New Hats in Elko

I’m not from around here. You might not guess it from my Taft-esque moustache and brass Wild Turkey belt buckle, but if you ask me, sure, I’ll admit it: I’m from California. San Francisco even. I’m no gold miner, buckaroo or anything close to a cowboy poet. But I am a fan of interesting slices of American culture and a pretty adaptable dude. Maybe that’s why I finished college, packed up and moved to Elko, Nevada for an AmeriCorps internship with the Western Folklife Center.

Tropics to the Desert: GBI's Mexico Field Studies Arrives to Reno

It’s the last week of July and one-hundred meters from the U.S.-Mexico border, three of the Great Basin Institute’s staff has gathered in the sweltering early morning hours at a McDonalds in the dusty border town of Nogales, Arizona. They are not here for breakfast burritos or hash browns, nor a general pit-stop on the way to the next town. This fast food landmark is the destination of a two day road trip from the Institute’s headquarters, in Reno, with one purpose: to greet sixteen biology students from the Universidad de Guadalajara, of Mexico, and return them to the foothills…

Lending a Global Hand in Nevada's Backyard

The sun breaks over desert mountains to the east of town. In the University of Nevada, Reno’s north parking lot, a crowd gathers. Gradually, an oblong circle forms around a few men dressed in blue jeans and flip-flops. Moments pass and the crowd grows quiet. One of the men pulls a crumpled slip of paper from his pocket, then recites a line made famous by Edward Abbey: “There are no vacant lots in nature.” With these words, the circle becomes a stream moving toward trucks and vans bulging with backpacks, hand tools, and…

NCC Assists with Protection of the Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly

The Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly spends its entire lifetime—just one week—within a two-hundred foot radius of its sole food source, a wild buckwheat plant. Found nowhere else in the world, increasing threats to the habitat of this slight, gossamer winged butterfly have sparked a team effort to manage the Sand Mountain Recreation Area, south of Fallon. The Nevada Conservation Corps (NCC), Churchill County, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have joined forces to put into action an interim management strategy for the area.