Mapping agriculture around the globe
Two recently released maps highlight how much of the world's land is being used for agricultural purposes. Researchers used data from satellite images, regional maps and other sources, and they relied on crowdsourcing to compile all of the information. The maps could be useful for climate modelers and agencies that track agricultural growth. LiveScience.com
Deeply submerged grounding zone in Antarctica may hold clues to glacial melting
Scientists have drilled deep into the grounding zone, a submerged area of Antarctica underneath the Ross Ice Shelf, hoping to find clues about the long-term stability of glaciers. What they found were pebbles sitting on top of sandy mud, which could indicate that the ice is melting more quickly. "From the looks of it, there's been quite a change in the environment," said glaciologist Ross Powell. ScientificAmerican.com
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Startup focuses on smaller, cheaper satellites
Planet Labs, which recently raised $95 million, makes smaller, less-expensive satellites designed to provide an up-to-date view of the ground. The company has already launched 67 of the satellites, which are intended to offer a complete picture of the world every 90 days. "Right now we've got a bunch of large companies around the world who are really, really excited about this and see how much of a game-changing capability this is," said co-founder Chris Boshuizen. The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
GPS, drones help protect African wildlife
High-tech tools such as drones and GPS are being used to bolster conservation efforts in Africa. Conservationists are testing a "shot spotter" system that can give rangers coordinates to locate poaching sites in Kenya. In Namibia, meanwhile, GPS collars are being used to update farmers about the movements of predators. NBC News
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Call for Nominations: AAG Standing Committees
The AAG Council will make appointments to several of the AAG Standing Committees at its spring 2015 meeting. These appointments will replace members whose terms will expire on July 1, 2015. If you wish to nominate yourself or other qualified individuals for one or more of these vacancies, please notify AAG Secretary Laura Smith at email@example.com on or before March 1, 2015. Details.
Members encouraged to update e-mail for upcoming AAG election
The AAG election will be conducted online again and will take place Jan. 30 to March 3, 2015. All current members with a valid e-mail address on record will receive a special code to cast their votes. Please update your AAG profile with your preferred e-mail address to ensure you receive your secure, personal voting code. If you prefer to vote via paper ballot, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2015 election slate will be published soon. Learn more.
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