A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Ronda Strauch is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her current research focuses on the vulnerability of transportation to climate change, building on her experience over the past 12 years as a supervising engineer at King County Department of Transportation. Prior to this position, Ronda worked as an ecologist for consulting firms and federal agencies in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in environmental and biological assessments. She has an MS from the University of Washington, College of Forest Resources, where she studied the effects of climate and other factors on high elevation tree establishment following fire. She also has a BS in Environmental Planning and Management from the University of California at Davis.