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Coal-fired electrical power and heating plant glows amid rosy polar stratus clouds in the polar night of January in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.

Arctic Treaty Nears 100 in Heated Climate

The Svalbard archipelago sits halfway between Norway and the North Pole with strategic access in the Barents Sea to vital sea lanes linking Russia, Western Europe and North America.

Retired chemist L. Philip Reiss, 79, with a photo of his grandfather, Winford Lee Lewis, the inventor of the chemical warfare agent lewisite. (Photo by Theo Emery).

The Scientists Who Created America’s War Gases

SONORA, Calif. — In a back room of L. Philip Reiss’ condominium, the retired chemical engineer has covered the walls and filled his drawers with mementos of a long life in science. In one corner, he’s hung keepsakes from years volunteering with a

Snow-mantled mountains crown the northern tip of Prins Karls Forlandet in April in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway.

Methane: Arctic Promise and Peril

Consigned to my bunk all night by gut-wrenching seas, I wistfully thought back to terra firma on mainland Norway a few days earlier. Before boarding the University of Tromsø’s research ship, R/V Helmer Hanssen,

James Morgan, 55, taken in a hearing room on March 25 ​at ​the ​Florida Correctional Institution​, near the town of Starke. He's been behind bars ​since he was 16, or ​for 38 years. His ​"​scheduled release date​"​ is​ in​ 2094. Photo by Amy Linn.

Dying Inside

Teenage murderer James Morgan didn’t go the electric chair. But is his life worth living? In 1987, when I first interviewed James Morgan, he was on death row in Florida, sentenced to die in the electric chair for murdering a widow in a

Johan Isak Oskal (quoted in story) feeds hungry reindeer from sack of specially-formulated feed since sheet of ice beneath snow prevents grazing in coastal pasture near Tromsø, Troms County, Norway, January 2015.

On The Edge: Reindeer and Climate Change

Female reindeer stands protectively beside her calf. Text and photos by Randall Hyman TROMSØ, NORWAY – “When I got married two years ago, we invited 1400 people,” Berit Oskal-Somby told me as we stood in an icy coastal pasture in northern Norway surrounded

The aftermath of the Lac-Megantic crude railcar explosion in 2013. (Credit: Axel Drainvile via Flickr)

BOOM: North America’s Explosive Oil-by-Rail Problem

U.S. regulators knew they had to act fast. A train hauling 2 million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota had exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Now they had to assure Americans a similar disaster wouldn’t happen south of the border, where the U.S. oil boom is sending

Drawing of boy

Freedom, Finally, After a Life in Prison

WHEN she was 15 years old, Paula Cooper and three high school classmates in Gary, Ind., decided to cut school and steal some money to play games at a local arcade. They drank some cheap wine, smoked some pot and walked to the

Emaciated polar bear searches for food on Leirholmen island; Kongsfjorden, Svalbard.

Meltdown: Vanishing Polar Ice

“What you are looking at,” lamented marine biologist Haakon Hop of the Norwegian Polar Institute, “is the melting of the Arctic Ocean.”

Nearing 82 degrees north latitude aboard the research ship RV Lance in late July 2013, we were just 500 miles shy of the North Pole.

Dwayne Pendergraph, a former plant worker, at his home in McMinnville, October 20, 2013. Photo By David M. Barreda

Losing Sparta

Last August, more than a year after the Philips lighting fixture plant in Sparta, Tennessee, closed its doors, Bo McCurry and Ricky Lack stepped out of Lack’s beat-up Ford Ranger and walked up the sloping, tree-lined drive to the plant’s padlocked gates. It was the first time either one had been back since the closure.

Rhinos

Will All African Rhinos be Dead in Twenty Years?

The flat bone had a bullet hole through it wide enough to fit the tip of a pinky finger, and was caked in a dried mix of Kruger National Park’s rusty clay earth, and blood. Two cracks had propagated outwards from where the

The Coachella Valley is located 130 miles east of Los Angeles in California. It is about 45 miles long and 15 miles wide extending southeast from Palm Springs to the northern shore the Salton Sea. The north side of the valley is comprised of a series of connected desert cities, south of that strip of cities is a vast expanse of land containing a huge variety of fruit and vegetable fields and a few small towns.

Immigration: The Pain and Reward

Imagine for a minute that you have to leave your home. Imagine there is a war going on around you and you fear for your life and that of your children. Maybe the potato crop, which your country is dependent on, has been ravaged by disease and hundreds of thousands of people have died of starvation.

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The Scientist Who Explored the Skies

MT. PALOMAR – Visiting the Palomar observatory in the forested mountains northeast of San Diego is a bit like finding oneself at the foot of one of the great pyramids of Egypt. The scale is so intimidating, so outsized compared to its surroundings,

A bison's massive, furry head allows it to fight off predators, clear snow to find grass and stay warm in frigid prairie winters.

Saving the American Buffalo by Killing It

Jerry Blanks took careful aim through the powerful scope on his black hunting rifle as the buffalo surrounding the pick-up truck watched him quizzically. His eye was focused on the dark fur just behind the ear of a young bull that stood just slightly apart from the group.

Three elderly residents of Lemington Home for the Aged in the 1940s.

The Death of a Black Nursing Home

PITTSBURGH, Penn.–Elaine Carrington moved into the Lemington Home for the Aged in Pittsburgh in November 2004. She died three weeks later of a blood clot in her lungs. An investigation by the state found that the staff had failed to give Carrington any