Science and the Environment

Science news

Bringing The Bobwhite Quail Back To Texas

Oct 24, 2014
Tom Harvey, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Quail hunting season opens this weekend. And there’s new hope that the bobwhite quail is making a rebound. The population has dropped off by about 75 percent over the last 40 years—partly because their grassy habitats have been depleted by development and cattle grazing. Conservationists are trying to get more landowners to restore native prairies on their property.


The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are up in arms about new technology now available from Apple and soon to be released by Google.

The software encrypts the data on smartphones and other mobile devices so that not even the companies themselves will be able to access the information.

Zebra Mussels Invade Lake Waco

Oct 1, 2014
flickr.com/noaa_glerl

Zebra mussels have been found in Lake Waco. The invasive shellfish are worrisome because they can clog pipes to the water system and power plants. 


Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

For tens of thousands of years, the skeleton of a giant mammoth lay in one place: a gravel pit about 50 miles south of Dallas.

A few months ago, the bones were unearthed — and now they're on the move. Paleontologists are carefully packing them up, preparing them to travel to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas.

A Gravel Pit Reveals Its Secret

Thousands of immigrants have died crossing the southern U.S. border. Many are never identified, leaving their loved ones to speculate about their fate.

Jill Ament

For several years now, the city of Waco has been trying to make the historic mammoth site a national monument. The city council decided last night to seek executive action from President Obama to make this resolution a reality. 


For years, some residents of Parker County in North Texas have believed that nearby gas drilling was responsible for high levels of methane in neighborhood water wells. Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appears to back that up.

The study looked at water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania. It suggests that faulty cement jobs on drilling wells could be at fault in North Texas. Cement is poured between the rock wall and the steel tubing of oil and gas wells to block contaminants.

“We think either there isn’t enough cement in this location or more likely there are cracks or imperfections in that cement. That’s what allowed the strong gas to move up through the well and then out into peoples drinking water,” says Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Stanford, who co-authored of the study.

It’s been a shaky week in Texas with two small earthquakes rattling the Dallas-Fort Worth area and another slightly more powerful quake detected in South Texas.

On Sunday, the first quake measuring magnitude 2.4 struck near Arlington. It prompted some residents to call 9-1-1 after feeling their houses shake and hearing “explosions,” according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Earthquakes are often accompanied by loud “booms,” something that has become a source of anxiety in newly quake-prone parts of the state.

We reported on Monday that a meteor, thought possibly to be a chunk of an Earth-passing asteroid, was the cause of a 40-foot crater outside the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital.

But astronomers and NASA scientists are now casting doubt on that possibility. The biggest mystery is that no one so far has reported seeing a flash of light in the sky that would be expected to accompany such a meteor strike.

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