Arizona Science Desk

Sara Hammond / AZPM

The Santa Cruz River is a big reason why Tucson exists, and has for thousands of years. But, like other desert waterways, the river doesn't always flow. Reuse of treated wastewater is bringing sections of the riverbed to life.

Lifeblood of the Desert: Is Tech the Answer to Yuma Water Woes?

Apr 11, 2018
Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

In Yuma, Arizona, the Colorado River is not what it was.  For thousands of years, its raging water deposited rich soil in the delta, creating one of the most verdant agricultural areas in the world.  Today, the river flow is 1 percent of what it was a century ago, but agriculture continues to thrive even as the water needed to maintain it dwindles due to over-allocation and drought. 

International Water Conference Continues in Yuma

Jan 26, 2018
Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

An international waterfront conference is taking place in Yuma through the weekend.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

Amanda Mills / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the Arizona Department of Health Services have partnered on a $2.2 million grant to train first responders in rural Arizona in the fight against the opioid epidemic.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

NASA's Orion Capsule Parachute Test Postponed, then Successful

Dec 22, 2017
NASA

The most recent test for NASA’s Orion capsule parachute system at the Yuma Proving Ground was postponed for two days.  But a successful test did (eventually) take place.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk was at the Yuma Proving Ground for the test…

Chris Parish / The Peregrine Fund

No one hunts the California Condor, one of the largest flying birds in the world.  But the endangered bird has a problem only hunters can solve.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

ADEQ Considers Plan to Clean up Yuma Groundwater Cyanide Plume

Dec 4, 2017
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

How do you clean up cyanide contamination in Yuma groundwater? Molasses and vegetable oil might be the key.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports.

Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

Several dentists in the city of Yuma have volunteered their services to the homeless and in-need free of charge.  One of those dentists made it his aim to see dozens of patients from the local mission in a single day.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

Dates—as in the fruit from the Middle East—grow surprisingly well in Yuma County, Arizona.  And harvest has just wrapped up.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

Yuma Proving Ground Nears Its 75th Anniversary

Oct 31, 2017
Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

Yuma Proving Ground, the U.S. Army’s weapons testing and training military installation near the city of Yuma, is coming up on its 75th anniversary in February.  And the proving ground has already begun preparations.   For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

A new analysis shows nearly two-thirds of Americans are experiencing an increased number of extreme heat days.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

Children's Action Alliance

The deadline for Congress to re-fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which insures children from low-income families, passed two weeks ago with no action.  More than 23,000 Arizona children stand to lose coverage.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

Arizona Parks Join "Poo Poo Project" to Save Birds from Foul Deaths

Oct 10, 2017
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Some public toilets in America’s state and national parks have open ventilation pipes that wildlife often mistake for burrows. Many die trapped in outhouse basements.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

HRSA Awards $3M to Fight Opioid Crisis in Rural Counties

Sep 20, 2017
Centers for Disease Control

The Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded $3 million to rural communities in eight states to reduce opioid overdoses.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

Courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA

The excitement has been building for weeks and weeks. On Monday, August 21st the solar eclipse will finally be here. It will darken the skies along a path from Oregon to South Carolina. It's the first eclipse that will be seen from coast to coast in 99 years. Millions will don special glasses or watch through pinhole projectors. Eclipse enthusiasts say totality never disappoints. Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

KAWC Colorado River Public Media

The health of the Latino population is a priority for the Mexican Consulate in Yuma, who recently contributed thousands of dollars to support a mobile clinic outreach program.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

Lettuce Shortage Caused by Unexpected Weather Comes to an End

May 31, 2017

Yuma, Arizona provides the majority of winter leafy greens in the U.S. and Salinas, California grows those same crops in the summer.  When harvest periods in the two areas don’t align, it can create a lettuce shortage—like the one that just ended.  For the Arizona Science Desk, Maya Springhawk Robnett reports…

When the nation's communities at large think about science, they don't always think of Arizona. The Arizona Science Desk, a two year collaboration among the Arizona NPR stations, sought to change that, by raising the statewide and national profile of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) news in Arizona. 

Alexis Knapp

KAWC is pleased to host author and Arizona Science Desk Reporter, Melissa Sevigny for our next Spirited Discussion!  Sevigny will read from her book, Mythical River, and discuss with attendees pertinent issues that it raises.  Mythical River explores the history of the Colorado River Basin, including the science and policies that are integral to the current state of water in the West.   

NASA Tests Orion Capsule Parachute at Yuma Proving Ground

Mar 28, 2017
NASA

The Orion project is planned to take humans to Mars but before that can happen, NASA wants to send astronauts to the moon for the first time in decades.  The space agency recently came to Yuma Proving Ground to test the parachute system for that capsule.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk was on site…

Congressman Grijalva Weighs in on Uninterrupted Border Wall

Mar 22, 2017

Wildlife conservationists say the existing barriers along the U.S. Mexico border are already detrimental to wildlife.  U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva told Arizona Science Desk reporter Maya Springhawk Robnett President Donald Trump’s proposed uninterrupted wall would be worse for wildlife and for people…

Congressman Grijalva Weighs in on Border Wall and Wildlife Issue

Mar 22, 2017

Wildlife conservationists say the existing barriers along the U.S. Mexico border are already detrimental to wildlife.  U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva told Arizona Science Desk reporter Maya Springhawk Robnett President Donald Trump’s proposed uninterrupted wall would be worse...

Lettuce Wilting Disease Research Presented at Southwest Ag Summit

Mar 1, 2017
Maya Springhawk Robnett / Arizona Science Desk; KAWC

Southwestern agriculture experts are focused on a plant disease that threatens American lettuce fields. Researchers presented methods to combat the disease at a recent conference in Yuma. Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

AZ Conservation Deals Seek to Prevent Lake Mead Shortages

Feb 6, 2017
Andrew Cattoir / National Park Service

Water levels in Lake Mead, which stores water for Arizona, California, and Nevada, have plunged in recent years.  If levels drop below a certain point, they trigger an official shortage.  But as Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports, the three states are trying to avoid that…

Maya Springhawk Robnett / Arizona Science Desk; KAWC

Efforts to protect the country's agricultural crops from pathogens and other threats requires some unusual practices.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports from the fields of Yuma...

Maya Springhawk Robnett / Arizona Science Desk; KAWC

How to create a backyard oasis is the focus of a community program in Yuma. What began as an effort to help home gardeners has become a scientific resource for the community.

Citizen Science in the Wild: From Gun Shops to Wetlands

Dec 21, 2016
Maya Springhawk Robnett / Arizona Science Desk; KAWC

Data used to drive decisions about how to manage land and wildlife in the Southwest can come from unexpected sources. Whether counting birds or hunting them, people who enjoy the outdoors are contributing to the science of wildlife management. Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

Invasive Snake Species Spreads along Colorado River in Yuma

Dec 21, 2016
Maya Springhawk Robnett / Arizona Science Desk; KAWC

An invasive snake has been found in Yuma waters. Officials are concerned because the snakes could pose a threat to local species and alter the Colorado River ecosystem. Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

Microgrid Unveiled at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

Dec 20, 2016
Maya Springhawk Robnett / Arizona Science Desk; KAWC

The U.S. western power grid went down on September 8, 2011.  At Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, this sparked the need for faster backup power.  What followed were plans between MCAS Yuma and Arizona Public Service to create something called a microgrid.  Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports...

Drones in Agriculture Projected to Create $32 Billion Market

Dec 9, 2016
Rosa Bevington, YCEDA Media Specialist / Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture

International accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers recently projected a 32-billion-dollar market for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle use in the agriculture industry. In Yuma County, farmers have already begun utilizing UAV or “drone” technology in the fields. Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports…

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