Catch A Wave!The Science of Summer
That we always hold dear,
Good old summer time;
With the birds and the trees,
And sweet scented breezes,
Good old summer time.
The lyrics to the tune "In the Good Old Summer Time" were written in 1902 by songwriter Ren Shields. As Shields knew, many of us wait all year for summer and trips through red rock canyons, dips in freshwater lakes and splashes in the ocean.
Far beyond where summer travels take most of us, however, National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported scientists are journeying to the bottom of the sea, where they're studying the lost continent of Zealandia. NSF-funded researchers have also discovered iridescent comb jellies that flamenco dance through the ocean's depths, and coral reefs, besieged around the world, that thrive near the remote South Pacific island Mo'orea.
Fearful of a shark attack on your day at the beach? Sharks, it turns out, are often the good guys. They're protecting vulnerable seagrass beds, important nurseries for young fish. Where sharks rove, dugongs and other plant-eating shark prey steer clear. That keeps seagrasses from disappearing. On land, the insect- and rodent-hunting habits of another predator, the American kestrel, help farmers use fewer pesticides on their crops.
But all is not well in the good old summer time. Hurricanes and other severe storms are becoming more frequent, devastating coastal cities and fueling dead zones and fish kills.
Meet sharks and alligators up close, listen to the eerie sounds of the West's rock arches, explore a lost continent. Catch a Wave! Enter the world of summer with the National Science Foundation.