Peter Friederici

Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Earth Notes: Nature, Teaching Quietly

Nature makes people feel better. Studies have shown that hospital patients who can see a natural scene from their window—or even an image of nature—typically heal faster than those cut off from the outdoors.

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Earth Notes
4:39 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Earth Notes: Where There's Smoke, Plants Notice

Credit USDA Forest Service

Smoke is a complicated substance. Most people who live in or near western forests have a good feel for how it affects people. But what's less well known is that it affects plants, too.

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Earth Notes
8:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Earth Notes: Seeding the Clouds

Credit National Center for Atmospheric Research

  For generations western farmers have worried about getting enough water from the sky to nourish their crops. Some have tried to do something about it.

A century ago farmers in places like the Great Plains and California hired specialists who claimed they could water the land by shooting explosives into the sky or by releasing secret mixtures of chemicals. Sometimes it did rain then. Sometimes it didn’t—in which case the would-be rainmakers typically left town fast.

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Earth Notes
9:20 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Earth Notes: Winter’s Main Act

  No one is neutral about snow. Depending on whether we’re planning to play in it or drive in it, go shopping or skip school, we hope either that it’ll fall or that it won’t.

The higher elevations of the Colorado Plateau can get lots of snow, with more than 200 inches recorded in a single winter at many mountain locations.

Major winter storms can pose big problems for animals such as deer, elk, and pronghorn, which can be trapped by heavy snowfalls and driven to starvation. But for smaller animals snow can be a blessing.

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Earth Notes
10:20 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Earth Notes: Helping Mexican Wolves Get a Good Start

Foster parents help a lot of kids from difficult backgrounds in getting a better start in life. Now they’re also helping a rare species that’s been struggling to gain a foothold in the Southwestern wilds.

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Earth Notes
8:51 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Earth Notes: Sedona Wetlands Preserve

Made up of reclaimed wastewater, the Sedona Wetlands provides a habitat for wild birds.
Credit Courtesy photo

What happens to the water that runs down your kitchen or shower drain? If you live in Sedona, Ariz., the answer is that it helps migratory birds along their way.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:27 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Earth Notes: Sustainable Desert Harvest At Mesa Farm

Mesa Farm

The gray shale badlands along the lower Fremont River in Utah are desolate - so much so that one group of would-be space travelers chose the area as a site for what they call the Mars Desert Research Station.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Earth Notes: Summer’s Pugnacious Hummingbird

Small can be beautiful, but for some of nature’s most spectacular birds small can mean really tough, too. Witness the rufous hummingbird, which visits wildflower meadows and hummingbird feeders across the Colorado Plateau in late summer.

For a bird less than four inches in length, the rufous hummingbird pulls off an impressive migration each year. From their wintering grounds in southern Mexico, they fly north each spring to breeding territories in the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, and even as far north as Alaska.

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Earth Notes
12:00 am
Wed December 14, 2011

Earth Notes: Honoring the Sun--Passive Solar Design

Passive Solar House

Since time before memory people have used sunlight to make southwestern homes more livable. Many of the region’s characteristic cliff dwellings were carefully sited in places that are shaded in summer, but sunny in winter. That allowed natural heating to reduce the need for warming fuels.

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