All posts by Melissa Gaskill

Melissa Gaskill is a freelance science writer based in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in Nature Conservancy Magazine, Scientific American, The New York Times, Alert Diver, Men’s Journal and many other publications.
The Current State of Coral Reefs
The Current State of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs cover less than 1 percent of the Earth’s surface yet feed and shelter a significant amount of marine life, including some 4,000 species of fish. However, these vital ecosystems face an increasingly bleak future.

When Light Becomes Pollution
When Light Becomes Pollution

Many of us have seen images taken from space of the Earth at night. The planet sparkles, dazzling light from cities connected to each other by bright tendrils. It looks eerily beautiful and somehow festive. But this beauty actually is light pollution and it has, pun intended, a dark side.

Amazon River Dolphins in Decline
Amazon River Dolphins in Decline

Those who explore the waters of the Amazon basin occasionally hear a forceful snort, the sound that a pink river dolphin or boto makes when it surfaces to exhale. Visitors sometimes catch a glimpse of a pinkish, rounded forehead or small dorsal fin just above the surface. That’s likely all they’ll get, though. Not only are these freshwater dolphins relatively shy, but their numbers have also drastically declined in recent years.

For Scientists, Tag is a Serious Game

American Spring LIVE: Episode 1 - Birth and Rebirth

For Scientists, Tag is a Serious Game

To protect many species of wild animals, we need to learn more about them. Often, that means having to tag, collar or otherwise track them. It’s a game that scientists take seriously.

Citizens, Start Your Science!

American Spring LIVE: Episode 1 - Birth and Rebirth

Citizens, Start Your Science!

Citizen science programs mobilize people from all walks of life to contribute to scientific research. These projects tap the power of the public, with more people working in more places and for longer than researchers possibly could on their own.