Tags >> ocean
Jun 21
2009

Fungi

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , technology , Science , resources , policy , ocean , media , Marin , Ideas , Health , food , environment , business , author , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Fungi are the oldest living things on land, and among their estimated two million varieties, they may hold many yet-to-be-discovered medicinal uses and other benefits.

Paul Stamets, founder and president of Fungi Perfecti , has written six books on mushroom cultivation including Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator. In this audio lip, he offers a short history of fungi:

As a dedicated mycologist for more than 30 years, Stamets has discovered or identified four new species of mushroom. Here, he talks about how it feels to make such a discovery.

 Among the many fungal processes that hold great promise for addressing human needs, Stamets points to one that could herald important changes in ethanol production.

 


 

Jun 01
2009

Park Cuts

Posted by Bruce Robinson in recreation , politics , parks , ocean , government , families , environment , economy , budget

Bruce Robinson

Defenders of California's State Parks say closing them in response to the budget crisis would wind up costing more than it would save.

 

 The list of popular public parks in the North Bay that are slated for closure under the Governor's proposal includes such popular regional destinations as Armstrong Grove (left) , Salt Point, China Camp, Annadel Park, Angel Island, the Marconi Conference Center, and Jack London State Park, where the ruins of his Wolf House (seen below) remain a strong attraction. Here is a list (pdf, 7 pages) of all the parks throughout California that are facing closure --the official term is "caretaker status"--under the Governor's proposal.   The list of economically self-supporting parks that would remain open is much shorter.

In determining whether or not to close the majority of the state parks, as Gov. Schwartzenegger has proposed, Traci Verardo-Torres, Vice president of Governmental Affairs for the California State Parks Foundation, says it is important to weigh both sides of the economic equation, which the list of cuts alone fails to do.

 California's State Parks (such as Salt Point, left) are an invaluable resource, one that could be degraded or damaged if they are closed, warns Traci Verardo-Torres.

 


May 19
2009

In Darwin's Footsteps

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , tourism , speaker , Science , religion , ocean , history , education , birds , author , animals

Bruce Robinson

The world has changed in many ways in the 150 years since Charles Darwin published "The Origin of Species." But much remains the same on the Galapagos Islands that inspired his famous theory.  

 

 

 

 

SSS Professor Matt James  returned to the Galapagos Islands earlier this year to recreate the 1905-06 collecting expedition mounted by the San Francisco Academy of Sciences. One of their main goals, even then, was to preserve evidence of the endangered Galapagos tortoise, which, he explains, had been hunted to near extinction by 19th century sea-farers.

 

Charles Darwin's enduring reputation rests on his theory of natural selection, but prior to that, his greater interest was geology, which he exercised extensively during the early years of the voyage of the Beagle, which arrived at the Galapagos (below) late in its five-year global mapping and collecting expedition.

 

 

 

 

Darwin's finches may be the best-known exemplars of divergent natural selection in the Galapagos islands, but SSU professor Matt James reports that finding was nearly missed, due to Darwin's own sloppy sample-gathering.

 

 

 


 

 

May 03
2009

Somalia Pirates

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , toxic , resources , public safety , poverty , policy , ocean , law enforcement , justice , jobs , international , government , fish , environment , employment , economy , business , Africa

Bruce Robinson

There's more to the story of pirates along the Somali coast than just bad guys in boats. In today's report, John Reid, President of the Conservation Strategy Fund in Sebastopol, looks past recent headlines to the root causes of this outbreak of nautical lawlessness.

 

Because natural resources are essential to the survival of millions of residents of undeveloped nations, CFS President John Reid (right) predicts that, in order to help preserve them, climate change will soon become a major factor in shaping US foreign policy.

 

 Michael Winship, senior writer for the weekly PBS public affairs program "Bill Moyers Journal," has additional background on this issue here.

 

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