Melanie Lenart, Ph.D.: Environmental Scientist and Writer

Other Opinion Pieces


Journalists and Scientists Have Different Roles, But They Share a Goal - An Informed Public

Sometimes a 900-word column in a major newspaper can bring more attention to the nation's pending water shortage than a year's worth of scientific papers. When Unquenchable author Robert Glennon of the University of Arizona's law college wrote a Washington Post column called "Our Water Supply, Down the Drain," his words potentially reached some three-quarters of a million readers - with internet access expanding potential readership by millions. More...

Infill construction has benefits, but more buildings mean more heat
At a late May workshop on urban heating, Tucson City Manager Mike Letcher told a story about jogging near his home and coming across a bulldozed area. It had been natural desert. Now it was a bladed wasteland. Letcher cited this as a reason to promote city "infill" to accommodate Tucson's growing population. In weeks to come, he reported, city officials will be considering ways to promote inner-city density. More...

Reduce small trees’ choke hold on Ariz. forests
Fight fire with fire, they say. That’s aptly suitable as one way Tucsonans can help keep Arizona’s forests from going the way of San Diego’s. The next time you’re looking for a log to stoke the fireplace or camp blaze, consider buying wood culled from Arizona’s forests. More...

Citizens team up with city officials to try to keep Tucson cool
Looks like I'm one of many people who wander around Tucson eyeing strips of flat soil with certain designs: "Ah, there's a good spot for pulling in water from the street to support native plants and trees." At a March 31 event aimed at preparing Tucson for climate change, water-harvesting won a top award for Best Practice. More...

Keep Tucson cool by paying for a tree
Steven Haas might be on to something. After the Catalina State Park manager announced in late December that people could honor their loved ones by paying $350 or so to plant a tree, some 20 people called to lay their money down. As he mentioned during a phone call, the enthusiastic response is almost more than the park can handle. More...

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