Wyoming: Tracking Mule Deer During Migration

A mule deer.

In an effort to track mule deer in Wyoming to better understand migratory habits, wildlife biologists at the University of Wyoming are affixing GPS tracking devices to deer captured by helicopter. The goal is to learn more about their health and the path they travel during what is known as the Red Desert-to-Hoback migration, the longest known land migration in the lower 48 states. The journey, taken by the deer twice each year, spans 150 miles. The scientists hope that data gathered during the GPS project will help conservationists better understand the needs of the deer in regards to protectingRead More

Saving the Elephants in Sudan with GPS

A family of elephant on the prairie.

War takes its toll on an area in so many ways. The people are fearful and weary. Heavy artillery decimates villages and cities. Communities are turned upside down. Another aspect of life that is touched by war is wildlife. In Sudan, a civil war rages on and wildlife suffers. Many species are threatened, but the animals at the greatest risk — according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) — are the elephants, giraffes, and an antelope species found in Africa called the ‘Nile lechwe’ and ‘tiang’. But what is killing them? Is it a case of being caught in theRead More

A Short GPS Disruption Expected This Weekend

Flare CC Photo Courtesy of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

This Saturday, you may look up in the sky and see something interesting, if you live away from city lights to the north, that is. There will be two solar eruptions surrounding earth around midday Saturday. The solar eruptions will impact the Earth’s magnetic field, and may cause a disruption to radio transmissions and to GPS tracking technology. While the storm is nothing to worry about, it might be worth it to head outside this weekend and look at the sky – or just know what’s happening with the Earth. The Details A smaller solar storm already struck the EarthRead More

How 200 Pound Rocks Move On a Desert Floor

Tom Babich

Death Valley National Park hasn’t been visited by UFOs, though prior to a recent GPS tracking study, the alien explanation might have been the only logical option. You see, there are rocks that move across the base of a company dry lake bed – big rocks, rocks that weigh 200 pounds and more. Nearby residents have nicknamed that particular stretch of Death Valley “Racetrack Playa” because rocks leaving behind giant tracks can be found strewn throughout the dried up lakebed. Unable to solve the mystery of how the rocks move without human (or alien) help, a team of researchers decidedRead More

GPS Helps Track Earth’s Water Levels

Anna

A National Geographic article printed this morning tells a sobering tale of water that’s quickly disappearing from the West. Scientists have been tracking small movements in the Earth’s crust with the help of a GPS tracking system. Unintentionally, the GPS trackers have also been keeping tabs on the disappearing water that was once part of the tracked landscape. A Disappearing Act How much water is disappearing from the Earth? Scientists estimate that the water lost from streams, rivers, lakes and snowfall is around 240 billion metric tons. That’s a hard number to imagine, so put another way it’s roughly comparableRead More

GPS and Wildfires

wildfire

If you live in an area of the country where wildfires are common, then you know jut how important it is to prevent them. Sometimes, they can start on their own due to high desert temperatures. Whatever the cause of a wildfire, the important thing is to respond as quickly as possible to minimize devastation and risk to homes that might be in the fire’s path. To date, there have been nineteen fires in Arizona alone from April 21st – June 26th. Currently, firefighters rely on tree trimming to help them access areas that have caught on fire. It thins outRead More

Improving GPS Technology in the Skies Could Improve Safety

weather-from-space

Although GPS devices have made it much safer to fly the friendly skies in terms of midair collisions, there are those occasions where accidents happen. Researchers at North Carolina State University are attempting to help pilots better avoid the midair collision thanks to GPS technology and the simple blinking light. They’ve developed modifications for existing on-board GPS devices that helps pilots in a crucial way to avoid midair collisions – it allows them to respond even more quickly to an impending collision, sparing them from the crash altogether. The Problem There certainly is a lot of data a pilot hasRead More

Ongole Region, India: GPS Helping Scientists Understand Seismic Activity

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Earthquakes can be devastating, but with a little help from science and GPS, we can learn about them like never before while at the same time minimizing loss of life or injuries. GPS devices have helped scientists here in the US monitor plate movement, and India is the next to employ this technique. The Council of Scientific Industrial Reasearch (CSIR) and the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) teamed up to install a GPS monitoring station in Ongole, an area located on a tectonic plate, in order to understand its movements. The Ongole GPS Station The GPS device, in the formRead More

GPS And Earthquakes

haiti-earthquake-2

Certain areas of the world must face an unpredictable force that cannot be prevented. It can vary from annoying to devastating, and can happen at any time. I’m talking about earthquakes, and although it might not be preventable, the loss of life associated with it can be minimized. But how is this possible? By using a GPS device, of course. Right now, the computers at the United States Geological Survey are able to locate the epicenter and determine exactly how strong the quake is thanks to seismometers, tools that record and measure how much shaking the ground does during theRead More

Earth-Shaking News About GPS

earthfromspace

Who can ever forget the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in 2011? So many lives were lost and so much destruction caused. And then the questions: What could have been done to lessen the impact? How could more lives have been saved? Technology may hold the answers. Scientists are looking to GPS technology to give them early warning signs for many types of natural disasters, including the notoriously unpredictable earthquake. By combining the precision of GPS with existing technologies used to monitor the earth’s motion, experts may soon be able to warn residents of threatened areas to takeRead More