Helium is an essential material for research and medical equipment, but it's nonrenewable and difficult to recycle

With the fourth significant shortage of helium in a decade continuing, companies and researchers are looking for alternative sources.

Nicholas Fitzkee, Professor of Chemistry, Mississippi State University • conversation
Jan. 17, 2024 ~8 min

Iceland battles a lava flow: Countries have built barriers and tried explosives in the past, but it's hard to stop molten rock

Iceland, Hawaii and Italy have all tried to control lava to save cities in the past. A volcanologist explains the methods.

Loÿc Vanderkluysen, Associate Professor of Earth Science, Drexel University • conversation
Jan. 17, 2024 ~5 min

2023's billion-dollar disasters list shattered the US record with 28 big weather and climate disasters amid Earth's hottest year on record

An atmospheric scientist explains how rising temperatures are helping to fuel extreme storms, floods, droughts and devastating wildfires.

Shuang-Ye Wu, Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, University of Dayton • conversation
Jan. 9, 2024 ~8 min

Leveraging language to understand machines

Master's students Irene Terpstra ’23 and Rujul Gandhi ’22 use language to design new integrated circuits and make it understandable to robots.

Lauren Hinkel | MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab • mit
Dec. 22, 2023 ~7 min

Volcanic eruption lights up Iceland after weeks of earthquake warnings − a geologist explains what's happening

Iceland is known as ‘the land of fire and ice’ for a reason.

Jaime Toro, Professor of Geology, West Virginia University • conversation
Dec. 19, 2023 ~8 min

2023's extreme storms, heat and wildfires broke records – a scientist explains how global warming fuels climate disasters

The US saw a record number of billion-dollar disasters in 2023, even when accounting for inflation. The number of long-running heat waves like the Southwest experienced is also rising.

Shuang-Ye Wu, Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, University of Dayton • conversation
Dec. 19, 2023 ~9 min

Why dozens of North American bird species are getting new names: Every name tells a story

What’s in a name? A lot, if you’re an Audubon’s Oriole or a Townsend’s Solitaire.

Jared Del Rosso, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology, University of Denver • conversation
Dec. 7, 2023 ~9 min

Why iconic trees are so important to us – and how replacing those that fall is often complicated

The felling of iconic trees is a highly emotive issue – but the damage needs to be repaired with care.

Ewan Macdonald, Senior Research Fellow in Conservation Geopolitics, University of Oxford • conversation
Dec. 4, 2023 ~7 min

New risk model better predicts river flood damage

A new natural disaster risk model offers a reliable and affordable way for governments to estimate expected damage from rivers that flood.

Lisa Ercolano-Johns Hopkins • futurity
Dec. 1, 2023 ~5 min

How colonial violence in Tasmania helped build scientists' reputations and prestigious museum collections

New research shows the uncomfortable and shocking truth behind a revered scientist’s reputation.

Jack Ashby, Assistant Director of the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, University of Cambridge • conversation
Nov. 29, 2023 ~6 min