The Science of Sustainability

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Getting Up Close with Cranes

Getting Up Close with Cranes

For decades, scientists have studied the annual migration of sandhill cranes through central Nebraska. A new project is using time-lapse cameras to capture and study crane behavior.

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Vacant Lots Get a Green Makeover

Vacant Lots Get a Green Makeover

Vacant lots are a big problem for cities with population loss, like Cleveland, where researchers are testing a cost-efficient way to transform abandoned land into spaces that revitalize neighborhoods and improve the environment.

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Dredging Up a Problem

Dredging Up a Problem

The Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio — known for catching fire in the 1960s — relies on frequent dredging to keep the shipping channels open. Now a controversial new proposal to dump the dredged material into Lake Erie has residents worried about contamination of the public water supply.

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The Science of Measuring Snow

The Science of Measuring Snow

Much of the water flowing through the West starts as snowpack high up in the mountains. A complex system of remote and manual data collection helps water managers calculate how much water they'll have for the season ahead.

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Getting the Munchies for Hemp

Getting the Munchies for Hemp

More people are turning to hemp seeds as a source of healthy fats and protein, and as a sustainable crop.

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During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break

During Drought, Pop-Up Wetlands Give Birds a Break

As California's drought gets worse, farmers and conservationists are teaming up to create temporary wetlands for birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway.

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In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

There’s no doubt about it – it’s dry out there. 2013 ended as the driest year ever recorded in many parts of California. So water managers are trying to squeeze out every last drop with an old technology: cloud seeding.

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Why a Dark Sky Matters

Why a Dark Sky Matters

Big city lights may put some dazzle in the night sky, but they also cause problems for people and other creatures attuned to darkness.

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Reconstructing a River for Wildlife

Reconstructing a River for Wildlife

Pulling up vegetation, starting fires, and letting animals graze on riverbanks are just some of the steps being taken to improve habitat for migrating birds, including endangered species.

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Turning Contaminated Sites Into Wildlife Refuges

Turning Contaminated Sites Into Wildlife Refuges

One of the nation’s biggest wildlife refuges used to be a hotbed of military weapons production, and resulting contamination. It’s now been cleaned up and restored as an urban habitat refuge.

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Cranberry Producers Strive to Save Water

Cranberry Producers Strive to Save Water

Water is used in every aspect of cranberry production. Wisconsin cranberry producers are using soil temperature monitoring technology to help conserve water.

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Green Energy, Sustainable Agriculture Vital to Brewery Business Plan

Green Energy, Sustainable Agriculture Vital to Brewery Business Plan

Central Waters Brewery in Amherst, Wisconsin is committed to using green technology in their manufacturing process and local sources for their ingredients. And, it benefits the bottom line.

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From Cheese to Energy

From Cheese to Energy

Wisconsin produces a quarter of all the cheese made in the United States. Since only about ten percent of the milk becomes cheese, there is an abundance of milky-water waste. Comstock Creamery and GreenWhey Energy have teamed up to turn this wastewater into natural gas and electricity.

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Protecting Summer Hang-Outs For Bats

Protecting Summer Hang-Outs For Bats

Bats help humans in a variety of ways, but their populations are declining across the country. Now researchers have created a “bat map” to help save them.

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Saving the Swift Fox with Snapshots, Students and Science

Saving the Swift Fox with Snapshots, Students and Science

An endangered fox species is fighting for its existence in western Nebraska, but it’s not alone. Students from across the state are helping conduct a new study to aid in the animal's recovery.

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Forget the Lawnmower, Hire Sheep

Forget the Lawnmower, Hire Sheep

At a vacant lot in Cleveland, sheep are employed as urban “eco-mowers” — part of a growing number of global initiatives to replace mowing with munching.

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Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Drivers hit thousands of animals every year on California freeways, often killing the wildlife, and sometimes killing or injuring the human, too. Several western states have built fencing and other infrastructure to help wildlife cross freeways safely, and critics say California could be doing a lot more of the same.

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Recycling Dirt: A New Niche in the Fracking Industry

Recycling Dirt: A New Niche in the Fracking Industry

As an alternative to the landfill, some companies now recycle contaminated rock shavings left over from drilling for natural gas.

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City Chickens: Pets with Perks

City Chickens: Pets with Perks

Take an inside look at the new trend of raising chickens within city limits, and see why the flocks inspire pride for eco-minded owners.

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Triple Threat: Trees At Risk From Drought, Heat, And Fire

Triple Threat: Trees At Risk From Drought, Heat, And Fire

In the western U.S., trees are facing a triple threat of heat, drought and wildfire. Despite efforts to find more resilient tree species, some forests may not survive past mid-century.

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