Thirty years ago, Philippa Drennan joined her colleague John Waggoner in a study of Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert. His initial research that concerned the distribution of Joshua trees within a range of altitudes in the remote desert became long-term monitoring of new growth and flowering of specific trees. Changes in climate and environment have affected the trees, and Drennan describes here what they have observed through their research in the Mojave National Preserve.
For more than three decades, DDT was produced at the Montrose chemical plant in Torrance and dumped into Palos Verdes’ coastal waters. In 1996, the offshore site, considered by some the largest deposit of DDT in the world, was added to the EPA list of Superfund sites. Over the years, DDT spread to the Santa Monica Bay. The accurate measurement of the pesticide’s presence — the focus of Rachel Adams’ research — is crucial for assessing water quality in the bay.