Heather Goldstone

Science Editor and Host of Living Lab

Heather Goldstone is science editor at WCAI and host of Living Lab on The Point, a weekly show exploring how science gets done and makes its way into our daily lives. Goldstone holds a Ph.D. in ocean science from M.I.T. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and spent a decade as researcher before leaving the lab to pursue journalism. She has reported extensively on Woods Hole’s unique scientific community and key environmental issues on Cape Cod. Her stories have appeared in outlets ranging from Cape Cod Times and Commercial Fishery News to NPR and PBS News Hour. Most recently, Goldstone hosted Climatide.org, an NPR-sponsored blog exploring present-day impacts of climate change on coastal life.

Ways to Connect

Anaxagoras crater in the north polar region of the Moon. Cropped version of computer generated image by PDS MAP-A-PLANET.
NASA space probe Clementine (USGS PDS MAP-A-PLANET)

July 20th marks fifty years since the Apollo 11 moon landing and those fateful words: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo missions advanced our understanding of the moon by leaps and bounds, but they were far from the first forays into lunar science.

Sy Montgomery with a cheetah in Namibia.
Nic Bishop / Courtesy of Sy Montgomery

We typically hear what scientists have learned about animals. And Sy Montgomery’s career as an author and naturalist has taught her plenty about animals, from octopuses to moon bears.

Dan Gold / unsplash

It's summer and it gets hot but climate change is driving temperatures higher and making heatwaves more extreme, as we've already seen this summer from Europe to Alaska.

Extreme heat is more than just a nuisance. Heat waves actually kill more Americans than any other type of natural disaster. And those deaths are not evenly distributed.

By Afshin Darian / Flickr: NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, CC BY 2.0

Each month, we check in with our colleagues at the journal Nature to review recent science headlines that they have been following. Nick Howe of the Nature multimedia team brought us highlights of some major developments and trends in science.

Sam Valadi/Flickr / CC BY 2.0

“We found that African-Americans were much more likely to die than other racial groups within New York City during heatwave events. We also found that there were particular neighborhoods where people were more likely to die during extreme heat events than other neighborhoods.” – Jaime Madrigano

This week on Living Lab Radio:

Brewster, Mass., is experiencing sea level rise, and with it, erosion.
muffinman71xx, https://tinyurl.com/y4obju7q

Much of what we hear about rising sea levels consists of long-range projections hundreds of years in the future -- projections that mostly consider the impact of melting ice.

But this global perspective won't tell you what will happen at any particular location. And it turns out, all sea level rise is local.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstad/Sean Doran

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. It’s one of the most recognizable features of any planet in our solar system, right up there with Saturn’s rings.

And, remarkably, it’s a storm. A really huge storm that’s been raging for hundreds of years.

Vanderbilt University researcher Shane King tries out the treadmill he helped design. It trips people for science.
Courtesy Vanderbilt University

Imagine being tripped over and over again, knowing that it would keep happening, but never knowing when. Nightmarish, right?

That’s exactly what some people volunteered to do in order to help make prosthetic legs better.  

Krzysztof Niewolny / unsplash

Last November, the New York Times magazine made an ominous declaration: The Insect Apocalypse is Here. The story warned that insects, globally, could face extinction this century. And that would have far-reaching ramifications for other life on Earth, including us. But that’s not the end of the story.

divotomezove / pixabay.com

“We don't know the magnitude, we don't know the rate. We don't exactly know where insects are declining, and what lineages. So, there's a lot of questions left. But we do know they are in decline. And we probably know enough now that we can act and start making some important conservation decisions.” – David Wagner

This galaxy is one of 10 used in Fermi's dark matter search. Dark matter has been elusive.
NASA. ESO/Digital Sky Survey 2

Dark matter is thought to make up a little over a quarter of the universe. That’s six times more than all the matter ever observed. And, yet, dark matter is called that because it’s a mystery. 

Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

By Eve Zuckoff

The teen brain has long been an enigma to parents, but in recent years it's also become a hot topic for brain researchers. One thing they’ve learned is that teens aren't just inexperienced adults.  

The teen brain is still developing, and the result is a unique set of both strengths and potential weaknesses for teens and their parents to work with.

Punctuation - seen here with a calf in Cape Cod Bay in 2016 - was one of six North Atlantic right whales killed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this month.
Center for Coastal Studies image taken under NOAA permit #14603-1.

Five North Atlantic right whales have been found dead in the past week – six this month. With just over four hundred individuals remaining, and calving rates low, that’s a death toll the critically endangered population can’t afford.

“Panicking seems appropriate, yes,” said Peter Corkeron, who leads the large whale research program at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

“With 24 candidates, there are 620 billion trillion possible rankings. When there are many candidates, there are many more ways for people to disagree than to agree.”     -Alexander Strang

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