Looking Back at 2018: The Most Popular Stories of the Year

December 19, 2018

Tim Lucas, (919) 613-8084, tdlucas@duke.edu

As 2018 draws to a close, take a look back at the Nicholas School's top 10 news stories of the year.

10. Drones Prove Reliable, Cost-Efficient Tool for Wildlife Surveys



Drones can be as effective as traditional methods for conducting wildlife population assessments, two Duke University studies confirm. Read more>

9. Photo Essay: Duke Marine Lab's Stunning Journey to Study Antarctic Whales



Follow the adventures of our Duke University Marine Lab crew, including Nicholas School faculty Andy ReadDave Johnston and Doug Nowacek, with these amazing photos that they tweeted from their field research in Antarctica studying the ecological role of humpback whales in a rapidly changing Antarctic ecosystem. Read more>

8. Duke Students Head 'Down East' to Help With Hurricane Relief



On Oct. 6 and 7, two busloads of Duke University students headed to eastern North Carolina to help local residents with post-hurricane cleanup. Read more>

7. Drones Confirm Importance of Costa Rican Waters for Sea Turtles



Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs during mass-nesting events at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, making it one of the most important nesting beaches in the world. Read more >

6. Radioactivity from Oil and Gas Wastewater Persists in Pennsylvania Stream Sediments



More than seven years after Pennsylvania officials requested that the disposal of radium-laden fracking wastewater into surface waters be restricted, a Duke University study finds that high levels of radioactivity persist in stream sediments at three disposal sites. Read more>

5. Cutting Carbon Emissions Sooner Could Save 153 Million Lives



As many as 153 million premature deaths linked to air pollution could be avoided worldwide this century if governments speed up their timetable for reducing fossil fuel emissions, a Duke University-led study finds. Read more>

4. Water Use for Fracking has Risen by Up to 770 Percent Since 2011



The amount of water used per well for hydraulic fracturing surged by up to 770 percent between 2011 and 2016 in all major U.S. shale gas and oil production regions, a Duke University study finds. Read more>

3. Alligators on the Beach? Killer Whales in Rivers? Get Used to It.



In recent years, sightings of large predators in places where conventional wisdom says they “shouldn’t be” have increased, in large part because local populations, once hunted to near-extinction, are rebounding -- thanks to conservation. Read more>

2. New Study Reveals How the Complex Biodiversity of the Tropical Andes Came to Be



Few regions on Earth are as biodiverse as the tropical Andes, nor as baffling to researchers trying to map the evolution and distribution of thousands of scattered rare and endemic species found there. Read more>

1. Widespread Uranium Contamination Found in India's Groundwater



A Duke University-led study has found widespread uranium contamination in groundwater from aquifers in 16 Indian states. Read more>