Science news

Daniel Saenz

A wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station in Nacogdoches is working with a Stephen F. Austin State University biotechnologist sequencing DNA in pond water to better understand the devastating effects of the invasive Chinese tallow tree overrunning native habitats in the Deep South.

Kate Archer Kent

A federal rule that revises which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act will take effect Aug. 28. Some Louisiana farmers are concerned that the new Clean Water Rule is overreaching.

The biggest change is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is defining ditches, according to LSU Ag Center water policy economist Naveen Adusumilli. Any ditch that is part of a tributary or connected to a previously jurisdictional waterway would now have to be in compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Sarah Fuller

Environmental science research underway at Stephen F. Austin State University is investigating some native trees and shrubs that could provide a natural control for the ammonia waste byproduct emitted from poultry farms.

SFA researchers are evaluating six species of trees: American holly, Arizona cypress, arborvitae, Eastern red cedar, yaupon holly and roughleaf dogwood.

RR Auction website

A week of pre-bidding is underway for a collection of space memorabilia owned by the late Leon Ford of Haughton, La.

A total of 104 items will be on the live auction block in Boston next week. Ford was considered one of the major collectors of NASA and Apollo artifacts, according to RR Auction executive vice president Bob Livingston. He expects the auction will bring in about $600,000.

Kate Archer Kent

For a decade, Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center in Shreveport has hosted Science Academy, bussing dozens of elementary school students to the science museum for seven weeks. They get an extra boost of science and math skills, according to Sci-Port’s education coordinator Kim Solice.

“I think it’s a bonus for these students. These are students who I think have real interest in science, and they will continue that interest in their middle and high school years. Eventually, what we hope is it will become a career for them,” Solice said.