It is dawn near the mouth of the Pacora River in Panama and the shorebirds are beginning to break from their night roost on an offshore bar. They move out over the water in dozens of flocks, merging and splitting, folding and undulating, to make abstract sculptures between water and sky.
Listening to Ellen Stofan talk to a room full of geologists is like being in on a brainstorming session for a new science fiction movie.
The hyper-rational world of science has always made a bit of room to accommodate legend and William & Mary will soon be home to a living piece of one of the most well known scientific legends: a descendant of Isaac Newton’s apple tree.
In February, the great blue herons of the Chesapeake Bay region will begin their nest building or repair chores and their mating rituals—perhaps in a tree they’ve been sharing with bald eagles.
The weak force is, for laymen, the least known of the quartet of interactions that run the universe as we know it.
Cornwallis sank as he died, making a couple of revolutions on his way down, finally ending belly up and flippers akimbo, making a sort of “whale angel” on the ocean bottom.
William & Mary math student Robert Torrence is shedding some light on a decades-old game that continues to puzzle thousands each year.
Early one morning in December, Jon Allen had decided that enough was enough.
The premature baby’s life is well monitored, but precarious. Among the dangers that preemies face are episodes of central apnea.
It was the summer that the freshmen ruled the sequencer. Technically, they finished their freshman year and therefore did their summer work as rising sophomores. But never mind quibbles.
Dozens of geoscience instructors across the nation gathered at William & Mary this summer to discuss ways to enhance student success in earth-science programs at America’s two-year colleges.
There are more bald eagles than ever nesting along the James River—and it’s likely that the population is getting close to the saturation point.
The average American spends about seven hours a day looking at an electronic screen. With this much of a role in our daily lives, our electronic devices must be updated frequently with the newest technology to reflect usage patterns and make the user’s experience more efficient and safe.
Collecting tick specimens is easy—you drag a white piece of canvas over the right piece of ground, then turn it over. Voila—ticks!
It was the best of times. Wahunsenacawh, also known as Chief Powhatan, had settled into a new capital town on a bay off what is now the York River.
Hans von Baeyer says that we all can stop worrying about Schrödinger’s Cat. Science’s most famous imaginary feline may indeed be dead—or perhaps it’s alive. But it is certainly not both.
Spring is in full bloom in William & Mary’s biology labs, with more than 350 undergraduate students spawning marine invertebrates.
It was a hard act to follow. What could possibly be a follow-up to a group of freshmen discovering a new form of life and finding new genes in its genome?
It turns out that the Higgs boson looks exactly like Marc Sher always said it would, and now he’s a little bummed.
The transit of Venus is, at best, a twice-in-a-lifetime event. Transits come in pairs, eight years apart, and these pairs come more than 100 years apart.
For the past five summers, while other students were hitting the beach, William & Mary math majors had been hitting the books and the labs to conduct computational mathematics research.
The nest sits nearly a hundred feet up in a lone loblolly pine in Richmond, where a pair of eagles makes their home along the fall line of Virginia’s longest river. An interesting story unfolds as the eagles star in their own reality show.
It wouldn’t look out of place in a library at Hogwarts, and indeed Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica is a work of an age in which alchemy and modern science were just beginning to diverge.
Saskia Mordijck believes that safer, more economical fusion-generated electricity is achievable, but more work—and funding—are necessary to make it a reality.
Jeff Shields and colleagues at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have succeeded in their 15-year effort to unravel the life history of Hematodinium.
Every day throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, city and county officials make land-use decisions—approval of a new subdivision, siting of a retention pond, preservation of a green space—that ultimately impact the Bay.
Catching whimbrels on their breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle is quite different from trapping those same birds in their mid-migration staging areas on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Cold atoms are going to generate hot research at William & Mary.
Archaeologists working in the university's Brafferton Yard have uncovered evidence of a time a century and a half ago in which the normally placid Historic Campus was a Civil War battleground.
The tribal name, Chickahominy, translates to “coarse-ground corn people,” and indeed their language contributed the word “hominy” to English.
Local seafood once provided a major economic and cultural link between the Chesapeake Bay and the people in its watershed. Today—with a few exceptions—the crabs, oysters and fish on your plate are more likely to come from the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean or the Far East.
Governor Bob McDonnell and the Science Museum of Virginia have named Chancellor professor John Milliman of the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science as one of Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2012.
AidData, in partnership with the Strauss Center’s Climate Change and African Political Stability program (CCAPS), has launched an online data portal that enables researchers and policymakers to visualize data on climate change vulnerability, conflict, and aid, and to analyze how these issues intersect in Africa.
"Why do we study geosciences?” Heather Macdonald asked her audience at the Robert Foster Cherry Lecture. She then ran down a list of timely geoscience topics, including hurricanes, earthquakes, climate change, volcanoes and petroleum and other natural resources.
Professor Harry Wang and colleagues at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, have won a prestigious Governor’s Technology Award for their leading role in the Chesapeake Bay Inundation Prediction System, or CIPS.
Like most inventors, Jefferson Lab scientist Xin Zhao's moment of inspiration was prompted by a need, and the result was an invention that could someday see batteries in electric vehicles and similar devices boosted or replaced by high-power, high-capacity, fast-charge/discharge energy storage systems using graphene.
New discoveries in “marine forensics” by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, will allow federal seafood agents to genetically test blue marlin to quickly and accurately determine their ocean of origin.
The first Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between William & Mary and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) has its roots in one professor’s quest to provide his class with a textbook.
Cheerful optimism dueled with philosophical resignation atop Small Hall as moving clouds alternately obscured and revealed the setting sun.
Heather Macdonald has always been eager to get her new geosciences students out of the classroom and into the field—especially if there is a handy outcrop.
It’s been out with the old and in with the new for the physicists in Small Hall.
“Three, two, one …” A rocket made out of a two-liter bottle shoots into the blue sky, a line of white smoke trailing behind.
A group of researchers at the College of William & Mary have made important advances in technology combining polymers—the material of the present—with graphene—the material of the future.
Members of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds of William & Mary’s Board of Visitors were treated to an advance look at the Machine for Science and other features of Phase 3 of the College’s Integrated Science Center.
William & Mary might become the base for a mission to Mars. The mission is called ARES—the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Surveyor. Joel Levine explains that the idea is to send an airplane to Mars.
There are the arts, and then there are the sciences. There is literature, language and film, and then there is calculus, physics and experiments.
Theresa Davenport was having some trouble with a football player. Davenport was explaining to a biology class at Grafton High School about some of the problems that can stem from seawater that is low in oxygen.
A partnership between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Watermen’s Museum in historic Yorktown is giving students at three local schools an opportunity to dive into Colonial history—literally.
While William & Mary’s students are away from campus in summer, a new—and considerably younger—set of students will take their place in the dorms and in the classrooms, learning about science and cutting-edge technology.
The 30 students in a high school classroom may all speak English, but a mix of factors in each student’s background shapes how he or she speaks it. The same is true for the teacher.
Every summer since 1999, a number of high school biology teachers gather in the labs and classrooms of William & Mary’s Integrated Science Center to work with and discuss the latest advances in research with the College’s biologists.
When Geology on Wheels rolls into an elementary school, the star is usually obsidian—at least as far as the kids are concerned.
The William & Mary Department of Geology has acquired a world-class mineral collection that geologists say will be a valuable resource in the department for many years.
William & Mary students are pushing the envelope when it comes to undergraduate research. Hundreds of them put their research on display when the College hosted the 18th Annual Undergraduate Science Research Symposium.
An international team of physicists has reported the first set of observations detailing important behavior of neutrino oscillation, an accomplishment that is a necessary step to additional experiments intended to answer fundamental questions about the makeup of the universe.
The world may just have moved a step closer to the reality of comic books.
Sometimes the guys on Team Gold say “worlds.” Other times, they say “finals.” Both terms refer to the World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) to be held in May in Warsaw, Poland.
Do you have an osprey nest in your neighborhood? If so, the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) wants to hear from you—on a regular basis.
William & Mary molecular biologist Lizabeth Allison has received a grant of more than $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Ari Cukierman enrolled as a freshman at William & Mary intending to major in music and philosophy. He'll graduate near the top of his class of 2012 as a physics-math double major, with at least one important peer-reviewed paper to his credit.
When it comes to the hard work of evolutionary paleontology, you can’t beat the humble clam.
William & Mary’s Department of Geology is celebrating its 50th birthday—not even a tick of the clock in terms of the age of the earth.
Geologists at William & Mary are analyzing a possible contributing cause of the deaths at Jamestown Island during the Starving Time of 1609 and 1610—bad drinking water.
All actions in nature can be expressed numerically. That’s biomathematics in a very, very small nutshell. Kiah Hardcastle has her own way to describe the concept.
Shelley Svoboda uses a fine surgical blade to take pigment samples from 18th-century paintings.
For many anglers, the point of fishing is to catch the biggest fish—whether it’s for bragging rights or the frying pan.
William & Mary mathematician Chi-Kwong Li has been awarded a Fulbright grant by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
A team of William & Mary physicists has an important role in the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment, a multinational collaboration to advance science’s understanding of ubiquitous, yet mysterious, particles known as neutrinos.
Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has been honored with the inaugural Kobe Award for his achievements in marine science.
William & Mary bird scientists Mitchell A. Byrd and Dan Cristol were each honored for their contributions to ornithology by the Virginia Society of Ornithology (VSO).
Passengers on the schooner Alliance out of Yorktown in July were offered fresh seafood snacks—jellyfish.
The Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) has appointed Kirk Havens of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, to serve as the committee’s vice chair and chair-elect.
Small Hall is no longer too small. “We were just bursting at the seams in terms of space,” said David Armstrong, Chancellor Professor of Physics and department chair.
Hummingbirds hover and dart. Falcons swoop and dive. Cooper’s hawks are capable of jaw-dropping aerobatics. Add the homely whimbrel to this list of extreme fliers.
Lisa Landino studies the chemistry behind what she calls “the big three” neurodegenerative diseases: Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
Reinard Primulando, a Ph.D. student in the William & Mary Department of Physics, is a recipient of a Fermilab Fellowship in Theoretical Physics.
Sometimes you want to prevent extinction. In other cases, you want to hurry extinction along.
A collection of atoms in the basement of Small Hall is a million times colder than outer space. It's one of the coldest spots in the universe, but it's not cold enough. Yet.
Matthew Wawersik spends a lot of time looking at fruit flies. His lab uses these little bugs as a model to study germ line stem cell development.
The oscillations inside of an atom are more regular than a pendulum—or virtually anything else.
Pamela Hunt, professor of psychology and associate director of the interdisciplinary neuroscience program, was one of three recipients of the 2011-2012 James McKeen Cattell Fund Fellowships
A new study of local sea-level trends by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science brings both good and bad news to localities concerned with coastal inundation and flooding along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
Robert J. Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science received one of four Outstanding Scientist Awards for Virginia for 2010.
William & Mary has entered into a “sister university” arrangement with the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), a relationship that both sides hope will generate a wide range of mutually beneficial educational and research initiatives.
They share a first name and a passion for oceanography, but beginning in late January, professors Deborah Bronk and Deborah Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science became polar opposites—literally.
Virginia’s breeding population of red-cockaded woodpeckers reached a new high this year, with nine breeding pairs documented in late May.
David Soller ’76 is the keeper of what is possibly the world’s largest digital glove compartment.
Vanadium dioxide—or VO2—is an interesting substance with a number of intriguing properties.
“The building itself is always part of a physics experiment” says Keith Griffioen, professor and chair of the physics department. And in recent years, he added, Small Hall often was an unwanted part.
The bald eagle breeding population along the James River has set a new record, with 165 breeding pairs of the birds documented in early March.
Combining the power of 159 computers and 475 individual processors, SciClone, William & Mary’s scientific computing complex, is an important resource for the College and a unique feature for a campus this size.
William & Mary’s first freshman phage lab has demonstrated what possibly is the straightest learning curve known to science: zero to co-authorship in a peer-reviewed journal in under three years.
They’re everywhere. Tiny sensors designed to track information.
Dr. Umit Ergin is cramming for a final exam.
A paper published in the prestigious online journal Nature Communications reveals the molecular biology behind a certain worm’s ability to break—or at least ignore—the laws of Mendelian genetics.
When Mohima Sanyal ’14 would drop a transgenic mouse into the lab’s Y-shaped maze, she had a pretty good idea of how the mouse would react.
William & Mary’s Elizabeth Harbron is one of six U.S. chemists to be named Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars.
At first glance, algae seem like ideal candidates for biofuel. After all, each algal organism has at its center a dab of energy-rich oils and sugars. If you get enough algae, you can extract the oil—or ferment the sugar into alcohol—and use it to put a sizeable dent in the world’s thousand barrel per second petroleum consumption.
Two William & Mary scientists working in the laboratory of R. A. Lukaszew recently were recognized at the 57th International Symposium of the American Vacuum Society.
Kelly Joyce’s book, Magnetic Appeal: MRI and the Myth of Transparency, comes with a prestigious award and compelling accounts from the field.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner visited the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in July to discuss oyster-restoration strategies in the Chesapeake Bay. David Malmquist
The William & Mary School of Education has been awarded $5 million as part of a larger U.S. Department of Education grant to improve science and math education in Virginia schools.
…and our transmission electron microscope is running just fine, thanks
A William & Mary/JLab team takes a basic-science approach to a more secure homeland
A VIMS study of 400-year-old oyster shells from the Jamestown settlement confirms that a harsh drought plagued the early years of the colony and made the James River much saltier than today.
Out-of-work commercial watermen pulled up more than 9,000 derelict so-called "ghost pots" from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries this winter.
Nuclear physicists gather here to sort out the strong force.
Rusty blackbirds are threatened across their range--except on the William & Mary campus.
The College of William and Mary has been awarded $1.2 million in funding by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), part of a nationwide program to help universities strengthen undergraduate and precollege science education.
Steinberg-led VIMS team to join Amazon River research project by David Malmquist
GIS data-stitching opens new research horizons.
Your first fuel cell-powered car just moved a little closer.
Science honors Macdonald and colleagues for professional-development resources.
East Coast loggerheads proposed for endangered species list.
CrimD wins recognition in microbiological circles.
New VIMS-W&M cooperative effort is expected to be popular.
Hope, a whimbrel fitted with a transmitter last year, has returned to the Eastern Shore. She's the first whimbrel the Center for Conservation Biology has tracked on the migratory "full circle."
A letter from several participants in the Chesapeake Algae Program is printed in the leading journal "Science." The writers point out several environmental benefits of using algae as biofuel feedstock.
Lizabeth Allison studies nuclear transport, but her work has nothing to do with nuclear energy.
These shifty, stilt-legged shorebirds continue to surprise even seasoned scientists.
Members of the Virginia House of Delegates' Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resource Committee visited the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in August to talk with researchers about issues facing the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
Researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) have created an interactive map that allows web users to see the coverage of underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
A number of researchers converge on a way to take algae and make it into fuel on an industrial scale.
Rogers Hall has been renovated and is now part of the Integrated Science Center. The labs are working, even as unpacking continues.
Members of a freshman seminar have found a strain of bacteriophage that may be previously unknown to science. The phage was found in William & Mary's landmark Crim Dell.
New research reveals a new paradigm for the neural origins of the rhythm of respiration.
Seniors in the geology department do a whirlwind tour from the bottom of a slate quarry to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The idea is to harness the sun to generate electricity, but first the people in SCORS had to know which photovoltaic technology is best to use. And to determine that, they first needed to know more about the weather.
You can't feel them, but neutrinos are passing through your body in large numbers. They have no charge and very low mass, but their scientific value is priceless.
It's a new form of life. It was discovered by a lab full of freshmen... and it came out of Crim Dell.
ISC 1 is open and producing science. ISC 2 is under construction. Just wait until we build ISC 3.
Research now under way in the new Integrated Science Center: What can an understanding of the genetics of yeast do to get us closer to a cure for cancer? Plenty.
Oxidative damage of protein happens to us all, but our bodies usually fix the problem. Usually.
In the teaching labs of the Integrated Science Center.
Fear and other negative emotions make your world completely different. But don't worry--it happens to everybody.
Randy Coleman uses technology to teach chemistry better.
A researcher in the Department of Applied Science wins an award for working with materials that are just a few atoms thick.
The Environmental Science and Policy program at William and Mary has received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In a corner of the Keck Environmental Field Laboratory sit an old water heater, a plastic holding tank and a few pumps, set up in a purple-painted particleboard frame with the air of an eighth grade science project.
Aberdeen Proving Ground, up at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, is a busy place.
Songbirds feeding near the contaminated South River are showing high levels of mercury, even though they aren't eating food from the river itself.
The Large Hadron Collider may show us how mass begins.
J. Timmons Roberts, professor of sociology and director of William and Mary's environmental science and policy program, was recently awarded the Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award for his contribution to the field of environmental sociology.
Two William and Mary kinesiology students will be performing laboratory research as undergraduate fellows of the American Physiological Society during the summer of 2008.
Carl Friedrichs, an oceanographer at the School of Marine Science/Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary, has received the Commonwealth's highest honor for professors.
This fall, a group of freshmen will begin their first year participating in a long-term biology research project, part of an initiative to reform science education by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Jack Musick of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has been awarded the Commonwealth's Lifetime Achievement in Science award for his work on the ecology and conservation of marine fishes and sea turtles.
Jeffrey Shields of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science received a five-year, $2.4-million federal grant to study how fishing pressure and declines in water quality affect the emergence and spread of a blue crab disease in the seaside bays of Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Two researchers from William and Mary's Center for Conservation Biology will travel to Panama this fall to study populations of migrant shorebirds.
As in comedy, the secrets to acing the physics GRE are timing and a sense of the ridiculous.
Megan Rook, a graduate student in William and Mary's Department of Biology, has received $20,000 in funding to allow her to continue her studies of diamondback terrapins.
Optical illusions can be deceiving, but are we just fooling ourselves?
Undergraduates are learning techniques for finding the solution to very, very complex problems.
Researchers observe disruption of normally faithful pairs of zebra finches.
We've passed the halfway point in the three-year construction process of Phase I and II of William and Mary's Integrated Science Center and progress is on track to meet the first important deadline - spring break.