Tag Archives: The Nature Conservancy

Amusing Monday: Eco-Comedy competition includes sharp parodies

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 message.

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 Environmental Protection.”

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.

Continue reading

Amusing Monday: Nature photos that take you away

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.

Natasha A. Svoboda of Columbus, Ohio, won first place in the division called Connecting People with Nature, Amateur, as part of the National Wildlife Federation's photo contest. (Click to enlarge)

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 painterly composition.”

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 last year.

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 Judge.”

By the way, past winners from both contests can be viewed on the two websites mentioned above.

Climate Wizard: a peek at the man behind the curtain

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.

<em>Climate Wizard in one of its configurations</em><small> www.climatewizard.org</small>
Climate Wizard in one of its configurations www.climatewizard.org

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 him:

“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 scientists.”

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 directly.