Earth Notes

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.

NPS

The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the fourth installment of the series, we look at northern Arizona's Pipe Spring National Monument and its rich human history.

To many Colorado Plateau tourists, Pipe Spring National Monument is about as far from civilization as it gets—a 40-acre flyspeck tucked onto the vast Arizona Strip between the North Rim of Grand Canyon and the colorful canyon parks of southern Utah.


Kristen Honig/ Valles Caldera Trust

The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the third installment of the series, we look at the Valles Caldera National Preserve and its ecological recovery from two massive wildfires.

 

New Mexico’s Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of the nation’s newest national parks. It is also a living laboratory.

NPS/B. Sutton

The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the second installment of the series, we hear about how Wupatki's population survived there a thousand years ago despite the area's extreme arid environment.

The region around Wupatki National Monument on the San Francisco Plateau is so dry it was called the Sierra Sin Agua, or “Mountains Without Water,” by early Spanish explorers. Yet from the 11th to 13th centuries this region supported a population of between several hundred and 2,000 people. How did they do it?


Alexander Gardner, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, 1868

The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the first installment of the series, we hear about efforts to protect sandstone panels of petroglyphs and pictographs at El Morro National Monument in New Mexico.

In west-central New Mexico, a huge sandstone monolith looms above a perennial pool of fresh water that’s sustained thirsty travelers for centuries.


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.


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