December 20 — “It’s A Wonderful Life” Released (1946)

Apparently everyone related to conservation took the day off on December 20.  Throughout history,there were no conservation-related births, events, tragedies, new laws—nothing.  I guess they needed a day to get ready for the holidays.  Now that might be what an average researcher might conclude, but not me. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that […]

Read More →
December 19 — Richard Leakey, Kenyan Conservationist, Born (1944)

“In the world of science, Richard Leakey is as close to royalty by birth as one gets.”  So wrote Richard Schiffman in 2016.  And with good cause.  Leakey’s parents—Louis and Mary Leakey—are the world’s most famous paleo-anthropologists, having discovered the earliest human fossils at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, proving that humans evolved not in Asia, […]

Read More →
December 18 — First Commercial Nuclear Energy Produced (1957)

Want to start an argument about how to produce electricity without climate change?  Bring up nuclear energy.  Want to start an argument about the history of nuclear energy among a bunch of nuclear dudes?  Just ask which was the first nuclear energy plant! But for our purposes today, we’re going with the Shippingport Atomic Power […]

Read More →
December 17 — Alexander Agassiz, Pioneering Oceanographer, Born (1835)

Many children revolt in the shadow of a famous and demanding father.  Alexander Agassiz, however, the son of world renowned scientist Louis Agassiz, did quite the opposite.  He followed in his father’s large footsteps, complimenting his father’s scientific creativity with a dogged determination and organizational ability. Alexander Agassiz was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on December […]

Read More →
December 16 — Carol Browner, 8th EPA Administrator, Born (1955)

Perhaps this is the best thing that can be said of an environmental leader:  “…Browner was an in-your-face, if you will, environmental activist, and she could cut right through the fluff of any discussions and want to get to the core of what could be done for the environment.”  Sweet! That in-your-face conservationists isCarol Browner.  […]

Read More →
December 14 — World Monkey Day

In 2005, Peter Jackson released his movie, King Kong, on December 14.  Wanna know why?  Because it was World Monkey Day!  At least that’s what Wikipedia says—and they don’t monkey around. World Monkey Day was first celebrated on December 14, 2000.  Why that day?  Michigan State University student Casey Sorrow was monkeying (!) around and […]

Read More →
November 17 — David Livingstone Arrives at Victoria Falls (1855)

If people remember David Livingstone at all, it is as the intrepid African explorer made famous by his meeting with journalist Henry Stanley, at which Mr. Stanley presumably just said, “Dr. Livingston, I presume?”  Livingstone had been exploring Africa for three decades, penetrating farther into the African interior than any other European.  And on November […]

Read More →
November 16 — Global Climate Change Research Act Passed (1990)

The vast majority of the world’s governments and people now understand that the world’s climate is changing and that the changes are largely caused by human-based emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases into the environment.  Getting to this point of understanding, however, has required a major global—and national—commitment to scientific research and education.  That […]

Read More →