This past week our @mypubliclands Instagram account shared photos of and from BLM firefighters - we are beyond thankful for their hard-work and service! Thanks for following this week and learning more about NIFC.

View the NIFC roadtrip journal-storymap here: http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtripnifc.


Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology have launched a wonderfully ambitious project to feed 10 billion people by 2050 using aquaponics, a system which requires very little soil and water to grow food. What’s more, they’re turning high school students into citizen scientists who can assist in this grand endeavour - but they need our support!

Beyond its importance to Earthlings, such research no doubt offers immense promise for space colonies as well.✨🌱 ‪✨


NASA Co-Op Week 1: Mission Control 

What Am I Doing?!

For my first post as a NASA Co-Op I’m going to skip the typical “Houston we have a problem” and “All systems go” intro and get right to the good stuff. I just completed my first week as a NASA Pathways Intern at Johnson Space Center, what NASA calls their Co-Op program. I will be flip-flopping between working at NASA and my university studying Electrical Engineering until I graduate. 98% of students get hired on full-time with NASA after a successful Co-Op experience. This fall 16 out of over 1000 applicants are Co-Oping this fall. I am thankful to be working alongside such talented and passionate people.

Flying The Space Station

I am “touring”, what we call our Co-Op work tours, in a team in Mission Control called PLUTO. No, I am not working with New Horizons, PLUTO is in charge of the Plug and Play-Ability of hardware and software on the International Space Station (ISS). I will be helping develop technology that assist astronauts in experimenting in space, writing procedures for astronauts and sitting console in Mission Control. I can’t rent a car without an extra fee but I can help fly the multi-billion dollar ISS, makes sense. 

How To Get Involved

Follow my weekly posts for the Co-Op perspective, Follow NASA on Tumblr, watch what NASA is up to, and apply for an internship or Co-Op with NASA. 


A Video Game That Teaches You How To Code

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think,” Steve Jobs said in a lost interview from 1995.

But for a beginner, learning to code from scratch can be intimidating.

Enter CodeSpells. UC San Diego computer scientists developed this video game to teach people how to code. The story line is simple: you’re a wizard that uses spells (i.e. code) to navigate through the world, fight off foes, and solve problems.

While experienced coders can delve deep into the programming to create some truly devastating spells, newbies can easily experiment with the simple drag-and-drop coding interface.

For more videos, subscribe to Fig. 1 on YouTube

This spring, after a nationwide social media callout and with the help of NPR member stations, we received nearly 200 nominations for diverse innovators who are breaking new ground in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. We picked 14 finalists to feature as part of the #RaceOnTech series on the radio and on social media.

We’ve been featuring a few of these finalists here on Tumblr throughout our four-day-long Twitter conversation with 12 of the innovators. To learn more about the discussion, check out #RaceOnTech on Twitter.

Balanda Atis is a chemist and the manager of the Women of Color Lab, L’Oreal USA. Atis was born in Brooklyn and is of Haitian heritage. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University and a master’s of science from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s cosmetic science program. Atis has been at L’Oreal USA for nearly two decades, and over the years has worked to create products for women of all color. Determined to find a solution for herself and for women around the world, she formed a task force at L’Oreal and set out on a mission to solve this industry-wide scientific hurdle. It took 7 years, but because of her work, L’Oreal USA rolled out more than 30 new shades of foundation for various ethnicities.

NPR: Do you have any advice for young people of color?

Balanda Atis: I hope young women realize there are careers in the innovation behind beauty and are inspired by the groundbreaking work women do to address the needs of everyone around the world. I hope they feel encouraged and more open-minded about women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, and are aware that women can be leaders in STEM. My advice would be to stay curious and explore different career paths in STEM. I never expected to work for a global beauty company and work on developing, experimenting and innovating beauty products. Working in the beauty industry offers you the chance to leverage innovation to help people around the world feel confident and beautiful. Working in the beauty industry allows you to be in the driver’s seat of innovation – of new formulas, products, packaging, research – and reinvent the future of beauty. There’s a deep connection with STEM, innovation and beauty, and working for a global beauty company empowers you to make a true impact on people all around the world.

Top photo: Balanda Atis in the L’Oréal USA Women of Color Lab in Clark, N.J.
Bottom photo: Atis (left) evaluates skin tones at the Neighborhood Awards in Las Vegas.
Photos courtesy of L’Oreal USA


Ringing in the weekend on the Montana #mypubliclandsroadtrip!

Ringing Rocks outside of Butte, Montana, is a very unique geologic site. It may be one of the only areas where the public is encouraged to hit public land with hammers. This gigantic pile of boulders make distinct musical chimes when hit with hammers.

After taking a mountain road up to a parking area, it’s a quick hike to the Ringing Rocks boulder pile in the Highland Mountains. The road to Ringing Rocks is just off the Pipestone exit near Homestake Pass. In addition to Ringing Rocks, the area offers an extensive network of off-highway vehicle trails. A high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is strongly encouraged. The road gets quite narrow and rough toward the top.

Once visitors make it to the top, it’s pretty easy to see which rocks make the best musical instruments by the many hammer strikes evident on the rocks.

It’s unclear exactly how the rocks got their musical abilities, but it is believed that a combination of the composition of these particular rocks and how the pile has eroded may contribute to this unique quality. The rocks no longer ring if removed from the pile.

To learn more about this natural phenomenon and the other recreation opportunities in the Pipestone area, visit http://on.doi.gov/1KajFFI.

-Story and photos by Alyse Backus, BLM Montana/ Dakotas. Watch a great video from Ringing Rocks by Alyse here on the BLM Montana/ Dakotas Facebook page.


Women Of Color Who Changed Science. And The World. CLOTHING!

The Women of Color in Science’ collection is now available as clothing at the Hydrogene Portfolio store! Create custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies by choosing a design and background color of your choice. Clothing is available in adult and child sizes.



Here’s an updated version of my math-based lecture notes video, and hopefull more of you will be able to see it this time :)

If you’re looking for the first part, which is taking notes from the textbook, you can find that here.

Silicon Valley admits it has a diversity problem. Companies from Google to Facebook to Twitter have reported that a majority of their employees are white males.

This spring, after a nationwide social media callout and with the help of NPR member stations, we received nearly 200 nominations for diverse innovators who are breaking new ground in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. We picked 14 finalists from around the country to feature as part of the #RaceOnTech series on radio and on social media.

Beginning today, a dozen innovators will live-tweet a day in their lives, using the hashtag #RaceOnTech. Follow @NPRAllTech as NPR’s Davar Ardalan moderates and curates conversations with rising stars and tech and science leaders from Nashville to New Orleans to New York. During the next four days, influencers in the tech and science fields will offer insights and share their own stories.

Join the conversation, share your story or ask your burning question using #RaceOnTech. See the full schedule here.

Illustration: Mary McLain/NPR