Troubled Waters: Sprawling across a cactus-studded valley in Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert is a place like no other on the planet. It’s called Cuatrocienegas, and it is a crunchy expanse of land isolated in a basin ringed by mountains like salt on the rim of a margarita glass. The seemingly dry, desert area, however, is best known for its life-giving waters–pools, wetlands and rivers filled to the brim with an amazing assortment of unique species.
Edge of the Desert: Around the world, water supplies are threatened. The discovery of drugs in public drinking water is just the latest crisis in the United States. From California to Columbia, a larger problem looms—the ongoing availability of the resource itself. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are at the forefront of scientific efforts to ensure a sustainable global water supply, examining water use for energy, agriculture and population growth.
In the beginning Ed Theriot’s contributions to the Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) project—“the story of life on Earth, in a nutshell”—often begin pretty humbly. “Sometimes we go down to Waller Creek, right on campus, with a turkey baster and a toothbrush, and we suck up algae from the water and scrub it off… » Continue Reading