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Articles by Gary Braasch

Gary Braasch is consistently listed among the world's most active and concerned environmental photojournalists. He is a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He has photographed assignments for National Geographic, LIFE, Time, Scientific American, Smithsonian, and many other magazines.

Featured Article

Dust from blasting, mine work and heavy truck traffic on gravel roads casts a pall over the landscape. EPA monitoring station data shows worsening air pollution since 1980 as more coal has been mined.

Gary Braasch

The broad high prairie of eastern Wyoming and southern Montana was once the bottom of a shallow sea, a rich subtropical swampland for millions of years. Layers of plants began forming peat beds 60 million years ago, later to be buried and compressed into bituminous coal strata.

The Missouri River became the dominant stream as the Northern Rockies formed, with tributaries like the Yellowstone, Powder, and Cheyenne rivers running north and east to meet it. Their erosion eventually left coal seams only a few feet beneath the land surface of what today is called the Powder River Basin.

No other coal seam on the planet is so big, so close to the surface, and so cheap to mine, said Thomas Michael Power, a professor emeritus at the University of Montana who studies energy economics.

Gary Braasch

A national debate

Today the massive deposits, enough to light the United States almost into the 23rd century, have become the center of a regional — and increasingly national — debate: Should this resource continue to be... Read more

All Articles

  • Photos of species threatened by climate change

    The following photos and excerpt — highlighting the threats posed to animals and plants by climate change — are drawn from Gary Braasch’s new book Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World, published by the University of California Press, © 2007. Featuring more than 100 photographs, Earth Under Fire shows species, cultures, […]

  • Global warming in action in the Antarctic

    The scene is breathtaking, even mystical. Four searchlight beams arrow down from above me to a vanishing point over dark water. Sea fog sweeps in along the beams and occasionally an iceberg is illuminated. From the left, a small, pale full moon is just showing over the clouds. I am on the bridge of the […]