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.

The high plateau of Cedar Mesa in southern Utah is a stunning bit of scenery and archaeology. Early Puebloan farmers grew crops there and built stunning dwellings inside snug, dry sandstone alcoves. When they departed, they left behind tantalizing traces of their lives.


A walk in the woods doesn’t usually happen in a landscape of starkly beautiful desert mesas dotted with narrow-leafed yucca and rabbitbrush.


The Fort Valley Art Barn, located just north of the Pioneer Museum on Highway 180 in Flagstaff, has had a long and varied life. Originally constructed in the late 1880s to house cattle, hay and farm equipment, by the 1960s it had fallen into disrepair.


Sometimes what looks like a white plastic bag snagged in the top of a pine tree is only a plastic bag. Sometimes it’s something else – a bag of bugs, you might say.


In the global carbon economy, forests act like leafy savings accounts. They take carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis, convert it into biomass, and deposit it for years or even centuries in wood and soil.


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