Items by Michelle Nijhuis

When it blows, the snow goes
Spring dust storms speed up snowmelt
Lend me a hand
Should Westerners try to rescue species from climate change?
Arizona hiker tracks climate change
A habitual hiker finds familiar plants blooming in new places.
Whither the weeds?
Climate change and the fate of the West's least favorite plants
Carbon storage gets a tryout
Field testing of CO2 sequestration underway in Washington state.
59,000 trees can't be wrong
Big new forest study documents a regional die-off.
The Big Melt continues
Here's yet another reason to dislike dirty fuels.
The Doc is in
The Doc is in
Rural folks find common ground at a vet's office in Western Colorado.
Slideshow: The unflappable Doc Vincent
Slideshow: The unflappable Doc Vincent
In rural western Colorado, a vet tends to pets and their humans. Michelle Nijhuis reads her essay, along with slides by JT Thomas.
Only the scared survive
Joel Berger’s The Better to Eat You With and William Stolzenburg’s Where the Wild Things Were examine predators and the role of fear.
Under the asphalt a rumor thrives
In Grand Junction Colo. a team of investigators excavate a downtown parking lot in search of an old safe supposedly buried a century ago.
Shifting sands in Navajoland
On the drought-stricken Navajo Nation, scientist Margaret Hiza Redsteer studies the movement of sand dunes.
Remembering Rrrrrip City!
The essays in Matt Love’s anthology Red Hot and Rollin’ take a lively and nostalgic look at Oregon in 1977, the year the Portland Trailblazers won their one and only NBA championship.
Madame Merian and her passion for metamorphosis
In Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis, Kim Todd uncovers the life and legacy of a pioneering 17th century woman
The hidden history of a sneeze
Medical historian Gregg Mitman offers a fascinating history of the national allergy boom in Breathing Space: How Our Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscape.
Quest for darkness
Chad Moore and the members of the Park Service Night Sky Team keep an eye on the stars in the nation’s parks and monuments.
Beetle Warfare
Scientists unleash a new weapon in the fight against invasive tamarisk – a tiny exotic beetle from Kazakhstan.
Bloodied but unbowed
The Western novel is not entirely dead; it has simply changed a great deal since the glory days of Zane Grey.
The Last Ride
Longtime hitchhiker Dev Carey tells Michelle Nijhuis about some of his best – and worst – adventures on Western highways.
A downside to downing dams?
Removing dams is more a complex experiment than a panacea, as Arizona’s Fossil Creek shows.
The Weed-wackers
Botanist Sue Rutman has had surprising success just yanking up buffelgrass, but herbicides remain the first line of defense
Taking the conservation movement to task
Law professor Eric Freyfogle castigates the environmental movement and offers straightforward advice in Why Conservation is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground.
Don’t move a mussel
Boaters, kayakers, anglers and other recreationists can help stop the spread of quagga mussels and other aquatic invasives by following a few simple rules.
Battling over ballast
Congress has tried to regulate ballast water in ships in order to stop the spread of zebra mussels, but so far loopholes in the law and tussles over policy have made the effort ineffective.
Wish You Weren’t Here
Quagga mussels – an extraordinarily prolific and costly invasive species – have appeared in Lake Mead, and no one is sure how to keep these unwanted newcomers from infesting the West.
This dog believes
An undergrown Australian shepherd mix named Pika offers advice on living in the moment despite frightening and challenging times
Xeric Families of the West
Photo descriptions of Xeriscapers in the West
What is Xeriscaping?
The seven basic principles of Xeriscaping are explained
The Lure of the Lawn
It’s not easy to wean Westerners away from their lush, traditional, turfgrass lawns, but with drought an increasing fact of life, Xeriscape gardening is finally catching on
Between the body and the world
The creepy glamour of the scientific exhibit Body Worlds 2 – which showcases actual preserved sections of human bodies – never answers the question of how – and where– these people lived
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