Scientific Research

The disappearance of Washington’s orca whales
The disappearance of Washington’s orca whales
The endangered whales are at a 30-year low, tied to depressed chinook salmon runs.
What a new report on climate science portends for the West
What a new report on climate science portends for the West
From wildfires to drought, a look at a warming world.
How an ancient potato helped people survive climate shifts
How an ancient potato helped people survive climate shifts
Utah-area tribes explain the continuing relevance of North America’s oldest spud.
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.
Bedrooms for burrowing owls
Bedrooms for burrowing owls
In Oregon, the Global Owl Project builds artificial burrows to help owls recover.
In Canada, a move to protect data from Trump
In Canada, a move to protect data from Trump
Researchers and citizens are rushing to back-up government data on climate change and other issues, fearing political interference.
Five reasons to be optimistic about climate change
Five reasons to be optimistic about climate change
Recent accomplishments have paved a way forward for more environmental progress.
In California caves, a millipede mystery
In California caves, a millipede mystery
A new species in Sequoia National Park reminds scientists of what is yet to be discovered.
Endangered, with climate change to blame
Endangered, with climate change to blame
Climate projections are reason enough for Endangered Species Act protection, court rules.
What is a chub, really?
What is a chub, really?
In Arizona, three native chub species were reclassified as one, raising concerns about the management of the species.