Frog Phone

The ecologist Jeremy Feinberg, who discovered a new species of frog on Staten Island recently, counts himself among New York’s "quirk celebrities." Friends call to tell him about shout-outs on "The Daily Show" or "The Leonard Lopate Show," but he knows who’s really being feted. "It’s never about me," he said. "It’s all about the frog," the second new species found in North America since 1986. Feinberg is an oddball species himself: an urban ecologist. For three years, he worked as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Long Island, where he grew up. Now he is finishing a Ph.D. at Rutgers, and lives in Brooklyn.

Read the entire article at The New Yorker »

Opinion: Is water supply a commodity, a service, or a right?

New Jersey needs to take a hard look at how its poorest households will maintain access to water, as water and sewer rates increase. Last year, Detroit sent notices to thousands of customers, threatening to turn off their water service (and ultimately doing so) if past-due bills weren’t paid. For its efforts to ensure sufficient water-utility revenue, Detroit — which has a very high poverty rate and has gone through bankruptcy — earned the opprobrium of interests around the world. Daniel J. Van Abs is currently associate research professor for Water, Society and Environment at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Read the entire article at NJSpotlight »

Study Outlines 20-year Process to Create Meteorological Partnership Between US and Cuba

Few professions in the world benefit from the sharing of information as much as meteorology. Nearly all countries around the world realize the value of sharing meteorological data across their borders. This information collaboration is vital to scientific understanding of the atmosphere and the oceans, as well as essential for accurate forecasts and timely warnings of hurricanes, typhoons, and other severe weather… In a forthcoming article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), authors Dr. Richard Anthes, President Emeritus at University Corporation of Atmospheric Sciences (UCAR) and Dr. Alan Robock, Professor at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, describe the two-decade-long process to form an active meteorological partnership with the Meteorological Institute of Cuba (their National Weather Service). They were joined by co-authors Drs. John Braun of UCAR, Oswaldo Garcia of San Francisco State University, and two Cuban colleagues Juan Carlos Antuna Marrero and Rene Estevan Arredondo from the Grupo de Optica Atmosferica de Camaguey.

Read the entire article at »

Why Sand Ridges Are Great for Fishing and Sand Mining

Most experts believe the offshore ridges of sand that are prime spots for sand mining are related to the ice ages, although storms may also play a role… Beyond those ridges is flatter terrain and finer sand that is not as good for beach-building. It is also farther out and that adds to the cost of mining… Kenneth Able, who directs Rutgers University’s Marine Field Station in Tuckerton, said the real concern is removing the ridges or lumps. Able said research in waters off Little Egg Inlet show the sand ridges have "been around a long time" and fish seem to prefer them.

Read the entire article at »

Planning Your Summer? Here’s the Best Guess at the Weather N.J. Can Expect

As Memorial Day heralds in the unofficial start to the summer season in New Jersey, the outlook for beach season is, well, hazy at best. But the best guess for what’s going to happen lies in the Pacific… Unlike winter, which delivered on its promise of cold and snow, an analysis of long-term forecast data shows that there isn’t a clear signal of what the summer weather will bring to the Garden State… "There’s nothing screaming for a continuation of warm, dry conditions, but there isn’t really anything to the contrary either," said David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University.

Read the entire article at »