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.


Over the last two years, U.S. Forest Service biologists have gone high-tech to identify the bats gracing the night skies of Arizona’s Red Rock Ranger District.

Earth Notes: Dolores Flume

May 8, 2019
CC, Wikimedia

At the confluence where the San Miguel the Dolores rivers, beams and hoists zipper a section of streaked, vertical sandstone cliff on river right.  They’re what remain of an open water chute, or “hanging flume.”

Earth Notes: How to Age an Elk

May 1, 2019

With the arrival of spring across Arizona’s high country, lengthening daylight triggers hormonal changes in elk bulls. In March they lose their old antlers, and by April they’re growing new ones. The antlers are one clue to the animal’s age, but teeth are even better.

Earth Notes: Non-wired Electricity

Apr 24, 2019
Arizona Public Service

For many years the tiny town of Punkin Center, south of Payson, Arizona, has been best known for the prominent jack-o’-lantern sign. Now it’s home to a cutting-edge alternative to traditional electrical transmission lines.  

Earth Notes: Upheaval Dome

Apr 17, 2019
Doc Searls, CC, Wikimedia

The unusual shape of a noted geologic feature in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park becomes fully clear only from the air. From a small plane, Upheaval Dome seems to have collapsed.