Earth Notes

Earth Notes
10:19 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Earth Notes: The Ponderosa Crop

Ponderosa Crop
Credit Oregon State University Extension

The life of  ponderosa pine seed is a high-stakes lottery. Only a few get to spread their branches in the sun.

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Earth Notes
1:47 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Earth Notes: Bee Houses

Bee House
Credit North Carolina State University

When you hear the word "bee", you're likely to think of the hard-working insects that produce the honey we use. But in North American, a wild diversity of native bees - more than 4,000 kinds - swamps that of honeybees, which were imported from the Old World.

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Earth Notes
7:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Earth Notes: Schultz Fire Habitat Islands

Fresh vegetation grows in the Schultz Fire burn area
Credit Kris Haskins

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.

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Earth Notes
7:46 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Earth Notes: Cryptic Species

Grand Canyon century plant
Credit Desert Botanical Garden

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.

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Earth Notes
9:20 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Earth Notes: Caddisflies Inspire Medical Innovation

Caddisfly
Credit Fred Hayes for the University of Utah

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.

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Earth Notes
8:44 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Earth Notes: Glen Canyon Dam - The Future

Glen Canyon Dam
Credit National Park Service

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.

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Earth Notes
8:31 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Earth Notes: Glen Canyon Dam - Lake Powell's New Fish

Fishing on Lake Powell
Credit Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Before Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, native fish lived in the free-flowing Colorado River. They had unique physical adaptations that allowed them to thrive in the river's often murky water.

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Earth Notes
7:52 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Earth Notes: Glen Canyon Dam - What Flows In (And Not Out)

Upstream from Glen Canyon Dam
Credit National Park Service/Kyler Carpenter

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.

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Earth Notes
10:16 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Earth Notes: New Mexico's Bisti Badlands

Bisti Badlands, New Mexico
Credit BLM New Mexico

In the northwest corner of New Mexico, not far from Chaco Canyon, there's a geologic wonderland that's weird even by the amped-up standards of the Colorado Plateau...

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Earth Notes
4:04 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Earth Notes: Rio Grande Silvery Minnow

Silvery Minnow
Credit Aimee Roberson/USFWS

The Rio Grande silvery minnow may sound like it has a name out of a children's book. But the problems it faces are unfortunately real.

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