Sustainable Communities Program at NAU

Earth Notes: Plant Galls

Feb 14, 2018
Gary Alpert

Lots of plants bear strange-looking swellings on their leaves and stems. These wart-like growths are called galls, and they’re the direct result of mites and insects injecting chemicals into the plant’s tissue during rapid cell division.


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. 

Earth Notes: The Laughing Jim Mushroom

Jan 31, 2018
Gary Alpert

The Colorado Plateau is rich in wild mushrooms. Many of these fabulous fungi are delicious to eat, if you know what you’re doing. Others taste bad, and some are highly toxic.


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. 


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Jan. 21, 1963, marked a watershed in the history of the Southwest. On that Monday, the first gates of Glen Canyon Dam were closed.


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