Earth Notes

Earth Notes
10:41 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Earth Notes: Ancient Peoples and Fire

Prater Canyon in Mesa Verde National Park
Credit Library of Congress

In modern times human presence has influenced the size and number of wildfires on the Colorado Plateau. We are, in part, responsible for more big fires and fewer small ones. But is there also a connection between ancient peoples and wildfire?

Read more
Earth Notes
7:23 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Earth Notes: Sedona Sinkholes

Devil's Kitchen
Credit Arizona Geological Survey

The colorful red rock geology of Sedona looks timeless. But, the complicated topography hides layers of rock that aren't as solid as they appear. And that might - in some places - even pose a threat to humans.

Read more
Earth Notes
10:13 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Earth Notes: Counting The Flies Of Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Flies
Credit Rose Houk/KNAU

Grand Canyon river guides work long hours. In the last 2 years, some of them took on a seemingly unlikely new duty: collecting flies. By doing so, they've helped scientists learn more about the big canyon's aquatic food web.

Read more
Earth Notes
7:33 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Measures of Drought

A scene of Southwestern drought
Credit University of Arizona Climate Assessment of the Southwest

Drought is a universally understood phenomenon — especially here in the arid Southwest. But what does drought really mean? To help define the term, and the concept, scientists use several commonly used drought indices. Each summarizes thousands of data points on rainfall and other information into a single handy number.

Read more
Earth Notes
12:06 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Earth Notes: Tracking Climate Change In Northern Arizona

Grand Canyon
Credit Northern Arizona University

In late September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Summary for Policymakers for part-one of its  massive Fifth Assessment Report. Its message? Earth's climate is warming, and human influence on that warming is clear.

Read more
Earth Notes
12:51 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Earth Notes: Salvaging Food

Apple harvest
Credit USDA Agricultural Research Service

In September, 2013, when hail damaged 5,000 pounds of tomatoes at Linley Dixon's southwest Colorado farm, she acted quickly. Facing the loss of $10,000 worth of produce, she rallied, via e-mail, a troupe of volunteers to pick every hail-spanked fruit off the fine.

Read more
Earth Notes
9:03 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Earth Notes: Chaco Canyon's New Residents

Chaco Canyon elk
Credit Lauren Kiser

A trip to Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico is a pilgrimage to see one of the greatest archaeological areas in the Southwest. While most visitors explore famed sites like Pueblo Bonito, lately they've been treated to an exciting - and unexpected - wildlife sighting.

Read more
Earth Notes
7:35 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Earth Notes: Grand Canyon's Tiny Snail

The tiny Kanab Ambersnail
Credit Arizona Game and Fish Department

Biologists have been putting in a big effort to protect a rare, tiny snail that lives beside the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

Read more
Earth Notes
8:45 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Earth Notes: Potash and the Petrified Forest

Potash map of Arizona
Credit Arizona Geological Survey

The Colorado Plateau is endowed with a world-class collection of geological eye candy, like the Technicolor badlands of Arizona's Petrified Forest. But conflicts arise when some of that geology is useful for more than a grand view.

Read more
Earth Notes
9:20 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Earth Notes: The Accidental Anthropologist

Gladys Reichard
Credit Museum of Northern Arizona

She said she started her study of Navajo society "by accident." But, that "accident" turned into a lifetime career for anthropologist Gladys Reichard.

Read more

Pages