Scientific Research

Wildfires are burning away the West’s snow
Wildfires are burning away the West’s snow
A new study finds wildfires are burning more high elevation areas and dramatically impacting the West’s snowpack as a result.
California’s algae bloom is like a ‘wildfire in the water’
California’s algae bloom is like a ‘wildfire in the water’
Some scientists are equating the recent phenomenon to a mega blaze, spurred by human mismanagement.
How a hidden cave can help scientists understand the climate
How a hidden cave can help scientists understand the climate
Sometimes learning about the past to figure out the future requires crawling beneath tons of rock.
More shrubs means way more moose in western Alaska
More shrubs means way more moose in western Alaska
Climate change is causing ecosystem shifts, and the cascading effects impact animals and hunters.
Scientists unravel the origins of the Southwest’s monsoon
Scientists unravel the origins of the Southwest’s monsoon
But just as their understanding of the phenomena becomes mores clear, it’s starting to disappear.
As waters warm, Alaska experiences salmon booms and busts
As waters warm, Alaska experiences salmon booms and busts
Chaotic salmon returns leave some Alaskans with an abundance of salmon, and others with none.
The most destructive forest pest in North America is now in Oregon
The most destructive forest pest in North America is now in Oregon
The invasive emerald ash borer threatens the state’s salmon habitat, urban forests and agency budgets.
Alaska’s fire season is off to a blazing start
Alaska’s fire season is off to a blazing start
Drought, heat and thunderstorms have started fires across the state.
The beauty buried in the data
The beauty buried in the data
Art created using laser data reveals the history and geological wonder of Washington’s landscape and rivers.
Landslide risk is on the rise thanks to climate change, and states are looking to identify hazards
Landslide risk is on the rise thanks to climate change, and states are looking to identify hazards
Washington — home to deadliest landslide in U.S. history — is working to prevent future loss of life by scanning the state for new threats.
A community poisoned by oil
A community poisoned by oil
People living in Wilmington, California, experience higher levels of illness and ailing mental health.
New study finds DDT in California condors
New study finds DDT in California condors
Chemicals dumped in the 1970s are still seeping into the food chain. But the Yurok Tribe is confident their birds will be OK.
Why I’m fighting for a fish I’ve never seen
Why I’m fighting for a fish I’ve never seen
The Clear Lake hitch are vanishing.
Snail scars provide insight into crab population changes
Snail scars provide insight into crab population changes
Small chips in snail shells provide a 100,000-year record on California’s crustaceans.
Yes, the drought really is that bad
Yes, the drought really is that bad
The Western U.S. is experiencing its worst drought since 800 A.D.
When the quietest of all Hawaiian honeycreepers went silent
When the quietest of all Hawaiian honeycreepers went silent
Despite conservation efforts to save the po’ouli, the species was declared extinct in 2019.
The lion king of Los Angeles
The lion king of Los Angeles
After Miguel Ordeñana discovered mountain lion P-22 in urban LA, he became a key advocate for habitat connectivity, which is essential for the species’ survival in Southern California.
‘This is what reconciliation work can look like’
‘This is what reconciliation work can look like’
A researcher explains why she’s using settler-colonial methods to interrogate settler-colonialism in national parks.
National parks center colonizer histories through place names
National parks center colonizer histories through place names
A recent study analyzes the impacts of appropriated and derogatory place names in the nation’s national parks.
Air quality report card flunks the West
Air quality report card flunks the West
Western states dominate lists of where short-term particulate and ozone pollution are the worst.
Redlined neighborhoods have double the oil and gas wells
Redlined neighborhoods have double the oil and gas wells
A new study shows how fossil fuels and structural racism collide.
For cannabis farms, ecosystem science is scarce
For cannabis farms, ecosystem science is scarce
An interview with an ecologist studying the West’s emerging, and rarely researched, industry.
A mystery worm is threatening the future of Washington’s oysters
A mystery worm is threatening the future of Washington’s oysters
Clues from 1,000-year-old shells could reveal the parasite’s past —and portend the future.
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