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.
Cleaner Wrasse Fish
Smart Like a Fish

Fish spend a lot of time in schools, so perhaps it should come as no surprise they’re smarter than most people think.

Wolves of Isle Royale
The Future of the Wolves of Isle Royale

Isle Royale National Park is a remote island in Lake Superior where, between 2009 and 2018, the wolf population fell from 24 to only two - the lowest in more than 50 years. Now, the National Park Service is re-introducing wolves to the area in an effort to restore the role of these predators in the island ecosystem.

Coral Reef
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.

Image of Earth at night
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 Dolphin
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.

Measuring and tagging a bear

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.