Earth Notes

Wednesday at 6:33 AM, 8:33 AM, and 3:32 PM and Saturday at 9:34 AM
  • Hosted by Tristan Clum

The Colorado Plateau is one of North America’s human and environmental treasures. Ancient cultures have called this land of sun-baked deserts and lush mountain landscapes home for centuries. Earth Notes, KNAU’s weekly environmental series, explores the Plateau by telling stories of the intricate relationships between environmental issues and our daily lives.

Rooted in science and wrapped in human interest, the two minute long segments encourage listeners to think of themselves as part of the solution to environmental problems. Upbeat and informative, the program tries to foster hope and dampen despair about the environment, and motivate listeners to become more conscious and informed stewards of the Colorado Plateau.

The West’s pioneer spirit characterizes not only many of the region’s people, but also some of its plants. And a trio of pioneer species collectively called fire mosses, known on every continent, may prove an excellent tool for repairing burned-over lands on the Colorado Plateau.


The “yuk factor” is definitely there: owls regurgitate little packets of undigested bones, fur, and feathers left over from animals they ate a few hours earlier.


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Many visitors know Chaco Canyon National Historical Park as a nexus of spiritual or at least archaeological energy. But these days many park advocates are worried about a different sort of energy: oil and gas production.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Roundtail Chub populations have declined to the point where the fish is being considered as a candidate for the Federal Endangered Species Act. But their numbers are just fine in central Arizona. In fact, the Roundtail Chub is thriving on the Salt and Verde Rivers.


On contemporary maps, tribal peoples in the U.S. are closely identified with particular reservation lands. But long-standing ties to land connect Native tribes with a much broader network of places.


Earth Notes: Bee Houses

Apr 20, 2016

When you hear the word "bee," you're likely to think of the hard-working insects that produce the honey we use. But in North American, a wild diversity of native bees - more than 4,000 kinds – swamps that of honeybees, which were imported from the Old World.


Travelers with a hankering to reconnect with nature and experience the Navajo way of life can do just that 12 miles south of Page.  A bear claw sign on Highway 89 points the way to the Shash Diné Eco-Retreat. “Shash” in the retreat’s name means “bear” in Navajo. 


For allergy sufferers, dust and pollen are an irritating part of life in the Southwest. Yet recent research reveals that these tiny particles are crucial to the formation of life-giving rains, both here and around the world. 


Have cellphone, will travel: that’s the mantra in today’s device-driven world. Now, with a smartphone camera and a special app, a new project is providing virtual tours of archaeological sites in northern Arizona.


Westerners used to use all kinds of markers to identify the locations of mining claims, such as wooden posts and large stone cairns. The modern way is easy: sink an un-capped PVC pipe into the ground. It’s easy and effective. But there’s a dark side to these innocuous plastic tubes.


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