Entries in this year’s Eco-Comedy Video Competition seem to
reflect an anxiety over what will happen to the environment under
President Trump’s administration — although the winning video was
among a few finalists that stayed clear of an overt political
This is the eighth annual competition sponsored by the Center
for Environmental Filmmaking and The Nature Conservancy. A total of
48 videos were submitted with this year’s theme: “Conservation and
To qualify, the original videos, three minutes or less, must be
humorous, communicate a clear message and appeal to a broad
audience. A panel of five judges chose the finalists and grand
prize winner, who will be honored in a ceremony next week at
American University in Washington, D.C.
A new collection of inspirational nature photographs has been
compiled for the 2010 photo contest sponsored by National Wildlife
Federation. The winners, just announced, touch you with their
beauty, emotion and sometimes humor.
The photo at right was taken by Natasha A. Svoboda on a rainy
day in Ohio’s Whetstone Park. Svoboda took this picture of her
sister looking at tadpoles swimming in small pool of water. The
photo, which captured first place in the division called
“Connecting People with Nature, Amateur,” demonstrates that
stunning images may be all around us if we take time to look.
Judges liked the “contrast between the lavender umbrella, dress and
flowers and the brilliant green foliage” that takes on an “almost
It is but one of the 32 wonderful winning photographs featured
in a slide show in the online version of
National Wildlife Magazine. Editors also are planning a
slideshow of honorable mentions from the 50,000 entries received
If you love nature photographs as I do, there is another contest
worth watching. The Nature Conservancy has announced the finalists
of its annual contest, and there is still time to vote for your
favorites. Go to the “2010
Finalists” page to view the thumbnails, click to enlarge (I
prefer the Flicker image), and then vote on the page “You Be the
By the way, past winners from both contests can be viewed on the
two websites mentioned above.
If you are interested in understanding climate change, you
should check out Climate
Wizard, an interactive Web-based map that compiles historical
climate data in conjunction with results from 16 of the world’s
leading climate models.
One of the latest features is the ability to include
combinations of different models.
Users can focus on states, countries or regions around the world
and apply different scenarios of temperature and precipitation. One
can look at three different time frames, from the past to the
future, with respect to the different models.
This interesting tool was developed in a joint project by the
University of Washington, University of Southern Mississippi and
The Nature Conservancy.
According to a news release from UW News and
Information, Climate Wizard is being demonstrated today at the
climate summit in Copenhagen and at the American Geophysical Union
meeting in San Francisco.
A paper about the project has just been published online by
PLoS ONE. Lead author Evan Girvetz worked on Climate Wizard
during his postdoctoral period at the University of Washington’s
School of Forest Resources. He has now accepted a job with The
Nature Conservancy, according to the news release, which quotes
“Climate Wizard is meant to make it easier to explore climate
data in an interactive way. It makes the data accessible in ways
that are more intuitive, even for people who are not climate
I’m sure readers of this blog will have questions about the data
that went into Climate Wizard. I haven’t had time to study all the
documentation, but it is convenient that the authors provide all
manner of detail, including a “Frequently Asked
Questions” section and an ability to contact the developers