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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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A siphonophore glides through the sea. Clues to future of undersea exploration may reside inside a jellyfish-like creature
Siphonophore holds secrets of oceanic "jet propulsion"
Released  October 7, 2015
burnt trees in a forest Future wildfires may burn large parts of landscapes
Scientists look back at fire history to see into the future
Released  October 6, 2015
man and child look at a rain gauge in a driveway Be a (citizen) scientist!
A celebration of open science and innovation
Released  September 30, 2015
Researcher Robin Murphy  next to damaged buildings Robots to the rescue
Five lessons from Hurricane Katrina (and 22 subsequent emergency robot deployments)
Released  September 17, 2015
Brian Nosek and reporter Video: The basics of reproducibility
The president of the Center for Open Science discusses his work
Released  September 1, 2015
Fog over the estuary of the Klamath River along the Pacific Coast. Mercury-laden fog swirls over coastal California, scientists find
Ultimately makes its way into ecosystems along shore
Released  August 26, 2015
chart comparing SCEC simulations to observations from the 2008 Chino Hills earthquake. Los Angeles basin jiggles like big bowl of jelly in cutting-edge simulations
Computing power helps the Southern California Earthquake Center gain new insights about earthquakes
Released  August 20, 2015
Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Expedition to the Aleutian Islands: Geoscientists head to remote Alaska volcanoes
Teams study mountain chain in most volcanically active U.S. state
Released  August 5, 2015
animation showing Motyxia bistipita emitting a blue green light. Shedding light on millipede evolution
A Virginia Tech entomologist discusses millipedes that light up, and some really bright ideas inspired by bioluminescence
Released  July 31, 2015
Warthogs walking next to people in a village Wildlife species provide clues to spread of antibiotic resistance in Africa
Scientists uncover ways exposure increases, and resistance moves among humans, other animals, ecosystems
Released  July 29, 2015
a basket of blackberries It's blackberry season! Summer fruits depend on pollinators. But where have all the bees gone?
Scientist offers insights into national, global pollinator declines
Released  July 27, 2015
a shark in the water The truth about sharks
With shark attacks, or bites, in the news, what's the story behind the story?
Released  July 27, 2015
truck in front of a cloudy sky at night 10 things to know about thunderstorms that strike at night
For the latest information, NSF talks with three atmospheric scientists
Released  July 22, 2015
Scientist in lake collecting sediment samples in Maine Methane-eating microorganisms help regulate emissions from wetlands
Without this process, methane emissions from freshwater wetlands could be 30 to 50 percent higher
Released  June 30, 2015
UK National Physical Laboratory cesium fountain clock Precious time
The challenge of building a better atomic clock and why it matters
Released  June 24, 2015
graphic representation shows how three active sources cloak an incoming circular wave Hidden from view
Mathematicians formulate equations, bend light and figure out how to hide things
Released  June 19, 2015
ytterbium atoms On the road to ubiquity
NSF support of laser research
Released  June 18, 2015
forest As Massachusetts ecosystems shrink, hard-working "hotspots" emerge
Researchers call hotspots valuable, but say their growing numbers might be cause for concern
Released  May 14, 2015
William Newman Earthquakes expose limits of scientific predictions
But math and science are refining ways to predict and limit impact of disasters
Released  May 7, 2015
dried trees in a forest Trees turned to snags: 'Sudden Oak Death' fells California oaks in their prime
Citizen scientists assist with research on infectious plant disease
Released  May 1, 2015
a school of bigeye travellies fish Scientists map sustainability challenges in Baja California Sur fisheries
Conduct review of ecological and social data for 12 regions around Baja
Released  April 28, 2015
kids looking at a device Increasing ecological understanding with virtual worlds and augmented reality
Harvard researchers develop cyberlearning technologies for environmental education
Released  April 24, 2015
aerial view of  volcano Yellowstone magma discovery
NSF-funded seismologists at the University of Utah discover magma hidden beneath Yellowstone's supervolcano
Released  April 23, 2015
student working on a tablet in a classroom Classroom as virtual phenomenon
University of Illinois professor uses cyberlearning to bring scientific processes to life
Released  April 17, 2015
Collage of images showing algae in alakes and researcher Earth Day is on the horizon. But is 'greener' always better?
Not when it's the bright green waters of algae-fouled lakes and rivers
Released  April 15, 2015
Maria Carmen Lemos talking to a local man Exploring the human side of climate change adaptation
Maria Carmen Lemos is looking to develop conceptual models that can help policymakers around the world make solid decisions about adapting to climate change
Released  April 2, 2015
Baboon group in Amboseli, Kenya Born during a drought: Bad news for baboons
Findings have implications for human health
Released  April 1, 2015
photo of the aurora in green Springtime night lights: Finding the aurora
Aurorasaurus project allows aurora-viewers around the world to compare sightings
Released  March 31, 2015
group of greater mouse-eared bats hanging upside down Hibernation season over, will disease-ridden bats emerge from caves and mines this spring?
White Nose Syndrome now infects bats in several northeastern U.S. states
Released  March 25, 2015
 forest Shrinking habitats have adverse effects on world ecosystems--and ultimately people
Extensive study of global habitat fragmentation points to major trouble ahead
Released  March 23, 2015

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