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.

Verde Valley Seed Library

New libraries are popping up all over the country—but they don’t have any books. They’re libraries for seeds.

At the Verde Valley Seed Library in Cottonwood, anyone can borrow five packets of seeds, take them home, and plant them. After the harvest, borrowers bring back fresh packets of seeds collected from their tomatoes, pumpkins and beans. It’s not just a way to exchange free seeds among neighbors. The library is a repository of heirloom seeds, protecting the fast-vanishing biodiversity of food crops.


Edward P. Dozier was a pioneering anthropologist and linguist in the 1950’s and 60’s, one of very few Native Americans at that time who were professional, academic anthropologists.


The iconic Desert View Watchtower at Grand Canyon National Park will soon be the home of the Park Service’s first Inter-Tribal Cultural Heritage Site. The project is a collaboration between the Park, the Grand Canyon Conservancy, and 11 tribes with historical, cultural and spiritual links to the Canyon, including the Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai and Hualapai. For thousands of years, Indigenous people have lived on what are now Grand Canyon National Park lands.

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For many people, a nest full of blue robin eggs is the perfect symbol of spring. But, do robins recognize their own eggs? That might sound like a silly question, but it’s an important one.

Parasitic cowbirds lay their eggs in robin nests in hopes of scoring free childcare. They rely on others to raise their young. Robins - including the American robin of the Colorado Plateau - stay alert to these uninvited guests. They constantly clean out broken shells and debris left behind by the lazy cowbirds. But what makes robins able to recognize objects that aren’t theirs?


There are a lot of ways to go solar, including joining a solar co-op. The basic idea is that there’s power – and financial incentive – in numbers. Cooperative purchasing programs can lower the cost of solar panels and other equipment by offering bulk discounts to groups of home and business owners.