Scientific Research

California wildfires weren’t always this destructive
California wildfires weren’t always this destructive
Indigenous residents say traditional practices and careful burns could temper blazes.
Can big data help save endangered species?
Can big data help save endangered species?
A new tool could improve rare species recovery — or justify letting some species perish.
What’s special about a good-for-nothing sunflower?
What’s special about a good-for-nothing sunflower?
In an age of extinction, a sunny, endangered flower serves as a beacon of arid lands.
What does wilderness sound like?
What does wilderness sound like?
A photographer and audio researchers document the soundscapes of remote national parks in Alaska.
Tossing salmon for science
Tossing salmon for science
A decades-long experiment demonstrates how the iconic fish help trees grow.
How politics could impact future counts of Yellowstone grizzlies
How politics could impact future counts of Yellowstone grizzlies
A ruling restoring federal protections cited a concession to states on census estimates.
Volunteer scientists study flowers to battle climate dread
Volunteer scientists study flowers to battle climate dread
The data they’re collecting is helping researchers evaluate how ecosystems change.
Latest: Wildfire smoke deaths could double by century’s end
Latest: Wildfire smoke deaths could double by century’s end
New research shows fire-polluted air could kill up to 44,000 people per year by 2100.
Judge to U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Don’t ‘cherry pick’ science
Judge to U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Don’t ‘cherry pick’ science
Now the agency must reconsider protections for the rare Pacific fisher.
National Parks are warming twice as fast as the U.S. overall
National Parks are warming twice as fast as the U.S. overall
Climate change poses the greatest threat to some of the country’s most prized areas.
Tiny bits of plastic permeate our world
Tiny bits of plastic permeate our world
From alpine headwaters to city water supplies, the West is awash in microscopic pollutants.
Agricultural interests steer Colorado’s wildlife management
Agricultural interests steer Colorado’s wildlife management
Sheep grazing in the state’s largest wilderness area could endanger a dwindling bighorn sheep herd.
We should all be more like ‘the bluebird man’
We should all be more like ‘the bluebird man’
Meet Al Larsen, a citizen scientist with decades of meticulous records of the West’s bluebirds.
Conservationists give assisted migration a second look
Conservationists give assisted migration a second look
The West’s climate is changing too quickly for some species to keep up. Should people intervene?
The long, strange trip of Deer 255
The long, strange trip of Deer 255
The 242-mile migration underscores the need to protect wide tracts of land that sustain migrating wildlife.
Naming the Borderlands’ lost
Naming the Borderlands’ lost
In Arizona, a humanitarian crisis spurs researchers to find new ways of identifying migrant remains.
Mixed-ancestry wolves are recolonizing the Pacific Northwest
Mixed-ancestry wolves are recolonizing the Pacific Northwest
Their combination of coastal and inland DNA could help them survive a changing climate.
How tweets can map a #wildfire
How tweets can map a #wildfire
Social media could help monitor air pollution that physical monitors miss.
Interior ordered an end to science-forward parks policy
Interior ordered an end to science-forward parks policy
The Obama-era guidelines emphasized research and precaution in decision-making.
8 ways Scott Pruitt suppressed science before he resigned
8 ways Scott Pruitt suppressed science before he resigned
Under the EPA administrator, neither climate change nor science was a priority.
Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land
Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land
Instead of restoring the past, ecologists are increasingly focused on the future.
Rapid evolution saved the starfish
Rapid evolution saved the starfish
West Coast ochre stars make a remarkable reversal after a mass mortality event.
Aridity heads east; a geyser wakes up; activists young and old
Aridity heads east; a geyser wakes up; activists young and old
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
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