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.

Kathy Pendley Shaw

Most people know Slide Rock in Oak Creek Canyon as a popular swimming hole. But for Kathy Pendley Shaw, Arizona’s water-blessed oasis is steeped in her family’s history.  

Emery Kolb, USGS Photographic Library

In 1923, the U.S. Geological Survey sponsored its first expedition on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. The crew of 12 men was led by topographic engineer Claude Birdseye. Eugene LaRue was hydraulic engineer and chief photographer, and Emery Kolb was head boatman. 


People rightly think of the jaguar as a resident of rainforest and jungle. But the secretive spotted cat is also native to the Southwest, including Arizona and New Mexico, and was confirmed during the twentieth century as far north as the Grand Canyon and Gila Wilderness. 

Peter Friederici

From the Monopoly board to the suburban mall, free parking is one of those American ideals that no one can get enough of. Or so it seems. But in fact parking doesn’t come free, even when there’s no meter or permit requirement in sight.

Each summer, wildfire scorches western forests, leaving millions of charred trees in its wake. Often logging trucks are not far behind, moving in to harvest the dead trees.