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.

Citizens, Start Your Science!

Citizen Science - SciStarter

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.

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Wolves and Willows: A Howling Success

Wolves and Willows: A Howling Success

When someone shot the last wolf in Yellowstone National Park in 1926, they probably gave no thought to the effect that action might have on trees. But the absence of apex predators –those animals at the top of the food chain, such as lions, sharks ...

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No Brain? For Jellyfish, No Problem

No Brain? For Jellyfish, No Problem

Are brains over-rated? After all, jellyfish lack them, yet carry out sophisticated functions and a complex reproductive cycle. Their lack of a nervous system control center even confers some advantages, such as the ability to lose a chunk here and there with little harm done.

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Coral’s Big Summer

Coral Spawning

Just after sunset in early August, divers descend into inky black waters of the Gulf of Mexico, 100 miles from shore. The beams of their dive lights pierce the darkness, illuminating a large coral mound, its textured surface covered in tiny white dots. At some ...

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Summer of No Love for Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle

Rising temperatures could produce only female hatchlings and leave sea turtles facing future summers of no love. All sea turtles lack sex hormones. An embryo develops into a male or female based on surrounding conditions as an egg incubates in the nest, primarily temperature. Lower ...

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