A community of animals camp out atop metal-rich sulfide ores at a hydrothermal vent 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) below the surface of the Caribbean Sea. The tiny dots in upper right are a new species of little brown snails. Bigger animals with shaggy ‘heads’ are anemones, which eat shrimp. Mini shrimps (lower center right) congregate by the dozens to thousands. The cottony white at center left is a mat of unusual bacteria.
William Fraser on an island near Palmer Station on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Through tagging, he and his team have been keeping a running census of Adelie penguins there.
The tag on this shark’s fin will eventually come loose and float to the surface. Later, biologists will retrieve it and download the data it collected on the fish’s travels.
Statisticians are experts in seeing the patterns hidden within the raw numbers called data. They especially excel at finding real trends, while eliminating what is actually due to chance. That’s why they offer a good reality check in any field that involves numbers.
Fracking is a three-step process. Gas companies first drill a well, then frack it, then harvest the gas, says David Blackmon, who works for a gas company in Houston called El Paso Corp.
First, the company builds a drill pad of about 24,000 square meters (about 258,000 square feet) in size. In order to create a clean surface from which to work, “We have to level off the ground and pave it with white, chalky caliche [kuh-lee-chee] rock,” Blackmon explains.