The UC Davis Department of Chemistry's own Professor Jared Shaw will host the Science Café at DeVere's Pub in Downtown Davis on Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. This outreach, entitled "Big City Life: of Urban Flamingoes and Coral Reef Villages," is just one of many monthly gatherings that encourage casual, open-forum scientific discussion. Professor Shaw's research is focused in organic chemistry, developing new reactions, and synthesizing natural products. His research team is in the works of developing exhibits that will highlight natural plant products in partnership with the UC Davis Arboretum.
These are not your urban lawn flamingos! This pair dancing in the low tide in Mumbai’s busy harbor are Lesser Flamingos, considered near-threatened species due to declining populations in Africa and India. Yet, over the past decade, some 10-25 thousand of them have been turning up in Mumbai’s Thane Creek to spend the winter right in the middle of a megacity of over 20 million people. I photographed this pair just a year ago at Sewri Port, an industrial dockyard area known more for repairing boats than harboring such wildlife, which now teems in the creek’s recovering mangroves. Credit, Madhusudan Katti.
Every evening at sunset, a quarter million Mexican free-tailed bats leave their home underneath the Yolo causeway and go searching for food. If you act fast, you can get a ticket for the Yolo Basin Foundation’s popular bat tours to watch the spectacle. You’ll also learn a lot about bats. The organizer of the tours is Corky Quirk, the founder and executive director of Northern California Bats (aka NorCal Bats), a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of bats. She joins us to talk more about the winged mammals that call the causeway home for the summer.
People living along American River Drive welcomed some new neighbors this summer . . . goats! The goats are bred for grazing overgrown lots and managing excess brush over the course of several weeks. The County of Sacramento Department of Water Resources hired Debbie Olympias, owner of KD Goat Ranch, to graze her goats at a grass lot along American River Drive called the Wilhaggin Basin. The goats became such an attraction many neighbors didn’t want them to leave. As Insight intern Annie Chernich reports, using goats for brush control isn’t just a spectacle. They manage the ecosystem naturally without the use of lawnmowers that can cause a fire hazard in the dry summer months.