> Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 22, Number 2

2009, Oceanography 22(2):14–18, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.56

RIPPLE MARKS—The Story Behind the Story

Author | Stories and First Paragraphs | Full Article | Citation


Cheryl Lyn Dybas is a marine scientist and policy analyst by training. She also writes on a freelance basis about the seas for The Washington Post, BioScience, National Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, and many other publications.


Stories and First Paragraphs

"Witch Tree" Embodies Spirit of Lake Superior

Black ice cloaks the roads of Grand Portage, Minnesota, five miles from the Canadian border, on this dark February day. The previous night, a foot of snow and freezing rain cut a swath across the state, knocking down trees and power lines.

But a gnarled old member of the Grand Portage Band of Minnesota's Ojibwe Indians, exposed to the elements, has lived to tell another tale of hardship and resilience, determination and resourcefulness. The Band member stands rooted, forever fixed, if not in time, in place, on Hat Point along Lake Superior.

To reach it, one must pass through a grove shrouded by moss-like Old Man's Beard lichen. The ethereal light green lichen, today laced with snow crystals, falls like Rapunzel's hair over ice-rimed trees and a wooden railing leading to the lake. At path's end stands the tribe's sentinel: the Witch Tree, a centuries-old northern white cedar, or arborvitae, in which a spirit is said to dwell...

No Safe Harbor for "Living Fossil" Fish Along Tanzania's Coast

For 65 million years, they've survived in the depths, these ancient fish called coelacanths.

Once thought extinct, in 1938 they were discovered alive and well in the Indian Ocean. For millennia, they lived in obscurity in undersea canyons and caverns off East Africa and the Comoros Islands—until fishers developed shark nets that could reach the coelacanths' last strongholds.

Now the fish face a new threat: impending development of a deepwater port in Tanzania...

Total Eclipse of the Art

National parks. Protected environs we hold as examples of the last of Earth's pristine places. But are they?

Eclipse, a Web-based artwork program that alters and "corrupts" images of US national and state parks based on air quality within a 65-mile radius, has the answer: in many cases, they're not.

The brainchild of digital and new media artists Cary Peppermint of Colgate University and Leila Christine Nadir, who teaches at Colgate and Columbia universities, Eclipse reveals what the human eye can't see: air pollution compromising America's parks...

The Unexpected Rainmakers: Forests—Atmospheric Moisture Pumps—May Be Driving Rainfall

Indigenous peoples in forested regions have long believed that trees "attract" rain, although some climate scientists might disagree. A new hypothesis suggests that the locals may be correct.

In a paper in the April 2009 issue of the journal BioScience, scientists Douglas Sheil of the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Kabale, Uganda, and Daniel Murdiyarso of the Center for International Forestry Research in Jakarta, Indonesia, suggest that forests play a much greater role in determining rainfall than previously recognized...


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Dybas, C.L. 2009. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 22(2):14–18, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.56.