Sea Otter Awareness Week is September 24-30, 2017 This summer, I had the opportunity to watch an otter hunt in the surf off the coast of Olympic National Park, in Washington state. The otter rode the waves in, close to the shoreline, and then swam back out, repeating this routine a couple […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Liz Clift (with thanks to Joseph Ehrenberger!) If you grew up in one part of the US (many of the eastern states extending into the Great Plains), the calling of the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) was probably a staple of your childhood evenings. If you grew up in other places, perhaps not so much. […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
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  • By Liz Clift Visual note-taking, sometimes also called sketchnoting or graphic recording, allows you to represent ideas non-linguistically. And considering that the written word is a relatively modern invention (in particular, it wasn’t until very recently in the history of human beings that the written word was something most of us in the Western world, […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
Blog Post
  • by Liz Clift Have you seen the photos—and worse, the video!—of the giant mats of floating fire ants (Solenopsis invicta)  in the wake of the flooding in southeast Texas? Yeah, us too, and we’ll admit they’re a bit horrifying. And look, guys. The ants are now just feet from house. pic.twitter.com/rt2aU7Uvm3 — Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) […]

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
YouTube Video
  • There are almost 2,500 species of scorpions in the world, and many differ in the shape and size of their venomous tail. The reasons for this large variation in tail shape are often not known. While scorpions sting their insect prey slowly and precisely, they defend themselves from attackers with a fast and swooping strike of their tail. The defensive strike may therefore be the more demanding beha...

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
YouTube Video
  • Islands are great natural biological laboratories to investigate how organisms can adapt to different selective pressures. This study by Donihue et al (www.colindonihue.com) takes advantage of the different sizes of islands in the Greek Archipelago to investigate how a common lizard, Podarcis erhardii, differs in body size, head shape, and bite force depending the size of the island The authors...

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
YouTube Video
  • Anolis lizards are well known for their colorful, expandable throat fan, called the dewlap, which they use to attract mates and repel rivals. The dewlap is a very thin structure and some of the light that strikes its surface shines through it, becoming colored and spreading in all directions as it does. If strongly lit from behind – for example when the sun is on the opposite side of the dewlap f...

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
YouTube Video
  • For effective communication, there should be a close match between bird song characteristics and the auditory mechanisms that facilitate signal processing, so birds should be good at hearing the kinds of songs they make. In this study, the authors looked at three species that inhabit forest areas, three species that live in intermediate, scrub-like areas, and three species that live in open areas....

Great Ecology
Great Ecology
YouTube Video
  • Stag beetles are renowned for their spectacular male-male battles. In these scuffles, males fight each other with their long jaws over mates or desirable stumps of rotten wood. As a result of this, their jaw is strongly shaped by sexual selection and in some species, can become as long as their own body. How does this effect their ability to run? Intuitively, one would expect that such large stru...

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