Earth & Environment

The "third rock from the Sun"—Earth. With an orbit neither too close nor too far from the Sun, it occupies a unique position in the Solar System. It's the only planet known to man with the right conditions for the origin and evolution of life. During Earth's 4.5 billion-year history, a combination of processes has transformed it into a watery blue, living planet. The Earth's ecosystems involve complex interactions between the biological (living) and physical (non-living) worlds. Scientific research helps us comprehend our effects on the environment and how the environment in turn responds to impacts of our activities.

NSF Science Now: Episode 35

Hosted by NSF's Dena Headlee, Science Now is a weekly newscast covering some of the latest in NSF-funded innovation and advances across all areas and disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. This fast paced, news round-up reports many of the week's top stories.

Wiring an underwater volcano

How a continuous stream of data from underwater volcanoes can help create a shared consciousness about the oceans.

A scientist's life

A profile of Ryan Hechinger, a marine biologist at Scripps Oceanography who uses studies of parasites to understand ecosystem dynamics.

Episode 14: Assembling water-free DNA

In this week's episode, Charlie and Jordan search underground caves for clues to prehistoric climate changes, explore the difference between mental maps and compasses, and look at water-free DNA assembly.

Mahi mahi migration

In the ocean there lives a fish known as the Mahi Mahi. Very little is known to science about how they migrate. Fishermen are helping scientists study their migration by catching Mahi Mahi with fishing rods, placing fish tags in them, and releasing them back to the wild with hope that their fish will be re-caught with the tag still in them.

Episode 13: Part of the pack

In this week's episode, Jordan and Charlie chat about the importance of a pack, discover a new antibody that may combat urinary tract infections and chase down storms with Doppler on Wheels.

A human climate

This video looks at the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), a project aiming to provide a detailed, continuous and high resolution environmental context for human evolution in the areas where our early ancestors are known to have lived.

Fire and flood prediction

After working for more than a decade to tackle the challenges, NCAR and its research partners have developed the capability to build two new prediction systems--one for wildfires and one for floods.

A new frontier: Mars

After spending years searching for ancient, buried ice elsewhere on planet earth, geologists turn their eyes to Mars, applying their Antarctic field techniques to search for ice buried beneath the Martian surface.

Back at the lab

After a successful field season in Antarctica, the real work begins back at the lab, where geologists pore over reams of data, trying to piece together the history of the ancient buried glaciers of the Transantarctic Mountains. The ice cores they bring back might hold clues to the Earth's past climate, and help scientists predict the future of the polar ice caps and sea-level rise.

Rescuing the gentle giants

Giant clams are ecologically important because they clean seawater, and their huge shells are home to other marine creatures.