Celebration of “Jerri” Wanda Mary Goodwin Nabhan Buxton – 1927-2020

As some of you can guess, I am the last person you’d want to assign to do an obituary of someone you love, so let someone else do that for Jerri & let me just say what she meant to me, many of you & what she exemplified of American life over the last century, for she was as emblematic of her times as Forrest Gump, Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball or Beyonce have been of theirs.

If you didn’t know, my ...

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Speak Up Las Cruces: Gary Nabhan

Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist, Ecumenical Franciscan Brother, and author Gary Nabhan joined Peter and Walt to talk about the border wall, native plants, and “how do we all get back together again in such divisive times?” [Hint: local food movement might help!].

He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement, whose work has focused primarily on the interaction of biodiversity and cultural diversity of the very dry and very binational Southwest.

The vision of Las ...

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Bulldozers Versus Biodiversity, Then and Now

Trump’s border wall threatens habitats in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. What happened when the area was bulldozed in the 1950s?

 

The bulldozing of rare cacti and other species at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona for the Trump border wall has caused much controversy. But as it happens, this isn’t the first time bulldozers have altered this site.

Established as a National Monument under the authority of the National Parks Service in 1937, Organ Pipe is made up of 517 ...

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Water-guzzling demands of Trump’s border wall threaten fish species

The survival of eight endangered and threatened species, including four kinds of endemic fish, is in doubt in Arizona, as massive quantities of groundwater are extracted to construct Donald Trump’s border wall.

The 30ft-high barrier is under construction on the edge of the San Bernardino national wildlife refuge in south-eastern Arizona, where rare desert springs and crystalline streams provide the only US habitat for the endangered freshwater Río Yaqui fish.

The region’s water ...

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At the Mexican Border, the Battle for Endangered Species is as Much About Water as About The Wall

When 340 protesters from many cultures showed up at Organ Pipe Cactus Monument on the Arizona-Mexico border this past November to express their heartbreak over the damage done by construction of a wall, law enforcement officers appeared to be baffled by their concerns. Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and Homeland Security were surprised that all of the signs and chants were not targeted at the wall itself.

Sure, some of the youth present were in animal costumes to demonstrate ...

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Gary Nabhan Listens as Two Fruits Testify at the Impeachment Hearings

Adam Schiff: Today we will hear from two fruit trees who happened to be in the Ukraine at the time of the back channel visits there by Rudy Guliani. Before we begin with some substance, do you have any fluff to add to todays presentations, Mr. Nuñes?

Devin Nuñes: Oh, here we go with Adam Schiff ’s Storytime of events that did not happen. There is no Ukraine. In fact, there is no Russia. There is no back channel. I have ...

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Modelled distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers

Crop wild relatives—the wild progenitors and closely related species to cultivated plants—have provided many important agronomic and nutritional traits for crop improvement (Dempewolf et al., 2017; Hajjar & Hodgkin, 2007). As populations of some of these taxa are adapted to extreme climates, adverse soil types, and important pests and diseases, they may provide key traits for the adaptation of crop plants to emerging and projected future challenges (Dempewolf ...

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People came together to grieve the construction of an unneeded border wall.

At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument today, 320 people of different nations, races, cultures and faiths peacefully came together to grieve the new construction of an unneeded border wall. Its construction activities are already cutting off access to water for the survival of people and wildlife, are violating native and other place-based spiritual practices, and are destroying ancient cactus and ironwood forests.

At Qutobaquito springs along the border–once the most biodiverse oasis in the entire Sonoran Desert– the cumulative destruction of ...

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Richard Nelson, Wise Child of the Wild, Flies Away on the West Coast of Salmon Nation

The only job description that fully fit with his temperament and enormous skill set was that of being in exuberant contact with the wild world.  All other job descriptions imposed on him by institutions or scholarly disciplines were side issues, or at best, springboards for getting him into the wilderness: as an ethnographer studying survival on sea ice; a field anthropologist investigating subsistence hunting; an ethnozoologist documenting traditional knowledge and values of Athapaskan fishers, foragers and hunters; a videographer, an ...

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Gary Nabhan requests career counseling from a pomegranate tree

Pomegranate: Next! How can I help you today?

Gary: Well, I feel kinda out of balance with my work these days.

Pomegranate: Have you requested an appointment with your corporations Human Resources Division?

Gary: That’s just the trouble. I feel that my personal human resources have become too divided. You see, I love science and I love poetry, but they don’t always go together in the workplace. Or to put a finer point on it, they almost never go together…

Pomegranate: That’s why you ...

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An Ironwood Tree and a Saguaro Ask Gary for Help in Conflict Resolution

Gary: Okay, okay, I know you are both sensitive about what has happened between you, but let us see if we can find common ground….

Ironwood: Common ground? I have offered to share my ground with this little upstart not long after his germination. I served as his nurse for over thirty years, protecting him from heat, drought, sunburn, freezes and furry creatures. And what do I get in return? He throws his roots out right over mine and sucks up ...

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Gary Nabhan asks for spiritual guidance from an arborescent cactus

Gary: Greetings, master.

Prickly Pear: Greetings. Bless you, my child.

Gary:  I am here to ask you to tell me the secrets that have made you so upstanding, so unflappable.

Prickly Pear: Well, I‘m not so sure have always been UP standing. When I was younger, my prickly pads sort of zigzagged their way above the desert floor. And have you noticed how much they look like pancakes/ I would say that they are unflappable, Jack.

Gary: My name is Gary, not Jack.

Prickly Pear: ...

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Gary Nabhan asks for directions from a rivulet rushing downhill toward a larger stream

Gary: Excuse me, I’m lost, can you tell me which way…?

Rivulet: I can’t hear you, the water is roaring so loud, can you just…

Gary: Wait, don’t run away, I just need a little help…

Rivulet: Well, then just don’t stand there, jump in!

Gary: But what if it won’t take me to where I’m trying to reach?

Rivulet: Reach? Don’t just stand there! See, you’re going nowhere right now…

Gary: But I’m lost!

Rivulet: That’s because you’re not moving toward anything.

Gary: But what the way ...

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Gary Paul Nabhan, recently interviewed by a clod of dirt

Dirt: So you occasionally write about us?

Gary: Well yes, on occasion. Why?

Dirt: What do you think entitles you to pry into our lives?

Gary: I’m not prying, exactly…I’m sort of crumbling you between my hands.

Dirt: While you are writing, you crumble us between your hands. Gads!

Gary: Only metaphorically so… teasing you apart, then rolling you back into a ball, so to speak.

Dirt: I just hate to be teased.  What gives you the license to write about us?

Gary: Well, I sort of ...

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Border Wall Construction: Imperiling Sacred Sites, Churches and Religious Freedom

Most of us have heard the devastating reports of how the new construction of a thirty-foot wall and floodlights along our southern border has begun to impact water flows, wildlife and archaeological resources long-protected by federal laws. The federal protection of endangered species, critical habitat and cultural antiquities has been waived along a three-hundred foot swath along the U.S./Mexico border. Eminent domain under the auspices of homeland security has allowed U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Army Corps of Engineers ...

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Trans Situ Conservation of Crop Wild Relatives

In the face of unprecedented climatic disasters, social conflict, and political uncertainty, integrating in situ and ex situ strategies may become increasingly necessary to effectively conserve crop wild relatives (CWR). We introduce the concept of trans situ conservation to safeguard CWR genetic diversity and accessibility for crop improvement. Building on initiatives to combine in situ protection with ex situ backup in genebanks, trans situ conservation dynamically integrates multiple in situ and ex situ measures, from conservation to research to education, ...

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Trump’s Border Wall: Epitaph for an Endangered, Night-blooming Cactus?

Construction is underway on a 30-foot-high steel wall along Arizona’s southern border in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. As several reports have recently warned, the wall will hurt many endangered desert species, from Sonoran pronghorns to cactus ferruginous pygmy owls. To understand how the wall will further fragment habitats for these already-declining plants and animals, let’s go deep with one rare species that’s at grave risk: a cactus called the night-blooming cereus.

Sacamatraca, a beautiful and rare ...

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Ancient watering hole in Southern Arizona at risk from border wall construction

An ancient spring near Lukeville has slaked the thirst of desert travelers for centuries, but its days may be numbered as groundwater is pumped to build a 30-foot border wall.

Water has bubbled out of the granite at Quitobaquito Springs for thousands of years, making it a key watering hole for the Tohono O’odham, Spanish missionaries, U.S. and Mexican boundary surveyors, and countless other humans and animals.

The Trump administration decided to build a wall along 44 miles of the border in ...

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Agrivoltaics proves mutually beneficial across food, water, energy nexus

Building resilience in renewable energy and food production is a fundamental challenge in today’s changing world, especially in regions susceptible to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-locating of agriculture and solar photovoltaic panels, offers a possible solution, with new University of Arizona-led research reporting positive impacts on food production, water savings and the efficiency of electricity production.

Agrivoltaics, also known as solar sharing, is an idea that has been gaining traction in recent years; however, few studies have monitored all aspects ...

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The Healthiest Thing You Can Do Today? Get Dirty!

Americans now spend a stunning 90 percent of their time indoors. Our sedentary, screen-addicted lifestyles have been blamed for a range of ills — including obesity, attention problems, allergies and more.

We know that getting out of the house and into nature confers many benefits for physical and mental health. But there’s an additional benefit you might not know about: contact with the soil — good old dirt — enriches the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms ...

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