Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Final Articles for 2015

The clock is ticking down on the final hours of 2015, so let's take a moment to list my final articles for this incredible year.

I wrote a ton of great articles in 2015, and this final batch serves as a pretty nice cap to it all. They're all about endangered species and they cover a pretty broad, interesting group of wildlife.

So here they are, starting with three new pieces (well, two articles and one recap) for Scientific American:

African Lions Finally Gain Endangered Species Act Protection

Resplendent Quetzal, Sacred Bird of Maya and Aztecs, Faces Extinction Risk

Ten Conservation Headlines that Defined 2015

And here are the last two, for TakePart:

Endangered Sea Otters Have a New Problem: Overpopulation

The Final Countdown: Vaquita Porpoises Could Go Extinct in Two Years

That's it for now -- and for this year. Expect a lot more in 2016. I hope it's a great year for all of us.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Killer Robots, Killer Cats and Killer Humans

I did not write a single word last week -- I spend almost the entire time at a conference in San Francisco learning about marine mammals -- but all the same a ton of articles I wrote over the past few weeks all managed to appear.

Here's the coolest, a short article for the January 2016 print issue of Scientific American, which is already online:

A Starfish-Killing, Artificially Intelligent Robot Is Set to Patrol the Great Barrier Reef

Speaking of SciAm, here are my latest two "Extinction Countdown" articles:

Lost Butterfly Rediscovered After 56 Years

Feral Cats Are Killing Off One of Australia's Cutest Marsupials

Sticking with the killer theme of the week, here's a new article for TakePart:

How to Save Sharks From Extinction

Finally this week, here's something completely different: my latest careers article for IEEE-USA InSight:

Got Expertise? Become An Expert Source

The next two weeks won't see too much on the publication front -- we're counting down to the end of the year and many of my editors will be taking time off (as I should be, as well) -- but come back next week for a headline or two. And follow me on Twitter for stories as they happen!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tigers, Elephants and Suckers

Howdy folks. The year is starting to wind down but my keyboard is still clacking away. This past week brought five new articles covering (mostly) wildlife and crime.

Here's the first batch, all for TakePart:

Tigers Face Deadly Squeeze in the Wild (and Deadlier Threats in Captivity)

The Unexpected Places Where Endangered Wildlife Are Thriving

African Nations Commit to Game-Changing Reforestation Plan

And here's the final two, for Scientific American:

The Hidden Crisis Killing India's Young Elephants

Modoc Sucker Recovers, Leaves Endangered Species List

That last one was a little bit tough for me. As a comics fan, I kept wanting to type MODOK instead of Modoc.

I'm at the Marine Mammalogy Conference this week, learning all about whales and seals and dolphins and manatees and other cool critters. That means I won't be writing any new articles this week, although there are at least four in the queue at various publishers. Follow me on Twitter for the headlines as they happen (and maybe a few tweets from the conference).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Reefs, Roads and Roasting

Hey folks, it's Monday again and I'm back with last week's article links. It was a simple week, so here they are, three articles for TakePart and one for Scientific American:

Fishing With Bombs and Cyanide Is Taking a Devastating Toll on Coral Reefs

Is Africa About to Face Its Greatest Environmental Threat?

Record Number of Endangered Florida Panthers Killed This Year

Fire Destroys 90 Percent of Rare Bird's Habitat in Australia

There's lots, lots, lots more in the works, so follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen this week.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Short Week, Big Impact

Welcome to the Monday after Thanksgiving. Freelancers don't often have short work weeks, so I embraced this one and finally managed to take a few days off. I still had a few articles come out, though, and they were doozies. Here they are, one for Scientific American and two for TakePart:

25 Possible New Extinctions: Hawaiian Plants, Madagascar Orchids, Chilean Water Frog

Pangolins in Peril: Wildlife Traffickers Target the World’s Most Profitable Prey

Thanks to Climate Change, Foxes Are Now Threatening a Rare Seal

Look for more this coming week. Follow me on Twitter for headlines as they go live or come on back here next Monday for yet another list.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Solar Careers, Soaring Squirrels and Sinking Forests

These days I am mostly known for my work writing about endangered species, but I love writing career articles -- especially articles about green careers. Here's my latest for IEEE-USA InSight:

Power Up: Sustainable Energy Brings Sustainable Careers

Back on the endangered species beat, here are three new articles for Scientific American. One is good news, while the other two are pretty awful news:

Squirrel! Conservationists Cheer as Giant Squirrel Recovers, Leaves Endangered Species List

Amazon Trees Face Extinction Crisis, but There's Hope 

Northern White Rhino Dies, Leaving Just Three on the Planet

And finally this week, here are three new articles for TakePart, covering wildlife trafficking and climate change:

Criminal Syndicates Are Driving Wildlife Crime Around the Globe

Washington Judge Rules Government Has Legal Duty to Fight Global Warming

The Great Antarctic Melt May Benefit These Penguins 

More next Monday! Or follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Albatross! (and other stuff)

"Albatross!" .... is a line that does not occur in my article.
Like a lot of journalists, I usually end my interviews about a specific topic by asking "what else should we be talking about?" That doesn't always lead very far, but once in a while I strike gold. That happened recently, and it turned into this article for Motherboard:

A Gigapixel Camera Turned This Island into an Albatross 'Truman Show'

On a more normal, timely note, here are two awful news-oriented stories for TakePart. (No, the topics are awful! The stories are fine.)

Poachers Are Hunting Down the World’s Last Wild Sumatran Rhinos

The Dutch Ban Fur Farms That Kill 6 Million Mink a Year

Finally this week, here are two fun new science stories for (you guessed it) Scientific American:

Another New Tool for Seal Conservation: Snow Shovels

"Living Dead" Weevil Gets Another Shot at Surviving

That's it for this week's headlines. More in the days, weeks and months to come!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Snail Week! (and other stuff, too)

This week's articles brought an unexpected theme: snails! I've actually written about snails and other mollusks quite a few times, but never twice in one week. They're both pretty cool stories. Here they are, one for Scientific American and another for TakePart:

Stowaway Snail Helps Save Species from Extinction

World’s Tiniest Snails Discovered on Borneo

Here's another SciAm article, the latest chapter in a saga I've been following since 2010:

70 Percent of the World's Saiga Antelopes Mysteriously Wiped Out

And here are two more TakePart articles, the second of which is my latest tie-in to a TV show called "The Operatives":

California’s Illegal Pot Farms Are Killing Rare Animals

Take a Look Inside the Lives of Captive Dolphins

Finally, here's my latest careers article for IEEE's The Institute:

IEEE Communications Society Rolls Out Four New Courses

That's it for now. Will another theme emerge next week? Stay turned to find out!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lions, Leopards and Logs - A Week of Wildlife Crime

Hey folks, welcome to another Monday link list. This week definitely has a theme: Wildlife and other environmental crimes.

We'll start the list with two new articles for Scientific American:

Lions in Peril: Big Cats Face 50 Percent Decline in Next 20 Years

Clouded Leopards Threatened by Sudden Increase in Poaching and Live Trade

(And here's one other short, holiday-timely SciAm post linking to some older stories:)

Ghosts, Devils and Graveyards: An Extinction Countdown Halloween

Back to crime time, here are three new articles for TakePart (okay, the third one is just about endangered species):

The ‘Devil’ Gets His Due: Elephant Poaching Kingpin Arrested

Demand for Expensive Furniture Is Fueling Illegal Logging in Indonesia

Native Americans Fight to Keep the Grizzly Bear on the Endangered Species List

That's it for this week! More next Monday. I'll have more endangered species articles all week long, and some of my technology careers articles should be working their way toward publication. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Orangutan Week (plus more)

I try to write about orangutans at least once a year. This week I wrote about my favorite species twice, and they're both powerful, important articles. Here they are, one for TakePart and another for Scientific American:

Orangutans Are Dying as Indonesia Burns

Another Challenge for Orangutan Conservation: Food

Beyond the red apes, here are two more articles for TakePart:

Smile, Tiger Poachers: You’re on Hidden Camera

Wisconsin’s ‘Right to Hunt’ Law Could Mean Jail for Animal Activists

I've got lots more in the works for a wide range of publications. Stay tuned for headlines as the happen!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Who Says Endangered Species Can't Be Funny?

If you're read this blog before, you know that I have two great passions: endangered species and cartooning. Those two topics collided in this article for Scientific American:

Nextinction: Ralph Steadman Goes Gonzo for Endangered Birds

I wrote one other SciAm article this week, but it was slightly less fun:

Frog Mass Extinction on the Horizon

Speaking of less fun, yeah, here are three more downers for TakePart:

When Butterflies Shouldn't Fly Free

China’s Obsession With Pet Turtles Threatens a Rare Philippine Species With Extinction

A Rare Chance to Save an Entire Nation’s Frogs From Extinction

Yes, there were some negative articles this week, but take a closer look -- almost all of them mention the things people are doing (or can do) to turn things around. That's why I do this. There are heroes out there, and there are solutions.

More next week. As always, if you can't wait until then you can also follow me on Twitter, where I'll post headlines as they go live. Some of them may even be fun!

Monday, October 12, 2015

All Endangered Species, All the Time

Well, it probably shouldn't surprise you that all of my articles this week had something to do with endangered species. I'm working on several other things, too, but these are what saw print. Here they are, two each for Scientific American and TakePart:

Endangered Hawaiian Bees and Other Species Proposed for Protection

Can the Cheetah Outrun Extinction?

A Third of Cacti Face Extinction, and That's a Big Problem for Desert Wildlife

Study Reveals Secret Benefactors of the Endangered Species Act

More next week! Follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Introversion and Sexual Deception

Another week, another list of article links.

This time around, let's start our Monday morning countdown with my latest careers article for IEEE-USA Insight:

An Introvert’s Guide to Leadership

Next up, two new "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, including my favorite headline of the month:

Sexually Deceptive Orchid Seeks Specialty Pollinator

Rising Seas and Pounding Waves Will Threaten 3 Common Pacific Seabirds

Keeping with the wildlife/environment theme, here are three new articles for TakePart:

The Illegal Timber Trade Is Destroying Myanmar’s Forests and Wildlife

For the First Time, U.S. Considers Declaring a Bee Endangered

Now Palm Oil Is Killing the Frogs

Finally this week, I launched a niche blog to talk about one of my favorite obsessions:

Bicentennial Comics

That's it for this time around. Follow me on Twitter for more headlines as they happen or come back here next Monday for another link list!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Painful Polar Bears and Umbrella Pandas

Whoa, it's Monday again! I'm back in the saddle after a weekend at Rose City Comic Con here in Portland, where I really dove into learning things for two of my goals for the next year: writing about comics more and doing some journalism in comics form.

You won't see any of that in today's article list, though. This week's links are all conservation-oriented. There's some powerful and painful stuff here -- but also a few heroes. Hey, just like comics!

I'll start with my two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, this second of which is actually just a link to an interview I did for KCRW radio last week:

Giant Panda Conservation Also Helps Other Unique Species in China

The Polar Bear Photo Seen around the World

I also had three articles out from TakePart, two of which had interesting parallels to each other:

Stress Takes Toll on Elephants Forced to Work in Myanmar’s Timber Industry

Poaching and Illegal Logging Are Wiping Out Ghana’s Birds

Swordfish Industry Ordered to Stop Killing Endangered Whales and Sea Turtles

That's it for this week. I should have several interesting new articles out this coming week. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for links as they happen!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weird Fish and Climate Conundrums

What the heck -- we're already half-way through September? How did that happen?

Well, I guess I've had my head down to the keyboard so much that I didn't notice the passage of time. But I did get a lot of writing done, including this week's four new articles. Here they are, starting with my two latest "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

Killer Starfish Threaten Fish That Walks on Hand-Like Fins

Israel and Palestine Share a Rapidly Disappearing Gazelle

Also on this week's list, two climate/wildlife related articles for TakePart:

Pacific Northwest Frogs Are a Hop, Skip, and a Jump From Oblivion as Temperatures Rise

The Latest Threat to Bees Stops Them From Smelling the Flowers

More next week!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Elusive Species, Intrepid Adventurers and Technology Startups

Happy Labor Day! I'm not working today -- an extreme rarity for a freelance writer, let me tell you! -- but I am taking a moment to remind you about the work that I did last week. It was quite a week -- a mix of new news articles and a few features that have been in the works for a while now and finally saw the light of day (or the computer monitor as the case may be).

Let's start the list with those news articles, the first three of which were for TakePart:

Soon Nearly Every Seabird Will Be Flying With a Gut Full of Plastic Trash

Adventurer Is Walking 1,800 Miles to Find Madagascar’s Rarest Lemur

Australia’s Wombats Are Dying in the Worst Way Possible—Could an App Help?

Next up, my latest "Extinction Countdown" article for Scientific American:

Asian Vultures Get Good News Ahead of International Vulture Day

On a related conservation note, here's my first feature for Mongabay:

The Cat Ba Langur: a primate walks the razor’s edge of extinction

And finally this week, here's my latest technology careers article for IEEE's The Institute:

Get Schooled on Startups From a Venture Capitalist Whose Companies Have Never Failed

That's it -- plenty for you to read on the last day of your long weekend.

Follow me on Twitter for more of this week's headlines, or come back here next Monday for another list!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tasmanian Devil Week (plus more stuff)

This week I got to write about one of my favorite species not just once, but twice! Here they are, two articles about Tasmanian devils for TakePart and Scientific American:

Tasmanian Devils Gone Wild: How an Iconic Animal Can Save Australia's Wildlife

Yet Another Disease Is Attacking Tasmanian Devils

I also wrote two other wildlife-related articles this week...once again, one each for TakePart and SciAm:

Big Ag Is Devastating the Amazon, but a New Plan Could Preserve Rainforests and Wildlife

$1 Million More a Year Could Save Kiwi Birds from Extinction

I also recently turned in a few new technology features, which should be working their way toward publication as early as this week.

Want more headlines faster? Follow me on the Tweet Machine for links as they happen!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Robots, Super-Predators and Poop

Ah, another Monday. Mine starts with a cuppa tea, a glance at Facebook and a list of my publications from the previous week.

Speaking of which, here's that list, starting with two interesting "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

That's a tree kangaroo, in case you were wondering.
Poop Could Help Save Rare Tree Kangaroo from Extinction

The Cuckoo Reason Why These Bumblebees May Go Extinct

Next up, two important articles for TakePart:

U.S. Cracks Down on Mexican Seafood After Turtle Deaths

Meet the Super-Predator Wiping Out the World’s Wildlife

And finally, here's my latest technology careers feature for IEEE-USA InSight:

Career Focus: The Three *New* Laws of Roboticists

Well, I think pulling that list together earned me another cuppa tea. Have a great week!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Zombie Seals, Failed Amphibians and Dead Coyotes

Hey folks, welcome to my regular Monday morning link wrap-up. This week brings you a pretty wide mix of stories, all of which deserve your clicks.

Photo by Derek Mead
We'll start the list with my second feature for Vice magazine's Motherboard imprint, a heartwarming tale of an impending apocalypse:

The Sneeze That Could Wipe Out Hawaii’s Seals

Next up, three new wildlife articles for TakePart:

Poachers Aren’t Going to ‘Like’ These Tech Companies Teaming Up to Fight the Ivory Trade

U.S. to World: You’d Better Protect Whales and Dolphins If You Want Us to Eat Your Seafood

Activists Score Victory in Effort to Stop the Government Killing of Millions of Animals

Just one "Extinction Countdown" article for Scientific American this week, but it asks a pretty big question:

Are Zoos Failing Amphibians?

And finally, here's something completely different, for IEEE's The Institute. If you know any smart kids, point 'em in this direction:

Calling All Students: Create an Animation Focused on Smart Technologies

That's it in terms of articles that I wrote last week, but here's one more (about birding) that quotes me:

Change in slow motion

As always, thanks for reading! Join me here next week or follow me on the tweet machine for headlines as they happen.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Blood Lions and Devil Trees

Hey folks! It's Monday again, following a really great writing week. This week's articles covered some pretty powerful topics and really seemed to grab my readers' attentions.

Case in point, this week's two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, both of which really struck a chord with people:

Devil Tree Threatens the World's Rarest Zebras

Ring-Tailed Lemurs Threatened by Illegal Pet Trade

In the wake of the death of Cecil the lion, all of my old articles on lions have been attracting tens of thousands of new readers. Well here's a new one for TakePart that also inspired a lot of angry feelings:

‘Blood Lions’: Conservationists Infiltrate Hunts of Captive Big Cats in South Africa

Sticking with the lion theme, I talked about Cecil, lion conservation and how the media can do a better job of cover endangered species on this week's episode of the CounterSpin radio show.

Finally this week, on a completely different note, here's my latest careers article for IEEE's The Institute. I learned a lot working on this one and it's a nice tonal shift from all of the stuff above:

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Key to Your Success

Well, that's it for this time around. Make sure to come back next Monday for more headlines, or follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rhinos, Tigers and Sharks (Don't Cry)

This was a bad week for wildlife. Well, mostly. I wrote three new "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, all of which updated stories I have previously covered and only one of which could be considered semi-good news:

Another Northern White Rhino Dies--and Then There Were Four (this was also translated into Spanish)

Bangladesh Has 75 Percent Fewer Tigers Than Expected

Giant Squeaker Frog Gets Ready for Cries of Joy

The bad news continued at TakePart with this batch of climate and wildlife articles, although the last one actually is pretty cool and hopeful:

Drought Is Making Climate Change Even Worse

Sharks Are What's for Dinner, and That's a Big Problem

Waving the Flag for the Grizzly’s Return to California

That's it for this week. I should have a couple of new technology articles coming up in the next few weeks, along with a whole bunch of new wildlife articles, so follow me on Twitter for the headlines as they happen.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wildlife Trafficking, Cybersecurity & Turtle Sex

Hey folks! Happy Monday!

Last week saw the publication of two big new features, both of which I feel have already had a pretty big impact. I can't believe how many emails and tweets I got about them.

Here's the first, probably my longest article to date for TakePart, which managed to predict at least one thing that later came true:

Obama in Kenya: What the President Can Do This Weekend to Help End Poaching

And here's the second feature, my latest technology careers piece for IEEE-USA InSight:

Cybersecurity Professionals: The Government Wants You [Seriously, if you know any smart kids or young professionals, point 'em toward this career.]

Next up, my latest "Extinction Countdown" article for Scientific American, a follow-up to one of this year's most popular articles:

No Motherhood Yet for 100-Year-Old Turtle

Finally, here are two more wildlife-related news articles for TakePart:

Climate Change and Mosquitoes: A Deadly Combination for Hawaii's Rare Birds

Canine Cops Target Ivory Smugglers in Africa

That's it for this time around! Join me next Monday for more or follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen.

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Own Private Shark Week (and other stories)

Discovery Channel's annual "Shark Week" programming may be over, but that didn't stop me from having my own shark week, with two new articles about Sharks for TakePart and Scientific American:

A Tech Billionaire’s Plan to Save Endangered Sharks and Coral Reefs

Three Angel Shark Species Proposed for Protection

I also wrote two other endangered species stories for SciAm and TakePart:

World's Biggest Bumblebee at Risk of Extinction

Groups Ask Obama Administration to Protect Critically Endangered Pangolins

My last of this week's headlines comes from IEEE's The Institute, where I once again profile the annual Presidents' Scholarship winner (one of my favorite gigs of the year):

High School Student Designs a ‘Wheelchair’ That Lets Users Stand Up

That's it for this week. Make sure to tune in next Monday for more links, or follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wolves, Monkeys and Apps Developers

Triskaidekaphobia is a thing. Don't judge me.
It's Monday the 13th and I should probably be superstitious but I have too many projects on my plate to be nervous. (Yes, I know Monday the 13th isn't a thing, but it should be.)

Anyway, last week saw several projects get off my plate and into the world. Here are the first two, my latest "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

Wolves and Monkeys: Unusual Hunting Buddies

Endangered Antelope with Fur More Valuable Than Gold on Its Way to Recovery

Next up, two new wildlife/environment articles for TakePart:

Plastic Bags Are Killing Fish—but Not in the Way You Might Think

Will the Drought Topple California’s Towering Redwoods?

And finally this week, here's my latest for IEEE's The Institute:

IEEE/IBM Watson Student Contest Wants App Developers

Lots more in the days and weeks ahead -- assuming I make it through today, of course!

Monday, July 6, 2015

What do whales and jobs have in common?

What do whales and jobs have in common? Easy: they're the subjects of my articles from last week:

A New Threat to Whales: Snake-Oil Salesmen

Poaching Could Cost Africa Millions of Jobs

Those were both for TakePart, by the way.

I've been working at kind of half my normal levels for the past two weeks (which was almost, kinda, sorta like a vacation), but I'm back to full speed ahead starting today. Expect a whole bunch of new articles for all of my regular publishers over the next week and beyond!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lion Week

Hey folks, welcome to Monday!

I only had two articles appear last week, which was actually two more articles than I had planned. I took a big chunk of last week off to recharge, but that didn't mean I completely stopped writing. Two very different stories about lions popped up, so I wrote them both for Scientific American:

African Lion Populations Down 42 Percent in 21 Years


Good News for the World's Rarest Lions

This week's publication list will also probably be on the short side, what with the whole July 4 holiday coming up this weekend, but come on back here next Monday for whatever headlines happen.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wolves, Whales and other Wildlife

Oregon's famous OR-7 wolf. Credit: USFWS
What a week! The past 7 days brought about all kinds of new articles from my keyboard, including this one, my first feature for Vice magazine's Motherboard imprint:

Wolf-Safe Beef: An Idea Whose Time Has (Almost) Come

Next up, two new "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

The Sneaky Ways 2 Frogs Are Beating a Killer Fungus

Sex and the Single Male Bird: Why Uncoupled Individuals Matter

Plus one recent article that was just translated into Spanish for SciAm Español:

Una tortuga de 100 años, la última de su tipo, pronto podría ser mamá

Finally this week, here are three new articles for TakePart:

Saving Elephants by Making Expensive Art

The Unseen Extinction Wiping Out the World's Wildlife

Humpback Whales Are Starving, and Climate Change Is to Blame

I'm pretty proud of this week's articles. I hope you enjoy reading them.

More next Monday!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Elephants, Wolves and Life Sciences

Sometimes journalism is a waiting game. There are many, many subjects that I know I want to cover one day, but all too often they need to wait for the right news hook. Sometimes the opportunity to write about these subjects doesn't come around for weeks, months, or even years.

This week three of those long-in-the-queue subjects hit.

Two of them saw publication in Scientific American:

Alaska's Rare Alexander Archipelago Wolves Nearly Wiped Out in 1 Year

Isn't It Time We Recognize African Elephants as 2 Separate Species?

One more appeared in TakePart, where I also covered a few other cool stories:

A Rare Songbird May Become This Era's Passenger Pigeon

Climate Change Is Helping One Weird Pest Destroy More Crops

Organic Farming's Big Secret: It Helps Wild Animals, Too

Despite the thrill of finally being able to cover those three stories, almost all of this week's articles were pretty negative. Well, here's a nice palate cleanser, my latest careers article for IEEE's The Institute:

The Life Sciences Offer Job Opportunities for Engineers

That's it for this week. See you in 7 days for another link list. Or follow me on Twitter for the latest headlines as they go live.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Turtle Love, Deformed Frogs and Sad Bears

Good morning and welcome to another edition of "What John Platt published last week."

This week presented me with a number of wildly interesting wildlife stories. All of these seem pretty bleak at first blush, but read deeper; there are a lot of positive messages hidden inside.

We'll start this little linkfest with my two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

100-Year-Old Turtle, the Last of Her Kind, Could Soon Be a Mom

No Fish, No Fowl: European Fish and Birds in Decline, Despite Some Conservation Successes

Next on the hit parade, this week's articles for TakePart:

A Little Medicine Shop of Horrors for Endangered Sun Bears

Pollution and Climate Change Are Deforming and Killing Alaska's Frogs

That brings our weekly visit to a close. Stay tuned for lots more next Monday -- same Platt time, same Platt station.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Plague Week

Hey folks, welcome to my normal Monday morning link recap. 

Last Monday, as you probably recall, was Memorial Day. As that somber holiday approached, I began to wonder if any species had been driven extinct by war. The answer, it turned out, was yes. That resulted in this article for Scientific American:

Memorializing the Wake Island Rail: An Extinction Caused by War

This week's news stories (for SciAm and TakePart) also brought two tales of species laid low by horrible, unknown diseases. You may recall that I've written about similar saiga antelope deaths almost every year since 2010, but they all pale in comparison to what's going on right now.

Mysterious Disease Threatens Australian Turtle with Immediate Extinction

Half the Population of a Critically Endangered Antelope Has Died in Just a Few Weeks

Finally, here's one more article for TakePart. It has what could be my favorite headline of May:

Poachers in Africa Have a New Enemy: Math

That's it for now. Expect lots more this coming week. I know this week's articles will cover at least one more turtle species. Beyond that, we'll all have to wait and see!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rare Apes, Giant Fish, Career Skills and Bond, James Bond

It's Monday again, which means it's time for my weekly compendium of links to my articles from the previous week. Settle in, there are a good number of them.

Let's start the list with this week's "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American, each of which covers species rarely otherwise discussed:

Massive Humpback Fish at Risk of Extinction

Genetic Secrets of Brazil's Rarest Tree Revealed

Next up, four (!) new articles for TakePart, including my latest coverage of the nearly extinction northern white rhino:

A New Action Plan to Save the World’s Rarest Apes

Animal Named After James Bond Faces Extinction

Celebrities Head to Africa to Help Save the World's Last Male Northern White Rhino

When Laws Meant to Save Endangered Animals Hurt Them

But enough depressing stuff -- here's this month's careers article for IEEE-USA InSight. Although it's intended for engineers, it contains advice that just about anyone can use:

Career Skills: Get More from LinkedIn

That's it for now. I already have a ton on my plate for the coming week. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A new metaphor for climate change (and other stuff, too)

Here's the best quote from this week's articles:

"The only way we’re going to save biodiversity is if we realize that we can save biodiversity."

That's a quote from shark expert Nick Dulvy, which appears the first of this week's two articles for TakePart:

Fewer Sharks Are Being Caught—and That's Not Good News

A New Kind of Artificial Reef Is Saving Fish

Then there are these two articles for Scientific American, in which I coin a new metaphor for the dangers of climate change:

Great News for Lions, Terrible News for Rhinos

Damselfly in Distress: Water Shortages and Cannabis Threaten African Insect 

That's it for this week. I'm working away on about a million, jillion other articles, some of which will appear this week, others of which won't see print until September. No matter when they appear, you can follow along at home as I post the headlines on Twitter.

See you next Monday!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Koalas, Silent Lizards and Something Fishy

Well, another Monday has come around, bringing with it my weekly list of article links. This week is once again all wildlife, all the time. Some new tech articles should be online in the next week or so.

Until then, let's start with this week's "Extinction Countdown" article for Scientific American -- a story you won't read anywhere else:

Prehistoric ‘Lizard of Great Sleepiness’ Nearly Extinct in Vietnam and China

And here are three wildlife/climate/environment articles for TakePart:

Toxic Plastic Found in the World’s Favorite Fish

China's Demand for Coal Threatens Koalas

The New Homeless: Some of the World's Rarest Animals

More next Monday. Until then, follow me on Twitter for articles links as they go live.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Rhinos, Rabbits and Invading Barbeques

Well here's a happy week of articles. There's not a positive story among them. Oh well, that's what happens when you're on the endangered species beat.

First up, two new "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

The Last 3 Bornean Rhinos Are in a Race against Extinction

Mesquite Invasion Threatens a Unique Species in India

And next, three new wildlife/climate articles for TakePart:

Rabbits in a Stew as Climate Change Accelerates

Local Craigslist Ads Are Fueling the Slaughter of Elephants Worldwide

A Warming World Means a World Without Animals

Well, that was that. Go take a look at some Spring flowers, a kitten or a smiling baby for a few minutes to cleanse your mental palate.

I'm sure that next week will bring some more positive headlines. Follow me on Twitter for the headlines as they happen.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Whales + Bees + Radio

Hey folks, it's time for my regular Monday morning linkfest of my articles from the previous week.

This time around there's not all that much to read. Only two of my bylines appeared this week, along with one fun little extra. Let's get to the headlines:

Should Humpback Whales Be Removed from the Endangered Species List? (Scientific American)

Bees Are Getting a Buzz off Neonics, and That Could Be What’s Killing Them (TakePart)

And here's the extra: my latest appearance on the Green Divas radio show (along with an accompanying blog post):

Extinction Sucks, But You Can Make a Difference

This coming week should see a lot more of my articles -- in fact, I know it will, since at least two of them are pending publication first thing this morning. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for the latest links as they happen!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Seal Placentas, Frogs with Claws and Shy Turtles

I write about some weird, wonderful stuff.

Case in point, this week's two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

Critically Endangered Frog Claws Its Way toward Recovery

A New Tool for Conservation Genetics: Seal Placentas

Another case in point, this week's articles for TakePart:

Is This Turtle Too Shy to Be Saved From Extinction?

A Big Gold Mine Could Wipe Out a Tiny Endangered Critter

Say Good-Bye to Fish and Chips

This coming week should see at least one of my technology-related articles and lots more about weird wildlife. Stay tuned. Come back here next Monday or follow me on Twitter for headlines as they happen.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

Zoos, Evil Chocolate, 3-D Printing, Polar Bears and Chinese Smog

Holy freakin' cow I published a lot of articles this past week -- 10 articles from five different publishers! No wonder my fingers hurt all weekend!

With so much to read, I'll skip the big preamble. Instead, I'll start you off with this week's "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

How Zoos Acquire Endangered Species

Is Chocolate Driving Monkeys into Extinction?

Next up, three eco-themed articles for TakePart:

The Big Reason the Deepwater Horizon Disaster Is Not Over

Seafood Surprise: A Third of These Species Faces Extinction

Forget Secondhand Smoke—Start Worrying About Secondhand Smog

Sticking with wildlife, here's my second article for South Africa's Earth Touch Network:

Climate change will scramble polar bears' diets – and eggs aren’t the solution

Switching gears, my latest technology careers article came out in IEEE's The Institute this week:

Thirty-Five Percent of Engineering Jobs Now Require 3-D Printing Skills

And finally, three of my earlier articles from The Institute and Today's Engineer were revised and updated in the IEEE Spectrum 2015 New Career Guide.

That's it for this time around -- stay tuned for more next Monday! If you can't wait that long, follow me on Twitter, where I'll share the latest headlines as they happen.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Banking on extinction and other horrors

People who knew me in the early days of my writing career often ask me, "why did you stop writing horror?"

I didn't. I just don't write much fiction anymore.

This week's articles for TakePart and Scientific American cover some pretty horrifying topics, but don't let that warning stop you from reading. Like any good horror story every article is also populated by people doing good, vital work to push back the darkness.

Let's get to the links, starting with one of my most important articles ever:

China’s Wealthy Are Banking on Extinction

Earth’s Forests Are Broken

Buzz Kill: Hundreds of European Bee Species Threatened With Extinction

The Reason This Unique and Critically Endangered Porpoise Is Smiling

Hungry Polar Bears Could Soon Start Devastating Bird Populations

Keeping Tiny Delta Smelt Alive in Captivity Is No Small Feat

Sunday Species Snapshot: Swift Parrot

That's it for this week. I know that the coming week will have a few more strictly positive stories, so stay tuned for them!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Moving to the Beat of a Different Narwhal

Photo by Laine Trees (CC).
Hey folks, it's time for our regularly scheduled Monday morning like wrap-up. I've got quite an interesting collection of links for you this week, so let's get to it.

First up, two new wildlife-related articles for TakePart, notable for the fact that I finally got to write about narwhals:

Even the Unicorns of the Sea Can’t Escape Climate Change

Missing Lynx: Farmers Worry About Plan to Return Big Cats to Wild Lands

Next on the hit parade, a short bit of bad news for my "Extinction Countdown" column over at Scientific American:

With Just Six Delta Smelt Left, Controversial California Fish Species Faces Impending Extinction

Finally, here's my latest technology careers feature -- which was inspired by my own experience moving from Maine to Oregon last year:

Relocating for a New Job? Make the Most of It!

That's it for now. Expect a whole lot more this coming week. Follow me on Twitter for links as they happen!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tourism and Poop

I have to say, I'm pretty excited to share this week's articles with you. They represent some of my best writing lately. I swear, I was typing on all cylinders this week, and I hope you enjoy the results.

First up, this week's "Extinction Countdown" article for Scientific American, which tackles the oh-so-serious topic of bonobo poop:

If Apes Go Extinct, So Could Entire Forests

Next up, three new articles for TakePart, which all (in one of those unintentional twists of topic-oriented fate) deal with one aspect or another of wildlife tourism:

The Simple Thing You Can Do to Save Loveable but Endangered Manatees

Stay Off Elephants' Backs to Stop Killing Them

Save a Fearsome Predator by Swimming With It

That's it for this time around. Coming up this week: lots more like that, but also a few other goodies. Stay in the loop -- follow me on the Tweet machine for links as they happen.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Living fossils, geriatric orangutans and more

March has definitely started like a lion. The first full week of the month brought opportunities for me to write several cool articles and to appear on a panel at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

Regarding cool articles, let's start with this week's "Extinction Countdown" entry for Scientific American:

After 400 Million Years, Coelacanth at Risk of Extinction

Next up, several really great articles for TakePart:

Is That Wildlife Documentary Lying to You?

You Could Learn a Thing or Two About Living a Long Life From the World’s Oldest Orangutan

The Newest Comic Book Superheroes: The World’s Endangered Tigers

Finally, on a completely different note, here's my latest technology careers feature for IEEE's The Institute:

No Clear Path for Prospective Cybersecurity Specialists

That's it for now. Let's see if this lion-like month continues! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Heroes, Orphans, Apes and Flowers

Holy cow, it's March! How did that happen already? You'd think February was a short month or something...

Well, February sure didn't feel short while it was still here. I worked my widdle fingers to the bone this month, and boy did I turn in some great articles. I'm especially fond of the work that came out the final week of the month, which hit all the emotions.

And of course, that brings us to this week's headlines. I'll start this with my first article for Earth Touch Network, which will both warm your heart and inspire you (and maybe make you a bit mad at the same time):

Orangutan orphan named 'Lisa' in tribute to terminally ill veterinarian

Next on this hit parade, two "Extinction Countdown" articles for Scientific American:

Amur Leopard Population Booms—to 57

Critically Endangered Plant with Brilliant Purple Flowers Discovered in Hawaii

Finally, here are three new articles for TakePart which will fill you with awe, dread, rage and maybe rage again:

Poachers Target Journalists Investigating Rhino Killing

The Surprising Secret Lives of Crocodiles Could Offer New Insights About Your Brain

Chinese Palm Oil Plantations Are Destroying the Home of Africa’s Great Apes

This coming week will be equally huge, if not more so. Follow me on Twitter for the headlines as they happen!