Category Archives: Careers & Specialties

Meteorology: Something in the Air

What is Meteorology? Meteorology is one of the most important atmospheric scientists yet one that most of us do not think about. When we do, our immediate thought is to its usefulness in predicting weather. Yet it covers all aspects of the atmosphere, including atmospheric physics and chemistry (1). Humanity has always had (and needed)…
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Paleontology: Examines the Dawn of Life to the Dawn of Civilization

What is Paleontology? As with most areas of science, the word “paleontology” has its origins in the Greek language. The word is broken down into three sections. “palaios” means “ancient", “onto/ontos” means "creature" or a “being”. The final part “logos” which means the “study" or “thought” (1). Paleontology then means ancient creatures and beings study.…
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Ecology: Examining the Relationships Between Living Things

Ecology is an environmental science in its most literal sense – the study of environments and the entities within it. Although closely associated with environmentalism and conservation today, it does not necessarily follow; an ecology can also be human gut flora, how the elements of an urban environment function and the ecology of soil nutrient…
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Archaeology: Examining Its Past and the Future

What is Archaeology? Simply, archaeology is the study of people in the past, their activities and actions, cultural practices, tools and technological development, and in some cases (where possible) their superstitious and religious practices, expression of their cultural identity and other beliefs about themselves or the world around them (1). It mostly looks at material…
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Renewable Energy: All You Need to Know

What is “Renewable Energy” and where does it come from? We all think we know and some of us may even be able to name some of the most prominent sources of renewable energy, but do we really understand the purpose of each type (such as how and where it is used), how much energy…
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Environmental Management and Its History

I was an environmental consultant for 45 years.  Along the way, I studied the history of how environmental management evolved in the United States.  From understanding that history, one can appreciate: how far we’ve come; and how to avoid new trouble. Today, the US environment is almost totally regulated.  There are still flaws in our…
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VW Partners With Conservation Fund and 3Degrees to Manage and Restore Redwoods

I’m standing on a bridge in the Garcia River Conservation-Based Forest Management Project, a 24,000 acre tract, whose native redwoods have been almost entirely taken out for timber. Speaking to my group is Scott Kelly, Timberlands Manager with the Conservation Fund, who manages the forest.  (The Nature Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the property.)…
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Environmental Biology & GIS

Environmental biology – rather like environmental chemistry – is a broad and growing subject that links environmental science to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Environmental biologists try to understand biological life as it relates to the environment – this can include impact on zoology, botany, ecology, landscape studies and more. Because of this landscape…
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Environmental Microbiology & GIS

Environmental microbiology is a growing niche area related to environmental biology, but dealing with the biology of lifeforms too small to see with the naked eye. Environmental microbiologists examine microbes as they relate to the environment – their effects on the landscape and how they are affected by it. This will include the spread of…
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Is It Safe? Raising Environmental Questions

When I hear this question, I think of Lawrence Olivier in Marathon Man probing Dustin Hoffman’s teeth to make him reveal the diamonds.  Today I repeat the question, but hopefully without the toothache. Albert Einstein said, “the environment is everything that is not me.”  Actually, “me” is definitely part of the environment.  It took us…
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