Western Carolina University

Courtesy of James Costa

There is no doubt that Charles Darwin’s trip to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s changed his life’s work. It  put him on the path to develop his game-changing theory of evolution. But Darwin’s observations were not isolated to one exploration. For years after his pivotal excursion, Darwin conducted unorthodox and innovative experiments to test his speculations, and he often did so in his own backyard. 

Ron Rash
www.wcu.edu

Ron Rash is a critically acclaimed novelist who has won many accolades for his five novels, including Serena and World Made Straight.

When Rash penned his most recent work, he began with a single image: dead trout in a stream. From there, he knew he wanted to craft a narrative about hope and he used the relationship between a sheriff and a park ranger to do just that.

Jockey's Ridge State Park
Dave DeWitt

Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head is North Carolina’s most famous giant pile of sand—and the tallest natural sand dune in the eastern United States.

But here’s a little secret: Even a remarkable all-natural phenomenon like Jockey’s Ridge needs a little man-made help.

Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still: It takes you to a land apart, psychologically and geographically, since his fiction is set in Appalachia.

Rising Tides

Jun 21, 2012

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would use historical record rather than scientific methodology to predict rising sea levels. It’s in response to a report released by the North Carolina Coastal Resource Commission, predicting that the sea level will rise 39 inches by 2100.