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Articles by Katy Balatero

Katy Balatero is Grist's editorial intern.

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  • A guide to buying non-plastic baby products

    Worried sick about plastic — or even feeling a teeny bit queasy? Here are a few alternatives for common baby items, and resources for where to buy ’em. (And don’t forget, you could always make your own.) Squeaky clean and PVC-free. Photo: iStockphoto Bathtubs Non-plastic baby tubs seem to be hard to find; probably the […]

  • Researchers track large marine predators across the globe

    I spent the spring and summer of 2002 studying at Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, Calif. -- splashing around in tide pools, diving in kelp forests, and wading through mud in Elkhorn Slough. One of the highlights of my time there was helping Dr. Barbara Block and Dr. Dan Costa experiment with placing satellite tags on elephant seals. These seals can dive as deep as 1700 ft, spending up to 30 minutes underwater, so they were great test subjects to see how the tags would hold up.

    After capturing a few seals on Año Nuevo Island and trucking them an hour down the coast to Hopkins, the scientists glued the tags on and released them, tracking their progress as they swam back home.

    Block and Costa are lead scientists in the Tagging of Pacific Predators project. The project is helping them to understand where migrating sharks, leatherback turtles, bluefin tuna, seals, albatross, and other large marine animals spend their time.

    Not only do the tags track the animals' location, swim speed, and depth and duration of dives, but they also collect information about the temperature and salinity of the seawater, which is beamed back to the researchers via satellite. Fancy, eh?

  • Scientists try to reduce methane emissions by tweaking cow diets

    Did you know that cows belch every 40 seconds? I did not. A recent article in The Christian Science Monitor states this fun fact, and goes on to explain how scientists are trying to manipulate bovine diets to reduce the amount of methane that they emit:

  • The Simpsons Movie reviewed

    TM and © 2007 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    I saw the Simpsons Movie Thursday night. However, I'm not going to discuss major plot details here. As we learned from Pottergate 2007, Grist readers don't like spoilers -- not even fake ones.

    The movie definitely has an environmental theme (one highlight was the scene where Nelson bullies Milhouse into expressing climate change skepticism, then punches him in the face, yelling, "That's for selling out your beliefs!"), but you'll have to find out on your own which of the rumors I alluded to in my last post are true.