February 23 — Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)

Italy suffered its largest inland oil spill on February 23, 2010, when millions of gallons of oil was maliciously drained into a tributary of the Po River.  Considered an act of sabotage—perhaps in retaliation by dismissed workers—the perpetrators have never been caught. The discharge occurred from storage tanks along the Lambro River, an upstream tributary […]

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February 22 — Nile Day

February 22 has been declared Nile Day by the countries that share the Nile River basin.  Nile Day commemorates the signing of the 1999 agreement to cooperatively manage the river basin, called the Nile Basin Initiative. The Nile River is one of the most important waterbodies in the world.  By most estimates, it is the […]

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February 21 — Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)

The last known Carolina Parakeet (Cornuropsis carolinensis) died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918. Carolina Parakeets were common birds in the eastern United States at the time of European settlement.  Sir Walter Raleigh mentioned their presence in the Carolinas in a 1596 book, comparing them to the parrots he had encountered […]

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February 20 — Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)

Ansel Adams, the most famous nature photographer in history, was born on February 20, 1902 (died 1984), in San Francisco, California.  The work of Ansel Adams is ubiquitous in the United States—in museums, government offices, calendars and pinned to the walls in college dorm rooms.  No other photographer of nature has captured either the American […]

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February 19 — Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)

Which U.S. presidents have been the most environmentally important?  Opinions vary, but generally included in the top 5 is a name you might not expect—Abraham Lincoln.  And the place where Abraham Lincoln learned to love the land was established as the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial on February 19, when President John Kennedy signed it into […]

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February 17 — R. A. Fischer, Statistician, Born (1890)

We either love it or hate it.  But either way, we have to admit that statistics is one of the most powerful tools for conservation and environmental science.  The foundation of statistics as we know it today comes largely from the incredible brain of Sir Ronald Aylmer Fischer, born on February 17, 1890 (died 1962). […]

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February 15 — Complete Human Genome Published (2001)

On the February 15, 2001, in the science magazine Nature, a group of hundreds of scientists published the complete human genome.  All 14.8 billion base pairs!  This was an enormous undertaking and an enormous success.  And, although this particular feat was about human genetics, the ramifications for conservation are similarly enormous. The human genome project began […]

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February 14 — Nature’s Faithful Lovers

It is Valentine’s Day, and I couldn’t resist writing about nature’s faithful lovers.  Besides, other than Captain John Fremont “discovering” Lake Tahoe on this date, nothing else really important in conservation happened on February 14. Being a faithful lover is one way to say it; being monogamous is another.  Monogamy is highly variable in nature.  […]

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