The value of volunteering as an undergraduate

Life is busy as an undergrad – why is it worth making the time to volunteer in a research lab? Volunteering in a lab as an undergraduate is a rewarding jump from learning in a lecture hall to learning-by-doing and gaining firsthand experience in the scientific methods used in a research field of interest.  Whether I’m getting my hands dirty scooping plant samples into bags, collecting tissue...
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Diversity, stability, and non-native species

The key to riding out an unpredictable financial market is to diversify your portfolio. By spreading risk across stocks that respond uniquely to market conditions, you’ll likely buffer your portfolio from the fluctuations that any single stock experiences. One loses while another gains, but on average your investment return remains stable. It turns out that this strategy may be as beneficial for...
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Super-fishes in disguise: Mudminnow worldwide

If ever a group of fishes were in need of a PR makeover, it’s mudminnows. Everything about the name – from undesirable mud to inconsequential minnow says “nothing to see here”. But these unassuming species are veritable Clark Kents of the fish world: small size and mild appearance disguise super-fish able to withstand dangerously low oxygen levels and defend spawning territories...
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Go with the flow: novel methods for establishing flow-ecology relationships

Perhaps the greatest challenge for water managers around the world is maintaining reliable water supplies and healthy river ecosystems.  There can be direct trade-offs between these goals because surface and groundwater extraction and regulation of river flows can lead to dramatic declines in native fish assemblages. This dichotomy has led to the burgeoning field of environmental flows where...
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Flood of opportunities below dams

When author Edward Abbey famously wrote “The Monkey Wrench Gang” in 1975, he was roundly condemned for portraying eco-terrorists plotting to blow up Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Forty years later, the aging of the world’s dams, coupled with increasing awareness of their environmental costs, has brought dam decommissioning and re-operation to the attention of the scientific community,...
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