Tumbleweeds, despised icons of the West

Feb. 9, 2018

Although tumbleweeds were familiar icons of the West, they were not native to the West, nor were they growing around the early western towns when they were established.


Gritty plants deter herbivores

Jan. 26, 2018

A comparison of the control and reduced sand leaves showed that removing sand doubled the damage by a variety of insect and snail herbivores. Leaves with added sand had less damage than the control group. Clearly, snail and insect herbivory is reduced by increasing levels of sand on leaves and stems.


Recreational shooting is incompatible with the purposes of Colorado wilderness areas

Jan. 2, 2018

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


Antelope horns milkweeds grow in intermittent streambeds on the Colorado Plateau

Nov. 20, 2017

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.

walls, Bridges and Crevasses in a Global World

Students of Intermediate German discuss the Berlin Wall

Nov. 10, 2017

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.


Biocontrol weevil appears out of control

Nov. 6, 2017

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.

Painted lady image

A prolonged migration of painted ladies

Oct. 20, 2017

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.

Bears ears

Archaeological treasures in Bears Ears

Sept. 26, 2017

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.


Third epidemic in a decade: fir engravers killing white fir

Sept. 8, 2017

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.


Coincidence of large cone crops and winds results in conifer blowdown

Sept. 5, 2017

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.