By: Michelle Toshack
How robust are butterfly populations in wilderness areas? What management strategies can be adopted to address the conservation of these species? These are some of the questions that Adventure Scientists is tackling with our Conserving Biodiversity - Pollinators project. We’ve pulled together four peer-reviewed articles* that helped us understand how to best approach this effort. They serve as important background reading on current issues around butterfly conservation.
Phenology Asynchrony in Plant-Butterfly Interactions Associated with Climate: a Community-Wide Perspective. 2016. Isabel Donoso, Constantí Stefanescu, Alejandro Martínez-Abraín and Anna Traveset. Oikos.
This article investigates timing mismatch between butterfly emergence and their host plants in the Mediterranean. They looked at the different factors that may affect this mismatch, such as aridity and temperature. Many butterfly species, including both generalists and specialists, are vulnerable to phenology mismatch. This will continue to have an impact on butterfly populations in the face of environmental change.
By: Dr. Katy Prudic
Butterfly caterpillars are nature’s hot dogs, which acquire large amounts of fat in order to prepare for the magical body transformation known as pupation. Birds, spiders, wasps, mammals, lizards, and even humans all dine on juicy caterpillars. I can say from personal experience that some caterpillars are nutty, some are buttery, and many are excellent with garlic. The name butterfly is quite appropriate for the caterpillar stage.
In January 2017, Corinne Gardner arrived in southern Chile to the interdisciplinary Parque Etnobotánical Omora research station. While there she collected freshwater samples for Adventure Scientists Global Microplastics Initiative, guided English and Spanish citizen-science nature hikes in the world’s most southern forest, and charted a new trail with a sprightly expedition team in Los Dientes (Teeth) de Navarino. Here she shares a few of her favorite shots from the experience.
"Could the world’s most southern austral forest contain microplastic pollutants? I signed up as an Adventure Scientist volunteer to find out." - Corinne Gardner
By: Dylan Jones, Part 2 of 2
I wake up at 6:00 a.m., comfortable in my sleeping bag despite the stiff bed. I take a deep breath and smell the coffee. Although our expedition in the Patagonian backcountry is complete, Nadine maintains her role as early riser and team chef. I stumble out into the living room and rub my eyes. The incredible scene comes into focus through floor-to-ceiling windows: Frothy waves lap at a pebble beach several meters from the porch. Undulating turquoise waters influenced by dynamic winds extend for tens of miles, walled in by the imposing peaks of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field.
By: Lauren de Remer
Imagine a trail so steep and rocky that every step is a slide or ankle sprain. Mosquitos relentlessly bite one’s feet. Then add weight: a backpack containing a camera, two liters of water, a headlamp, and enough sunscreen and bug spray to last another week in Zambia’s Batoka Gorge. Its white sandy beaches are tucked between basalt boulders that heat up like an oven by 8 am. The temperature is 104 degrees. The one water sample I neglected to collect during a 4-day whitewater rafting trip is waiting for me at the end of a three hour hike to the mighty and notorious Zambezi River. And so, down I go.
I had taken water samples for Adventure Scientists’ Global Microplastics Initiative before, but this was a much harder task – from finding a one-liter water bottle in Livingstone without a leaky top, to trekking back down to the river to fill it, to ensuring it wouldn’t burst at altitude on my return flight. Adventure Scientists needed more freshwater samples to add to their Global Microplastics Initiative dataset, so I knew I had to find a way to get it home.
By: Victoria Ortiz
"I'm not trying to be anyone's savior. I'm just trying to think about the future and not be sad."
This quote by Elon Musk at April’s TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada has echoed beyond the stage throughout social media and the web. It’s a sentiment that also resonated with our Executive Director and founder, Gregg Treinish, who was sitting in the audience.
“[Elon Musk] is such a phenomenal visionary thinker,” says Gregg. “I think everyone who works towards making the world a better place does so partially because we feel like we have to do something in the midst of the great challenges we face.”
The conference theme ‘The Future You’ brought together leaders in the technology, education, and design communities to talk about the future. As a finalist for the 2017 TED prize, Gregg was able to attend the conference and listen to hundreds of inspirational activists, scientists, entrepreneurs and artists.
“It was a great opportunity to meet people who will be influential in driving our organization's mission forward,” said Gregg.
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