Eco News

Science Spotlight: Santa Cruz Sandhills

Zayante sand soil from the Santa Margarita sandstone formation covers some trails near Henry Cowell State Park. Photo by Emma Hiolski.

The Santa Cruz sandhills, a unique, fragmented habitat within the Santa Cruz Mountains, hosts seven kinds of plants, animals and insects found nowhere else in the world.

Science Spotlight: Schooling & Flocking

A beautiful display of schooling behavior in sardines.  Klaus Steifel photo CC BY-SA 2.0

Schooling fish, such as the tight bunches of anchovies and sardines found in Monterey Bay, uniformly dart away from predators, make hairpin turns, and accelerate or stop without colliding.

The Elephant Seals of Ano Nuevo State Park

Science Spotlight: Domoic Acid

Colored image of a diatom seen through an electron microscope. Photo by ZEISS Microscopy.

A potent neurotoxin, domoic acid comes from Pseudo-nitzschia, a genus of diatoms found along the Pacific coast.

Science Spotlight: Offshore Faults

A map of offshore fault lines across Monterey Bay reveals where future earthquakes might happen. Courtesy Gary Greene/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

The waters of Monterey Bay may obscure potential dangers. Far below the surface are seismically active faults that could be the site of offshore earthquakes in the bay.

Cotoni–Coast Dairies National Monument: A Good Thing

Hilltromper photo

The campaign to create the Cotoni–Coast Dairies National Monument came to a storybook ending on Jan. 12 when Pres. Barack Obama issued the proclamation three days before Martin Luther King’s birthday.

J. Nichols: National Monument a ‘No-Brainer’

J. Nichols' Blue Marble movement has distributed more than a million little reminders  that life on earth is precious and fragile.

The North Coast scientist, author and ocean advocate calls for designation of Coast Dairies as a national monument.

Remembering Scott Peden

Scott Peden leading a nature walk at Rancho del Oso.

Like a gentle modern mountain man, the longtime docent delighted many with his knowledge of nature and his enthusiasm for Waddell Creek and Big Basin.

Science Spotlight: Banana Slug Slime

A banana slug shows off its slime in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Photo by Sarah McQuate.

Spiky proteins called mucins allow banana slugs to crawl over all kinds of ground cover.

Student Project Aids Endangered Seabird

The presence of ravens, encouraged by crumbs, poses a threat to Big Basin's marbled murrelets. Public domain photo.

When campers and picnickers leave crumbs and food about the redwood forest, they unwittingly threaten a small but heroic seabird. A high school volunteer project helps mitigate the danger.

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