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.

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.

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.

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...

Earth Notes: Rio Grande Silvery Minnow

Mar 20, 2013
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.

Rachel Turiel

The sugar maple might get all the attention for it's sweet syrup. But it's southwestern cousin the box elder also has a sweet side...

Gary Beverly

In many parts of the country Del Rio Springs wouldn't get much attention. But because it's a reliable spring in an arid quarter, this little oasis has been attracting people for a long time.

In the latest installment of KNAU's environmental series, Earth Notes, we hear about some of the best practices for preserving ancient rock buildings on the Colorado Plateau.

Earth Notes: Campus Composting

Feb 13, 2013

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

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.

Earth Notes: The Mouse that . . . Whistles?

Dec 26, 2012
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

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