Solving problems in the
Wildland-Urban Interface

Joseph W. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Phone: 858 228 0089

WEEDS info

Engineering a Miracle - The Story of WEEDS

(published in The San Diego Reader, April 29, 2004)

Engineering a Miracle
by Joseph W. Mitchell
Copyright 2004, all rights reserved.

“I dreamed that we had a fountain on our roof,” she said. “We’d just push this button and out would come this spray of water, pssssssht, far up into the air and all over the house.”

We both laughed at the idea. We were acclimating to the Southern California weather after relocating from the cool dampness of northern Europe, and were experiencing the punishing heat of August to October. Ramona is a hot place, and for some reason our home’s little microclimate is a bit hotter still. We’ve seen 100o in February, and had highs in the 100’s for a week straight. Our local record is 117o. It was not surprising that my wife, Diane Conklin, would dream of cool fountains. Having one on the roof, well, that was a bit odd.