Christopher Joyce

Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Joyce seeks out stories in some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has reported from remote villages in the Amazon and Central American rainforests, Tibetan outposts in the mountains of western China, and the bottom of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Over the course of his career, Joyce has written stories about volcanoes, hurricanes, human evolution, tagging giant blue-fin tuna, climate change, wars in Kosovo and Iraq and the artificial insemination of an African elephant.

For several years, Joyce was an editor and correspondent for NPR's Radio Expeditions, a documentary program on natural history and disappearing cultures produced in collaboration with the National Geographic Society that was heard frequently on Morning Edition.

Joyce came to NPR in 1993 as a part-time editor while finishing a book about tropical rainforests and, as he says, "I just fell in love with radio." For two years, Joyce worked on NPR's national desk and was responsible for NPR's Western coverage. But his interest in science and technology soon launched him into parallel work on NPR's science desk.

In addition, Joyce has written two non-fiction books on scientific topics for the popular market: Witnesses from the Grave: The Stories Bones Tell (with co-author Eric Stover); and Earthly Goods: Medicine-Hunting in the Rainforest.

Before coming to NPR, Joyce worked for ten years as the U.S. correspondent and editor for the British weekly magazine New Scientist.

Joyce's stories on forensic investigations into the massacres in Kosovo and Bosnia were part of NPR's war coverage that won a 1999 Overseas Press Club award. He was part of the Radio Expeditions reporting and editing team that won the 2001 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award and the 2001 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Joyce won the 2001 American Association for the Advancement of Science excellence in journalism award.

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3:35am

Thu March 19, 2015
Science

Scientists Catch Up On The Sex Life Of Coral To Help Reefs Survive

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 7:54 am

Staghorn coral planted by scientists in the Florida Keys. Researchers hope to give the same sort of boost to the world's shrinking population of pillar coral, now that they can raise the creatures in a laboratory.
Joe Berg/Way Down Video/Mote

For the first time, biologists have caught a rare type of coral in the act of reproducing, and they were able to collect its sperm and eggs and breed the coral in the laboratory.

The success is part of an effort to stem the decline in many types of coral around the world.

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5:34am

Tue March 17, 2015
World

Four Tropical Cyclones At Once: How Unusual Is That?

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3:02pm

Wed March 11, 2015
Science

Think Man-Sized Swimming Centipede — And Be Glad It's A Fossil

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:31 pm

Reconstruction of the giant filter feeder, scooping up a plankton cloud. Aegirocassis benmoulae was one of the biggest arthropods that ever lived. Family members include today's insects, spiders and lobsters.
Marianne Collins/ArtofFact

If living long and prospering is a measure of success, then the arthropods are life's winners. These are the most common form of life: insects, spiders, crustaceans and centipedes, to name but a few.

And now scientists have their hands on the remains of one of the first ever. It lived 480 million years ago, and it was big and strange.

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3:45am

Thu March 5, 2015
Science

Jaw Fossil In Ethiopia Likely Oldest Ever Found In Human Line

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 12:55 pm

With the help of researcher Sabudo Boraru (right), anthropologist Chris Campisano, of Arizona State University, takes samples from the fossil-filled Ledi-Geraru project area in Ethiopia. The jawbone was found nearby.
Courtesy of J Ramón Arrowsmith

Scientists working in Ethiopia say they've found the earliest known fossil on the ancestral line that led to humans. It's part of a lower jaw with several teeth, and it's about 2.8 million years old. Anthropologists say the fossil fills an important gap in the record of human evolution.

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12:11pm

Fri February 27, 2015
Science

U.S. Biologists Keen To Explore, Help Protect Cuba's Wild Places

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:15 pm

Shoal of tropical fish over a coral reef in the Caribbean Sea. From pristine forests to vivid reefs, Cuba "has it all," say ecologists eager to study the island habitats.
iStockphoto

As diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba thaw, the island could see a new wave of tourism — with visitors treated to music and scenery that has been closed to most U.S. residents for more than half a century.

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5:48pm

Mon February 23, 2015
The Salt

Acidifying Waters Are Endangering Your Oysters And Mussels

Crew members pull an oyster dredge in Tangier Sound of the Chesapeake Bay near Deal Island, Md., in 2013. A study found that the Chesapeake Bay shellfishery is a "hot zone" for ocean acidification.
Patrick Semansky AP

Bad news for bivalves comes this week from scientists studying ocean acidification.

Ocean water in parts of the world is changing. Its chemistry is very slowly becoming more acidic, like lemon juice, and less alkaline, a la baking soda.

The change so far is small — you wouldn't notice if you swam in the ocean or even drank it (not recommended, in any case). But numerous scientific studies show that it could get worse. One reason is that as humans produce more carbon dioxide, a lot is absorbed into the oceans. That makes the water more acidic.

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4:39pm

Thu February 12, 2015
Science

8 Million Tons Of Plastic Clutter Our Seas

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:13 pm

A fisherman collects water on a beach littered with trash at an ecological reserve south of Manila in 2013.
Francis R. Malasig EPA/Landov

Plastic is one of those inventions that transformed the world. It's light, durable and you can make lots of things with it.

But it's also transforming Earth's oceans — and not in a good way. A lot of plastic ends up there. Scientists are just now getting a handle on how much plastic has gone to sea.

Up until now, estimates have been very rough. It's hard to measure waste in the oceans; after all, salt water covers 70 percent of the planet.

But another way to figure out what's out there is to measure how much debris is coming off the land.

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5:04am

Thu February 5, 2015
The Salt

Gotcha: Satellites Help Strip Seafood Pirates Of Their Booty

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 10:17 am

Fish on ice in Palau Misa Island, Indonesia. Thanks to satellite data, John Amos of SkyTruth can track fishing activity near the Pacific island nation from his office in West Virginia.
Randy Olson National Geographic/Getty Images

Most of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. And a lot of that is caught illegally — by vessels that ignore catch limits, or that fish in areas off-limits to fishing.

No one knows how much of it is illegal, because the oceans are too big to patrol. Or at least, they were. Now environmental groups have harnessed satellite technology to watch pirate fishing vessels from space — and they've already caught some of them.

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4:51pm

Wed January 14, 2015
Environment

New EPA Guidelines Limit Methane Release From Drilling

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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5:02am

Mon January 5, 2015
Environment

Entrepreneurs Find Ways To Make Money From Carbon Emissions

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 9:41 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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