Earth Notes

Earth Notes
6:28 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Earth Notes: Campus Composting

This is a story about a young man, horse manure, vegetable peels and beer...

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Earth Notes
3:46 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

From Harvard Undergrad to Pioneering Archaeologist

Alfred Vincent Kidder in the early 1900's
Credit National Park Service

More than a century ago, a Harvard undergraduate named Alfred Vincent Kidder came out west. He came to volunteer at some archaeological sites that had just been excavated - places like Mesa Verde and other ancient ruins.

Nicknamed Ted, he had little more than a tape measure, a cheap compass and a Kodak camera. But the experience changed his life - and the course of southwestern archaeology.

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Earth Notes
5:27 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Earth Notes: The Mouse that . . . Whistles?

Grasshopper Mouse
Credit Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

At night, sharp-eared southwestern campers sometimes hear the sound of a fierce predator on the prowl.

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Earth Notes
5:16 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Earth Notes: How Dark Can the Night Sky Get?

Credit NASA

It’s well known that the sky gets darker as you get farther away from human sources of light.

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Earth Notes
5:53 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Earth Notes: A Sunny Future for Desert Power—But What About the Tortoises?

Agassiz Desert Tortoise
Credit Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences

Sunshine is endemic to the desert Southwest. So is a venerable reptile, the Agassiz’s desert tortoise.

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Earth Notes
5:38 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Earth Notes: Eating the Wild

This year Americans will spend millions of dollars to eradicate weeds in yards, fields, and gardens. Meanwhile, a group of enthusiasts in Durango, Colorado, has come up with a different approach: eat the weeds!

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Earth Notes: Safeguarding Southwestern Bats

Braided Cave
Credit National Park Service

As winter approaches, some species of bats settle in to hibernate in caves. Lack of food and dropping temperatures drive them inside, where “carpets” of bats congregate on cave ceilings.

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Earth Notes
5:37 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Earth Notes: The Lovable Little Fellow of Clear Streams

The American Dipper
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Southwest may be dry, but it’s interwoven with rushing streams. Where they run cool and clear, they are often enlivened by what the naturalist John Muir described as a “singularly joyous and lovable little fellow.”

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Earth Notes
5:00 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Earth Notes: The Crown Fire - Carbon Connection

Credit BigDogGraphics

Forests constitute an important part of the “Carbon World Bank.” The organic matter in their leaves, wood, roots and soil stores a great deal of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere.

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Earth Notes
4:00 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Earth Notes: Arizona’s Elk

Arizona Elk
Ron Nichols, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Early on fall mornings, a piercing screech echoes across meadows in northern Arizona. It’s the frenzied bugle of a big bull elk in rut, trying to lure a harem of cows to breed and continue his line.

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