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Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Photo of children studying the feet of a leopard gecko. Mission Possible: Adding Engineering to the K-12 Curriculum
Museum director's dream to teach young students engineering spurs effort to bring technological literacy to all, with support from NSF
Released  September 5, 2012
Photo of Acropora coral on NSF's Moorea Coral Reef LTER site. Tropical Reefs Surviving Environmental Stresses: Corals' Choice of Symbiotic Algae May Hold the Key
Corals that host fewer species of algae are less sensitive to disturbances
Released  August 29, 2012
Photo of a moose in the water on the shoreline of Isle Royale. From Lake to Land, in a Land of Lakes
Moose act as conduits of nitrogen between water bodies and the edges of lakes, ponds
Released  August 17, 2012
Photo of the dig site at Chersonesos, a Greek colony on the Crimean peninsula. Digitizing the Past to Protect and Preserve History
Using supercomputers to help protect and preserve ancient sites and artifacts
Released  August 14, 2012
Illustration of satellite and ground-based systems monitoring snowmelt and water in the Sierra. A Tree Stands in the Sierra Nevada
A coniferous view of the link between snowmelt and water supplies in the U.S. West
Released  August 7, 2012
Photo of spiny shrubs in foreground, mountains in background, in Chile's Bosque de Fray Jorge Park. Into the Matorral: Scientists Track Avifauna in Coastal Chile's Thorn-Scrub
Researchers discover ecological role of bird life in a biodiversity hotspot
Released  July 26, 2012
Photo of a stream with boulders in the streambed. Acid Rain: Scourge of the Past or Trend of the Present?
New connection between climate change and acidification of Northeast's forests and streams
Released  July 25, 2012
Photo of Lyndie Hice and Glenn Wagner seining for Atlantic silversides near Cape Hatteras. Where North Meets South in the Sea
Small fish adapt to cold, warm water temperatures along 2,000 miles of Atlantic Coast
Released  July 24, 2012
Photo of seaweed washed up on a beach. All Washed Up and Somewhere to Go
Seaweed on beaches is an ecological treasure trove
Released  July 20, 2012
Illustration showing Firefly, a mark-carton-sized satellite, gathering data on a gamma-ray burst. Tiny Firefly Satellite Set To Flash Straight Into Lightning and Thunderstorms
CubeSat will help solve mysteries of terrestrial gamma ray flashes, 1,000 times more powerful than northern lights
Released  July 19, 2012
Photo of flowers and buds on rockcress in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It's Wildflower Season on Mountain Peaks, But Alpine Plants May Soon Miss the Date
Study conducted over 38 years shows one species' timing has shifted by 13 days
Released  July 11, 2012
Photo of the submersible Alvin collecting samples from The Deep. Hitchhiker's Guide to The Deep
Creatures of the abyss invade surface world
Released  June 8, 2012
Photo of teacher John Sheridan viewing Geometer's Sketchpad on a laptop. High-School Math in the Cloud
North Carolina project strengthens students' math skills using cloud computing and videos
Released  May 31, 2012
Image of Roald Amundsen. A Legacy of the Race to the South Pole: New Scientific Discoveries in Antarctica
Forbidding though Antarctica is, the stations located there are nevertheless irresistibly inviting to scientists, as Antarctica supports a cornucopia of unique life-forms, geologic wonders, and marine and atmospheric conditions
Released  May 31, 2012
Image of a Queen of Spades card. Queen of Spades Key to New Evolutionary Hypothesis
Microscopic ocean plankton mimic card also known as the Black Queen
Released  May 10, 2012
Photo of Lucille Tower examining a vine maple. Nature Observation Database Receives One-Millionth Entry
Key database monitoring climate change received its one-millionth report from a network of "citizen scientists"
Released  May 3, 2012
Photo of vessels and platforms responding to the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Gulf Oil Spill: Scientists Develop New Model for Deep-water Oil Spills
Call for a "whole new type" of marine ecology
Released  April 20, 2012
Photo of a student observing patterns of flowering and pollinators. Novel Answer to That Perennial "Earth Day" Question: "What Can I Do to Help?"
Groups of citizen scientists are making pivotal contributions to research on the Earth, its place in the universe and other natural phenomena
Released  April 19, 2012
Photo of fog over the cloud forest in Ecuador's Oyacachi watershed. Earth Week: A Stream Is a Stream Is a Stream: Or Is It?
Scientists ford high-mountain waterways in North, South America to find out
Released  April 16, 2012
Image of a stream flowing through a forest in the H.J. Andrews LTER site. Long-term Ecological Research Reveals Causes and Consequences of Environmental Change
New insights as NSF Long Term Ecological Research Network reflects on three decades of science
Released  April 6, 2012
Image of a young woman holding a circuit board and next to table with electronics. CalWomenTech Scale Up Project: Proven Tools Attract Women to STEM Training Programs
Project aims to increase recruitment and retention of women in community college STEM programs
Released  April 6, 2012
Image of two white starts orbiting one another. Predicting "Cosmic Fireworks" From Our Own Backyard
Using the largest map of the cosmos ever, astronomers have counted nearby double white dwarfs, stars thought to cause an important type of supernova
Released  March 13, 2012
A dot on a map of the United States, Cherokee Marsh in Wisconsin is central to the Yahara watershed. Cry Me a River: Following a Watershed's Winding Path to Sustainability
National Science Foundation "Water, Sustainability and Climate" award fosters new view of urban rivers, lakes
Released  March 9, 2012
Photo of a father holding a baby. Six-month-old Word Learners
Study of infants challenges developmental sequence of human language learning
Released  March 8, 2012
Image of snow-covered Mount Washington, N.H. The Snows of Mount Washington
Climate and environmental change in the U.S. northeast corridor
Released  March 2, 2012
Photo of a girl using a computer to match shapes to build pictures. Viewing the World Through a "Mathematical Lens" Can Help Young Children Learn Math
Helping children identify and connect the mathematics ideas that they use in daily activities is crucial to learning math at an early age.
Released  February 15, 2012
Image of a wolf howling in the forest. Studying Nature's Rhythms: Soundscape Ecologists Spawn New Field
Listen to biophony, geophony, anthrophony: the 'music' of Planet Earth
Released  February 6, 2012
A cellulose-digesting enzyme from a fungus. Making Nature's Best Better to Produce Biofuels
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory uses supercomputer simulations to explore designer enzymes for renewable fuels
Released  January 31, 2012
Photo of a young girl using a ruler on a piece of paper. Understanding Basic Concepts in Spatial Measurement
Researchers work to help elementary-school students better comprehend basic measurement skills
Released  January 31, 2012
Photo of a Cape sugarbird resting on a protea flower. Biodiversity of Earth's Richest Plant Kingdom Under Fire
In response to climate change, will a postage-sized-domain move uphill--and ultimately out of room?
Released  January 27, 2012

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