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Jul 3, 2013

Powerful Animal Tracking System Helps Research Take Flight

Call it a bird’s eye view of migration. Scientists are taking a fresh look at animal movement with a big data approach that combines GPS tracking data with satellite weather and terrain information. The new Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) system, featured in the journal Movement Ecology, can handle millions of data points and serve… 

Jul 1, 2013

Is This Mouse a Pirate?

Did a field researcher somehow capture a pirate mouse? No! This raffish rodent is part of a study that is evaluating how harvesting plants for use in biofuels is affecting ecosystems. The photographer, NC State Ph.D. student Sarah Fritts, took the photo – and explains what we’re looking at. “Renewable energy likely will become the dominant… 

Jun 27, 2013

Art Installation? Or Research Project?

Sometimes science presents us with pretty fantastic images. When I saw this photo, from a research team led by NC State’s Nick Haddad, I had to find out what these students were doing. Here’s his explanation: “Understanding dispersal is difficult. Understanding dispersal of little things, like small insects or seeds, is nearly impossible. This photo is… 

Jun 17, 2013

Researchers Find Genetic Diversity Key to Survival of Honey Bee Colonies

When it comes to honey bees, more mates is better. A new study from North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that genetic diversity is key to survival in honey bee colonies – a colony is less likely to survive if its queen has had a… 

Mar 29, 2013

Study Finds Heat Key Factor In Population Growth Of Some Urban Insect Pests

New research from North Carolina State University finds that higher temperatures found in urban environments are a key contributor to higher populations of insect pests called scale insects – indicating that an increase in temperatures associated with global climate change could lead to a significant increase in scale insect populations. 

Mar 19, 2013

Researchers Devise Hidden Dune Filters to Treat Coastal Stormwater Runoff

When it rains, untreated stormwater can sweep pollutants into coastal waters, potentially endangering public health. Now researchers from North Carolina State University have developed low-cost filtration systems that are concealed beneath sand dunes and filter out most of the bacteria that can lead to beach closures. 

Feb 22, 2013

NC State Research Helps Shape Yellowstone ‘Winter Use’ Plan

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Dr. Chris Frey, distinguished university professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. Frey is also chair of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. On February 22, the National Park Service released a plan to guide winter use of over snow vehicles (OSVs), including snowmobiles and… 

Dec 11, 2012

5 Questions With Canopy Meg

Meg Lowman is the director of the Nature Research Center at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and a research professor at NC State. She has conquered the canopy of the rainforest, and opened up an entirely new world to scientific discovery. She’s just published a textbook that will help future generations of canopy scientists get… 

Oct 29, 2012

In Particulate Matter, the Particulars Matter

When statisticians start talking about PM, they aren’t referring to political leadership. PM stands for particulate matter, and it’s important because it has a direct effect on the health and well-being of anyone who breathes. Statistician Montserrat Fuentes has built a career on looking at the effects of PM 2.5 (the 2.5 means that the… 

Sep 13, 2012

NC State Makes It Easy to Be Green: Recycled Rafts, Electric Vehicles, Zero-Waste Tailgate

What: Fill up with fun, free food and rechargeable cars at NC State. You won’t find a red Solo cup at the Wolfpack’s green tailgate, but you could win a reusable beverage container to take its place. A zero-waste tailgate demonstration will feature composting, cornhole games with a recycling theme and locally sourced food. During NC State’s… 

Sep 11, 2012

Putting the “Fore” in Forecasting

People love to complain about the weather – and especially about weather forecasters. But real, accurate forecasting beyond five to seven days is immensely complicated, due to the sheer volume of atmospheric processes and factors. Fortunately for us, advances in computing are making it possible for mathematicians, atmospheric scientists and statisticians to create “models of… 

Sep 6, 2012

Survey Shows Why Claws Come Out Over Feral Cat Management

The contentious phenomenon of identity politics isn’t limited to Democrats and Republicans. A national survey shows that “cat people” and “bird people” have heated differences of opinion, complicating the challenge of managing more than 50 million free-roaming feral cats while protecting threatened wildlife. A North Carolina State University study published Sept. 6 in PLOS One… 

Aug 28, 2012

Helping Water Reclamation Projects Account for ‘Yuck Factor’

With more than half of the continental United States in the grip of drought, the need to make the most of our water resources is more apparent than ever. One of the tools that can be used to make efficient use of our water supplies is water reclamation – but water managers and utilities have… 

Jul 5, 2012

Researchers Seek Public’s Help to Aid Trees

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Rosemary Hallberg, of USDA’s Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center (SRIPMC), which is housed at NC State. The SRIPMC is launching a “tiny terrors” initiative to help protect hemlock species in the region. Those interested in learning more about the project can visit, or contact Erin Mester,… 

Jun 14, 2012

The Strain Remains the Same

Sid Thakur is an expert on the kinds of pathogens that like to make their homes in and around our pig populations. He spends most of his time testing the pigs and their environment, identifying potential dangers such as Campylobacter – a nasty little critter that we definitely don’t want in our food supply, particularly…