Pleased to have a feature in the current issue of Humanities magazine, the publication of the National Endowment for the Humanities, concerning a little-known school in the lovely Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky that charges no tuition to provide a lasting liberal arts education to the country's most overlooked and maligned people--the mountaineers of central and southern Appalachia.
It's the end of National Pollinator Week, and things are looking poorly for our bees. An article of mine from 2013 dealt with Colony Collapse Disorder and tied our vanishing honeybee populations to a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids, a kind of nerve gas that apparently acts as the final nail to hives already stressed by disease, exotic mites, habitat loss and our fervent application (and reapplication) of all manner of biocides to our food chain. Here's a recent and somewhat amusing look at what bees are facing, and here's the online story I did for Grit magazine.
Two years ago I wrote about an exotic insect pest called hemlock woolly adelgid and its relentless assault on the East's hemlock trees, hugely important in keeping trout waters clean and cold during warmer months. Now two species of tiny predatory fly are being released to feast on adelgids ... which naturally prompts concerns about the potential ramifications the flies themselves will cause to their adopted ecosystems. Read the article in today's Washington Post and my own piece in Earth Island Journal.
William H. Funk
I'm a freelance writer focusing on natural history, conservation, and environmental law, policy and politics.