Christopher Joyce

Christopher Joyce appears in the following:

Centuries Before China's 'Great Wall,' There Was Another

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Great Wall of China, built more than 2,000 years ago, stands as one of the monumental feats of ancient engineering. Stretching thousands of miles, it protected the newly unified country from foreign invaders.

But before the Great Wall, warring Chinese dynasties built many other walls for protection. An American ...


How'd They Do That? The Story Of A Giant Rock And A Road Of Ice

Monday, November 04, 2013

Great works of ancient engineering, like the Pyramids or Stonehenge, inspire awe in every beholder. But some onlookers also get inspired to figure out exactly how these structures were made.

Howard Stone, an engineer from Princeton University, had such a moment in Beijing's Forbidden City — a city-within-a-city of ...


In Sandy's Wake, Flood Zones And Insurance Rates Re-Examined

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When Sandy blew into East Coast communities a year ago, it was flooding that did the most damage.

That's in part because the average sea level has risen over the past century — about a foot along the mid-Atlantic coast. That made it easier for the storm to push the ...


Wise Old Whooping Cranes Keep Captive-Bred Fledglings On Track

Friday, August 30, 2013

Being a wildlife biologist in the 21st century increasingly means rescuing rare animals from extinction. Among the success stories is the whooping crane. Seventy years ago there were only about 16 birds left on the planet. Now there are about 600.

But breeding more birds isn't enough. Scientists want to ...


Can A Big Earthquake Trigger Another One?

Friday, August 23, 2013

There's a joke among scientists: Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. For Ross Stein, it wasn't a joke after the Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004. It killed some 275,000 people. "I just felt almost a sense of shame," Stein says, "that this tragedy could have been so ...


Where The Whale Sharks Go

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Of all the creatures in the sea, one of the most majestic and mysterious is the whale shark. It's the biggest shark there is, 30 feet or more in length and weighing in at around 10 tons.

Among the mysteries is where this mighty fish migrates and where it gives ...


Old Hawaiian Menus Tell Story Of Local Fish And Their Demise

Friday, August 09, 2013

In the early to mid-1900s, the islands of Hawaii were a far-away, exotic destination. People who managed to get there often kept mementos of that journey including kitschy menus from Hawaiian fine dining restaurants and hotels like like Trader Vic's and Prince Kuhio's.

Now these old menus are serving a ...


Earth Scientists Pin Climate Change Squarely On 'Humanity'

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's ...


Jack Longino, 'The Astonishing Ant Man,' Finds 33 New Species

Thursday, August 01, 2013

While many of us spend our working days staring into an electronic box or dozing at meetings, there are some who prefer to crawl through tropical rain forests. People like "the astonishing ant man."

That's what his students call Jack Longino. Longino started out collecting stamps in his childhood, but ...


Once Resilient, Trees In The West Now More Vulnerable To Fires

Monday, July 29, 2013

On any given day, there's a wildfire burning somewhere in the U.S. — and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Many western forests have evolved with fire, and actually benefit from the occasional wildfire.

A nice little ground fire every few decades cleans house in the forest. It burns ...


Why The Latest Gulf Leak Is No BP Disaster

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Teams of workers are mobilizing in the Gulf of Mexico to try to stem a natural gas leak at an offshore drilling rig that exploded and caught fire Tuesday. The rig off the Louisiana coast has been partially destroyed by the out of control blaze, and firefighting boats are ...


Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists ...


Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.

Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons ...


Om Nom Nom: T. Rex Was, Indeed, A Voracious Hunter

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tyrannosaurus rex is perhaps one of the most famous animals to have ever roamed the Earth. This huge, fierce meat-eater has graced Hollywood films as the perpetual villain, and it has played a notorious role in the science community that studies it, too.

Despite its vicious depiction in pop culture, ...


Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Triggering Earthquakes

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The continental U.S. experiences small earthquakes every day. But over the past few years, their numbers have been increasing. Geoscientists say the new epidemic of quakes is related to industrial wastewater being pumped into underground storage wells.

Now there's new research that reveals two trigger mechanisms that may be setting ...


Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

Thursday, July 11, 2013

To keep America's wilderness anything like it used to be when the country was truly wild takes the help of biologists. They have to balance the needs of wildlife with those of cattle-ranching and tourism, and even weigh the value of one species against another. Ultimately, they have to pick ...


In Montana Wilds, An Unlikely Alliance To Save The Sage Grouse

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

As its name implies, the sage grouse lives in sagebrush country, the rolling hills of knee-high scrub that's the common backdrop in movie Westerns. Pristine sagebrush is disappearing, however, and so are the birds. Biologists want to protect the sage grouse, but without starting a 21st century range war over ...


Radiocarbon Clues Help Track Down Poached Elephant Ivory

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The value of elephant ivory has skyrocketed in the past few years. That's led to a huge increase in elephant poaching in Africa and, in turn, created new urgency to stop the trade. And as poachers have become savvier, scientists have devised more sophisticated methods of catching the thieves.

A ...