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Articles on Scientists at work

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Environmental DNA is a promising tool for tracking species in freshwater ecosystems like Oregon’s Elkhorn Creek. Greg Shine, BLM/Flickr

Scientists at work: We use environmental DNA to monitor how human activities affect life in rivers and streams

Rivers are among the most embattled ecosystems on Earth. Researchers are testing a new, inexpensive way to study river health by using eDNA to count the species that rivers harbor.
Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are an endangered species that live and nest in the Gulf of Mexico. National Park Service/WikimediaCommons

Scientists at work: Helping endangered sea turtles, one emergency surgery at a time

For the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, every individual matters. A team of veterinarians and biologists has formed a network along the Gulf Coast to save injured sea turtles and the species.
One of two underwater gliders is deployed from a research ship into Antarctic waters. NOAA

Waiting for an undersea robot in Antarctica to call home

Sending autonomous vehicles to the Southern Ocean can be fraught with anxiety, especially if one of them doesn’t make radio contact when it’s supposed to.
The submersible Alvin about 8,500 feet down, studying seafloor volcanoes and eruptions. (c) Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with thanks to Daniel Fornari – WHOI-MISO Facility (www.whoi.edu/miso) and National Science Foundation

Scientist at work: I’m a geologist who’s dived dozens of times to explore submarine volcanoes

When you study volcanoes at mid-ocean ridges, doing fieldwork means becoming an aquanaut – diving thousands of feet to the ocean floor in the submersible Alvin, trading tight quarters for amazing views.
Crews clean up debris in a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Harvey in Beaumont, Texas, Sept. 26, 2017. AP Photo/David Goldman

Scientist at work: Measuring public health impacts after disasters

Epidemiologists study disease outbreaks in populations to determine who gets sick and why. In the wake of this year’s hurricanes, they are assessing impacts from mold, toxic leaks and other threats.
Hiscox and students practice for the big day with a weather balloon. Joshua Burrack

Scientist at work: Why this meteorologist is eager for an eclipse

Meteorology researchers across the country are prepping experiments for the mini-night the eclipse will bring on August 21 – two minutes and 36 seconds without the sun in the middle of the day.

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