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Acidifying Waters Inspire Young Naturalist’s Investigation

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Growing up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 14-year-old George was always attentive to its aquatic life. When he learned the waters were acidifying, George wondered how it would affect aquatic organisms.

He decided to measure the effects of changing water acidity, salinity, and temperature on grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, using their heart rates as a measure of their metabolic oxygen consumption. For his investigation, which is described at length in his essay, The Effects of pH, Salinity, and Water Temperature on Palaemonetes pugioGeorge received a2011 Young Naturalist Award.

Tags: Young Naturalist Awards

New Research Points to Dinosaurs’ Colorful Past

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There’s new evidence that dinosaurs, once thought to resemble scaly lizards, were in fact fluffy, colorful animals. In the video below, Curator Mark Norell, who is chair of the Museum’s Division of Paleontology and studies important feathered dinosaurs from Liaoning, China, shares his thoughts on the significance of two new studies about fossilized feathers reported in the current issue of Science magazine.

If you missed the live Twitter chat with Dr. Mark Norell about fossilized feathers on Friday, Sept. 16, click here to read the discussion. Add your own comments using the hashtag#DinoFeathers.

Tags: Dinosaurs, Paleontology

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NPR Traces History of Barnum Brown’s First T. Rex Skeleton

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It’s a story more than a century in the making. Barnum Brown’s extraordinary fossil-hunting career—which took him from a frontier farm to the world’s top fossil sites and to the halls of the American Museum of Natural History—included the discovery of the first complete skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

The priceless fossil—the one used to describe the carnivorous species now synonymous with “dinosaur”—was displayed in the Museum for more than 30 years beginning in 1906. Then the story took a twist, which is traced in a recent NPR piece “Bone To Pick: First T. Rex Skeleton, Complete At Last.”

Tags: Dinosaurs, Paleontology

wiredchild

The Wired Child Series: Q and A with Media Psychologist

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The wired world is a new frontier for psychologists and neuroscientists, who are starting to discover interesting impacts persistent technology use has on the brain. Navigating the latest science on the subject will be the focus of the Museum’s first fall adult course, The Wired Child: How 21st Century Technology Affects the Brain, which kicks off on Thursday, September 15, in the Sackler Educational Laboratory. Guest lecturers include Dr. Pamela Rutledge, media psychologist and expert blogger for Psychology Today, who will be leading the course on Thursday, October 6.

Tags: Brain, Family

Museum First To Offer Master of Arts in Teaching for Science

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The New York State Department of Education has selected the American Museum of Natural History to launch a pioneering Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program this fall.

“The Museum is proud to be the first museum in the United States to offer a master’s degree program to prepare science teachers,” said Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. “The Museum’s new Master of Arts in Teaching program extends the Museum’s formal roles both in improving the teaching of science and addressing the national crisis in science education, and will be an important new component of the Museum’s longstanding graduate training, including, most notably, the Richard Gilder Graduate School, the only museum-based Ph.D.-granting program in the country.”

Tags: Master of Arts in Teaching, Richard Gilder Graduate School

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