Author Archive: Julia Sullivan


A Significant Land Conservation Measure

Thirty-two years ago yesterday, after years of congressional debate, President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). The statute protected more than 100 million acres of federal lands in Alaska, doubling the size of the country’s national park and refuge system and tripling the amount of land designated as […]

Zion’s Mosaic

At the turn of the 20th century, the region now encompassed by Zion National Park saw few visitors. This all changed in 1908, however, when a federal land survey exposed the area to the general public. Struck by its natural splendor, the surveyors encouraged President Taft to protect the region, and he obliged. In 1909, […]

A Future of Flooding

Last week’s Hurricane Sandy packed a devastating punch, exposing many areas’ vulnerabilities to storm surge and sea level rise along the East Coast, which could very well bolster the case for much-needed change in the government’s approach to evaluating flood risk. As reported by The Washington Post, with the increased likelihood of extreme weather due […]

A Hidden Gem

Accessible only by boat or seaplane, closer to Cuba than to the American mainland and housing the largest masonry fort in the United States, Dry Tortugas is not exactly the typical American national park. In fact, it is one of the most remote, smallest and least-visited parks in the system. Nevertheless, it is remarkable, and […]

No Child Left Inside

Happy Earth Science Week! Today marks day two of this annual international event, which the American Geosciences Institute has organized since October 1998. Each year, the event addresses the broader goal of increasing public understanding and appreciation of earth sciences and encouraging stewardship of the Earth, and this year will be no different. Throughout the […]

Yosemite’s Spokesman

One hundred and twenty-two years ago today, one of America’s most celebrated national parks came into being – Yosemite. Located in the central eastern portion of California and covering an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, this park boasts dramatic valleys, a protected grove of ancient sequoia trees, waterfalls coursing into Yosemite Valley, and […]