Environment & Science

Nature and Science news


There’s no question the world of Science suffered a great loss with the passing of physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking.  But experts on people with disabilities say his life was also important in other ways. 

Many people can envision pictures of Stephen Hawking, using a wheelchair and talking through a computer device due to his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 

NY State DEC

Central New Yorkers have been dealing with occasional harmful algal blooms for years, including Owasco and Cayuga lakes. But it wasn’t until late last summer when the green organic matter showed up much closer to home.

 “The third one is the lake that perhaps among all lakes in New York State was the last one we expected to see a harmful algal bloom on, Skaneateles Lake.”

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors jumped aboard a larger national movement that would levy a carbon fee on fossil fuels and return that money to households. The Carbon Fee and Dividend climate change resolution, sponsored by councilor Joe Driscoll, would add a $15 fee to every ton of fossil fuel. He said that figure is based on the environmental costs of CO2 emitted by the fuel.

John Smith/WAER News

The Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse talked to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station Friday morning, asking him questions about his job and life in space.  The ISS was traveling at about 17,000 miles per hour as Astronaut Mark Vande-Hei took the time to answer a series of questions from the children. 12-year old Mhubiri was excited for the opportunity to talk to the astronaut.

 “I actually thought about being an astronaut so today was a very exciting event for me so I was very happy I was able to talk to him and ask him some questions.”

Scott Willis/WAER News

SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry biology students are researching this year’s most compelling breakthroughs in evolutionary research, such as: fossil finds, species endangerment, and chemical resistance. Environmental forest and biology professor Rebecca Rundell says that almost 200 students have made posters revolving around Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Making Movies from the Sky? State Drone Film Festival Seeks Entries

Feb 15, 2018
Chase Guttman

Central New York is quickly becoming a leading drone hub in America. Professional companies and hobbyists who have been capturing aerial views on their flights might want to consider taking their films to the next level. The second-annual New York State Fair Drone Film Festival is seeking entries for films produced with drones. Mike Massurin, the Managing Director of the film festival, says the competition added “news” to the list of categories.

provided photo

A renowned fisheries expert from SUNY ESF admits he never gave Onondaga Lake or its fish much thought as he drove past the lake for ten years.  Now, after more than 30 years of research, Dr. Neil Ringler will discuss improvements in Onondaga Lake’s fish population at a special event later this month.  He says when he first began in 1986, he was astounded at how many fish were in the polluted lake…

"I'm not sure a respectable bald eagle would dive and grab something out of that lake.  But there was never a time that we know of when there were no fish in the lake."

Chris Bolt/WAER News

An event in Syracuse this weekend pointed out the differences in policy and support for climate change science between the Unites States and France.  Cornell Atmospheric Science Professor Louis Derry received a research grant from the French government, which was part of some international jockeying.

“President Macron, after Trump decided to pull out o

Melissa Osgood / Cornell University

A bald eagle and hawk are recovering after Cornell University wildlife experts say they suffered acute poisoning.  Both were found lethargic and unable to fly, and both are classified by the DEC as threatened in New York State.  Despite the uncertain outlook when they were picked up, both raptors made unexpected recoveries.  Here are their stories, as provided by Cornell media relations:


Sunny Balkin / WAER News

Six finalist companies participating in the GENIUS NY program in Syracuse are receiving their share of more than $3 million dollars in investments from Empire State Development Corporation.  They’re creating new innovations at the Tech Garden to advance UAS or Unmanned Aerial Systems that supports the many applications of drones. 

Some of the innovations range from helping grow agriculture to solutions for urban planning.  Co-founders of Dropcopter Adam Fine and Mike Wench created their company to pick-up where declining bee populations left-off.