Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

  1. Animals

    Scientists seek bat detectives

    Bats emit high-pitched calls in the night to find their way around. A citizen science project is eavesdropping on these calls to probe the health of ecosystems.

  2. Earth

    Coming: The sixth mass extinction?

    Species are dying off at such a rapid rate — faster than at any other time in human existence — that many resources on which we depend may disappear.

  3. Animals

    Rare as a rhino

    Most species are rare. Some have always been rare. A problem develops when people are responsible for accelerating a species’ rarity to the point that extinction threatens.

  4. Microbes

    Recycling the dead

    When things die, nature breaks them down through a process we know as rot. Without it, none of us would be here. Now, scientists are trying to better understand it so that they can use rot — preserving its role in feeding all living things.

  5. Chemistry

    Chemistry: Green and clean

    “Green” means environmentally friendly and sustainable. Green chemistry creates products and processes that are safer and cleaner — from the start.

  6. Environment

    Bug-killer linked to decline in birds

    One of the most popular chemicals used to protect crops from bugs may also take a toll on birds, a Dutch study finds. U.S. farmers also rely on these insecticides, a second study finds.

  7. Animals

    A library of tweets (and howls and grunts)

    The Macaulay Library houses a world of animal sounds. And now anyone with an Internet connection can check out this audio collection.

  8. Animals

    Decoding bee dances

    Biologists have started eavesdropping on bees — or their dancing sign language — to identify where these buzzers prefer to forage. This info is pointing to which bee-friendly habitats may be most important to preserve.

  9. Animals

    Electronics may confuse a bird’s ‘compass’

    Birds use Earth’s magnetic field to help guide them as they migrate. A new study suggests that electromagnetic radiation given off by some electronic devices may act like “noise” and confuse the long-traveling birds.

  10. Slime: A new way to protect plants from slugs

    Katie Gwaltney had a slug problem in her garden. She decided to try using the slugs’ own slime against them. Her findings earned the high school freshman a finalist’s spot at this week's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

  11. Animals

    When a species can’t stand the heat

    When temperatures rise, New Zealand’s tuatara produce more males. With global warming, that could leave the ancient reptile species with too few females to avoid going extinct.

  12. Animals

    Explainer: How invasive species ratted out the tuatara

    The introduction of rats to New Zealand led to huge population losses of the ancient tuatara. These uncommon reptiles vanished from the mainland. This left isolated populations to survive on several dozen isolated islands.