Rose Houk

Land Lines

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Earth Notes
2:27 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Earth Notes: The Line on Fishing Line

Untangling birds from discarded fishing line
Credit Arizona Game and Fish Department

Arizona claims a unique population of desert-nesting bald eagles. Those eagles often build their big bulky nests near water, including lakes and rivers in the northern part of the state. The birds use about anything they can find in nest construction—including used fishing line.

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Earth Notes
11:52 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Earth Notes: Early Cotton

Early cotton from the Colorado Plateau
Credit National Park Service

A thousand years ago, farmers on the Colorado Plateau were known for their classic crop trio of corn, beans and squash. But, in some places, they were also growing, using and trading cotton.  

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Earth Notes
10:13 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Earth Notes: Counting The Flies Of Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Flies
Credit Rose Houk/KNAU

Grand Canyon river guides work long hours. In the last 2 years, some of them took on a seemingly unlikely new duty: collecting flies. By doing so, they've helped scientists learn more about the big canyon's aquatic food web.

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Earth Notes
8:45 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Earth Notes: Potash and the Petrified Forest

Potash map of Arizona
Credit Arizona Geological Survey

The Colorado Plateau is endowed with a world-class collection of geological eye candy, like the Technicolor badlands of Arizona's Petrified Forest. But conflicts arise when some of that geology is useful for more than a grand view.

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Earth Notes
9:20 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Earth Notes: The Accidental Anthropologist

Gladys Reichard
Credit Museum of Northern Arizona

She said she started her study of Navajo society "by accident." But, that "accident" turned into a lifetime career for anthropologist Gladys Reichard.

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Earth Notes
4:17 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Earth Notes: A High-Elevation Farming Tradition

Flagstaff farming
Credit NAU Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives

There's not a lot left of Flagstaff's old farming tradition. It's a surprise to many living here today. But, this community - at an elevation of 7,000 feet - with it's short growing season, unpredictable moisture and harsh winds, was a farming hub for some 80 years.

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Earth Notes
7:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Earth Notes: Schultz Fire Habitat Islands

Fresh vegetation grows in the Schultz Fire burn area
Credit Kris Haskins

It's been 3 years since the Schultz Fire seared more than 15,000 acres on the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. About 2/3 of that area, mostly ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forest, was moderately to severely burned. But native plant species have been helping to restore the area.

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Earth Notes
7:46 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Earth Notes: Cryptic Species

Grand Canyon century plant
Credit Desert Botanical Garden

You can't always tell a book by its cover - it's a cliche', but it's bearing out in the world of biology. As biologists peer ever more closely inside the book of life, they are learning there may be far more species of plants and animals than anyone previously thought.

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Earth Notes
10:16 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Earth Notes: New Mexico's Bisti Badlands

Bisti Badlands, New Mexico
Credit BLM New Mexico

In the northwest corner of New Mexico, not far from Chaco Canyon, there's a geologic wonderland that's weird even by the amped-up standards of the Colorado Plateau...

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Earth Notes
9:45 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Earth Notes: Del Rio Spring's Green Oasis

Del Rio Springs
Credit Gary Beverly

In many parts of the country Del Rio Springs wouldn't get much attention. But because it's a reliable spring in an arid quarter, this little oasis has been attracting people for a long time.

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