Discoveries Archive

  • Technology Tells the Tale thumbnail

    Technology Tells the Tale

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2015
    For decades it was hypothesized that blackpoll warblers, tiny black-and-white songbirds that breed in boreal forests and winter in South America, migrate south entirely offshore… Read More »

  • Chemicals That Bees Need thumbnail

    Chemicals That Bees Need

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2015
    We hear a great deal in the news about the decline of managed honeybee colonies, but little has been reported about the crisis facing native… Read More »

  • Extra Genes = Killer Fungus thumbnail

    Extra Genes = Killer Fungus

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2015
    A scientific investigation into the genetics of 20 fungi that infect trees has turned up an unusual explanation for why one particular fungus is killing… Read More »

  • Pathways to the Ponds thumbnail

    Pathways to the Ponds

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2015
    Beavers are well known for damming streams and creating ponds, forging new habitat for a wide range of wildlife. In the absence of streams, however,… Read More »

  • Hearts of Darkness thumbnail

    Hearts of Darkness

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2015
    The wood of sugar maple trees is highly valued for its even grain and creamy light color, making it one of the Northeast’s most commercially… Read More »

  • Grain Gene Fights Fungus thumbnail

    Grain Gene Fights Fungus

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2015
    The American chestnut may be on the verge of a comeback. More than 125 years after Asian chestnuts arrived in the United States carrying a… Read More »

  • Forest Fish Food thumbnail

    Forest Fish Food

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2015
    We don’t typically think of forest debris as a food source for freshwater fish and other aquatic organisms, but a study by researchers at the… Read More »

  • Peeper Keeper thumbnail

    Peeper Keeper

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2015
    For nearly 20 years, Gary Lovett has kept a journal with notes about a variety of natural events taking place in his backyard in southeastern… Read More »

  • Sugar and Seeds thumbnail

    Sugar and Seeds

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2015
    Maple syrup producers no longer have to wait for spring weather to know if they are likely to have a good year. A postdoctoral researcher… Read More »

  • Fur-Bearings thumbnail

    Fur-Bearings

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2014
    Detecting small mammal prey beneath a thick covering of snow is among the more challenging skills that some predators must develop to survive New England… Read More »

  • Go Jump in a Lake thumbnail

    Go Jump in a Lake

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2014
    The Clean Air Act, passed more than 40 years ago, continues to provide positive outcomes. The latest good news comes from a University of New… Read More »

  • The Case for Snow thumbnail

    The Case for Snow

    by Todd McLeish | Winter 2014
    Trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere and play a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change. But a study by researchers at Dartmouth… Read More »

  • Seasons are Shifting thumbnail

    Seasons are Shifting

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2014
    It may be tough to believe after this past year, but it appears that winters are getting shorter and shorter. By studying the growth cycle… Read More »

  • Pining for Clean Air thumbnail

    Pining for Clean Air

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2014
    Since 2010, many white pine trees in northern New England have become infected with one of several fungal diseases that have caused yellow and brown… Read More »

  • Deer Density Dilemma thumbnail

    Deer Density Dilemma

    by Todd McLeish | Autumn 2014
    When Maine zoned two percent of the northern part of the state as deer wintering areas in the 1970s, its goal was to provide habitat… Read More »

  • Green Building thumbnail

    Green Building

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2014
    The materials that birds use to build their nests vary widely between species, from twigs and grasses to mud and even their own saliva. Hawks… Read More »

  • Chronic Wasting thumbnail

    Chronic Wasting

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2014
    In northern states, where deep snowpack causes deer to spend much of the winter under the dense canopy of evergreen stands, the animals’ nitrogen-rich waste… Read More »

  • Aerial Tricks thumbnail

    Aerial Tricks

    by Todd McLeish | Summer 2014
    Satellites are commonly used to monitor large-scale environmental changes, and airplanes are often used to get a clearer picture of the overall health of particular… Read More »

  • Conflicting Carbon Conclusion thumbnail

    Conflicting Carbon Conclusion

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2014
    Most New Englanders would agree that one way to reduce our environmental impact is to reduce our use of fossil fuels. And most would also… Read More »

  • Surveillance for Survival thumbnail

    Surveillance for Survival

    by Todd McLeish | Spring 2014
    For more than a dozen years Ken Schmidt has been studying how animals eavesdrop on one another. The Texas Tech University professor said that one… Read More »