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Earth & Environment Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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health workers in biohazard gear Halting the spread of Ebola: Nigeria a model for quick action, scientists find   
Rapid control measures critical to stopping the virus in its tracks
Released  October 16, 2014    
sunflowers in a farm field next to houses Ten things to know about the flowers of fall: Sunflowers   
Scientists unfurl common flowers' genetic secrets
Released  October 14, 2014    
dunes and desert vegetation Sleeping sands of the Kalahari awaken after more than 10,000 years   
Overgrazing leaves desert's red dunes blowing in the African wind
Released  October 8, 2014    
Crops growing in an Egyptian oasis, with the Pyramids of Giza in the background. Geospatial data project puts major issues on the map   
Powerful Web-based system let users worldwide predict damaging floods and potential effects of climate change
Released  October 8, 2014    
photo of tropical forest Expensive cup o'joe? Blame coffee farm rust fungus   
To find answers, scientists study ecological complexity of Mexican, Central American coffee plantations
Released  September 29, 2014    
Blue mussel larvae settled on a rope. How to grow mussels   
Researchers optimize growing conditions and practices to improve mussel farming
Released  September 25, 2014    
Researchers study plants in a greenhouse. Building the framework for the future of biofuels   
Do plant-based fuels offer a realistic reprieve from a fossil-powered future? An ASU engineer examines the full cycle
Released  September 24, 2014    
Photo of dried kenaf, a plant similar to bamboo Plant-based building materials may boost energy savings   
Insulation for homes of the future may be harvested from fields of kenaf, an alternative to fiberglass
Released  September 23, 2014    
People stand in a food bank storage area. Engineering a better food bank   
Key nodes in a vast national food distribution system, food banks manage complex logistics that help connect families to farms
Released  September 22, 2014    
Stream restoration involving reconnection of an urban waterway near Baltimore with its floodplain. A river runs through it: U.S. cities' waterways show consistent patterns of evolution   
Urban waters record salt in our food, cement in our sidewalks
Released  September 10, 2014    
Mark Clementz samples teeth from the lower jaw of a manatee Understanding how ancestors of today's mammals responded to climate change   
Research provides valuable insights for future environmental challenges
Released  August 18, 2014    
Loihi Seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes. Rust villages of the deep: In Pele's shadow, iron oxide, or rust, comes to life   
Elaborate Hawaiian seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes
Released  August 7, 2014    
fire ants on a plant Border crossing: 10 things to know about invasive fire ants on the march   
Are fire ants using habitat corridors to advance the front?
Released  August 1, 2014    
French green clays in pots, bottles and soap on a counter New answer to MRSA, other 'superbug' infections: clay minerals?   
Researchers discover natural clay deposits with antibacterial properties
Released  July 17, 2014    
The NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft outside a hangar Atmospheric scientists take to the skies to study Colorado Front Range ozone pollution   
Results are applicable to metropolitan areas across the country, around the world
Released  July 15, 2014    
Berry Farmer John Eiskamp checks soil tension on his farm using his iPad. Strawberries with a thirst   
Mathematicians help California drought-weary berry growers address water issues
Released  July 1, 2014    
a sample of charged iron in a recipient New, high-energy rechargeable batteries   
Researchers develop molten air battery with commercial potential
Released  June 27, 2014    
snapshot from the Penn State University real-time hurricane analysis Today's forecast: Better forecasts   
Stampede supercomputer helps researchers design and test improved hurricane forecasting system
Released  June 25, 2014    
blue crab with the text photo gallery Summer brings crab feasts--and concerns for Chesapeake blue crabs   
Infectious diseases play a part in crab population declines
Released  June 17, 2014    
Artist's reconstruction of Zanda Fauna from the Pliocene about three to five million years ago. "Out of Tibet" hypothesis: Cradle of evolution for cold-adapted mammals is in Tibet   
Extinct Tibetan fox, ancestor of today's arctic fox, used Tibet as training ground for Ice Age climate
Released  June 11, 2014    
owl monkeys Father's day special: And the best father in the animal kingdom is...   
Award-winning primatologist and conservationist Patricia Wright discusses why owl monkeys and other species of small monkeys are extraordinarily devoted dads
Released  June 11, 2014    
tractor in a corn field at the NSF Kellogg Biological Station LTER site. How much fertilizer is too much for Earth's climate?   
Helping farmers around the globe combat greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Released  June 9, 2014    
Spray glider in the water World Oceans Day: 12 things to know about El Niño: Is it coming, and when?   
How will it affect coastal species--and the fish on our dinner tables?
Released  June 5, 2014    
Allison Steiner Estimating how pollen particles in the atmosphere influence climate   
Researchers study water cycle and cloud formation and design computer algorithm models to understand impact
Released  May 29, 2014    
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Do you know where the ticks are? Lyme Disease: Ten things you always wanted to know about ticks...   
...but maybe were afraid to ask...
Released  May 16, 2014    
Sign on a lake with algae reads for swimmers health please don't feed the ducks Clarity for lake researchers' water quality questions   
Studies of trends in Midwestern lakes benefit from help of local residents
Released  May 1, 2014    
USGS aerial survey of the upper parts of the Oso, Washington, landslide. The uphill challenge   
Understanding mudslides and other debris flows through mathematics
Released  April 29, 2014    
Willow catkin with dew in Yellowstone. Earth Week: Whither Yellowstone's willows and the streams they shade?   
Yellowstone's water table dropping below riverbank willow trees
Released  April 22, 2014    
Gray trees killed by bark beetles between green trees in Rocky Mountain National Park. Earth Week: Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality   
What happens when millions of dead trees, killed by beetles, no longer need water?
Released  April 21, 2014    
title slide showing images of fish, water and trees Earth Day in the future: What will it be like?   
Scientists peer into the next decades of environmental change on Planet Earth
Released  April 15, 2014    
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