June 14 — Bramble Cay Melomys Went Extinct (2016)

The Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lived on one small island in the Great Barrier Reef region, was declared extinct on June 14, 2016.  The extinction is notable as the first extinction of a mammal caused by climate change.             The Bramble Cay melomys (Melomys rubicola) was about 5 inches long, with a […]

Read More →
June 13 — Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Born (1944)

Whoever the Secretary-General of the United Nations might be, he (or she, maybe, someday) is unquestionably a world leader.  But Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General from 2007 to 2016, deserves our special recognition as an environmental leader who moved climate change to the top of the world’s agenda.             Ban Ki-moon was born on June […]

Read More →
June 12 — Frank Chapman, Dean of American Ornithologists, Born (1864)

            Frank Chapman, the most influential ornithologist of the early 20th Century, was born on June 12, 1864 (died 1957).  He became known as the “Dean of American Ornithologists” for his leadership of the evolving field of avian biology.  His career marked many outstanding firsts, but his legacy continues today through the annual Audubon Christmas […]

Read More →
June 11 — Jacques Cousteau, Ocean Explorer, Born (1910)

A favorite trivia question is, what does “scuba” stand for?  The answer, of course, is self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.  A much better question would be, and who was the famous co-inventor of scuba?  The answer is the same as the answer to the question, who’s the most famous ocean explorer?  Right, Jacques Cousteau.             Jacques-Yves […]

Read More →
June 10 — E. O. Wilson, Father of Biodiversity, Born (1929)

Ant-Man is a popular comic book character and a blockbuster recent movie, with Paul Rudd in the starring role.  But the real ant-man is a real scientist who has devoted his life to the study of the humble and ubiquitous six-legged creatures.  E. O. Wilson has used his knowledge of ants to create the ecological […]

Read More →
June 9 — Coral Triangle Day

It is an unfamiliar term—the “coral triangle.”  We all know about the Amazon rainforest as the largest and most significant tropical forest in the world.  But what about coral reefs and their seascapes?  Is there an equivalent of the Amazon for coral reefs?             Indeed there is.  The coral triangle is to coral reefs what […]

Read More →
June 7 — Thomas Malthus Published His Famous Essay (1798)

Thomas Malthus published his essay, “An Essay on the Principle of Population,” on June 7, 1798.  The essay and the name of Malthus have become synonymous with the idea that humans, because of the growth of their population, will eventually run out of resources.  In other words, human existence is fundamentally un-sustainable.             Thomas Robert […]

Read More →
June 8 — Bryce Canyon National Park Created (1923)

In truth, Bryce National Park wasn’t created on this date—but that is just a technicality.  The protection of Bryce Canyon became law on June 8, 1923, when President Warren G. Harding proclaimed the area as Bryce Canyon National Monument.  A year later, Congress passed a law to change its status to a park, changing the […]

Read More →
June 5 — World Environment Day

The United Nations now has many days devoted to the environment—days for water, biodiversity, forests, wildlife, fisheries, and more (many are described in this calendar).  But the granddaddy of them all was established on June 5 – World Environment Day.             The United Nations began to take environmental matters seriously in the late 1960s and […]

Read More →
June 4 — Gaylord Nelson, Politician and Conservationist, Born (1916)

Earth Day has become an annual event for remembering and enhancing the plight of our environment (see the entry for April 22).  The man who started Earth Day, however, both for that accomplishment as well as many others, deserves separate recognition on this, his birthday.             Gaylord Anton Nelson was born in the northern Wisconsin […]

Read More →