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Earth & Environment Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Image showing the sun's corona It's hot...super hot
Finding answers around the sun
Released  November 12, 2013
Photo of marine organisms under water "Talking" to the animals
Chemical ecologists translate the language of the sea
Released  September 25, 2013
Photo of students exploring a pond ecosystem with mobile phones. Nature field trips go digital
Harvard researchers tame the next learning frontier with mobile phones, environmental probes and virtual reality
Released  August 29, 2013
A sky with red sprites Is it a bird, a plane, a UFO? It's a...red sprite
Strange lights in the sky studied by atmospheric scientists
Released  August 26, 2013
Photo of tree trunks in a coastal redwood forest California's iconic redwoods in danger from fire and infectious disease
Pathogen that causes sudden oak death leaves redwoods vulnerable to fire
Released  August 21, 2013
collage of various pictures showing researchers, seafans and corals Sick Sea Fans: Undersea "Doctors" to the Rescue
Scientists discover genes involved in immunity of sea fans to coral diseases
Released  July 24, 2013
eruption of Fuego volcano, Guatemala Studying Mini Earthquakes Provides Clues to Volcanic Behavior
Researchers explore causes and pathways of volcanic eruptions to better predict major eruptions
Released  July 3, 2013
Mountain with dried trees in a forest overlooking Grand Lake, Colorado Ghosts of Forests Past: Bark Beetles Kill Lodgepole Pines, Affecting Entire Watersheds
Bark beetle epidemic changing water quality as well as forest health
Released  June 27, 2013
Photo of sun radiating over highway filled with cars in traffic in Phoenix Summertime: Hot Time in the City
Parks are islands of coolness in cities' urban heat
Released  June 21, 2013
Photo of Joel E. Cohen in class Mathematical Biologist Pushes Frontiers of Knowledge
Corporations, international organizations and other institutions rely on this curiosity-driven researcher to answer societal questions
Released  June 21, 2013
Graphic illustration showing the earth with an EKG-like signal New NEON Resources Available
Videos, brochure and webcast on the NEON available online
Released  June 11, 2013
Painting of the herb American ginseng On World Environment Day and Every Day, the Stress of Being Ginseng
Common medicinal plant of deciduous forests under siege
Released  June 5, 2013
graphic illustration showing a tornado simulation Long-Term Federal Investments Improve Severe Weather Prediction
NSF supports world-class computational and observational facilities and research
Released  May 28, 2013
Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in Central Africa, site of the scientists' research. Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Seed Dispersal, Environmental Conditions Matter in African Forests
Ecologists discover when, how tropical trees regenerate
Released  May 14, 2013
Giant barrel sponges off Little Cayman Island in the Caribbean next to a researcher. Life on a Coral Reef: Insult Is (Sometimes) Added to Injury
Overfishing removes predatory fish that keep sponges from smothering corals
Released  May 8, 2013
Photo of smoke from a forest fire going up in to the sky Trail of Fire Leads to Less Snow, Threatened Water Resources
Scientists study New Mexico's Rabbit Mountain, where forests burned in the 2011 Las Conchas fire
Released  April 25, 2013
Image of melting snow and the text Photo Gallery Earth Week: The Search for White Gold--Snowmelt
Thin snowpack puts ecosystems and water resources in critical condition
Released  April 16, 2013
Graphic showing daughter Alfven wave Understanding How Space Turbulence Works
Researcher conducts supercomputer simulations to learn impacts on Earth's magnetic field
Released  April 15, 2013
Cartoon showing a threatening wave scaring blue mussels Blue Mussels "Hang On" Along Rocky Shores: For How Long?
Mussels' anchors--byssal threads--weakened by ocean acidification
Released  March 21, 2013
Photo of Raphael Perea delivering a presentation. Native Americans Trained to Address Environmental Problems on Their Lands
NSF-funded program at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute teaches Native Americans about geospatial data
Released  March 20, 2013
close up of a mosquito on skin "Defective" Virus Leads to Epidemic of Dengue Fever
Virus may have led to widespread disease in Myanmar in 2001
Released  March 1, 2013
Phot of the mountain peak El Yunque El Yunque, Majestic Rocky Icon of Puerto Rico: Impervious to the Ravages of Time?
Anvil-shaped promontory formed inside an ancient supervolcano
Released  February 27, 2013
Scientists Dusty Kemp and Meredith Meyers under water in the Florida Keys. Underwater Whodunit: What's Killing Florida's Elkhorn Coral?
Scientists solve Caribbean coral mystery: human pathogens cause marine invertebrate deaths
Released  February 14, 2013
collage image showing penguins, swans, sea horses Animal Attraction: The Many Forms of Monogamy in the Animal Kingdom
A Valentine's Day special on the science of monogamy
Released  February 13, 2013
Close up image of a beaver. Yellowstone Ecosystem Needs Wolves and Willows, Elk and...Beavers?
Scientists plot crucial links among Yellowstone plant and animal species
Released  February 7, 2013
Jellyfish known as "sea tomatoes" on Cable Beach in western Australia Jellyfish "Blooms" Wax and Wane in Natural Cycles
Research shows blooms follow periodic global oscillations
Released  January 24, 2013
Research area in Gordon Gulch, Colo. High-peak Creeks, Forest Fires and Landscape Erosion: Could They Be Linked?
Colorado's Boulder Creek watershed: Where rushing streams, raging blazes and the Rockies meet
Released  January 14, 2013
Henry McDonald Progress Made in Developing Systems for Disaster Mitigation
Pilot project in Chattanooga uses an ultra-fast, high bandwidth system to help emergency workers, local officials and the public determine how to predict and respond to disasters
Released  January 4, 2013
Woman cooking over an open fire Cooking Up Clean Air in Africa
Reducing air pollution and meningitis risk in Ghana
Released  January 3, 2013
Robbosquirrel, the robotic squirrel. Snake Tales
Scientists use high-tech methods to interpret tail signals from squirrel prey to rattlesnake predators
Released  December 17, 2012

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