If you've clicked on the audio link for this story, then the sound you're hearing is the chatter of one of the most endangered mammals in North American, the black footed ferret. It's a sound that hasn't been heard much in Arizona's grasslands since 1931. That's when the animals were thought to have gone extinct after a strain of plague nearly wiped out their main food source, prairie dogs.
The Navajo Nation spans three states and 27,000 square miles. Many homes are so remote and spread out that they don’t have addresses. And, that can make healthcare difficult, especially follow-up care after hospitalization. That’s why John Georgas is working on a computer project and mobile app to identify homes without street addresses to make healthcare access a little easier.
The Arctic and Antarctic are the only places on Earth where permafrost is found. some scientists believe this frozen ground is disappearing because of climate change. Ted Schuur is an ecosystem ecologist with the Center for Ecosystems Science and Society.
Soft ticks are arachnids, like spiders. They live in pine and hardwood forests and thrive on the blood of mice, squirrels, chipmunks and sometimes birds. They don’t usually feed on humans, but, as in the case that closed Camp Colton near Flagstaff recently, it does happen once in awhile. Northern Arizona University Forest Entomology Professor Rich Hofstetter explains.
A program at Northern Arizona University encourages students to use their own life experiences to develop community projects. Students with NAU’s Campus and Community Based Action Research Teams are digging deep within themselves to recall significant events, even painful ones like domestic violence or abuse, and use them to connect with the community. Lauren Berutich is the program coordinator.
Scientists say droughts and wet periods come and go between ice ages. To understand and predict long-term climate changes, Northern Arizona University assistant research professor Nick McKay examines sediment samples from Arctic lakes.
Earthquakes can’t be predicted, but Professor Dave Brumbaugh says Northern Arizona can expect seismic activity simply because there are a number of faults here. Brumbaugh is the director of the Arizona Earthquake Information Center on the Northern Arizona University Campus. He says the Earth’s crust in the region is expanding.
Much of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from human activities — like burning fossil fuel — is taken up as plant food. Northern Arizona University’s Debbie Huntzinger, a researcher of climate change models, says the land’s surface is currently storing more of the greenhouse gas than it’s giving off.