Science

Earth Notes: Tough Dirt

Feb 7, 2018
Jim Harrigan, NRCS

The Colorado Plateau is a land of constant discovery—both above and beneath our feet. Recently a surprising soil was unearthed that fit a previously empty slot in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s established soil classification system. 

We all react differently to seeing someone in distress. Some feel empathy. Some don’t. Some feel the pain so strongly they take it on as their own. Flagstaff social neuroscientist Chad Woodruff is trying to measure compassion and empathy by recording the activity of “mirror” or “social neurons” in the brain. 


Brendan Borrell/the-scientist.com

Scientists are studying the DNA of a deadly tropical fungus to learn how it is able to adapt in a foreign environment. Cryptococcus gattii is believed to have originated in the jungles of Brazil, but has been making people sick in the Pacific Northwest of the United States for about 20 years. David Engelthaler, the director of TGen in Flagstaff, wants to know how strains of the fungus are evolving and spreading disease. 


Earth Notes: iNaturalist

Jan 24, 2018
Kaibab National Forest

What happens when students fan out into the woods with cellphones in hand? For biologists with the Kaibab National Forest, it means they’re getting lots of data collected by young citizen scientists to help them make more informed land management decisions. 


eagles.org

Avian ecologists are concerned that a warming, drying climate may negatively impact the population of golden eagles in the Southwest. In order to trap, track and monitor their behavior, researcher Tom Koronkiewicz with SWCA Environmental Consultants is leaving deer and elk carcasses near nesting sites north of Flagstaff.


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