Student State Park Jobs, Blue Lobsters and Hot Shower Pollution

This short series of reports includes news on student state park jobs, blue lobsters and hot shower pollution.


| January/February 1987



103-018-01i2

Each group spends three to five summer weeks in a remote back country environment completing a work project such as shelter or trail construction, or habitat improvement.


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

This short series of reports includes news on student state park jobs, mesquite-pod flour, a new variety of giant grain rice, blue lobsters and hot shower pollution. 

Student State Park Jobs

This year the nonprofit Student Conservation Association will help about 1,000 volunteers find rewarding three- to 12-week jobs in national and state parks, forests, wilderness regions, wildlife refuges, and other conservation areas. SCA's High School Work Group Program places students 16 to 18 years old in supervised groups of six to 12 participants. Each group spends three to five summer weeks in a remote back country environment completing a work project such as shelter or trail construction, or habitat improvement. At least one week is spent on a backpacking hike or some other exploration activity. The organization's Park, Forest and Resource Assistant (PFRA) Program is open to high school graduates 18 years or older who have been out of high school 12 months or more. Positions, which are available throughout the year, usually involve a 12-week assignment in which the volunteer works individually under the supervision of professionals in such agencies as the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Assistants undertake fieldwork in any of many possible areas, including forest and wildlife management, hydrology, anthropology, geology, archaeology, and biology. You'll have to hurry to apply for 1987's high school student program; application deadline is March 15, 1987. Deadlines for PFRA positions vary, depending on the desired assignment and season. Selection is competitive. For more information and an application form, contact SCA, Inc., Charlestown, NH.

C02Woes

A Department of Energy report on the consequences of rising atmospheric C02 levels paints an unsettling picture. C02 concentrations shot up from 300 parts per million in 1900 to 316 ppm in 1958 and 345 ppm in 1985 . . . and they're still rising. The resulting "greenhouse effect" could produce a 2 degrees Fahrenheit to 4 degrees Fahrenheit temperature increase worldwide by the year 2010, and a 7% to 11% increase in precipitation. The influences these changes will have on sea levels, on agriculture, and on other aspects of our planet and society are anybody's guess: Temperatures as warm as those anticipated have not been experienced on Earth for 100,000 years, and it has been at least 1 million years since atmospheric C02 concentrations exceeded 350 ppm.

Tree Travel

If you'd like to know more about the trees and forests in your area, or if you're planning a trip and want information on national, state, and local parks and forests along the way, call the American Forestry Association's free Tree Travel service. It'll give you the names and phone numbers of experts in public agencies who can provide maps, guides, directions to recreation sites, and other helpful information.

Lobster Blues

About one in every 30 million lobsters in the wild is an oddly 'colored mutant of the familiar brown lobster - either tangerine orange, golden yellow, white, or blue. According to National Wildlife magazine, marine biologist Anthony D' Agostino has discovered that some blue lobsters grow twice as fast and reach sexual maturity in half the time of the ordinary kind. So now he's selectively breeding the best of the blue crustaceans he has collected, hoping to produce a true-blue lobster competitive with Maine's plain specimens. In addition to producing more meat faster, the blue lobsters would have more sales appeal in gourmet markets. (Once cooked, though, all lobsters are created equal . . . blue ones turn red, just like their lackluster cousins.)

Mesquite Dough

With the exception of a few who are selling it to backyard barbecuers as a gourmet grilling fuel, mesquite is considered by most southwesterners as nothing more than a prolific pest tree. But now researchers have found that the weed's seed pods, when dried and processed, produce a high-energy, sweet' tasting flour. In taste tests, crackers and tortillas containing mesquite-pod flour were rat, ed better than those made only with conventional flours. One Mexican company is already marketing food products made from the so-called nuisance plant.





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