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Environmental sciences/Environmental engineering

When it comes to security challenges, the natural world demonstrates the values of decentralizing, learning from success, and forming symbiotic relationships, ecologist and author Rafe Sagarin told an audience at AAAS.

Such insights are particularly compelling in the post-9/11 environment as the federal government invests billions of dollars in technology and training to increase national security.

For years, researcher Scott Doney has been tracking an alarming rise in ocean acidity and its effects on marine life such as clams and lobsters. So when he wanted to bring more attention to the links between pollution and acidification, he spoke with shellfish harvesters and seafood wholesalers whose livelihoods depend on healthy waters.

Restaurateurs are next on his list, said Doney. But to engage these diverse audiences, the senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution knows he must adjust his arguments and the language he uses to convey his concern.