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Blog Posts by Subject: Earth Sciences

Researching Past Weather Information for New York City

For those researchers who need to look up past weather information for New York City, one way to do so is to use a historical newspaper database, such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993) which is accessible at any New York Public Library location.

In this case, since it is not weather forecast information that one is interested in, but 

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September Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

The centrality of sunshine… the most fascinating New York Times obits of the year… the riddle of the

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Where Are All The Cicadas?

I have been anticipating for a long time the arrival of the cicadas that were laid as eggs in the year 1996. I can still remember the wall of white noise that their parents produced 17 years ago. Most people complained that it sounded like a jet engine revving up for takeoff but to me it sounded like a gorgeous and intricate symphony.

I was ecstatic to learn that the cicadas would be returning this year and filling the air with a 7 kHz mating buzz. Predictions stated that cicadas would outnumber people 600 to 1. I couldn't be happier. As time passed though I 

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My Top Six Earthshaking Earth Day Stories of 2013

Green Medicine of the Year: Healing Plants

Going outside for a spring stroll? Watch where you step! That dandelion you're walking on has a distinguished medicinal history dating back centuries. Why not increase your appreciation of nature by learning about the amazing healing properties of plants and how many of our medicines, such as aspirin, originated from plants.

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal 

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Environmental Special Libraries and Museums

Ever since I was young, spurred on by my Recycling Queen aunt, my brother and I become very conscious of recycling and our global footprints. I started recycling papers, cans, bottles and reusing anything that could possibly be reused. I bought natural cotton clothing and started shopping at the Goodwill. I do not buy overpackaged products or waste water or electricity. Below are some earth-friendly libraries and museums that I found.

Special Libraries

from the

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Back to Homeschooling at the Library

As New Yorkers get ready for Back to School this week, I'll be loading the trunk of my car with library books and heading off with my family for our own version of school.

We call it "homeschooling at the library." With a library card and our library books, we can take our school anywhere. Next week it will be to New Hampshire and

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Nature Poems for Poetry Month

In New York City, there is a lot to celebrate during the month of April, National Poetry Month. It feels like poems fill the air as the weather warms, flowers bloom, animals come out of hiding, and, of course, Earth Day arrives!  No worries if you missed it yesterday, this post will help you and your children celebrate our Earth (and her fantastic creatures!) with a few recommendations from NYPL's vast collection of poetry for young people. 

Outside Your Window: A First Book of 

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The Importance of Earthworms: Darwin’s Last Manuscript

Charles Darwin died 130 years ago today, leaving an intellectual legacy which has profoundly influenced the general course of Western thought. He is best known for his work On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), both of which 

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Family Science: Tornado in a Bottle

We kicked off our Family Science series at the Children’s Center at 42nd Street by building our very own “tornado” in a bottle. It was a sell-out show with 30 children and their accompanying adults in attendance. But, if you were unable to join us, you can still make your own “tornado” at home.

So, what is a tornado?  A tornado is a spinning column of air between a storm cloud and the ground. Tornadoes form inside a very strong thunderstorm cloud. When two drafts of warm air coming from opposite directions meet the cold air in a storm cloud, they 

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Hough's American Woods

Romeyn Hough (1857-1924) was single-minded in his devotion to trees. He was also a New Yorker, and when he embarked on The American Woods, he turned to the trees of his state first in what would eventually grow to be a 14-volume masterwork. The American Woods remains invaluable today due to the range and age of the tree samples Hough included, and the Library's Rare Book Division holds a complete set of this delicate and 

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Science Resources for the Second Grade Classroom: Earth Materials

Dazzling minerals and talking worms are only some of what's in store on this "rockin" book list! Get your second graders ready to learn all about what our world is made of. Below, you'll find great resources on dirt, sand, rocks, and other earthly materials. Feedback is greatly appreciated — please leave comments and suggestions below!

Nonfiction

Steve Tomecek’s Rocks and Minerals is a rock-solid read aloud. Lots of student-friendly illustrations 

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Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa

“The writer cannot be a mere storyteller; he cannot be a mere teacher; he cannot merely X-ray society’s weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved shaping its present and its future.”

Nigerian environmentalist, author, and television producer Ken Saro-Wiwa lived and died by the words above. Born on October 10, 1941, Kenule “Ken” Beeson Saro Wiwa was an Ogoni (an ethnic minority in Nigeria). Ogoniland, located in the Niger Delta, is rich in oil that has been looted by 

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Be Prepared for Hurricane Irene

Due to the anticipated severe weather conditions, all units of The New York Public Library (covering The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island) will be closed on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, 2011. It is expected that all locations will be open on Monday, August 29, but New Yorkers are encouraged to check nypl.org for the most up to date information.

Before settling in for the storm, be sure to stop into one of our libraries to pick up something to read. (Or visit

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A Venture Outside...

Greenery and flowers, birds singing and warmer temperatures ... it's a perfect time to venture outside into the nearest natural spot to find respite. New York City's parks and natural spaces provide enjoyment for millions of people and habitats for plants and animals, some of them rare or endangered.

When you think of New York City images, the first thing that comes to mind might be a bit different than the scenery in the photo below. 

No, it's not a photo of an Appalachian forest, but of a wetland in Staten Island. You can bring the Library with you on 

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Earth Day Booklist

The first Earth Day was proclaimed on April 22, 1970 by one of its principal founders, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Already frustrated by the attitudes of big business, Senator Nelson, as the chairman of the White House Conference on Small Business, wisely noted that "the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around." He became greatly influenced by John McConnell, a grassroots organizer from San Francisco and Harvard graduate student, Denis Hayes. He asked the latter 

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Pleading Planet: Review of the film Koyaanisqatsi

The first time I saw the film Koyaanisqatsi I was a college student rambling around on an aimless Saturday night. A campus hall was screening it for free, so I ducked inside, my curiosity piqued.  I remember thinking, “Koyaanisqatsi? What does that mean?” With an “oh well” shrug, I settled into one of the classroom’s half-desk chairs as the lights dimmed to black. When the film ended and the lights shone, I was changed.

Scored with the haunting music of

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A Fight on the River

The mountains are rolling and green, hawks glide on invisible wind currents, endlessly circling gracefully above. On occasion a bald eagle soars powerfully across the sky; deer are a common sight along the river’s edge. The Delaware River is the dividing line between Pennsylvania and New York in this area. The river winds circuitously as it makes its way south to the coastal waters far below. The slow moving water of the Delaware creates a mirror image of the mountains and sky above. The Delaware River is clear and provides a magical window to the life and terrain below its sparkling 

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Sea Change: A Review

Many are drawn to Selkie Island. Few know why.

The whirlwind of events that brought sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant to the island, away from her sensible summer plans in New York City, are unlikely but they make enough sense. Her mother has inherited a house that needs to be gone through and emptied. Logical enough. And so much more realistic than any fairytale happy ending.

But Selkie Island is a messy place that quickly blurs the lines between past and present and, more startling for Miranda, between reality and legend. Lore about mythical creatures and her own 

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The Brown Pelican: Reluctant Heroine of the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster

The Brown Pelican (Pelcanus Occidentalis) is described on many web sites as one of seven or eight species of pelicans with a wing span over 7 feet...

It is the smallest of all the pelicans. One of the features that make this brown bird so distinctive is its large bill; when resting, the neck bends in two places. Standing out from the pack, the Brown Pelican dives directly into the water, beak first, for its food. The habitant of the Brown Pelican is along coastal waterways.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology captured the sights and sound of the

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Swept Away

The waves build, barrel in and crash. It is an endless cycle. One after another waves give beach lovers true pleasure. It is the relentless rhythm of the in and out of the water, accompanied by the sound of the waves tumbling in that lulls the wave watcher into a opiate like pleasure, truly a natural high. The sight and sound is addictive.

The beauty of the ocean, is in its seemingly 

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