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‘Defend the progress you’ve made’: Addressing the urgency, hope of conservation

February 18, 2020 ・ Morgan Kelly

“How many of you have found the content of this course depressing?” Princeton professor David Wilcove asked as he began one of the last lectures of the fall course “Conservation Biology.” After three months of examining the global decimation of…

A world without the Amazon? Safeguarding the Earth’s largest rainforest focus of Princeton conference

October 23, 2019 ・ Pooja Makhijani

The Amazon is the world’s largest and most diverse tropical forest and the ancestral home of over 1 million indigenous peoples. How to preserve it was the centrally urgent theme at a conference at Princeton on Oct. 17-18. “Safeguarding the…

Study helps pinpoint what makes species vulnerable to environmental change

October 16, 2019 ・ Joseph Albanese

The fabled use of canaries in coal mines as an early warning of carbon monoxide stemmed from the birds’ extreme sensitivity to toxic conditions compared to humans. In that vein, some avian species can indicate environmental distress brought on by…

PEI awards $1.01 million in Water and the Environment Grand Challenge projects

October 1, 2019 ・ Morgan Kelly

The ecological impacts of extreme weather, a national “climate park” in the New Jersey Meadowlands, and engineered nanoparticles that target groundwater pollutants are among the 13 projects funded by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) as part of its Water and…

Petticord holding a turtle

Petticord explores a Kenyan ecosystem one tortoise at a time

May 17, 2019 ・ Morgan Kelly

Each year, the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) supports senior-thesis research by students from departments across the University. This story is part of a series exploring the disciplinary variety of PEI-funded undergraduate research carried out by members of the Class of…

Plants and microbes shape global biomes through local underground alliances

April 17, 2019 ・ Morgan Kelly

Dense rainforests, maple-blanketed mountains and sweeping coniferous forests demonstrate the growth and proliferation of trees adapted to specific conditions. The regional dominance of tree species we see on the surface, however, might actually have been determined underground long ago. Princeton…

Put eggs all in one basket, or spread them around? Birds know best

March 3, 2019 ・ Catherine Zandonella

In the tropical jungle of Central America where predators abound, a species of cuckoo has found safety in numbers by building communal nests guarded by two or three breeding pairs. Why then do these agreeable avians sometimes ditch the collaborative…

Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert on the loss of species and need for action

February 26, 2019 ・ Kirtland Snyder

“Every species has an independent right to existence that transcends their utility.” With that, journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert set the tone of her appearance at Princeton University on Feb. 21 — one of deep concern for the fate of…

PEI Urban Grand Challenges awards $509,000 to new urban sustainability projects

January 17, 2019 ・ Morgan Kelly

Vertical farms in post-industrial America, origami-based noise-pollution barriers, and cement made from burned waste make up the latest round of projects funded by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) Urban Grand Challenges program. Totaling $509,000, the new awards are active through September…