New theory explains possible origin of plummeting Chicxulub impactor that struck off Mexico
It was tens of miles wide and forever changed history when it crashed into Earth about 66 million years ago.
The Chicxulub impactor, as it’s known, was a plummeting asteroid or comet that left behind a crater off the coast of Mexico that spans 93 miles and goes 12 miles deep. Its devastating impact brought the reign of the dinosaurs to an abrupt and calamitous end, scientists say, by triggering their sudden mass extinction, along with the end of almost three-quarters of the plant and animal species then living on Earth.
The enduring puzzle has always been where the asteroid or comet originated, and how it came to strike the Earth. And now a pair of Harvard researchers believe they have the answer.
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Harvard Staff Writer
February 15, 2021
Birdwatchers get excited when 'rare' migratory birds makes landfall having been blown beyond their normal range. But these are rare for a reason; most birds that have made the journey before are able to correct for large displacements and find their final destination. Now new research shows how birds displaced in this way are able to navigate back to their migratory route and gives us an insight into how they accomplish this feat.
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A new study aims to clarify the status of the non-native European House Sparrow, using 21 years of citizen science data.
The European House Sparrow has a story to tell about survival in the modern world. In parts of its native range in Europe, House Sparrow numbers are down by nearly 60%.Their fate in the U.S. and Canada is less well known. A new study by Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientists aims to clarify the status of this non-native species, using 21 years of citizen science data from the Cornell Lab's Project FeederWatch.
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Micrometeorites land on every corner of Earth. Matthew Genge is using these shards of interplanetary space to understand Earth and its place in the solar system.
Every year, roughly 10 particles of space dust land on each square meter of Earth’s surface. “That means that they are everywhere. They are on the streets. They are in your home. You may even have some cosmic dust on your clothes,” said Matthew Genge, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London who specializes in these alien dust grains, known as micrometeorites.
Read the article in Quanta - click here
Submitted by Carolyn Emerick
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released a Citizen Science Strategy that outlines a path for the agency to engage the public in support of key mission areas. Presenters will discuss this strategy, its creation, and next steps to support its implementation in a webinar on Tuesday March 16th at 12pm ET. Register here for connection details.
This webinar is coordinated by the Law and Policy Working Group. For more information about the working group, including upcoming meetings and past events, visit their page on the CSA website.
Presenters: John McLaughlin, Education Program Manager, NOAA Office of Education
Laura Oremland, Education Program Manager, NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology
October Greenfield of the Friends of the Rappahannock, has shared some terrific birding resources:
Birding Virginia website
A guide to bird sounds and behavior - click here
A fun visual and interactive guide to bird songs - this website is from Minnesota but almost all of these birds are also found in Virginia
Grassland Birds of Virginia - click here
Field Management Guidelines for Grassland Birds - click here
How much land can be reforested where you live?
Where are the best areas to plant trees to create wildlife habitat, or to mitigate flooding?
And how much carbon would these re-growing forests store?
You can find all of these answers in the Reforestation Hub, which American Forests and The Nature Conservancy launched today. The hub offers the most comprehensive reforestation data ever produced for the contiguous United States. It lets you see, on a county-by-county basis, how many trees can be planted to restore your state’s forests.
NOAA Citizen Science Strategy
NOAA recently released its Citizen Science Strategy, providing a path to better observe, predict, and understand the environment, and manage and conserve natural resources by harnessing the power of the crowd.
NOAA’s citizen science activities will help the U.S. continue to lead in developing innovative, cost-effective and collaborative solutions to global environmental and technology issues. These focus areas are collaboratively managed to maximize their collective impacts.
Citizen Science and Environmental Agencies
The Environmental Law Institute was recently asked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to characterize existing and new ways citizen science is being adopted by environmental agencies, define the best practices, and identify strategic steps that can be taken to support the use of citizen science for environmental decision making.
The resulting findings can be found in three newly released reports: