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.

In 1950, Hosteen Nez found a yellowish rock outcrop not far from Cameron, Arizona. His people, the Diné, called it leetso. Ten years earlier that find would have been no big deal. But with the Cold War heating up, Nez suspected this was the valuable ore geologists said contained uranium.


Earth Notes: American Avocets

Sep 13, 2017
Max Taylor

The American avocet is a rare sight as it migrates across the Colorado Plateau in spring and fall. The birds fly south in the winter to Mexico and the southern United States. They wing their way north in spring, hundreds of miles over arid western lands to reach their summering grounds in the northern U.S. and Canada. 


Kurt Refsnider

Geologists know there’s no better place to see Earth’s history laid bare than on the Colorado Plateau. Prescott College professors Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle make the subject come alive for their students in a novel way—from the seat of a bicycle. 


Earth Notes: Honeypot Ants

Aug 30, 2017
Gary Alpert

Feast or famine is the watchword in the Colorado Plateau’s unpredictable climate. To survive lean times, honeypot ants, common in the region, have devised a unique strategy.  


Jesse Barber

Many insects and spiders rely on sounds and vibrations to find food, meet mates and detect predators. So it’s likely they’d be sensitive to the roar of heavy machinery. 


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