The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. (Credit: Matt Kieffer)

The Three Cs Of The Endangered Species Act

You can’t spell ‘Endangered Species Act (ESA)’ without the letter C – three of them. At a Wednesday hearing that gave a name to those three “Cs” — conservation, consultation, and capacity — the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works heard from state officials regarding the need to modernize the 44-year old law (16 U.S.C. §1531 et seq.). Chairman John Barrasso (WY) described three areas for modernizing the law (identified by state and private sector groups) as conservation (incentivizing activities to avoid listing), consultation (facilitating decision making between federal and state governments), and capacity (providing sufficient resources to fulfill the ESA’s mission and better allocating those to species most in need).

Container ship (Credit: Pixabay)

Maritime Transportation In The Information Age

Ever think about how bananas get to your table? How about shampoo to your shower or clothes to your closet? Chances are, they came through a port. According to the International Maritime Organization, over 90 percent of global trade occurs through ocean carriers, making maritime transportation and seaports critical to the nation’s economy and transportation system. For producers to compete internationally and to meet customer needs, they rely on efficient ports and access to maritime carrier services.

The NSB launched “a new tool for policymakers, educators, business leaders, students and others to assess the career opportunities for those with doctoral degrees in SEH fields.” (Credit: National Science Board)

Science, Engineering, Health Doctorates Find Career Success

The National Science Board, the National Science Foundation’s policy arm, has released an interactive infographic that explores 25 years of science, engineering and health (SEH) doctoral pathways. The NSB launched “a new tool for policymakers, educators, business leaders, students and others to assess the career opportunities for those with doctoral degrees in SEH fields.”

Humpback mother and calf off Hawaii. (Credit: NOAA)

Intermission For The Antiquities Act?

President Donald Trump called for a review of the use of the law, and the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands, held a hearing examining the authority it provides. During the hearing, witnesses both praised and condemned how the Antiquities Act has been used.

Red snapper (Credit: Wikimedia commons)

A Snappy Debate On Red Snapper

Three days is just a drop in the fish bucket compared to 200. Yet that is exactly how long recreational fishers will have to catch red snapper in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico this year. The short season will make history and represents a sharp decline from 2006, when the season consisted of approximately 200 days. The change is alarming to anglers and industry fisheries alike and caught the attention of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who invited experts to discuss two major controversies surrounding red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico – the distribution of allotments between commercial and recreational anglers and state versus federal regulations.

(Click to enlarge) (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Defending the Department of Defense’s Research Funding

Robots running the Navy? Not quite. But artificial intelligence and similar technologies are becoming ever more important in improvements to the U.S. military. The Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense met Wednesday to discuss the importance of such research to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Navy, focusing on innovation and research funding.

The Fiscal Year 2017 spending bill was signed into law last week. (Credit: The White House)

Fiscal Year 2017 Spending Bill Signed Into Law

As last September drew to a close, onlookers eagerly awaited to see how much money would be allotted to federal agencies for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. Seven months and three stopgap funding measures later, they’re finding out. Last Friday, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244), a $1.1 trillion spending measure that contains the unfinished FY 2017 appropriations bills.

The Department of Energy will honor "all" funding commitments. (Credit: DOE)

DOE Agency Will Honor ‘All’ Funding Commitments

The Department of Energy told its program offices yesterday that it would honor “all” funding commitments for “previously obligated” grants and cooperative agreements. The announcement — sent via memo to DOE officials — comes amid high anxiety about the future of DOE research programs.