This week in STEM

The world runs on science, at the Lumberjack we're bringing you the top stories every week.

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Imagine one day, your neighborhood and everyone you knew has been lost. Your world has become barren and now all that’s left is a desert. That’s what’s been happening to the coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. The Trump administration wants to take away federal protection for 10 national monuments in the Pacific. This could lead to more commercial fishing that will further harm what’s left of the coral reefs. Scientists studying these marine monuments find that they’re the last of their kind, as they are not impacted by overfishing or pollution.

Source: New York Times, NOAA


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An alien object visiting Earth left before it could even trick-or-treat. The object is less than a quarter mile long, going 15 miles per second, and cut into our solar system perpendicularly. It even approached Earth at only a distance of 15 million miles away! So far, we can tell it’s not a comet, but it’s closer to an asteroid. We can learn even more when the next interstellar object passes by Earth because of a new telescope that is in production. It will give astronomers a more in depth perception of these incredibly fast objects zooming through our solar system.

Source: Popular Science, The Guardian, Washington Post


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One day you’re hanging out in the sun, and the next you’re trapped under ice. Although it does sound scary, it did happen for one plant species. On Canada’s Baffin Island, there’s a strain of ancient moss that’s being thawed out for the first time in 45,000 years. Researchers found the age of the moss using radiocarbon dating, although some of the moss had no radiocarbon left. This discovery is leading researchers to believe that the hot atmospheric temperatures could melt all the ice in the east Canadian Arctic.

Source: Science Magazine, National Geographic, Science News, NBC

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Climate change is real, and it’s getting worse considering how we treat our planet. In the Paris Agreement of 2014, countries gathered together and agreed upon only letting the planet get warmer by two degrees Celsius. That’s not happening anymore, we’re reaching a goal of three degrees Celsius now. It is noted that although some greenhouse gas emissions have remained steady, like carbon dioxide, others have increased dramatically, such as methane. The UN’s environment chief, Eric Solheim, is calling for countries to take action as these conditions are unacceptable for our planets future.

Source: ABC, The Guardian, The Daily Herald

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Students feel uninformed about the next polytechnic stages

As HSU makes its transition to a polytechnic university, several new undergraduate and graduate programs are being proposed. The courses are majority STEM-based with interdisciplinary elements. The polytechnic has the potential to bring new opportunities to Northern California. New programs

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