Buffalo in the sunset

Planning for contact tracing and testing

July 14, 2020

I have vowed to continue to inform you of what we know as quickly and completely as I can, so I write to share some steps we are taking on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing on campus this fall. Testing and contact tracing are mentioned in the CU Boulder Road...


Duckweed is an incredible, radiation-fighting astronaut food – and by changing how it is grown, we made it better

July 14, 2020

What’s the big idea? Current industrialized food systems were optimized for a single goal – growing the maximum amount of food for the least amount of money. But when room and supplies are limited – like during space travel – you need to optimize for a different set of goals...

Firemoth blanketflower

Natural selection influences both wildflower and viral mutations

July 8, 2020

Mutations produce new genetic forms all the time, in all species, in all genes At this time of year, firemoths ( Schinia masoni ) can be seen on blanketflower ( Gaillardia aristata ), a colorful native wildflower. Evolution is the change of genetic forms in a population. We are watching...

Heat wave map

100 degrees in Siberia? 5 ways the extreme Arctic heat wave follows a disturbing pattern

June 26, 2020

What is happening in the Arctic is very real and should serve as a warning to everyone who cares about the future of the planet as we know it The Arctic heat wave that sent Siberian temperatures soaring to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the first day of summer put...

Reakirt's blue caterpillars in an ancient mutualism with ants

Reakirt's blue caterpillars in an ancient mutualism with ants

June 9, 2020

Reakirt's blue, Echinargus isola, is one of ten species of blue butterflies in the Front Range Reakirt's blue butterflies were moving among the flower heads of white clover in my lawn. I presumed that they were nectaring, but I watched closely and discovered that they were ovipositing. They would fly...


Emulate the buffalo and Be Well

June 8, 2020

We launch this campaign to help our college family be well and stay well “How are you?” Normally, that rote inquiry precedes a ready response: “I’m well.” Today, however, we grapple with the global pandemic, record unemployment, political polarization and historic levels of protest of our citizens’ long history of...

Civil unrest

A justification for unrest? Look no further than the Bible and the Founding Fathers

June 4, 2020

Martin Luther King did not call for violence, but said “peace is not merely the absence of this tension, but the presence of justice"

Common Stork

Stork's bill seeds plant themselves

June 1, 2020

Common stork's bill or redstem filaree, Erodium circutarium, is flowering now on the plains and in the foothills. Its blooms are small, just 10 to 15 mm across, but such a striking shade of deep lavender that they catch the eye

Person in a facemask

Flattening the mental health curve is the next big coronavirus challenge

May 29, 2020

We know the virus has a deadly impact on the human body. But its impact on our mental health may be deadly too.


What would it feel like to touch a cloud?

May 28, 2020

What would it feel like to touch a cloud? – Violet V., age 6, Somerville, Massachusetts You might already know how it feels to touch a cloud without realizing it. Water vapor in your bathroom can fog up the mirror. Water evaporates and rises up into the sky, condensing to...