Why Do Hedgehogs Have Spikes?

Hedgehogs are easily one of the most unmistakable little critters out there, but how much do you know about them

Bull Kelp

A couple of weeks back, I saw my first ever Bull Kelp at Huntington Beach! Technically, Bull Kelp is a broad name for a genus, Nereocystis, meaning mermaid's-bladder in Greek. The thing about the genus is, it's monotypic meaning it contains just one species: Nereocystis luetkeana. Depending on where you're from, you might call it … Continue reading Bull Kelp

Review | Sharks, Lies, and Videotape

“Sharks, Lies, and Videotape: A content analysis of 32 years of Shark Week documentaries” is a stunningly comprehensive report on the ways in which Shark Week, arguably the largest source of shark information consumed by the masses, mixes real science with spectacle and salacious stories.

The Impact of Barry Commoner

As one of America’s most influential environmentalist, Barry Commoner devoted his life and career to ecology, awareness, education, and enacting positive change. He was among the first to begin advocating for recycling and organic farming, as well as raising awareness about the threats of the greenhouse effect and the dangers of radioactive fallout. As the … Continue reading The Impact of Barry Commoner

Reflection: Dead Forests & Living Memories

In her article for The New York Times, “Dead Forests and Living Memories”, Helen paints a picture of a lost landscape, the struggles of restoration and conservation efforts, and the continued threat of globalization on native ecosystems.

microalgae through a microscope

Algae as a Biofuel

With the exception of chemosynthetic life forms such as many of those who reside at the openings of deep-sea hydrothermal vents, the vast majority of biological energy has the sun to thank for its origins. Whether it be thermal, or through photonic collisions within the chloroplasts of plant cells, the energy of life comes from … Continue reading Algae as a Biofuel

The Tawny Emperor Butterfly

The Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) Butterfly may be beautiful, but their food sure isn’t. Finding an adult on a flower isn’t likely. Instead, you’ll find them on dead animals, poop, mud, and sap, slurping up broths of minerally goodness.

froghopper insect on a leaf

The Froghopper | DFS #11

This here is a froghopper. They can jump distances over 100 times their body length, accelerate at 4000 m/s^2 (nearly 9,000 mph), and experience 400 Gs while doing it. For context, a typical human could withstand no more than 9 Gs of force, and the average bullet travels at nearly 2000 mph. Where are the … Continue reading The Froghopper | DFS #11

Dispatches From Somewhere #10: The Golden Silk

Trichonephela clavipes, or The Golden Silk Orb-weaver, may be huge but they look a lot tougher than they act. They’re not aggressive and only bite if handled roughly, and they're super clumsy outside of their web!If you listen to the podcast, you might remember us discussing these with @shakiguani on Tainted Love Part 2! A single thread … Continue reading Dispatches From Somewhere #10: The Golden Silk

Grid-Scale Storage

The wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine—and not always equally or consistently. Even in the sunniest of places, like deserts, “the amount of sunlight can vary from minute to minute.” (The Economist, 2014) On the flipside, demand itself is also irregular, and times of highest demand won’t always match with highest … Continue reading Grid-Scale Storage

Dispatches From Somewhere #7: Pitcher Plants

Weird plants are the best finds. On a camping trip this August with my brother, we came across a bunch of Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) in a bog! Similar to the Venus Fly Trap, it too is a carnivorous plant, trapping insects inside its pitcher. One of my favorite things about them actually is, … Continue reading Dispatches From Somewhere #7: Pitcher Plants

Let the Sun Shine

In February of 2014, 40 minutes outside of Las Vegas, the Ivanpah solar-thermal plant made its debut. Able to deliver 377 MW of power to 140,000 southern California homes, it’s “a sea of 347,000 mirrors, reflecting the rays of the desert sun on to boilers mounted on three 460-foot towers”. (The Economist) It’s an astoundingly … Continue reading Let the Sun Shine

No Fracking Way

Short for hydraulic fracturing, fracking was introduced into the oil and gas industries in the late 1940s as a method of extracting petroleum or natural gas. Nowadays, it is estimated that “90% of the natural gas wells in the United States” (Dunlap, 2019, 97) employ fracking as a method of extraction. To put it simply, … Continue reading No Fracking Way

Putting a Price on Carbon: Who Pays, and How?

It's not uncommon that a Carbon tax or Cap-and-Trade is dismissed as some sort of scheme, just another example of the government taking the people’s hard-earned money. Thing is, this simply isn't true, and both options carry some serious weight in terms of the impacts they could have on reducing pollution. For one, neither a … Continue reading Putting a Price on Carbon: Who Pays, and How?

Dispatches from Somewhere #5| American Alligator

This is one of my favorite shots I’ve ever managed to capture. I snapped this in 2015 at one of my all-time favorite parks, @brazosbendstatepark near Houston, TX. It sorta looks like she’s lunging forward, but in reality, she was sitting in a quickly flowing stream with her mouth open against the flow, presumably to catch fish … Continue reading Dispatches from Somewhere #5| American Alligator

Dispatches from Somewhere #4| Antheraea polyphemus

Admittedly, this photo isn't from any time recently. I took this during the summer of 2014 at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, MN. It was while I was working for a nonprofit organization called Tree Trust building a 180-foot swamp foot boardwalk with local high school students. It was also my first time seeing one … Continue reading Dispatches from Somewhere #4| Antheraea polyphemus

Dispatches from Somewhere #1: What a Wasp

I’ve had this picture on my camera roll for almost a year now and I figured I should finally get to posting it. If you’re wondering what this scorpion looking flying insect is, it’s the Pelecinus polyturator, a type of wasp. The adults drink nectar and are pretty harmless, unless you’re a June Bug. That’s … Continue reading Dispatches from Somewhere #1: What a Wasp

The Wild Life of the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth

Order| Lepidoptera Species| Lycomorpha pholus Uh-ah, you know what it is—the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth! “Wait, black and yellow? They’re clearly orange-er, right?” Who knows what they were thinking. One thing’s for sure though, mimicry is their flex. As caterpillars, when they spend most of their time munching on a symbiotic snack of lichen, they texturally … Continue reading The Wild Life of the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth

The Journey So Far

The other day, I was going through a pile of junk (which I have a lot of) and came across this. This intentionally blurred piece of paper was the very beginning of #TheWildLife. It’s just a bunch of notes and ideas that I was jotting down while I tried to decide what I wanted to … Continue reading The Journey So Far

88.1 KVSC Interview: The Untold Story of Distance Learning During COVID-19 with ISD 742’s Devon Bowker, Science Teacher, Naturalist, and Blogger

KVSC, the radio station of my Alma Mater, St Cloud State University, recently interviewed new for there segment ‘Untold Stories of Central MN’. It aired on Earth Day 2020 and was an incredible honor and opportunity to speak about my passions. For those of you more familiar with The Wild Life side of my life, … Continue reading 88.1 KVSC Interview: The Untold Story of Distance Learning During COVID-19 with ISD 742’s Devon Bowker, Science Teacher, Naturalist, and Blogger