Earth Notes

The Colorado Plateau is one of North America’s human and environmental treasures. Ancient cultures have called this land of sun-baked deserts and lush mountain landscapes home for centuries. Earth Notes, KNAU’s weekly environmental series, explores the Plateau by telling stories of the intricate relationships between environmental issues and our daily lives.

Rooted in science and wrapped in human interest, the two minute long segments encourage listeners to think of themselves as part of the solution to environmental problems. Upbeat and informative, the program tries to foster hope and dampen despair about the environment, and motivate listeners to become more conscious and informed stewards of the Colorado Plateau.

Jason Wilder

Northern Arizona University biologist Jason Wilder made a grisly discovery recently: a plant that ensnares and kills birds.

Brian Wooldridge, USFWS

Mohave rattlesnakes are armed with a powerful weapon—venom that can immobilize or kill their prey. People have believed the Mohave’s venom held a neurotoxin, a cocktail of enzymes and peptides that paralyze the nervous system—making a bite from this snake especially deadly.


Drought Eye

Drought in the Southwest is something people want to track—and temperature is one way to do that. All over the United States, space satellites and weather stations collect temperature data in real time. But processing and presenting that data can take a long time. That’s why researchers created an interactive online map called Drought Eye. 


Earth Notes: Thieves of Time

Jun 19, 2019
Michael Engelhard

A couple years ago, a volunteer patrolling near Bluff, Utah, found a human-like figure pecked onto stone—rock art at least five times older than the Liberty Bell. The volunteer gasped to see that a thief had used a rock saw to try and cut out the panel. 

Earth Notes: Rock Art Ranch

Jun 12, 2019
Michael Engelhard

At age 82, Brantley Baird is among the nation’s oldest ranching vaqueros. He’s roamed the five-thousand-acre Rock Art Ranch near Winslow, Arizona, since 1945, when his parents leased it. Three years later, at age eleven, Baird found his first ancient ceramic pot there—the one prominently displayed in a photograph in the ranch’s museum.


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