Google+

Diatoms Help Explain a Changing Climate

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation has mobilized their athletes in the pursuit of new discoveries, new data, and even new species in the high mountain wildernesses of the Northwest. Dr. Loren Bahls curates the Montana Diatom Collection and is utilizing ASC volunteers ranging from serious trekkers to casual day hikers in his pursuit of information on these important single-celled organisms. Diatoms, which are located in nearly every aquatic environment imaginable, are photosynthetic microbes possessing cell walls made of silica dioxide (glass). Information about diatoms is extremely useful to scientists attempting to glean information on environmental conditions on global as well as local levels.
Diatoms occupy an important place at the base of aquatic food chains. They are fundamental to the ecosystems that they inhabit, and their numbers and diversity can tell researchers much about the water quality and ecology in those ecosystems. Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation has matched Dr. Bahls with volunteers who are traveling to remote areas and collecting water samples for his analysis. The process is simple and the equipment is small, light, and easy to use. Participants only need to spend a few minutes collecting samples and data which often yield exciting results. The study aims to cover as many alpine areas across the northwestern United States as possible, so this is an opportunity not only for serious adventurers, but also for the average hiker who wishes to benefit the area in which he/she is exploring.

Developing our understanding of fragile ecosystems, discovering organisms previously unknown to science, and qualifying the water quality of our country’s most pristine places – these are all great reasons to marry science with adventure and turn recreation into research. However, the data gathered by our citizen scientists can be used in efforts that are greater still. Diatoms account for roughly 40% of oxygen production and carbon fixation globally. As a part of this essential cycle, they have a great deal to tell us about climate change and the condition of the planet in general. Of the 200,000 species of diatoms thought to exist, roughly 12% have been discovered. That leaves a large gap in our knowledge of organisms that are major indicators of global environmental conditions.

The Montana Diatom Collection (located in Helena) houses species from across the northwestern U.S., and Dr. Bahls estimates that at least one third of the diatom species in this area remain to be identified. He is enthusiastic about the Northwest because its extensive and unspoiled wilderness regions have yet to be sampled extensively. Dr. Bahls and ASC volunteers have already discovered a species that was not known to exist in the U.S., some that may be new to science, and a number of very rare diatoms. Dr. Bahls will study these specimens through the winter while adventurers continue to sample remote aquatic environments from northern California to western North Dakota.

If you know that you’ll be traveling through an alpine area and you’re looking to get involved, this is an easy and gratifying way to join our coalition of citizen scientists. For more information on how to help, check out http://www.adventureandscience.org/diatom-lake.html and then contact us here: http://www.adventureandscience.org/find-an-advisor.html.

Entertainment

Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters

  The Shallows Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) was so shaken by her mother's (Janelle Bailey) untimely death that she's dropped out of med school. In order to feel closer to her dearly departed mom, she's decided to vacation at the same exotic Mexican retreat where she was reportedly conceived back in 1991. An avid surfer, she also plans to search … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package

  230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package By Ted Lund Are you looking for a family-friendly center console that’s got the luxury of a larger boat in a smaller package? Then look no further than the 230 LXF from Tidewater. The 23-foot, center console has the same features as the rest its large LXF brothers, including comfortable full upholstery, stainless steel cup holders. And a newly-designed console with glove box and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Season Begins

  The Season Begins by Amy Lignor   Yes, it’s finally time to get down to some real business when it comes to the world of sports. (No offense to Serena at the U.S. Open, but her constant winning is not exactly new.) All this rain across the country has assured that lawns will be overgrown come Monday morning, unless citizens decide to use Saturday to mow. Why is that? Because football is back and Sundays are no longer “nothing to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Doing Our Part

  Doing Our Part by Amy Lignor   There are books being published as of late – wonderful books telling the stories of amazing wildlife rescues, as well as neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. that have taken on projects to save the wildlife in their own surrounding areas.   We always talk about these “success stories,” yet never actually give information on exactly how these “problems” turned into “victories.” … [Read More its Good for You...]