/ Modified jul 14, 2023 5:25 p.m.

Episode 937

Packrat Time Machine, Raquel Gutierrez, Desert Fleece, Paragon Space Development

Packrat Time Machine
To many, packrats are a nuisance. But to the scientists that study their piles of waste called middens, they are a key to understanding the past. Thanks to their affinity for collecting everything around them, and their urine, which crystalizes and preserves anything trapped inside it, we can recreate past environments. These strange “time machines” enable us to see over fifty thousand years back and inform us that things have changed a lot in that time. One remarkable discovery made thanks to our packrat friends, is that not long ago, the Sonoran Desert wasn’t a desert at all.

Footprints from the Past (Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winner)
Archaeologists have recently uncovered ancient human footprints beneath the windswept landscape of White Sands National Park in New Mexico that date as far back as 23,000 years. That makes these footprints the earliest unequivocal evidence of human habitation in the Americas, pushing back our understanding of the date of arrival by as much as 10,000 years. The history-shaking find also helps to validate Native American claims of a deep time connection to this continent, and could forever alter our theories about the people of the Americas.

On The Crisis Of Abandonment by Raquel Gutiérrez
In this installment of Arizona Illustrated’s poetry series, a collaboration with the UA Poetry Center, the acclaimed poet and writer, Raquel Gutiérrez, reads "On the Crisis of Abandonment, a poem about living next to Aviation Freeway." Raquel Gutiérrez is the author of Brown Neon (Coffee House Press, 2022), winner of the 2023 Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, and Southwest Reconstruction (Noemi Press, 2022). A 2017 recipient of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, they run Econo Textual Objects, which publishes intimate works by QTPOC poets. She is a poet and writer based in Tucson, Arizona.

Desert Plants: Golden Fleece
As part of the recurring series about recommended plants for our region, we hear about the Golden Fleece, Parraleña, a low-growing shrub with yellow flowers. The plant usually thrives during spring and late summer with monsoon rains and can attract butterflies to your desert landscape.

Paragon Space Development
Paragon Space Development Corporation is a Tucson-based life support and thermal control solutions company. The company is currently creating the next generation of space suits for astronauts exploring the moon and has contributed to every US space flight since 1999.

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