Environment

Deaths from lightning strikes are up sharply this year, according to the National Weather Service. Here are some myths about lightning, or avoiding it, and tips on how to actually stay safe.

This story initially aired on July 17, 2015 on Morning Edition.

Lucy Loomis / Flickr

If you've been looking for a way to live a more sustainable lifestyle, a great place to start is giving up your well-manicured lawn for something less taxing on your time and the environment.

No place is better manicured and meticulously planned like the Allen Centennial Gardens located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Other than being a beautiful place to visit, the gardens serve as a teaching tool for UW students, the public, and green industry across the state.

Lily Wellen

Over the last six years the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab has collaborated with the US Forest Service to reach teachers around the country with the latest in monarch butterfly biology and ecology. In turn, teachers pass the information on to their students and hope to ignite a passion for conservation.

It's high summer, and for a lot of us that means it's time to go camping. This summer, we're celebrating one particular camping trip.

Way back in 1858, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great philosopher and poet, set out into the Adirondack Mountains in New York. On the famous journey, he took with him some of the most famous artists, scientists and thinkers of his day.

This year, I set out early in the morning in my canoe with a company of my own: environmental activist and writer Bill McKibben and our guide, Mike Carr with the Nature Conservancy.

As California's drought drags on, its almond industry has come under scrutiny. As you've probably heard by now, almonds use a lot of water — about one gallon per nut. Most growers are relying on groundwater even more this year, because their surface water has been cut off. But that brings a different problem all together: too much salt.

Not the salt added to make roasted almonds savory, but salt in groundwater – which is killing trees.

Soon after the Lake Fire started last month, it threatened hundreds of homes. Fire officials in Southern California's San Bernardino National Forest, where the wildfire raged, responded quickly by sending helicopters and more than a thousand firefighters to combat the blaze.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In a field on the outskirts of Spokane, Wash., Peter Goldmark points across to a charred, rocky hillside where the Little Spokane fire burned dangerously close to the city limits earlier this month.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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