earth notes

Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Earth Notes: Nature, Teaching Quietly

Nature makes people feel better. Studies have shown that hospital patients who can see a natural scene from their window—or even an image of nature—typically heal faster than those cut off from the outdoors.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Earth Notes: Blitzing Biotic Diversity

How do we know who lives where? Increasingly, land managers are turning to a fun and educational event to find out: the bioblitz.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Earth Notes: Returning Grass to the Grasslands

The back of its wings glinting rust-red in the sun, a ferruginous hawk scans the grasslands below for ground squirrels and jackrabbits, two choice meals. These hawks rely on broad vistas to catch prey. But shrubs and juniper trees have steadily invaded many of their hunting grounds in the Southwest.

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Earth Notes: Roasting Agaves

It’s tough to miss a century plant in full bloom. The plant’s base of wide, pointed leaves sends up an enormously tall stalk that blooms brilliantly in spring. Also called agave or mescal, it’s a plant that’s common throughout the desert Southwest.

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Earth Notes
4:45 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Earth Notes: Criollo Cattle

When most of us hear the word “cattle” we think of an animal that came to the Southwest in the late 1800s. But one breed arrived here long before most other settlers.

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Earth Notes
3:11 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Earth Notes: After a Fire, Is a Spring an Oasis?

Springs are magical places where groundwater comes to the surface — lush green patches that are among the most diverse, productive, and threatened ecosystems on Earth.

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Earth Notes
3:29 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Earth Notes : Migratory Birds May Carry Global Hitchhikers

Credit Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Migratory birds are among the forces that stitch the globe together. Biologists have long known that animals can carry seeds and spores on their bodies, or may eat them and spread them in their waste.

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Earth Notes
8:00 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Earth Notes: Tiny Particles, Big Impact

Credit NASA/JPL-Snow Optics Laboratory

  For those living in the American Southwest, dust is as much a part of the environment as dryness and sunshine. Tiny particles seem to get into everything, including houses, cars, and noses.

While dust can be annoying, scientists believe it plays a vital role in the region’s ecology. It appears to provide essential minerals and chemical compounds to high-mountain ecosystems, just as seafaring salmon bring ocean nutrients high up into freshwater streams.

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Earth Notes
8:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Earth Notes: Walnut Canyon Celebrates a Century

  This year, Walnut Canyon is celebrating a hundred years of protection as a national monument—protection that came none too soon because its prehistoric sites were being seriously damaged.

It was people known to archaeologists as the northern Sinagua who built some three hundred rooms in the limestone alcoves of this hidden canyon near the San Francisco Peaks. They lived, farmed, and hunted in the canyon and on the rim from the 1100s into the mid-1200s.

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Earth Notes
8:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Earth Notes: Grand Canyon's Pioneering Cactus Collector

Credit National Park Service

  It was a long way from the civilized college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Mexican Hat, Utah, back in the summer of 1937. But Dr. Elzada Clover made the trip.

A botanist at the University of Michigan, she had an ambitious dream to explore the little-known plant life of the Colorado River region. Cacti were her specialty. Where better to find them than the Southwest deserts?

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