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.

Early primate ancestor may have come from North America

New research by University of Florida doctoral graduate Paul Morse shows that Teilhardina brandti, a species found in Wyoming, is as old or older than its Asian and European relatives, upending the prevailing hypothesis that this early primate first appeared in China

Crops versus wild

This video describes a food chain that extends from consumers, producers, breeders and the wild crop relatives that breeders depend on for crop improvement.

Tomato crops hinge on adaptation and biodiversity

A team of researchers visits a seed bank, the Tomato Genetics Resource Center, where scientists try to preserve the genetic diversity available in wild tomato relatives and make it available for crop breeders

ROV Jason dives deep

ROV Jason is Woods Hole's state of the art Remotely Operated Vehicle. Supported by the National Science Foundation and equipped with sonars, video and still imaging systems and sampling capabilities, Jason can investigate the deep ocean and seafloor.

A whale of a ride

Barnacles are sticky little critters that hitch rides on the backs of humpback and gray whales. They hold a wealth of information that is helping scientists better understand how whales might respond to the current changes in Earth's climate