Articles

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Mayapple
   April 19, 2011
Crystal Cockman

It seems to me that many flowers have bloomed earlier this year than most years, probably as a result of warm weather and rain. Trout lilies and trilliums have already put on their show, and just this past week the pinxter azaleas have gone full bloom as well. I spotted one other interesting plant with a beautiful blossom while kayaking the Little River this week that confirms my suspicions...

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Land Art
   April 15, 2011
Ruth Ann Grissom
In the early 1970s, a group of artists rebelled against the market-driven forces in New York. They moved out West and began to use the earth as their canvas. In time, their works became known as earth art or land art. The Lightning Field by Walter De Maria is one of the best examples. On a high plain in the mountains of New Mexico, he placed 400 stainless steel poles in a rectangular array that... Read more


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Geographers, doctors and community members
   April 15, 2011

Heather Smith
In 2005 and 2006 researchers from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute partnered with the Latin American Coalition, our region’s largest Latino outreach and advocacy organization, to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of Mecklenburg County’s rapidly growing and transitioning Latino population. Read more


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The six shad species of N.C.
   April 8, 2011
Crystal Cockman
If you’re like me, this warmer weather is more than enough encouragement to spend more time outside. Days are getting longer and bulky winter clothing is replaced with t-shirts and flip flops. Time to start thinking about heading to our lakes and rivers for water-based recreational activities, and for many of you, the activity at the top of your list of favorite warm-weather pastimes will... Read more


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Mecklenburg Food Assessment: Phase 2 Results
   April 8, 2011

In 2010, a UNC Charlotte research team led by Dr. Elizabeth Racine conducted a Mecklenburg County Community Food Assessment for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council. The results of Phase 1 of that study (posted on this website in September 2010) looked at the presence or absence of food stores in Mecklenburg’s Census Block Groups and the relationship of that availability to various... Read more


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Native spring vines
   March 31, 2011
Ruth Ann Grissom

Every spring, I walk along scanning the forest floor for wildflowers.  Sometimes I light on an odd arrangement of blossoms.  It takes a few seconds for my mind to shift gears.  I finally realize the flowers aren’t attached to plants on the ground – they’ve dropped from vines twining through the canopy.  Over the next several weeks, we have the...

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Time to kayak the Uwharrie River
   March 24, 2011
Crystal Cockman
We’ve finally had enough rain this spring to fill up the ephemeral pools for amphibian breeding, and (for those of you more adventure-seeking outdoors people) also to create enough flow in our rivers for kayak trips to begin. I haven’t yet made my first inaugural trip of 2011 on the Uwharrie River, but rest assured that I am itching to get out there. Read more


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Will we ever learn from disasters?
   March 24, 2011

Brian Zapata
The March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated the northeast coastal area of Japan has highlighted the extreme vulnerability of man-made infrastructure to natural hazards.  Despite tremendous advances in engineering and construction, disasters of this magnitude lead us to question whether or not we should build infrastructure robust enough to withstand such a devastating... Read more


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Census 2010: Mecklenburg patterns of residential segregation
   March 17, 2011

Controversies over school closures in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County over the past year have refocused public attention on issues of race in our community. While the explosive growth of the Hispanic population has been a more recent demographic trend, the issue of residential segregation among blacks and whites has a much longer history in this community, with significant public policy... Read more


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Field work: a rewarding and challenging endeavor
   March 11, 2011
Crystal Cockman
I have the opportunity to see some pretty neat stuff outdoors with my job. And although I don't have time every week, as it isn't the primary focus of my work to look for neat species, it is one of the most enjoyable activities I get to participate in, and I jump at the chance to participate in outdoor adventures whenever I can. Read more