Large Public Interest in Climate Change Research

“It was striking that there was little skepticism about the fact that climate change is really happening” observed Co-PI of the Southwestern Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) Dr. Amy Whipple of visitors to the Babbitt Ranch Expo, held at the Arizona Nordic Village (formerly the Nordic Center) in early October. And with over 300 people in attendance, it seems that there’s a healthy public appetite to engage in the environmental research going on across Babbitt Ranch lands.

Soil microbe ‘home team’ helps Ponderosa Pines cope with warmer drier conditions.

Early findings suggest that familiar soil microbes help Ponderosa Pines to grow at warmer, drier sites.

Figure Caption: Aboveground biomass of ponderosa pine growing with different soil organisms communities at three sites along a temperature and moisture gradient. The bars indicate standard error of the mean – so only difference which are larger than the size of those ‘error bars’ are likely to be significant. Notice that plants are typically much smaller when grown in sterile potting soil, with a big benefit from having a home-team at the warm-dry sites.

Genetics research at SEGA sites helping to unravel the mysteries of Darwin’s ‘entangled web’

The publication of Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ over 150 years ago propelled evolution into the forefront of biological sciences – where it has been a cornerstone ever since. But there’s one area of Darwin’s theory that for a long time was considered so complex that it might never be figured out.

Assisting ‘warm-adapted’ native cottonwoods to migrate to cooler sites to beat rising temperatures – a bridge too far?

Coping with the trend towards a warmer and drier climate in the western US can be a struggle for native vegetation. One solution tested in a study published recently by Kevin Grady and his team in the journal Restoration Ecology is to give plants a helping hand to migrate to cooler areas - by physically moving them there.

I’m Lichen It! … a new hands-on science project for grades K6 thru’ K12 kicks off at SEGA sites and a schoolyard.

Crusty lichen-covered rocks might not sound like the most obvious place to spark a kid’s interest in science. But that’s exactly what’s happening in a new study that teaches school kids about climate change science using the SEGA network of sites and their own backyard