It's been 3 years since the Schultz Fire seared more than 15,000 acres on the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. About 2/3 of that area, mostly ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forest, was moderately to severely burned. But native plant species have been helping to restore the area.
You can't always tell a book by its cover - it's a cliche', but it's bearing out in the world of biology. As biologists peer ever more closely inside the book of life, they are learning there may be far more species of plants and animals than anyone previously thought.
Imagine an adhesive that could take the place of pins and plates when fixing broken bones, or that could replace staples and sutures during surgery. But creating a glue that sticks to a wet surface is no easy task. That's why University of Utah researchers are taking their cues from a proven master of the art - the diminutive caddisfly.
Those who manage and use reservoirs in the western United States are used to cycles of boom and bust: wet periods fill reservoirs, while droughts empty them. But as the Southwest enters what looks like an uncertain future of climate change, there's evidence that Lake Powell may be in for a particularly hard time.
Two hundred miles upstream from Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River roars through Cataract Canyon in a rust colored tumult, thick with silt and clay. Each year, the Colorado and its tributaries carry, on average, some 61 million cubic yards of sediment into Lake Powell, enough to fill more than 200,000 railroad boxcars.