earth notes

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.


Earth Notes: Skunks and Rabies

Sep 5, 2018
Courtesy Tad Theimer

In 2001, Flagstaff became the epicenter of a rabies outbreak among skunks and gray foxes. State health officials reported rabies undetected in wildlife in northern Arizona before that time.  Since then, additional rabies outbreaks have occurred in the Flagstaff area every few years.


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.


Earth Notes: Spruce-Fir Decline

Aug 22, 2018

In the Colorado mountains, seedlings of spruce and fir trees spring up in years with snowy winters and cool, wet summers. But those conditions have grown rarer in the last few decades. 

Bureau of Land Management

The whoops of cowboys on horseback trailing cattle—What could be more symbolic of the Old West than the sounds of cowboys on horseback trailing cattle? That was the scene for nearly a hundred years along the Magdalena Stock Driveway.


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