Nikk Ogasa is a staff writer who focuses on the physical sciences for Science News, based in Brooklyn, New York. 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, and he was the summer 2021 science writing intern at Science News.

All Stories by Nikk Ogasa

  1. photo of an ice stupa fountain in India’s Ladakh region
    Environment

    How to build better ice towers for drinking water and irrigation

    “Ice stupas” emerged in 2014 as a way to cope with climate change shrinking glaciers. Automation could help improve the cones’ construction.

  2. an illustratiion of a molten Earth's core
    Earth

    50 years ago, a new theory of Earth’s core began solidifying

    In 1972, scientists proposed that Earth’s core formed as the planet came together. Fifty years later, that theory is generally accepted, though many mysteries about the core remain.

  3. a football player tackles a quarterback during the 2015 Goodyear Cotton Bowl
    Tech

    A neck patch for athletes could help detect concussions early

    The small sensor is sleeker and cheaper than other devices used to monitor neck strain in athletes.

  4. A polar bear stands atop glacial mélange — a floating mishmash of icebergs, sea ice fragments and snow that exists year-round
    Ecosystems

    Some polar bears in Greenland survive on surprisingly little sea ice

    “Glacial mélange” could provide a last refuge for some bears as the Earth warms, but climate action is needed to preserve the species, researchers say.

  5. Rocks at the Devil’s Punchbowl geologic formation near Los Angeles, with mountains in the background
    Earth

    Ancient zircons offer insights into earthquakes of the past

    Analyzing zircons’ chemical makeup can help expose intense quakes from the past and improve our understanding of the physics of today’s tremors.

  6. An outdoor view of an apparatus that removes chemicals from the public water supply. Two men in hardhats look on.
    Ecosystems

    Just 3 ingredients can quickly destroy widely used PFAS ‘forever chemicals’

    Ultraviolet light, sulfite and iodide break down enduring PFAS molecules faster and more thoroughly than other UV-based methods.

  7. law enforcement officers stand in front of Robb Elementary School where flowers and crosses are displayed in front of a sign reads "Welcome" and "Bienvenidos"
    Science & Society

    Mass shootings and gun violence in the United States are increasing

    In the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, a gun violence researcher shares what can be done to reduce gun violence deaths.

  8. image of the ground around succulent plants in South Africa showing lichens and cyanobacteria
    Ecosystems

    Biocrusts reduce global dust emissions by 60 percent

    Lichens and other microbes construct biological soil crusts that concentrate nutrients and slash global dust emissions.

  9. a photo of several bottle of plant milks on a table
    Agriculture

    Oat and soy milks are planet friendly, but not as nutritious as cow milk

    Plant-based milks are better for the environment, but nutrition-wise they fall behind cow milk.

  10. a blue burst of light from a volcanic eruption can be seen on the surface of Io
    Planetary Science

    Lava and frost may form the mysterious lumps on Jupiter’s moon Io

    Jets of gas released when hot meets cold on the volcanic moon Io could generate sprawling fields of dunes, a study finds.

  11. a zircon crystal
    Earth

    Ancient zircons may record the dawn of plate tectonics

    A change in gemstone composition starting about 3.8 billion years ago may offer the earliest record of one tectonic plate sliding over another.

  12. photo of a brown leech on a leaf
    Animals

    Leeches expose wildlife’s whereabouts and may aid conservation efforts

    DNA from the blood meals of more than 30,000 leeches shows how animals use the protected Ailaoshan Nature Reserve in China.