Diane Hope

Courtesy of Carlos Bustos

In hot dry climates, urban trees can reduce the intensity of sunlight, block infrared heat exchange—and act as natural evaporative coolers.  Having shade trees to the center or east of a building’s southern façade can cool it by several degrees.


Dr. Cory T. Williams

Suburbs are prime striped skunk real estate, sheltering up to twenty times more of these infamous animals than surrounding wildlands. Because skunks can be a vector for rabies, biologists at Northern Arizona University have been studying their behavior in some detail.


U.S. Forest Service

There were no fire lookout towers in the Arizona of the early 1900s. Instead, early firefighters found tall ponderosa pines near mountain tops or other strategic viewpoints. They fitted the trees with handmade steel spikes—known as lags—that they used as footholds to climb the trees.


Danny Kessler/Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

Wild tobacco is markedly different from its cultivated cousin. The plant’s chemical properties have been known to Native Americans for a long time. Now, researchers are studying the wild form because of its potency and hardiness in the natural world.


Tom Bean

The big skies of the Colorado Plateau show off extraordinary clouds, inspiring devotees and photographers across the region.

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