Clues from the Past: Geologic Origins of the Sonoran Desert

How did the Sonoran Desert form? And why should we care about the geologic origins of our region? Geology creates topography, which influences climate, watersheds, temperatures, and migratory pathways. Understanding the geology of a place is like unfolding the story of the land itself, which sets the stage for understanding our local ecology. But it also reminds…

Buffelgrass: Why You Should Care

Buffelgrass. It’s a dry topic, literally. Buffelgrass is typically bone-dry nine months of the year, greening up only during the monsoon season. And when this drought-hardy bunchgrass is dry, it poses a serious fire risk. That’s why Pima County was awarded a $3.4 million dollar matching grant from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to…

Mad Hops: It’s Grasshopper Season

Grasshoppers are intriguing creatures at any age. Owing to their size, ubiquity, and nonthreatening reputations, they are often the first insects a child will pick up. In school, grasshoppers are used as model organisms for teaching insect morphology and are often the first in a semester series of animal dissections. However, even with a lifetime…