Russell Reinap | KUNR

Russell Reinap

Russell Reinap is a former student reporter covering science and the environment for KUNR Public Radio and the Hitchcock Project for Visualizing Science.

A black bear eating berries off of a bush in the wilderness.
Courtesy of Nevada Department of Wildlife

Biologists and veterinarians in California and Nevada are investigating a puzzling disease that has been causing bears to experience encephalitis, a sometimes fatal inflammation of the brain.

Dry and cracked soil covering a large span of sparingly bushed landscape.

Nevada had its driest year on record in 2020, according to the National Center for Environmental Information, and recent trends point to it continuing to get drier. Currently, all of Nevada is in drought, with over 72% of the state’s land experiencing “extreme drought conditions,” according to Desert Research Institute Assistant Research Professor and Climatologist Dan McEvoy says our conditions in the summer months are dependent on the precipitation our area gets in the winter.