Beneath the Sea

It always counts as a surprise when we find out that unexpected networks have been operating right under our collective noses. We use the word ‘discovery’ to describe the newness to our understanding, even if, in retrospect, it might be a bit like describing a city’s take-out food delivery system as a ‘discovery’ just because…

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Comfort Zones

I’d be the first to admit that my knowledge of tequilas is mainly limited to the stuff I did in shot form back in college in the tradition of salt on the hand and lick (to kill the taste), toss back the shot (grimace), bite the lime (to kill the taste). I haven’t spent much…

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Pulse Taking

‘Long memory’ is a term used in probability analysis. It originated in hydrology to predict flood patterns on the Nile River. But do rivers remember where they once flowed? A large pulse of water was released along the Colorado River this year, an historic ecological undertaking meant to restore the once-lush downriver sections and delta.…

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Transboundary Pulse

It’s a strange notion, the cutting off of water across an invisible territorial boundary. There are few actions we can take as humans – both for communities and for the environment – that are more baldly assertive than diverting rivers and water flow. The Colorado River delta sits at the very end of the 2330…

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Darwin and the Long View

I wonder what Charles Darwin would have had to say about the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a feather-gilled salamander sometimes jokingly referred to as the Darwin fish. The axolotl once swam in abundant numbers in its only native habitat, the network of mountain lakes upon which Mexico City was eventually built. It was a food…

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Narrowing Focus

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population on the Mexican Monarch Reserve where they overwinter is the lowest since annual surveys began back in 1993. The oyamel fir forests provide a warm winter home for the monarchs, known for their great migration across North America. The population is down 59% from two years ago. In 1996, monarchs…

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