Colorado Plateau

DesignBuildBLUFF

In 1960, only 12 percent of U.S. households had air conditioning. Today it’s close to 90 percent. During the same time, the average new house has roughly tripled in size. As a result, air conditioners now consume an estimated five percent of all electricity that’s produced. 


Earth Notes: Tracking Burrowing Owls

May 17, 2017
Courtney J. Conway

In the western United States, a little owl is at the center of a big project. Researchers have outfitted burrowing owls with backpacks containing miniature solar-powered satellite transmitters that reveal the locations of individual owls remotely using live Web maps.


Kaibab National Forest

About a mile and a half from the Jacob Lake Inn sits an old wooden cabin behind a split-rail fence. Climbing the steps of the front porch, visitors are transported back to the early twentieth century. 


Earth Notes: HECHO

May 3, 2017
Credit Steve Peru

Latinos throughout the Southwest have a long and strong connection to this region’s diverse public lands. One group reflecting this interest is HECHO: Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors.  


Smithsonian Institution Archives

Several years after John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River in 1869, he sent two brothers to the Southwest—not to run rapids but to research the region’s archaeological sites and Indian  pueblos. 


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