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Mapping Coral Reef Health with Sound

Scientists use AI and passive acoustic monitoring to map coral reef health by analyzing ocean sounds.

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A rocky outcrop of a mountain completely surrounded by glaciers.

Nunataks: Glacial Islands

Nunataks are isolated mountain peaks emerging above ice sheets in polar and high-altitude regions.

A colored map showing major and minor tectonic plates on Earth.

Understanding the Earth’s Structure: A Guide to Tectonic Plates

The Earth’s lithosphere is divided into tectonic plates, which are in constant motion. Learn where to find GIS data on tectonic plates.

In March the ice arch starting to disintegrate. By April, satellite imagery was showing the crumbling of the ice pack behind the ice arch. By May, sea ice was flowing freely through Nares Strait. Images: NASA.

What is an Ice Arch?

An ice arch forms when sea ice buckles under pressure, creating a natural arch-shaped structure in polar regions, often blocking the movement of ice.

A polynya that has formed in an embayment where the Venable Ice Shelf meets Farwell Island in Antartica. Photo: John Sonntag/NASA, public domain.

Polynyas: Natural Openings in Polar Ice

Explore the geography of polynyas, unique open water areas in polar ice, and learn about their formation, ecological impact, and role in climate dynamics.

A satellite image of a section of Antartica with brown stains of Penguin guano.

Tracking Penguin Colonies Through Their Droppings

Researchers are using satellite imagery to map Antarctica’s penguin population and estimating their numbers based on the large guano stains left behind.

Human Geography

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Photo of the Espada Acequia in San Antonio, Texas.

Acequias in the Southwest U.S.

In New Mexico and other Southwestern states, acequias are channels that are dug to divert water from snow runoff and rivers in order to irrigate fields.

A small brown bird holding a small caterpillar.

How Inequality Affects Urban Wildlife

More access to green space and mature trees in wealthier neighborhoods in the United States has also led to a greater diversity of wildlife in those areas.