Nature

Today’s strange Sun: Cycle 24 stays weird

Today’s strange Sun: Cycle 24 stays weird

Earth’s climate gets cooler when there are fewer solar storms. An extreme example happened between 1645 and 1715, when the normal 11-year sunspot cycle disappeared! This period, called the Maunder Minimum, was accompanied by bitterly cold winters in the American colonies. Fishing settlements in Iceland and Greenland were abandoned. Icebergs were seen near the English Channel. The canals of Venice froze. It was a time of great hardship.

Mary Beth Pfeiffer reads from her new book on Lyme disease in Woodstock & Poughkeepsie

Mary Beth Pfeiffer reads from her new book on Lyme disease in Woodstock & Poughkeepsie

Sunday, April 15: Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change has already garnered critical accolades, including from such environmentalist icons as Jane Goodall and Bill McKibben. The book makes the case that Lyme disease is spreading rapidly around the globe as ticks move into places they could not survive before, infecting half a million people in the US and Europe each year, and untold multitudes in Canada, China, Russia and Australia.

Learn about ethnobotany and new ALS & Alzheimer’s treatments at SUNY-Ulster

Learn about ethnobotany and new ALS & Alzheimer’s treatments at SUNY-Ulster

Tuesday, April 10: Among the researchers racing to find cures for deadly diseases within the world’s threatened ecosystems is renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Paul Alan Cox, director of the Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Dr. Cox’s current focus is on finding new treatments for ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. Aside from common concerns about ecological issues, that makes his work of especial relevance to Northeasterners, considering recent indications that ALS may be connected to late-stage Lyme disease.

John Burroughs Literary Awards honor top nature writers

John Burroughs Literary Awards honor top nature writers

Area residents typically think of the John Burroughs Association as a local not-for-profit organization that maintains Slabsides and the surrounding nature sanctuary and trails in West Park. But the Association also has a national profile as a respected conferrer of annual literary awards in the genre of nature writing, helping to keep alive the primary profession of the great 19th-century naturalist himself.