buffer zones & buffer strips – what they are and why we need them

Buffer zones and buffer strips are the areas between aquatic and terrestrial zones.  The best-known buffer strips are wetlands and riparian zones.  They can consist of natural or planted vegetation and serve as a place for water and matter storage.   The two types of limitations that impact buffer zones are internal limitations and external … Continue reading buffer zones & buffer strips – what they are and why we need them

biological control via entomophatogenic viruses: baculovirus

Entomopathogenic viruses are those that infect and kill insects.  They are superior to regular pesticides in that they are not harmful to humans or other vertebrates. Furthermore, each viral strain attacks only a limited number of insect species which helps to mitigate unpredicted damage. There are two types of entomopathogenic viruses: Baculoviridae (ds DNA) Nucleopolyhedrovirus … Continue reading biological control via entomophatogenic viruses: baculovirus

an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM)

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a long-term pest prevention program that focuses on ecosystem-based strategies for the control of pest related issues. This is accomplished through a combination of techniques including biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant cultivars. The use of chemical pesticides is then restricted to applications only … Continue reading an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM)

crop wild relatives – what they are and why we need them

Nature has been doing her thing for billions of years (maybe longer, I'm not sure).  It is only since about 200,000 years ago that humans entered the picture and it is only since about 15,000 years that humans have figured out agricultural production.  It is safe to say that nature may have a few tricks up … Continue reading crop wild relatives – what they are and why we need them

the greenhouse effect

The term greenhouse effect has some pretty negative connotations.  On the one side, there are those who hate all the tree-hugging hippies who are against progress and technology, and think that global warming is a giant scam developed by Al Gore in order to ruin the United States' economy and turn the country into a … Continue reading the greenhouse effect

precipitation

There have increasing reports of severe weather conditions throughout the world. Certain areas are facing record-breaking water shortages while others are faced with unprecedented flooding. There are a myriad of circumstances that are leading to these conditions. However, the amount of precipitation an area receives is a dominating factor. Precipitation is part of the atmosphere … Continue reading precipitation

soil sealing: what it is and why it’s important

Soil. A living, breathing fundamental component of the world.  Without it, we would not be able to grow food. There would be no trees and plants growing to provide us with the delicious oxygen so necessary to our existence. Our water would not be purified. We would more or less just be screwed. Yet, we … Continue reading soil sealing: what it is and why it’s important

question: what is meant by “strong sustainability”?

The concept of sustainability is one that is still developing.  New information provides new insights and the tools to work towards a future more capable of enduring the tests of time. Until recently, humans believed that all resources could be indefinitely exploited without damage to the system as a whole.  This lead to exploitation and … Continue reading question: what is meant by “strong sustainability”?

an introduction to hydrology and essential terminology

Hydrology is a branch of the scientific and engineering discipline that deals with the occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of water above and below the land surfaces of the earth. It deals with the relations and interactions of water with the environment, including biota. Hydrological studies allow for the planning, design and realization of water … Continue reading an introduction to hydrology and essential terminology

the benefits of fire

We have all read about them…the insane, previously unseen and completely out of control fires that are ravaging parts of America’s west. The lack of water has taken its toll. Reservoirs are tapped. Rivers are running dry. Famous people are illegally hoarding water. Lakes are at all-time lows. Northern parts of states are at odds … Continue reading the benefits of fire