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Uncommon Westerners

  • Caveman of Southeast Alaska

    Caveman of Southeast Alaska

    Steve Lewis explores Alaskan caves and works hard to protect both them and the landscape above them.

  • The drift dweller

    The drift dweller

    Colorado scientists have discovered that snow molds are ubiquitous in the high country.

  • Seeing the triceratops for the trees

    Seeing the triceratops for the trees

    Paleontologist Kirk Johnson works with artist Jan Vriesen to create vividly realized landscapes of what Colorado looked like millions of years ago.

  • An infestation of the imagination, in a bark beetle lab

    An infestation of the imagination, in a bark beetle lab

    Reagan McGuire uses the lessons he learned as a pool shark to tackle the problem of rampaging bark beetles.

  • New world, new canvas

    New world, new canvas

    Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe traces Basque history in arborglyphs on Western aspen trees.

  • Skeletons in the closet

    Skeletons in the closet

    When the media reported that Everett Ruess' bones had been discovered, solving a 70-year-old mystery, Utah State Archaeologist Kevin Jones had his doubts.

  • Legal pyro

    Legal pyro

    How Tahoe National Forest fire chief Jeanne Pincha-Tulley rose to the top rank of Forest Service disaster management.

  • Return of the pod man

    Return of the pod man

    Arizona farmer Mark Moody raises mesquite trees for food and furniture.

  • Avalanche education for all

    Avalanche education for all

    In Ketchum, Idaho, Janet Kellam tries to educate the locals about the danger of avalanches.

  • When reverence isn't enough

    When reverence isn't enough

    Writer and philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore talks about water, family and the sacredness of landscapes.

  • Bicycles, books and beer

    Bicycles, books and beer

    Todd Simmons founded a bookstore, a journal and a publishing company in Fort Collins, Colo., on little more than a shoestring and a dream.

  • From Tuscany to the Mohave

    From Tuscany to the Mohave

    Guiseppena Bellandi Perry remembers the events -- and the husbands -- who brought her from her native Italy to the desert of Needles, Calif.

  • Nirvana on a backhoe

    Nirvana on a backhoe

    Kim Erion restores habitat using heavy equipment and a heartfelt connection to things like logs and rhododendrons.

  • Wild Turkey, gunfire and big pipelines

    Wild Turkey, gunfire and big pipelines

    Aaron Million wants to build a gigantic water pipeline all the way from southwest Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range.

  • Rise up swinging

    Rise up swinging

    Twenty-year-old Duran “Junior” Caferro wants to be a good father, encourage healthcare reform – and knock down whoever comes up against him in the boxing ring.

  • The collected Sierra Nevada

    The collected Sierra Nevada

    Meteorologist Hal Klieforth has collected a lifetime of knowledge – and a museum’s worth of artifacts – from years spent exploring the Sierra Nevada.

  • Avalanches for dummies

    Avalanches for dummies

    A certified crash-test dummy known as Homer helps Montana engineering professor Robb Larson study the effects of avalanches on the human body.

  • A desert poet takes his work inside

    A desert poet takes his work inside

    Poet Richard Shelton has run writing workshops in Arizona prisons for more than 30 years.

  • Lessons of habitat

    Lessons of habitat

    Nancy Eastman created her own "habitat sculptures" modeled after fake cholla built as nesting habitat for endangered birds.

  • Justice for all

    Justice for all

    Jensie Anderson meets with homeless clients every Sunday underneath a Salt Lake City viaduct.

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