DNR Weekend Reading: ‘Bigfoot’ spider discovery; dogs that sniff out spotted owls; and other stories

Prow of traditional NW tribal canoe
Prow of a traditional Pacific Northwest tribal carved canoe — one of nearly 100 canoes taking part in the Annual Canoe Journey in Puget Sound this summer. Photo: Carol Cloen/DNR.

It may not cool you down but there’s lots to read in the latest edition of DNR Weekend Reading — featuring links to recently published articles and studies from science journals, blogs and websites, blogs and universities around the world:

Alpha Galileo Foundation: Spider Version of Bigfoot Emerges from Caves in the Pacific Northwest
Whereas Bigfoot is probably just fiction, a huge, newly discovered spider is very real. Trogloraptor (or “cave robber”), named for its cave home and spectacular, elongate claws, represents a newly species.

University of Washington: Detection dogs spot northern spotted owls, even those alarmed by barred owls
Field tests show that forest searches by dogs specially trained to sniff out northern spotted owl pellets – the undigested bones, fur and other bits regurgitated by owls – improved the probability of finding the owls by nearly 30 percent over the traditional vocalization surveys used since the 1980s.

Oregon State University: Major advance made in generating electricity from wastewater
Engineers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only could power themselves, but sell excess electricity.

Green (New York Times): Tsunami Debris Strains Budgets and Patience
The steady increase in marine debris arriving on Pacific shorelines as a result of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan is starting to tax state budgets as well as deepen concerns over invasive species.

Scientific American: Is Climate Change Making Temperatures Too Hot for High School Football?
On average, nearly three high school football players died each year between 1994 and 2009, up from an average of one per year over the previous 15 years. Scaling back the intensity of football practice due to hot weather was once laughable, but many states are enacting such rules to prevent heat-related deaths.

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