Stories by Evan Garcia

Wanted: Mysterious Natural Objects for Identification by Scientists

Field Museum research associate Noé de la Sancha shows a mammal skull to visitors at the museum’s Identification Day in 2015. (Courtesy of the Field Museum)

Field Museum scientists are ready to identify your strangest natural possessions this weekend. Learn more about Identification Day.

NASA: August Ties with July as Hottest Month on Record

The 2016 global temperature is on track to break the annual record for the third year in a row, according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. (NASA)

The average global temperature in August tied with July as the hottest month since record keeping began in 1880, according to NASA. 

Notebaert Nature Museum Raises 131 Endangered Baby Turtles

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is raising endangered turtles in captivity until they grow large enough to fend for themselves. (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

Blanding's turtles, an endangered species in Illinois and a half-dozen other states, are getting a head start on survival at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Public Spaces on Chicago’s South, West Sides Get $10 Million Investment

An artist’s rendering of plans for St. Laurence school, where children and adults will be able to take free art classes. (Chicago Arts + Industry Commons / Place Lab)

An investment of more than $10 million will help transform unused buildings and vacant lots on Chicago’s South and West Sides into centers for arts and culture that offer free community programs.

Group Honors Chicago’s Founder, Calls for DuSable Park Development

Dr. Serge Pierre-Louis stands in front of the DuSable Park site. "The leaders of Chicago can use the story of DuSable to solve the problems we're facing now," he said. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

A group gathered Wednesday to mark the 198th anniversary of the death of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first non-native settler, and push for the completion of a long-delayed park in his name.

Researchers Confirm New Corn Disease in Illinois

A new bacterial disease infecting corn crops has been confirmed in Illinois, but researchers know very little about the disease or what impact it could have on the agricultural industry.

Field Museum Archaeologists Find Centuries-Old Crocodile Stone

Field Museum archaeologists made an unexpected find while excavating an the site of an ancient city in southern Mexico.

Mushroom Hunting in Illinois Comes with Risks, Rewards

The Amanita bisporigera mushroom is also known as the "destroying angel." It's considered the most toxic mushroom in North America. (Dan Molter / Wikimedia Commons)

Picking and eating wild mushrooms could result in a delectable treat or a deadly mistake. A fungi expert shares some helpful advice and tells us why picking mushrooms in city parks and your own neighborhood might not be the best idea.

5 Nature Adventures for Labor Day Weekend

Soak up the last weekend of summer by getting out of the city and off the beaten path. We’ve got a handful of destinations for the perfect weekend trip, whether you prefer hiking, rafting, biking or just lazing the day away.

PAWS Chicago Rescues Animals from Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

"We wanted to help in any way we could," said PAWS Chicago spokeswoman Sarah McDonald. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Chicago’s largest no-kill animal shelter has opened its doors to dogs and cats from Louisiana, a state that has little room to house pets in need following devastating floods earlier this month.

CPS Students Get Free Admission to 3 Museums Monday

The Adler Planetarium is one of three Chicago museums offering free admission to CPS students on Aug. 29. (Craig Stillwell / Wikimedia Commons)

Chicago Public School students can kick off their last week of freedom at one of several Chicago institutions. Learn more.

Scientists Discover Potentially Habitable Planet

An artist's impression of what the surface of the planet Proxima b might look like. (M. Kornmesser / European Southern Observatory)

A planet that could potentially host life has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our solar system, according to a report published Wednesday by more than 30 international scientists.

Rain Barrels to Fight Flooding Distributed to Underserved Areas

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District provided 500 rain barrels for the environmental organization Faith in Place to distribute. (Ramont Bell)

Free barrels for collecting rainwater are being distributed to South and West Side communities prone to flash flooding.

Walgreens Opens Kiosks for Safe Drug Disposal in Illinois

A nationwide opioid epidemic is fueling the need for safe disposal of prescription drugs.

A nationwide opioid epidemic is fueling the need for safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. What you should know before tossing out your unused medications.

New Bike Law Gives Cyclists the Right of Way in Illinois

A new law in Illinois clarifies that bicycles are vehicles. (Azri / Flickr)

Just days before two cyclists were fatally struck by automobiles in Chicago, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation strengthening the rights of cyclists.

Jane Goodall: ‘Human Population Growth’ the Biggest Threat to Chimpanzees

Jane Goodall speaks at the Lincoln Park Zoo on Thursday as part of the Chimpanzees in Context conference. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Humans pose the greatest threat to chimpanzees, renowned British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall said Thursday during an event at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Invasive Fish on the Menu at Asian Carp Grill Event

A bighead carp (U.S. Geological Survey / Flickr). Inset: An Asian carp burger at Asian Carp Grill 2015. (Margaret Frisbie)

Adventurous eaters concerned about Asian carp entering the Great Lakes will have a chance to devour the invasive fish at a special event held along the Chicago River next week.

City Unveils Plans to Revitalize Chicago’s Waterways by 2040

| Nick Blumberg
A rendering based on the new Our Great Rivers project shows pedestrians at the Ashland CTA Orange Line station accessing a water taxi stop along the Chicago River. (Metropolitan Planning Council)

A plan that aims to allow swimming in Chicago’s waterways in less than 15 years was unveiled Wednesday by the city and partnering nonprofits.

Good and Bad Bugs Found in Your Garden

A ladybug eats an aphid, a common garden pest. (John Flannery / Flickr)

Not all bugs found in vegetable and ornamental gardens are harmful to plants. In fact, some of them help get rid of common pests. Find out which make the "good" and "bad" lists.

Chicago-Area Scientists Convert Greenhouse Gas into Fuel Source

The new study's findings could help combat climate change while lessening our reliance on burning fossil fuels. (Jorge Royan / Wikimedia Commons)

Using a process similar to photosynthesis, scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Chicago have converted carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas, which can produce methanol and diesel fuels.

Red Panda Cubs at Lincoln Park Zoo Get Wrigley Field-Inspired Names

Waveland, a female red panda cub, is examined by Lincoln Park Zoo staff on July 26. (Lincoln Park Zoo)

Two red panda cubs at the Lincoln Park Zoo are born to love the Chicago Cubs. Like their two siblings born the previous year, the names of the cubs, revealed Tuesday, were inspired by Wrigley Field.

Alligator Gar Not Effective Weapon Against Asian Carp, Says Biologist

Despite a spate of recent reports, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that reintroducing alligator gar into Illinois' waterways will not prevent Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.

Chicago’s Plastic Bag Ban Extended to Smaller Chain Stores

Starting Aug. 1, 2016, chain stores that are 10,000 square feet or less must comply with the city's plastic bag ban originally enacted a year ago. (MTSOfan / Flickr)

As of Monday, chain stores that are 10,000 square feet or less must comply with the city's plastic bag ban originally enacted a year ago.

Photos: Democratic National Convention 2016, Day 4

Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine greet the crowd after her speech. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Hillary Clinton formally accepted her party's presidential nomination on the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Photos: Democratic National Convention 2016, Day 3

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waving to the crowd as they exit the stage. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

President Barack Obama electrified a packed Wells Fargo Arena with his speech, but things got even more exciting the moment he finished and Hillary Clinton walked on stage to embrace him. 

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