Earth Notes

Earth Notes
3:39 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Earth Notes: Shelter Dogs and Salamanders

Rescue dogs search for salamanders in the Jémez Mountains of New Mexico.

An unusual team of four-legged researchers is hard at work in the Jémez Mountains of New Mexico. They love to run, chase balls — and sniff out a rare salamander found nowhere else.

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Earth Notes
8:51 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Earth Notes: Sedona Wetlands Preserve

Made up of reclaimed wastewater, the Sedona Wetlands provides a habitat for wild birds.
Credit Courtesy photo

What happens to the water that runs down your kitchen or shower drain? If you live in Sedona, Ariz., the answer is that it helps migratory birds along their way.

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Earth Notes
12:35 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Earth Notes: Solar Panels: To Buy or To Lease?

Credit American Solar Electric

In the sunny Southwest, installing solar panels to produce electricity makes a lot of sense. But should homeowners buy their own, or lease rooftop panels instead?

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Earth Notes
3:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Earth Notes: Greenstripping the West’s Grasslands

Burning cheatgrass, a plant species heavily disliked by land managers.
Credit USDA Forest Service

Today, the West’s amber waves of grass are more often than not a species land managers cringe to see. Cheatgrass, a Eurasian species that most likely arrived on ships a century ago, now runs across millions of acres of the Intermountain West and Colorado Plateau. 

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Earth Notes
8:50 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Earth Notes: Earthworms and Climate Change

Credit Jacob McDaniel

Earthworms are friends to gardeners, recycling plant debris into plant nutrients. But, do they contribute to the climate-change problem?

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Earth Notes
10:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Earth Notes: Removing That Pesky Bluegrass

A elk grazes at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Credit National Park Service

Many visitors to Grand Canyon like to have a picnic when they visit the national park. And they’re not alone. The trouble is that their fellow South Rim diners have often been big, and hungry, elk.

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Earth Notes
8:53 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Earth Notes: Using Social Media to Manage the Outdoors

The view from Shoshone Point at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Credit Photo by Ryan Heinsius

The managers of nature-oriented parks, including many on the Colorado Plateau, don’t always know how many visitors to expect, or when peak visiting times will come. But, technology may be changing that. It turns out that vacation photos posted by tourists on the Internet may be able to improve managers’ understanding of how people use and enjoy parks.

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Earth Notes
8:40 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Earth Notes: Herbert E. Gregory

A notebook owned by Herbert Ernest Gregory.
Credit Clay Martin/USGS

Herbert Ernest Gregory isn’t exactly a household name among Colorado Plateau residents. But, for more than 40 years, Gregory spent several months each summer exploring and explaining the plateau’s geologic wonderland.  About all that commemorates him here now is his weathered canteen hanging in the visitor center at Zion National Park.

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Earth Notes
8:49 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Earth Notes: Measuring the Night on the Colorado Plateau

Chaco Canyon National Historic Park
Credit National Park Service

Some 27 national parks and monuments protect the Colorado Plateau’s remarkable canyons, rivers, and wide-open spaces. But, people increasingly visit the plateau to experience another rare natural resource: its dark skies.

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Earth Notes
8:48 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Earth Notes: Utah’s King of Gore

Lythronax argestes, the great uncle of the famed T. rex.
Credit Natural History Museum of Ut

A dinosaur recently found in southern Utah has reshaped paleontologists’ ideas of the fierce group of carnivores known as tyrannosaurs.

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