Ensia

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  • Transgenic fish are ready for us. Are we ready for them?

    Transgenic fish are ready for us. Are we ready for them?

    After decades of regulatory and legal challenges, AquaBounty aims to bring genetically engineered salmon to U.S. and Canadian markets next year. On a hill above the cold waters around Prince Edward Island, technicians painstakingly create ...

  • Fungal diseases are on the rise. Is environmental change to blame?

    Fungal diseases are on the rise. Is environmental change to blame?

    Scientists and physicians are looking for clues to a worrying increase in fungal infections and exploring ways to reduce the threat. Fungi are everywhere — from the mushrooms that decompose fallen logs in the forest, to the mold that grows ...

    Lindsey Konkel

  • Bringing aeroconservation down to Earth

    Bringing aeroconservation down to Earth

    From migrating birds to pollinating bees to seed-dispersing plants, thousands of species depend on the quality of the aerosphere­ — the layer of air that surrounds our planet. Despite this, aircraft, wind farms, drones, telecommunication ...

  • How a new way of thinking about soil sparked a national movement in agriculture

    How a new way of thinking about soil sparked a national movement in agriculture

    For three weeks every month, Ray Archuleta captivates audiences with a few handfuls of soil. He begins with two clumps, dropping them into water. The soil from a farm where the soil isn’t tilled holds together, while the tilled soil ...

    Steven Rosenzweig

  • In the fishing industry, gear recycling is finally catching on

    In the fishing industry, gear recycling is finally catching on

    In 2013, Joel Baziuk had a problem. He had too many fishing nets, and no good way to get rid of them. But that was about to change. As operations supervisor of Steveston Harbour Authority, or SHA, just south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Baziuk ...

  • The world needs our journalism. We need your support.

    The world needs our journalism. We need your support.

    Do you think the world needs more high-quality, trustworthy environmental reporting? Stories that bridge partisan divides and move beyond problems to explore solutions? And guidance for tomorrow’s environmental communicators? If you answered ...

    Todd Reubold

  • From electronic noses to invasive bees, 15 surprising trends for 2017

    From electronic noses to invasive bees, 15 surprising trends for 2017

    What should we be thinking about when we think about the future of biodiversity, conservation and the environment? An international team of experts in horizon scanning, science communication and conservation recently asked that question as ...

    Mary Hoff

  • It’s time to stop overspending our freshwater budget

    It’s time to stop overspending our freshwater budget

    If freshwater is to remain a renewable resource, we must balance supply and demand on farms, in cities, in industry and in power production. When you look to the year ahead, what do you see? Ensia recently invited eight global thought leaders to ...

    Betsy Otto

  • How `open source` seed producers from the U.S. to India are changing global food production

    How `open source` seed producers from the U.S. to India are changing global food production

    Around the world, plant breeders are resisting what they see as corporate control of the food supply by making seeds available for other breeders to use. Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, ...

    Rachel Cernansky

  • The most threatened ecosystem you’ve never heard of

    The most threatened ecosystem you’ve never heard of

    What covers up to 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 square miles) of Earth’s surface, provides benefits worth an estimated US$570 billion each year, and is rapidly being lost due to human activity? If you have not a clue, you’re far ...

    Mary Hoff

  • What is it about this soil that protects plants from devastating disease?

    What is it about this soil that protects plants from devastating disease?

    Figuring out why certain soils keep plant parasites at bay could be a boon for agriculture around the globe Plants around the world are constantly under attack — often with big implications for humans. In the 1960s, millions of elm trees in ...

    Kayleigh O Keeffe

  • How three U.S. mini-farms are sowing the seeds of global food security

    How three U.S. mini-farms are sowing the seeds of global food security

    Tiny, biointensive operations show smallholder farmers from around the world how they can grow far more food than conventional approaches. Her face shaded by a wide-brimmed straw hat, Olawumi Benedict is cheerfully tending to her “little ...

    Bob Cooper

  • This man turned an opium field into a sustainable coffee farm in Thailand

    This man turned an opium field into a sustainable coffee farm in Thailand

    Somsak Sriphumthong is on a caffeine-fueled mission. After years living and working abroad, the organic farmer and community leader returned to his native Thailand several years ago — during a time when the forests were being cleared for ...

    Todd Reubold

  • Sparking climate engagement through art and community

    Sparking climate engagement through art and community

    Can art and spectacle raise awareness of climate change? Organizers of a yearly gathering in Minneapolis hope so. The recent 6th annual Northern Spark, a free dusk-to-dawn multidisciplinary arts festival, challenged artists to lend their voices and ...

    Sarah Karnas

  • The developing world is awash in pesticides. Does it have to be?

    The developing world is awash in pesticides. Does it have to be?

    Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides threaten the environment and human health in many parts of the world. But research is pointing to a better approach. In today’s globalized world, it is not inconceivable that one might drink coffee from ...

  • A call to conserve crops’ wild cousins

    A call to conserve crops’ wild cousins

    Wild cousins aren’t always appreciated at family gatherings. But when it comes to crops, the opposite is often true: Plant breeding has historically relied on genes from plants growing in the wild as a source of diversity that can be ...

    Kristen Satre Meyer

  • Researchers around the world are learning from indigenous communities. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

    Researchers around the world are learning from indigenous communities. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

    From Canada’s Far North to Australia, pursuing a more respectful relationship between science and traditional knowledge In the rugged Sahtú Region of Canada’s Northwest Territories, a district so remote that in winter only a ...

    Ben Goldfarb

  • Three ways artificial intelligence is helping to save the world

    Three ways artificial intelligence is helping to save the world

    As computers get smarter, scientists look at new ways to enlist them in environmental protection. When you think of artificial intelligence, the first image that likely comes to mind is one of sentient robots that walk, talk and emote like humans. ...

    Erin Biba

  • Can superfoods boost the planet’s health, too?

    Can superfoods boost the planet’s health, too?

    As demand for African and Asian tree-based superfoods grows, researchers and entrepreneurs eye ways to maximize benefits for the environment. It can seem like new health food fads pop up every week — fads that often fade as quickly as they ...

    Rachel Cernansky

  • Why are retailers throwing out perfectly good milk by the truckloads?

    Why are retailers throwing out perfectly good milk by the truckloads?

    Each year individuals in North America and Europe throw away an average of 95 to 115 kilograms (210 to 250 pounds) of food they think is either spoiled or rotten. Much of this food is tossed in the garbage because it’s past the expiration or ...

    Todd Reubold