A fungus that’s been around for more than 400 million years is showing up in the roots of trees and grasses all over the world and helping plants grow. In a global study, Northern Arizona University Ecologist Nancy Johnson contributed samples of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from the Serengeti. She says the findings are surprising.

The name is practically as long as the animal itself: the “chisel-toothed kangaroo rat.” It lives in desert landscapes from Oregon and California through Utah and into northwest Arizona. 

Among well-known western writers, the name Wallace Stegner ranks right at the top. He grew up western, and consistently and eloquently captured the region’s sense of place.   

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.

Spirits call out on the wind, and chains scrape the streets at night, or so go the ghost stories of Easter Island. Northern Arizona University archaeologist Britton Shepardson shifted his focus from studying the island’s mysterious and massive stone statues, to founding Terevaka Archaeological Outreach. The nonprofit organization involves local high school students in preserving the vanishing Rapa Nui oral history.

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


It's only been a few weeks since scientists confirmed there is indeed water on Mars. But they have yet to determine if life exists in the briny water or if that moisture is coming from the atmosphere or from underground.

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.

KNAU/Justin Regan

One week ago, gunfire broke the early morning quiet on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. A fight between two groups of students turned deadly when one of them - an 18 year old freshman - drew a gun and opened fire, killing one student and wounding three others. It was the first school shooting in NAU's 116 year history. Over the last week, students have been coming to terms with the tragedy, and wondering about their safety, talking about gun control. Arizona Public Radio's Justin Regan spoke with some of them and produced this audio postcard.

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.