Nature Tattoos

Something you can’t see in my LinkedIn profile picture is my enormous lion tattoo. Or my peace sign tattoo. Or my yin yang, or my sand dollar, or my sun, or my tweety bird. Each one has a special meaning to me, but above all they are signs of my passion for all things nature. In this post I will be taking a break from my science-heavy articles to entertain you with some super cool inks from my friends.

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In a Flash

Multi-stage flash water desalination is a process that turns saltwater into drinkable water. Abbreviated as MSF, this process works by using heat exchangers and condensers to turn water into steam, and then back into water. While this method is unfamiliar in the United States, it is the most common drinking water treatment in Saudia Arabia and other desert biomes such as Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.


Image of Saudi Arabia from KPMG.

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50 years pass before intermediate wheatgrass typically experiences die-off. 3 years into its lifespan, the plant infamously stops seeding but continues to grow. 25 years or more could pass before geneticists discover a natural variation of the plant with enough yield to be competitive. These were the numbers spinning around in my head as I took in all the information from researchers at this year’s conference on Kernza.

holding kernza in an experimental crop field in kansas

Holding Kernza in an experimental crop field in Kansas.

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When the Cat’s Away: Pumas in the Eastern United States – Part 1

Check out my guest post on The Jaguar!

The Jaguar

Despite its adaptability, the puma (AKA mountain lion, cougar, or Florida panther) has been extirpated from the eastern two-thirds of the United States. Mountain Lion by Forest Service Northern Region. CC BY 2.0


The following is a guest post from Jessica Turner, whom you may remember from this Q&A. It is the first installment in a two-part series about pumas (Puma concolor) in the eastern United States.

This post deals with the extirpation of pumas in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., and some of the controversy surrounding the existence of a distinct eastern subspecies. Part 2 of this series will be written by me, and it will be released as a guest post on Jess’ blog sometime in the future.

When the Cat’s Away: Part 1

By Jess Turner, author of Definearth

This blog is the first in a two-part series about the recently delisted…

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Sustainable Cities

black and white bikes

There’s a better chance at winning the lottery than finding a bike spot in Madison.

Whether or not bicyclists obey the bike light installed on the bike path near my apartment is up for debate. What’s important is that it’s there. As a new resident of a bustling city, I got to thinking what makes one place more sustainable than another. Determining factors of a sustainable city will vary depending on who you ask. If you ask me, an eco-friendly city needs these things: Continue reading