Tags >> research
Sep 23
2009

Ploughshares

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , research , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , news , international , Ideas , history , government , events , activism

Bruce Robinson

Armed conflict throughout the world has been declining over the past decade, according to the Canadian research group, Project Ploughshares.

Many of the current wars still underway around the globe get little, if any, coverage in America’s mainstream media. And that may actually be a good thing, as Project Ploughshares Executive Director John Seibert explains.

The most recent report on global wars shows none continuing anywhere in the western hemisphere, but there’s a less obvious downside to what at first blush looks like good news.

The research of Project Ploughshares forms the basis of the recent documentary film, Soldiers of Peace  which will be shown Sunday afternoon at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa as part of a local observation of the International Day of Peace . Click on nthe icon below to see a graph of the number of armed conflicts tallied by Project Ploughshares each year over the past decade.

You can also read the Project Ploughshares annual report here, and watch the trailer for Soldiers of Peace here:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCPyyFeawe0 300x300]

Sep 03
2009

Laguna Foundation's New Home

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , West County , students , Sebastopol , research , recreation , open space , nonprofit orgs , history , farms , families , events , environment , education , conservation , community , children , birds , animals , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation has a new home—one that’s almost 150 years old.

Ken Churchill, who oversaw the restoration project, says they had to adhere to historical accuracy for the exterior, but inside was a different story.

 

This portrait of the aged farmhouse at the historic  Stone Farm overlooking Occidental Road is by Calistoga painter Jocelyn Audette. The original now hangs inside the building itself.

The North Bay Report previously covered the early stages of the restoration of the civil war-era farmhouse as the project was getting started, back on August 9, 2007.

 

Since the Laguna Foundation was established, back in the early 1990s, Executive Director David Bannister says they have worked with considerable success to elevate public awareness of Sonoma County’s central ecological resource.

Below is a map of the full watershed that drains into the Laguna de Santa Rosa, outlined in orange. The Laguna itself flows into the Russian River at the upper left of this map, near Forestville.

 



Aug 19
2009

Swine Flu 2009

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , teens , students , Sonoma County , seniors , research , news , medicine , healthcare , Health , families , children

Bruce Robinson

Local health officials are bracing for an unusually intense flu season, with  the yearly “seasonal” flu compounded by the so-called swine flu, which is already present in the regional population.

 

This illustration shows the various symptoms associated with the swine flu or H1N1 200 virus. Dr. Mark Netherda, Sonoma County’s Deputy Public Health Officer, outlines the straightforward steps that anyone can take to minimize their exposure to it.

Is it a good idea to wear a surgical mask when out in public? Only if you’re already sick.

So why is this being called the swine flu? Dr. Netherda explains its based in the molecular history of the virus (shown at left), and has almost nothing to do with pigs.

 

 

More extensive information about the swine flu nationwide is available from the Centers for Disease Control, which maintains an online map showing the incidence of the disease on a state-by-state basis.

And, on a less serious note...

 

Aug 16
2009

Invasive Snails

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , Science , research , ocean , Marin , food , fish , environment , coast , California , animals

Bruce Robinson

A complex interaction between native crabs and oysters and invasive Atlantic snails (seen at left)  is playing out beneath the waters of Tomales Bay.

 Dr. David Kimbro has studied the predatory effects of invasive Atlantic snails on native Olympia oysters in Tomales Bay. He explains how they arrived there more than a century ago.

 

 

There also native Pacific snails in Tomales Bay, but unlike their invasive (or as scientists say "introduced") Atlantic cousins (right), the local snails have learned how to safely coexist with the snail-eating red rock crabs (below). UC Davis biologist Ted Grosholtz explains.

 

The smaller, green European crab, another introduced species in Tomales Bay, can handle the less salty water in the shallow portions of the bay, but because they will eat a wider variety of foods, these crabs have not developed the same skills for preying on snails that the red rock crabs display.

 

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