Scientific Research

‘Atmospheric rivers’ aid the West — and imperil it
‘Atmospheric rivers’ aid the West — and imperil it
Improved storm forecasts could help reservoir managers store more water while avoiding floods.
2017 in natural disasters
2017 in natural disasters
From massive wildfires to melting ice, the calamities that affected the West this year.
Why hatchery fish may fail in the wild
Why hatchery fish may fail in the wild
New research gives insight into how to better help struggling Northwest salmon populations.
Ten years, 3 million pounds of soil and 1,800 sensors
Ten years, 3 million pounds of soil and 1,800 sensors
The numbers behind the world’s largest weathering experiment.
An end to Tucson’s growth wars
An end to Tucson’s growth wars
A conservation plan puts science ahead of politics.
West Obsessed: The March for Science, out West
West Obsessed: The March for Science, out West
After Earth Day, a look at researchers’ economic influence and political sway.
Republicans set their sights on the EPA’s science
Republicans set their sights on the EPA’s science
The federal agency that regulates our environment may soon have less data to work with.
California’s backcountry drug war
California’s backcountry drug war
Dangerous drug cartels are growing pot on public lands—putting wildlife, water supplies, and outdoor enthusiasts at grave risk.
California wants to give dispirited federal workers a job
California wants to give dispirited federal workers a job
Why the state’s utility commission is recruiting EPA, Energy employees.
Invade, steal water: The plant spreading in Utah’s wetlands
Invade, steal water: The plant spreading in Utah’s wetlands
Battling a nonnative reed to protect Great Salt Lake bird habitat.
The biocrust conundrum
The biocrust conundrum
By destroying biocrust communities, climate change may be making arid lands more reflective — which could slow down warming.
Planes, pits & snowmobiles: how scientists get good data
Planes, pits & snowmobiles: how scientists get good data
A day in the field as researchers wring water data from Colorado’s snowpack.
Why are fire seasons longer? People.
Why are fire seasons longer? People.
New research finds illegal campfires, cigarette butts and other accidental ignitions have nearly tripled the wildfire season.
Climate scientists fear harassment, threats
Climate scientists fear harassment, threats
Researchers fear attacks from a range of powerful foes in the coming years – and for many, it has long been happening.
Have we underestimated the West’s super-floods?
Have we underestimated the West’s super-floods?
Scientists warn that enormous floods may be more likely than we thought — and the Oroville Dam and others weren’t built to withstand them.
Western cities try to cut light pollution
Western cities try to cut light pollution
Hitting the dimmer switch on city light helps animals and skygazers, too.
Artful science
Artful science
Data and poetry converge in an experimental forest.
The watcher and the watched
The watcher and the watched
Observation transforms our bodies and minds.
Ask a Scientist: Why NOAA matters for the West
Ask a Scientist: Why NOAA matters for the West
CIRES head Waleed Abdalati answers our questions, the first in an occasional series.
How one artist captured the changing climate in watercolor
How one artist captured the changing climate in watercolor
Artist and scientist Jill Pelto’s riveting paintings use data to show climate change’s impacts.
Tools for the wannabe Western weather prognosticator
Tools for the wannabe Western weather prognosticator
The five best resources for understanding the region’s wacky weather.
Colorado’s controversial plan to kill predators
Colorado’s controversial plan to kill predators
A study plans to remove mountain lions and black bears to boost mule deer.
Why a scientist cut down ‘the oldest living tree’
Why a scientist cut down ‘the oldest living tree’
The Prometheus Tree in Nevada was nearly 5,000 years old when it was cut down. It could have lived a lot longer.