Recreational shooting is incompatible with the purposes of Colorado wilderness areas

It is comfortable to expect that wilderness areas will remain unchanged forever, but that is a naïve notion inappropriate to our times. Read more

Antelope horns milkweeds grow in intermittent streambeds on the Colorado Plateau

Last May, I went to the Maze District in Canyonlands National Park to enjoy its unique scenery unusual natural history. On two epic hikes, we encountered a somewhat rare species of milkweed that has turned out to be unusual. Read more
walls, Bridges and Crevasses in a Global World

Students of Intermediate German discuss the Berlin Wall

Colin Turner’s spray-paint installation is one of the 22 pieces of art displayed in the exhibit “Über Mauern hinweg-Beyond Walls,” now housed at the Media Library of the Anderson Language and Technology Center in the Hellems Arts and Sciences building. Read more

Biocontrol weevil appears out of control

Biological control of pest species evokes both high hopes and deep fears. On the one hand, one might achieve a simple, efficient and economic solution to a problem. On the other hand, the control agent may switch from its intended host to one or several unintended native species. Read more
Painted lady image

A prolonged migration of painted ladies

We have been immersed in a large and prolonged migration of painted lady butterflies. On a small scale, it does not appear to be a migration, for the flight of individual butterflies appears undisciplined and erratic, unlikely to be a purposeful movement to a common destination. Read more
Bears ears

Archaeological treasures in Bears Ears

I have been to the area in Utah now designated as the Bears Ears National Monument many times, and each time I was thrilled with the physical environment, for the canyons are deep and intricately sculpted by wind and water while delicate spires, immense buttes and long, high ridges create a unique, romantic landscape. Read more

Third epidemic in a decade: fir engravers killing white fir

Ouray’s amphitheater is formed by walls of rich red sandstone draped with the deep green of several species of conifers, but now, the magnificent amphitheater is sullied with the red of dying white fir, Abies concolor. Another bark beetle epidemic has begun. Read more

Coincidence of large cone crops and winds results in conifer blowdown

I had chosen a dispersed camping site on the Uncompahgre Plateau for its proximity to a small reservoir and a large meadow. But when I drove into the site, I found it was littered, not with refuse, but with tops of subalpine firs. Read more

Treehoppers’ environments are defined by their host species

An amplectic pair of treehoppers, Telamona monticola, was on a CU sidewalk beneath a swamp oak tree, Quercus bicolor. I surmised that they tumbled from the tree while delicately adjusting their positions. I collected the treehoppers to photograph them and 7 hours later they were still amplectic. Read more

Let Your Light Shine: My Year As the Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado

Visiting scholar's stump speech: "I miss liberalism. Real liberalism. Not this namby-pamby, afraid-of-your-own-shadow faint-hearted liberalism. What I miss is the rock-ribbed, truth-seeking, justice-pursuing, rights-defending, I-don’t-agree-with-you-but-I’ll-defend-your-right-to-say-it liberalism." Read more
Desert moss, which covers desert soil, and its various adaptations

Microscopic structures on moss leaves collect water from humid air

Desert moss lacks many adaptations that allow plants to survive in the desert, so why is it so successful? Read more

Writing an honors thesis: an empowering yet terrifying journey

Throughout this past year, as my social life slowly gave way to exhausting hours of laboratory work and even longer nights of thesis writing, the predominant question I was asked by my friends, peers and even myself was, “why?” Read more