News

From The Throat Of The Kingfisher

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I’m back! Sorry for the absence. I’m taking my time with my illustrations these days so that means fewer posts. So…let’s begin

This illustration is inspired by the discovery of a new frog species in Southern India (in the state of Karnataka). For years the call of the Karaavali skittering frog was mistaken for the call of the White-throated Kingfisher. That was until a very clever herpetologist discovered that it was not the call of a kingfisher but in fact the call of a frog. Through audio and video documentation followed by DNA analysis the unknown frog was discovered and named. Thus the Karaavali skittering frog sprung forth from the throat of the White-throated Kingfisher (not literally of course). Alas, the frog is already threatened due to habitat loss. A cruel reality in the world of wildlife biology- discovery is followed by loss.

About This Illustration: When I read the linked article about the discovery of the Krivaavali skittering frog, this image took shape immediately. I somewhat incorporated Indian art and textile design into this illustration. It was a fun process involving watercolor, acrylic ink, India ink, and colored pencils.

You can purchase a print of this illustration through my Etsy shop, ScienceStories: https://www.etsy.com/listing/551252519/from-the-throat-of-the-kingfisher

If the plight of critters moves you, consider donating to:

Wildlife Conservation Society: https://www.wcs.org

The Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org

Audubon Society: http://www.audubon.org

Or other international or local conservation nonprofits. If you have the time please consider volunteering as well. I will write more about that in the future.

 

Happy Pollinator Week!

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June 19th-25th 2017 is designated as Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior! So go out and hug your local pollinator…or maybe just plant some native wildflowers. And lay off those pesticides.

To find out more about Pollinator Week and activities in your area: http://pollinator.org/pollinatorweek/

https://www.fws.gov/pollinators/

Or join a Citizen Science Project: Bumble Bee Watch Butterflies and Moths of North America

A print of this illustration can be purchased through my Etsy shop, ScienceStories: https://www.etsy.com/listing/523902966/bumble-bee-garden-85×11-inch-watercolor

The King Of All Tides

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During a Supermoon/ King Tide event last year an octopus ended up in a parking garage in Miami. A King Tide is an exceptionally high tide. Last year I wrote about Supermoons in “I See A Bad Moon Rising” but basically it is the occurrence of a full or new moon at the closest point to the earth during it’s orbital path (so it looks super big). Sea level rise due to climate change exacerbate the impacts of a King Tide, leading to an increase in  coastal flooding events. And perhaps more cephalopod sightings?

About the Illustration: Watercolor, India ink, and micron pens. Inspired by the work of Yuko Shimizu (one of my favs). This illustration can be purchased as an 8.5×11 inch print through my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/518660474/the-king-of-all-tides-art-print

Fungus Among Us & Other Things

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Happy Sunday! So I’m trying something new. From now on I will start posting multiple short topics on recent articles I have read, organizations or artists that I follow, or other science or sciart related topics. I figure variety is the spice of life. Let me know what you think!

Fungus Among Us-A recent article in the New York Times discusses the art of wild mushroom hunting and the bioluminescence that some mushroom species emit.

Bambi Likes Ribs-From Popular Science, a deer was spotted munching on a human carcass by forensic scientist on a body farm. Note-Do NOT Google “body farm images” if you spook easily.

The Crowd and the Cloud-A new show premiers on PBS about citizen science and the use of mobile technology to help collect data on a variety of topics.

Courtney Mattison-An amazing ceramic artist who creates intricate coral reef ecosystems out of clay to help highlight their importance and their fragile state due to human-induced threats.

Minute Earth-Short animated YouTube videos on a variety of scientific topics such as “Why Some Molecules Have Evil Twins“.

About the Illustration: Acrylic painting of mushrooms at night (with some glow in the dark ferns).

Happy Darwin Day!/Get To Know A Living Scientist

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On this day in 1809 Charles Darwin, the English biologist and geologist, was born. He is best known for his contributions to the theory of evolution. In this illustration I have him posed in front of a cladogram (a diagram indicating the evolutionary relationship between organisms) of finches of the Galapagos. The most well known subject of his research into the theory of the evolution of species. So Happy Darwin Day!

Okay, that was my post from last year. I am adding on to it this year by suggesting you become acquainted with a living scientist. Don’t get me wrong, Charlie deserves his own day and eternal admiration. However, knowing present day scientists will help you better understand how far science has gone and where it is going. How do you do that you ask? Dr. David Steen, a wildlife biologist, made it easy for you by creating the Twitter hashtag #actuallivingscientist. This came out of the concern that most Americans could not name a living scientist. So now scientists all over the world and from different disciplines are tweeting about their research and a little bit about themselves. It is fascinating to read and it is critical, in these crazy times, to get to know a scientist.

Just The Facts Jack

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In this age of fake news and science illiteracy I cannot stress enough the need to read unbiased, factual science journalism (really any kind of good, truthful journalism). In addition to reading it may I also stress the need to pay for it. A soy latte doesn’t come free, news and facts should not be free either. Before I get off my soapbox here are some suggested sources of scientific information. Please share any that I missed via the comments section.

Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com

Popular Science: http://www.popsci.com

New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com

American Scientist: http://www.americanscientist.org

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/news

Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/index.html

New York Times, Science Section: https://www.nytimes.com/section/science

Science News: https://www.sciencenews.org

About the Illustration: Mixed Media-acrylic paint, acrylic medium, paper. I call it “The Tip Of The Iceberg”-for obvious reason.