In The News: School of Life Sciences
Biologist Allen Gibbs calls them his “all-American flies.”
Say the word "virus" and most people think of disease -- something to be avoided at all costs. However, at UNLV, students are getting their hands dirty to discover something that could keep us healthy.
Inside a lab on the fourth floor of the Science and Engineering Building at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Ka-Voka Jackson pulled from a brown sack a dried seed head of the invasive plant called ravennagrass. She slowly maneuvered the brittle branch out, and from its wispy ventricles tiny seeds poofed into the air, across the counter and onto the floor. A couple of them latched onto her long black hair. “Each of the seed stock plumes can produce thousands per plant,” she said, as she shimmied it back into the bag. “It’s a prolific seed bearer. They are very light, and they can travel by wind, float on the water. And it seems to spread very efficiently in this area.”
In his recent trip to Nevada, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent a few hours in one of our newest national monuments — Gold Butte, where he viewed Native American rock art threatened by vandals, hiking trails that offer countless opportunities for exploration and fragile desert plants and wildlife native to only this region.
If fishing reports existed 250 million years ago they probably would have warned anglers to bring extra sturdy line to northern Nevada. That’s because newly described fossil evidence shows the warm waters of the time were home to a toothy apex predator that chomped its prey like a modern shark.
In a 2016 interview with CNN, Anthony Scaramucci — President Donald Trump's new White House communications director — said that Earth, as well as human history, is just 5,500 years old. But ample evidence exists to prove that the world has been around for much, much longer.
The Colorado River, one of the longest rivers in the United States, is gradually shrinking. This is partly a result of overuse by municipalities and seasonal drought. The other reason is global warming.
Thanks to Hubble Ray Smith for the inspiring article about the Hualapai Ka-Voka Jackson and other UNLV ecology students restoring native plants.
It reminded me of a story from the past, a slice of Arizona Indians' history before the white people came. It was a battle between the Hualapai and the Yavapai. Afterward, a monument of two rock piles went up and maybe still exists there somewhere. This piece of history is in the book, "Oral History of the Yavapai," page 214. Every Arizona Indian tribe should have an easy-to-read complete history book like this one. Thank you.
A pink flower bloomed from the cactuses. The small sign of life appeared just one month after UNLV student Ka-Voka Jackson began a project to research the best way to eradicate invasive plants and bring new, but familiar life to her ancestral land in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The cactuses may be one way.
While most people can appreciate the beauty of the grasslands and rocky canyons of Northern Arizona, the land holds a special meaning for Ka-Voka Jackson.
Ka-Voka Jackson wants to replace invasive plants with native ones at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
In a remote canyon off the northern reaches of Lake Powell, a fourwing saltbush is growing deep roots as part of Ka-Voka Jackson's experimental plots of native plants. The silvery, sea-green shrub is joining grasses and succulents in Jackson's efforts to remedy ravenna grass infestations that threaten native flora and fauna in the sacred ancestral lands of her tribe and others around the Colorado River.