Herbert Ernest Gregory isn’t exactly a household name among Colorado Plateau residents. But, for more than 40 years, Gregory spent several months each summer exploring and explaining the plateau’s geologic wonderland. About all that commemorates him here now is his weathered canteen hanging in the visitor center at Zion National Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.