Earth Notes

From Arizona Public Radio

KNAU's weekly environmental series on the Colorado Plateau.

Most Recent Episodes

Earth Notes: Grand Canyon's Bass Heritage

Toward the west end of Grand Canyon National Park, the South and North Bass trails plunge into wild canyon terrain. The trails are named for William Wallace Bass, a railroad man, miner, and entrepreneur who pioneered the area in the 1880s.

Earth Notes: Arizona's Bald Eagle Nestwatchers

Bald eagles are a spectacular sight in Arizona's skies year round. Like the human population, they're more abundant in winter, when individuals from up north migrate south to take advantage of milder winter weather.

Earth Notes - Elk Antlers 101

Every year bull elk spend a lot of energy growing and hefting around antlers. These phenomenal structures, made purely of bone, have been known to grow at a rate of 1 inch per day during summer. But is it worth it?

Earth Notes - Roasting Agaves

It's tough to miss a century plant in full bloom. The plant's base of wide, pointed leaves sends up an enormously tall stalk that blooms brilliantly in spring. Also called agave or mescal, it's a plant that's been used by Native people in the southwest for centuries - and now the art of roasting agaves has been revived.

Earth Notes - Valles Caldera Climate Study

As concerns mount about the world's and the region's climate, scientists have found a time machine in New Mexico that helps them better understand the past. At the Valles Caldera National Preserve west of Los Alamos, researchers from Northern Arizona University and elsewhere have found evidence of "mega-droughts."

Earth Notes - Hummingbird Monitoring Network

Can you imagine a world without hummingbirds? That central question drives the work of the Hummingbird Monitoring Network, a nonprofit group dedicated to conservation, education, research, and habitat restoration for these jeweled wonders of the bird world.

Earth Notes - Hoop Houses

Anyone who's ever tried to coax lush lettuce out of desert soils, or harvest a crimson tomato before the first frost, knows how tough it is to garden in the high country of the southwest. But take heart. There's a one-size-fits-all solution: hoop houses.

Earth Notes - Tamarisk Beetles

For decades people have worried about invasive tamarisk trees in the Grand Canyon and along other southwestern waterways. But now an invasive beetle is knocking the trees back at unexpected speed.

Earth Notes - Zuni Eagle Sanctuary

For countless generations, Native Americans have used eagle feathers in sacred ceremonies. But federal law closely protects all eagles, and distribution and possession of their feathers is carefully controlled. Now a unique Zuni project is helping to get eagle feathers more quickly to where they're needed.

Earth Notes - Arizona's Black Hawks

Each spring, common black hawks soar into Arizona skies from their wintering grounds in Mexico. They largely feast on native fish in riparian canyons, but now they've developed an appetite for an invasive species as well.

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