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Tag archives for Arizona

Crops Rising from a Cracked Desert

By Nexus Media, with Michael Kotutwa Johnson Michael Kotutwa Johnson is an environmental policy expert in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. He is also a Hopi dryland farmer. He sat down with Nexus Media to share centuries-old techniques for growing food on an unforgiving landscape. This interview…

Farm Water Management Lessons from the Desert

MARICOPA, AZ — In this patchwork quilt of irrigated green farms tucked into a vast expanse of desert, cacti and mesquite, it seems improbable that water-loving vegetables could be sustainably produced on a large scale. Yet Arizona is second only to California as the country’s largest grower of lettuce, spinach, melon and other such crops.…

Photographing the Grand Canyon from Space

Near Space Photographer John Flaig outfits weather balloons with cameras to capture novel images of iconic landscapes, such as the Grand Canyon. Explore the Colorado River, the life and soul of the American West: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ame… DIRECTORS: JJ Kelley and Sarah Joseph VIDEOGRAPHY AND EDITING: JJ Kelley ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Katy Fox-O’Malley COMPOSER: Chris Beaty

Geography in the News: Losing Daylight Savings Time

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM No Longer Saving Time? Daylight saving time will be over for this year in most of the United States at 2 a.m. on November 2. With the exceptions of American Samoa, Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the rest of the country…

Wilderness: As it Was in the Beginning

When President Lyndon Johnson signed The Wilderness Act into law September 3, 1964, he stated: “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” Text and Photography by iLCP Fellow Krista Schlyer.

The Monsoon Strategies of the Threatened Chiricahua Leopard Frog

The monsoon delivers about one third of the annual 15-inch average precipitation in Arizona’s Ciénega Valley, for a few hours flooding pools and increasing streamflow up to a hundred times the normal rate through Ciénega Creek and Pantano Wash. The crest for a one-to-two inch rain brings a muddy torrent through Empire Gulch, roiling water, moving rocks and logs, picking up soil and debris. What strategy does the normally placid stream’s Chiracahua leopard frog use to survive the onslaught?

New Eyeless Fungus Beetle Found in Cave

A new species of eyeless insect adapted to the darkness has been discovered in an Arizona cave, a new study says.

Arizona Irrigators Share Water with Desert River

As drought and high water demands deplete more and more rivers in the western United States, it’s easy to assume a future of dryness is the inescapable fate of once vibrant streams. But in the beautiful valley of the Verde River in central Arizona, farmers, residents, and conservationists are working together to restore flows to…

Phoenix and LA Spar Over Colorado River Water

In a recent volley between Phoenix and Los Angeles, newspapers in those two arid cities pointed fingers at each other over who has the least sustainable water supply. In the L.A. Times, opinion writer William deBuys asserted: If cities were stocks, you’d want to short Phoenix. Of course, it’s an easy city to pick on. The…

Fresh powder!

For decades ski resorts around the world have used snowmaking equipment to supplement nature’s sometimes erratic bounty. But a resort in the western U.S. will this season arm its snow cannons with a controversial form of ammo: sewage effluent purchased from a local municipality. Needless to say, the plan has its detractors.  

Will Modern Phoenix Outlast the Prehistorical Hohokam?

    Darell Duppa, a late nineteenth century pioneer of the American Southwest, may barely warrant a historical footnote, but he left one memorable legacy: he named the capital city of the state of Arizona. With a classical education and five languages under his belt, Duppa was no typical Western pioneer.  He drank and gambled,…

Tucson BioBlitz Transect: Walking Across the Desert

As part of the 2011 BioBlitz in Saguaro National Park, NG Explorer-in-Residence J. Michael Fay walked some 70 miles over seven days on a transect across park and city, noting all the plants and animals along the way. Experience the whole exhilarating journey for yourself.

Counting Stars at the Saguaro National Park BioBlitz

  By Sean O’Connor Artificial lights flood the night sky, making the urban and suburban lives that so many of us live a little brighter, but not necessarily for the better. Light pollution also drowns out the sea of stars shining through our atmosphere. Who doesn’t love to look up at the night sky and…

Soil, the Foundation of Life — and the Saguaro BioBlitz

Michael Conway of the Arizona Geological Survey was on hand at the recent BioBlitz in Arizona’s Saguaro National Park to teach students, scientists, and bloggers about something many of us don’t readily associate with a 24-hour inventory of all the species we could find in the preserve: the rocks and soil. To get a better…

Buffelgrass Wanted: Dead and Gone

Meg Quinn, of Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, talked to me at the recent BioBlitz in the Saguaro National Park about the scourge that’s blighting much of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona — a tough alien grass that’s taken hold and threatening the native ecosystem.