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Corn stover (stalks, leaves and cobs) left behind after harvesting becomes a mulch and cover crop for soybeans on a Tennessee farm. Lance Cheung, USDA

It’s time to rethink the disrupted US food system from the ground up

There's growing interest in making the US food system more resilient and flexible, but soil – the origin of nearly everything we eat – is often left out of the picture.
A thick haze has settled over Sydney, blown in from northwest of the city. Dean Lewins/AAP

What do Sydney and other cities have in common? Dust

The haze now engulfing Sydney isn't an isolated problem. Cities around the world struggle to manage the many sources of tiny airborne particles and the discomfort and illnesses these cause.
Just off Washington Square in New York City. Frej Berg/Flickr

The value of trees: 4 essential reads

Trees clean urban air, store carbon, slow floodwaters and can be used to design safer streets. Scholars are starting to calculate what these services are worth – a fitting topic for Arbor Day.
A large dust storm, or haboob, sweeps across downtown Phoenix on July 21, 2012. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

Increased deaths and illnesses from inhaling airborne dust: An understudied impact of climate change

New research projects that climate change could greatly increase airborne dust levels in the southwestern US, causing higher hospital admissions and premature deaths from heart and lung ailments.
Women shipfitters working on board the USS Nereus at the U.S. Navy Yard in Mare Island, circa 1943. Department of Defense

Rosie the Riveters discovered a wartime California dream

Thousands of American women moved west to take advantage of wartime employment opportunities during WWII. For some, this version of the California dream was temporary; for others, it lasted a lifetime.

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