A sukkah constructed for Sukkot

Finding home and community in a temporary shelter

Sept. 26, 2023

On Sukkot, the Jewish ‘Festival of Booths,’ each sukkah is as unique as the person who builds it.

field of rice grass

A close look at Indian rice grass

Sept. 18, 2023

Native Americans used the staple for many foods for thousands of years, and it is now recognized as the state grass in Nevada and Utah.


Is it hubris to think we matter?

Aug. 30, 2023

It is a mistake to conclude from here that our planet and we, as a species, matter much less than we thought.


Can you eat this mushroom or not?

July 18, 2023

It’s complicated; shaggy parasols can be eaten by some people, not all, but only after cooking. I advise against taking a risk.


Alcove columbines thrive on vertical stone walls

June 15, 2023

My hope for this expedition to the San Rafael Swell was to find flowers on scarlet monkeyflower, which grows in hanging gardens on vertical walls.

Claytonia rosea

Why are pink spring beauties varying shades of pink?

May 17, 2023

Pink spring beauties are ephemerals that sustained the earliest Americans, and selection pressure may hold the clue to color variation.

Image of white buffaloes

What the White Buffalo Calf tells us about Indigenous history

May 11, 2023

Native Americans have been associated with bison in North America for more than 15,000 years.


Sagebrush has an arsenal of defenses for an army of herbivores

March 15, 2023

That potent aroma prized by humans serves many functions for the plant.

snow-covered mountain with trees

Why rain on snow in the California mountains worries scientists

March 15, 2023

Another round of powerful atmospheric rivers is hitting California, following storms in January and February 2023 that dumped record amounts of snow. This time, the storms are warmer, and they are triggering flood warnings as they bring rain higher into the mountains – on top of the snowpack. Professor Keith Musselman, who studies water and climate change at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, explained the complex risks rain on snow creates and how they might change in a warming climate.

Image of the Colorado Plateau

Mormon tea has no flowers or leaves but lots of history

March 3, 2023

Mormons used the plant to make a caffeine-free hot drink, and Native Americans used it to relieve congestion.