The Cary Institute has taken a lead role in developing programs in urban ecology aimed at understanding urban ecosystems, one of Earth's fastest growing environments.
Over the past 50 years, many regions across the globe have experienced a (re)emergence of mosquito-vectored diseases, both due to novel pathogens and those previously eradicated.
A result of urban land use change is homogenization across cities, where neighborhoods in very different parts of the country have similar patterns of roads and other features.
Globally, there are more than 3,000 mosquito species, with around 150 native to the U.S. To many listeners – a mosquito is a mosquito. But depending on the species that bites you, mosquitoes can be a nuisance or a public health threat.
Urban ecologists attribute the swell of interest in their discipline to multiple factors, including the realization that human actions are warming the planet, that people are migrating to cities in increasing numbers and evidence that the study of urban ecosystems provides important and practical insights.
Cary's Steward Pickett and other ecological scientists comment on the state of the discipline of ecology as the Ecological Society of America turns 100.
Coastlines make up less than ten percent of the land in the continental U.S., yet they house nearly forty percent of our population.
Urban waterways have been channeled, diverted, buried and polluted for centuries, but they have only recently been studied as part of the larger urban ecosystem.
What do people living in Boston, Baltimore, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Los Angeles have in common? From coast to coast, prairie to desert – residential lawns reign.
Recent articles about "Wetlands".
Lead. Romans made pipes out of it. Armies use it for bullets, artists and builders for paint. And, automotive engineers once added lead to gasoline to make engines run better. The problem: lead is toxic to humans.
Recent articles about "West Nile Virus".
Now that summer is finally on the horizon, so too is mosquito season. More than an annoyance, mosquitoes can spread serious illnesses, like West Nile virus and Dengue.
Recent articles about "Pharmaceutical Pollution".
Pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products are showing up in rivers and streams throughout the United States and the rest of the world. What effects are they having on the environment?
Recent articles about "Nitrogen".
Toxic algae blooms in lakes and reservoirs are highly destructive, resulting in fish kills and toxicity risks to wildlife, livestock – and even humans. But their development is difficult to predict.
Recent articles about "Land-use & Human Impacts".
Despite a steady rise in the manufacture and release of synthetic chemicals, research on the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals is severely lacking. This blind spot undermines efforts to address global change and achieve sustainability goals.
Recent articles about "Human Health".
Globally, air pollution kills 3.3 million people per year. And this number could double to 6.6 million people by 2050 if little is done to decrease the dangerous levels of tiny particles, toxins, and ozone in the air.
Recent articles about "Ecosystem Services".
Last week, a group of researchers published saddening news about "sudden oak death," spread by an invasive water mold, that has killed over a million trees in coastal California. The pathogen, they found, simply cannot be stopped — though it can still be contained, and the harm mitigated. But it is too extensively established now in California to eradicate.
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