Author Archives: KristiV

Silent Spring: Warblers

In the chapter And No Birds Sing, Rachel Carson describes the consequences of DDT spraying (for elm bark beetles) for various bird populations in the Midwestern US. Two ornithologists at Michigan State University, George Wallace and John Mehner, documented the … Continue reading

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West Nile Virus, Urban Vector Control, and the 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring

According to the September 18 update at the Centers for Disease Control website, over 3000 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) disease in humans have been reported in the US this year. Approximately half of these cases were classified as … Continue reading

Posted in urban public health | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Urban Heat Islands and Climate Change

A recent story on NPR’s Morning Edition piqued my interest in the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon, which has been recognized since the late 1980s. In the radio piece, the rather startling claim was made that cities are heating up … Continue reading

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Suburban Wildlife: Texas Spiny Lizard

In spite of (or perhaps because of) another very hot, dry summer here, my suburban backyard is a small refuge for a variety of insects, birds, and reptiles. Among the largest of the reptiles I’ve seen recently is the Texas … Continue reading

Posted in art journals, urban wildlife | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Deer OT ….

…. I wish you a belated Happy Birthday! I’m preparing for a meeting, so I got nothing at the moment, except some photos of wacky white-tailed deer, hanging out on campus. By the parking garage The shrubbery … is it … Continue reading

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Plain arrows are langweilig, nicht wahr?

Posted in academia | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

City Reads

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? And miss it each day and night? I know I’m not wrong – this feeling’s gettin’ stronger The longer I stay away. Miss them moss-covered vines, the tall sugar pines … Continue reading

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*cough* *coughcoughcough* *cough!*

Posted in climate change | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

National Public Lands Day in a Drought City

2011 has been a year of exceptional heat and drought throughout most of the state of Texas, and 2012 isn’t looking much better. Although the city of San Antonio obtains water from the artesian Edwards Aquifer, this is a limited … Continue reading

Posted in urban infrastructure, urban landscape | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


First, a few lines about Texas weather from On the Road: Great clouds of gritty wind blew at us from shimmering spaces. Nightfall seemed like a million miles away as we resumed for Coleman and Brady — the heart of … Continue reading

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