Ecology

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

Shorts & Flip Flops in March

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In some regions of the United States it felt more like April or May during the month of February (and now March). Yay! Flip flops and shorts! What could be so bad about that? For some plants and animals an early spring (or really a pattern of earlier springs due to climate change) can cause ecological mismatches. Flowers may bloom before the arrival of pollinators. Certain insects that are a key part of the diet of a migrating bird species might emerge before the arrival of those migrating birds. Different species follow different environmental queues and in a changing climate different species adapt at a different pace. So those seasonal phenomena (migration, breeding, etc…) can be out of whack due to a shift in temperature.

The study of those seasonal phenomena within the context of climate is called phenology. The USA National Phenology Network or NPN (under the United States Geological Survey) focuses entirely on this subject through monitoring and research via scientists and citizen scientists around the country. You can become an NPN citizen scientist by joining Natures Notebook. Sign up and begin recording your observations today and your data will be used by scientists and land managers to better understand and manage for the biological implications of climate change. Sit in your backyard with a notebook and a pencil, an easy way to contribute to science.

About the Illustration: Lilacs and Swallowtails-acrylic paint and rice paper. The lilac is a host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Recently the NPN created maps of the United States that illustrate the arrival of spring across the country based on temperature data from NOAA and  extended spring indices-observations of the leafing out and blooming of lilacs and honeysuckles across the country are used as an indicator of leafing out of other plant species. Why lilacs and honeysuckles? Because they are both common flowering plants found across the country.

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright

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A bright note from the conservation world in 2016!  Wild tiger populations are on a rise for the first time in a century, an estimated 3,890 now roam the earth-up from 3,200 in 2010. India houses most of the world’s wild tigers. The country has taken tiger conservation seriously. Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan are also seeing conservation successes.

Although this is encouraging these numbers do not indicate habitat quality (i.e. habitat fragmentation) or the status of subspecies. Populations in some countries are not well accounted for at this time and in places like Indonesia habitat destruction for the palm oil industry are negatively impacting tiger populations. Poaching for the black market (mostly for Chinese traditional medicines) and habitat destruction and fragmentation are the major causes in the decline of wild tiger populations in recent years. They are still a concern but coordinated conservation efforts and enforcement are helping tigers make a come back after a path towards extinction.

For More Information:

http://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/for-the-first-time-in-100-years-tiger-numbers-are-growing

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/tiger-populations-increasing/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160410-tiger-numbers-rise-wwf-conservation-double-population/

About the Illustration: Watercolor ink on bristol paper. This illustration can be purchased through my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScienceStories

 

Sciart Books for the Holidays

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Now on to sciart books…

Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky, a lovely illustrated book on some remarkable women in science. I knew many of these intelligent ladies but there were a few new ones. Excellent for that budding scientist on your holiday shopping list.

Thunder and Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss, Illustrations of weather and climate change. Far ranging in topics covered and meticulous writing.

She also wrote, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout 

The Where, The Why, & The How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science by By Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, and Matt Lamothe

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

The Thrilling Adventure of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

I Am Not A Plastic Bag by Achel Hope Allison,

World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky and Frank Stockton

Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni

Other Lists and Sources:

Science and Scientist Graphic Novels, Ann Arbor District Library 

Top 15 Graphic Novels for the Science Classroom 

A Mighty Girl Science and Technology Book List

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

This is not an exhaustive list but if it peaks your interest you can check out my Sciart Book Pinterest Board for more sciart book goodness!

 

Sciart for the Holidays

As we begin the holiday season and begin our holiday shopping, consider giving a little sciart/ science goodness to your loved ones. I will be highlighting different purveyors of sciart/ science products in the next couple of days. Today I will begin with sciart. Above is some offerings from my Etsy shop, ScienceStories. I offer cards and prints from my Etsy shop. Some illustrations come directly from my blog posts and others are inspired by science and nature. I only ship within the United States (I hope to expand next year) but I offer free shipping! Please purchase by early December in order to receive your purchase by Christmas.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScienceStories

In addition to my Etsy shop is my RedBubble shop where I offer many of my illustrations on RedBubble products (as seen above). RedBubble ships pretty much everywhere and they offer high quality products. 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you can return your purchase for a refund. Shop soon as purchases need to be made by early December in order to receive them in time for Christmas! http://www.redbubble.com/people/sciofill

Some Other SciArt Folks (not an exhaustive list):

LoveBacteriaArt-https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveBacteriaArt

ImmySmithArt-https://www.etsy.com/shop/ImmySmithArt

Artologica-https://www.etsy.com/shop/artologica

ArtofCarimNahaboo-https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtofCarimNahaboo

sandraculliton-https://www.etsy.com/shop/sandraculliton

Kelzuki-https://www.etsy.com/shop/kelzuki

Cartoon Neuron-http://www.redbubble.com/people/immy

Minouette-https://www.etsy.com/shop/minouette

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

This is not an exhaustive list but if it peaks your interest check out my Sciart Pinterest Board for more sciart goodness!

 

My Illustration for Lateral Magazine

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My recent illustration for Lateral Magazine, an Australian Science magazine. It accompanies an article about the Running River Rainbowfish, threatened species, and conservation action. http://www.lateralmag.com/articles/issue-16/watered-down

Two Heads Aren’t Always Better Than One

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Reports of two-headed sharks have increased through the years. Is it due to overfishing which reduces the size of the gene pool and allows for more of these genetic mutations to occur (think inbreeding)? Or is it just easier to report these observations (through scientific papers and social media)? It is a difficult topic to research since most of these sharks never survive. But it is a critical question that needs to be answered. Is it overfishing? Increased reporting? Pollution? Or something else entirely. Global shark populations are not doing well as it is, genetic mutations could be an additional silent threat.