About ten miles south of Carmel, Dave Weller and Lisa Ballance sit looking intently out at the ocean. There’s not a cloud in sight.
They’re in a small trailer parked on the edge of a cliff at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab. Both hold binoculars up to their eyes amd call out the coordinates of where they spot a gray whale.
Since 1967, this count has happened every other year. While the eastern pacific gray whale is no longer an endangered species, keeping track of its population level is required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
When Jack Maughan first told his friends Ethan Kurteff and Benek Robertson about the Wendy Schmitt Ocean Health XPrize, they had kind of a typical teen reaction. “Jack walks up to us and is like, 'we can win $750,000' and that excited me,” says Ethan Kurteff with a laugh.
This XPrize competition aims to help solve ocean acidification, which happens when the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide, and the seawater’s pH level drops.
Portland, Oregon is well known as a bike friendly city, but it wasn’t always that way. The woman who helped change the city from being car centric to the place with hundreds of miles of bike lanes, trails and walkways is Mia Birk.
She’s the former bicycle coordinator for Portland, and now President of Alta Planning and Design – a company that works with communities across the country to create infrastructure so people can bike and walk as part of their daily lives.
Right now there are about 6000 different languages are spoken around the world. But many linguists predict if nothing is done half of those will disappear within this century. One of those languages is Irish or Gaelic. This nearly 2000 year old language is no longer the primary language in Ireland and is changing with every generation. So UC Santa Cruz researchers are trying to save it.