A Tale of Two Dust Specks

Michelle Gilmore in Adventures in the Critical Zone

Jan 08, 2018

This comic is based on research conducted by critical zone scientists Sarah Aciego, Emma Aronson, Lindsay Arvin, Stephen Hart, Clifford Riebe, and others. They found that dust provides important nutrients like phosphorus to Sierra Nevada ecosystems, often more nutrients than the granitic bedrock provides. Most of the dust in the Sierra Nevada comes from the Central Valley of California and the Gobi Desert in Asia. Dust particles are incorporated into soil and eventually taken up by the vegetation growing in that soil. Their results show that dust can play a major role in ecosystems across the world. As climate and land use change with time, dust will continue to impact ecosystems in the future. The researchers’ findings were published in two papers in 2017 (Aciego et al. and Arvin et al.).

Download a printable version of this comic (10MB PDF). Each page is sized as half of a legal page so it can be printed as a mini-booklet.

Created by Michelle Gilmore
Illustrated by Alana McGillis

Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3

Panel 4

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Panel 7

Panel 8

Panel 19


A Tale of Two Dust Specks
(10 MB pdf)
Printable version of this comic. Each page is sized as half of a legal page so it can be printed as a mini-booklet.

Michelle Gilmore

CZO STAFF. Outreach Manager. Specialty: multi-audience outreach, mentored field studies, landscape evolution

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General Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in the above blog post are only those of the blog author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. CZO National Program or the National Science Foundation. For official information about NSF, visit www.nsf.gov.

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