Nutella from scratch (Spoiler: it was awesome!).

I love nutella. So much so that I rarely buy it for myself because 1) it’s expensive and 2) I can polish off an entire jar in less than 48 hours.  I could probably put nutella on almost anything and think that it’s appetizing (nutella + wasabi? sounds delicious to me.).  It never occurred to me that I could make nutella at home! But Thursday, while taking an internet surfing break while working, I found this amazing recipe on one of my new favorite food blogs, The Kitchn. I immediately added the ingredients to the grocery list app on my phone and put a new task on my Google calendar for Saturday: “make nutella!”. Now I was committed.

Continue reading


Does mountain biking always cause more impact?

ResearchBlogging.orgMountain biking is generally considered a recreational activity that causes more impact to the environment than non-mechanized activities like hiking. Mountain biking has become a very popular outdoor recreation activity in the United States and it’s popularity is increasing across the globe as well.  On a flight from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City a couple of summers ago, I sat next to an woman from Australia who was training  to be on Australia’s Olympic Mountain Biking Team; she was coming to Utah to train in Park City. Australia is one of the countries that has seen a major increase in the popularity of mountain biking and thus an increase in the construction of mountain bike trails in parks and protected areas. Recreation ecologists in Australia have just recently begun to examine the ecological impacts of mountain biking in their country and it’s unique ecosystems.

Mountain bikers in Park City, Utah

Continue reading

Favorite National Park? Isle Royale

Ok, well maybe Isle Royale is tied for number 1 with Rocky Mountain National Park. However, Isle Royale has been on my mind lately since researchers on the island are being featured on the New York Times blog “Scientist at Work: Notes from the Field”. The research on predator-prey interactions that occurs on the island during the winter is pretty awesome but I will let you read about that yourself if you are interested. Instead I am going to use this post to give a little background about Isle Royale National Park and some of the things that make it awesome (including one of my most amazing experience in a National Park).

Sunset on Isle Royale National Park

Continue reading