Nikk Ogasa

Nikk Ogasa

Science Writing Intern, Summer 2021

Nikk Ogasa was a summer 2021 science writer intern based in Santa Cruz, Calif. He has a master's degree in geology from McGill University, where he studied how ancient earthquakes helped form large gold deposits. He earned another master's degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His stories have been published in ScienceScientific American, Mongabay and the Mercury News.

All Stories by Nikk Ogasa

  1. an aerial photo of rice fields

    Rice feeds half the world. Climate change’s droughts and floods put it at risk

    Rice provides sustenance for billions who have no alternative, and climate change threatens to slash production. Growers will need to innovate to provide an important crop as climate whiplash brings drought and floods to fields worldwide.

  2. tempered chocolate being spread over a pastry

    A pinch of saturated fat could make tempering chocolate a breeze

    Adding a small amount of fatty molecules to cocoa butter could simplify the labor-intensive tempering process to create melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.

  3. Fluorescent nest of an Asian paper wasp

    Some wasps’ nests glow green under ultraviolet light

    Some Asian paper wasps’ nests fluoresce so brilliantly that the glow is visible from up to 20 meters away.

  4. a scientist in snorkeling gear swims over the large Muga dhambi coral

    An incredibly resilient coral in the Great Barrier Reef offers hope for the future

    At more than 400 years old, a massive coral off the coast of Australia has endured as many as 80 cyclones and 99 bleaching events.

  5. illustration of Tupandactylus navigans eating a palm plant in the forest

    This big-headed pterosaur may have preferred walking over flying

    The most intact fossil of a tapejarid pterosaur ever found yields new insight into how the ancient reptile lived.

  6. a referee holds up a yellow card amid during a soccer game in Germany

    ‘Ghost games’ spotlight the psychological effect fans have on referees

    Soccer teams won fewer games and received more fouls when playing at home during the 2019–2020 season, when many fans were absent, than before the pandemic.

  7. illustration of Chicxulub asteroid impact

    Dinosaur-killing asteroid may have made Earth’s largest ripple marks

    A tsunami created by the Chicxulub impact could have formed giant ripples found in rock under Louisiana, a new study finds.

  8. Venus's-flower-basket sea sponge

    How intricate Venus’s-flower-baskets manipulate the flow of seawater

    Simulations show that a deep-sea glass sponge’s intricate skeleton creates particle-trapping vortices and reduces the stress of rushing water.

  9. Romanesco cauliflower

    How Romanesco cauliflower forms its spiraling fractals

    By tweaking just three genes in a common lab plant, scientists have discovered the mechanism responsible for one of nature’s most impressive fractals.

  10. harvesting equipment in a cornfield

    A tweaked yeast can make ethanol from cornstalks and a harvest’s other leftovers

    By genetically modifying baker’s yeast, scientists figured out how to get almost as much ethanol from cornstalks as kernels.

  11. illustration of the head of an ancient insect-eating reptile

    Fossilized dung from a dinosaur ancestor yields a new beetle species

    Whole beetles preserved in fossilized poo suggest that ancient droppings may deserve a closer look.

  12. family of tyrannosaurs

    For some dinosaurs, the Arctic may have been a great place to raise a family

    Fossils of baby dinosaur remains found in northern Alaska challenge the idea that some dinosaurs spent only summers in the Arctic.