Tackling Ozone Pollution

Denver ozone pollution

Ozone pollution over Denver Photo credit: CDPHE

Tackling ozone pollution in Colorado (starts at 3:55): Cooler fall weather might soon bring back the bluebird skies we all love. But last year ozone levels in the Denver metropolitan area were high enough to prompt state health officials to issue ozone action alerts an average of once a week. (This summer has fared somewhat better.) During these ozone alerts, health officials recommend that children, the elderly and people with compromised lungs do not exercise outdoors. Hosts Daniel Glick and Susan Moran interview John Putnam, the environmental programs director for Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment, about the science, the sources (the largest being oil and gas operations), the health impacts, and policy approaches to ozone pollution. Governor Jared Polis named Putnam to tackle, among other things, a longstanding problem with the state’s air quality: parts of the state have been out of compliance with federal Clean Air Act standards for more than a decade. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency upped the ante. It  declared that parts of Colorado are in “serious” non-compliance of federal air quality standards for ozone, which we all know as “smog.”
For more info on health impacts, read Susan’s article. For info on in intricacies of the state’s oil and gas rules, read this article by Daniel. And the CDPHE features ongoing info on ozone here.
For info on the “climate strike” this Friday and climate activities over the next week, look here.

Hosts: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran
Producers: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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Lights Out Denver – Saving Birds and Energy

Lights Out Denver

Lights Out Denver

On this week’s show Beth speaks with Vicki Vargas-Madrid, Program Administrator for the Denver Lights Out Program. This program is part of the Denver Sustainability Office, which seeks to conserve energy and promote sustainable lifestyles. They discuss the program’s efforts to reduce bird mortality following collisions with windows by reducing night time illumination. To learn more or volunteer for the program, visit their Lights Out Denver.
Host: Beth Bennett
Producer:
Beth Bennett
Engineer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
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Creative (Climate) Communications

9781316646823Creative (Climate) Communications [starts at 7:40] As a climate scientist Professor Max Boykoff is part of a community that has been persistently making the case that global warming is a serious problem, with severe and widespread consequences and that human activity is contributing to the problem and significant changes in human behavior is instrumental to addressing the problem, and averting disaster.

Despite advances in the realm of science, the effort to change attitudes, habits, beliefs and ultimately behavior and policy, has not been nearly successful enough.  And so Max Boykoff, as Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, studies, specifically in the realm of science, how opinions are formed, why arguments are believed or dismissed, what really works to motivate individuals to change habits and what really works to impel societies and governments to switch policies and priorities.  With global warming the stakes could not be higher. And so this sets the stage for his latest book released just last month from Cambridge University Press: Creative (Climate) Communications.

Host, ProducerEngineer: Chip Grandits
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Executive Producer
: Beth Bennett

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Edible Bugs

courtesy farms for orphans

courtesy farms for orphans

Edible Bugs (Entire Program) When it comes to an animal that has high quality proteins and fats, plus a very small environmental footprint, there’s more bang to the bug.  We talk about, and taste, edible bugs with Wendy Lu McGill, founder of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, and Amy Franklin, Founder of Farms for Orphans that teaches orphanages in Africa how to grow edible insect larvae as food for the orphanages.   Terry Koelling and his grandchildren have their first ever, on purpose, taste of insects, and chefs at Denver’s Linger Restaurant explain why Linger offers entrees that feature edible bugs — and they even see if Koelling and his grandchildren will eat them.

Host, ProducerEngineer:  Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer
:  Beth Bennett

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Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone

gleeGLEE (starts at 8:06) We just recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  After the Apollo missions, scientists have returned to the Moon with robotic missions because of the scientific clues the Moon can provide about the history of the Earth and the solar system, as well as learning more about the lunar environment and resources in preparation for an eventual return of humans – perhaps for the long term.

The journey to the Moon and space research often evokes images of large complex spacecraft costing hundreds of millions of dollars.  However, a new project plans to take a new approach: sending hundreds of much smaller and much less expensive spacecraft.  This project is called the Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone, or GLEE, and our guests today are here to talk about GLEE, how it will work, and what science they plan to do.

Victor Andersen is a Research Manager at the Colorado Space Grant Consortium that is one of the groups leading the project.   Tristan Schoeman is a student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is a Project Manager and Mechanical Engineer on GLEE.

Host, ProducerEngineer: Joel Parker
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer
: Beth Bennett

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Marc Bubbs & The New Science of Athletic Performance

Peak The Science of Athletic PerformanceIn this episode, Beth speaks with Dr Marc Bubbs, author of Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance, his book exploring the fundamentals of high performance. He offers science-based strategies on nutrition, training, sleep, recovery, and stress management to optimize performance for all levels of athletes and trainers. You can read more about the book here and you can find his podcast here.

Host: Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer” Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us

 

Ruth Kassinger

Ruth Kassinger

Slime:  How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us.  (Starts 00:00) We speak with science writer Ruth Kassinger about her acclaimed new book, which  Kirkus Review describes as “accessible and enthralling.”   Nature Science reports that Kassinger’s book, “ is a real pleasure. ” Publisher’s Weekly writes, “ Kassinger turns an obscure subject into delightful reading.”

Host, ProducerEngineer:  Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer
:  Beth Bennett

 

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PUNCH-ing the Sun

whatpunchdoes

This image shows a background image of the Sun overlaid with outlines of the PUNCH Wide Field Imagers (WFIs) and the Narrow Field Imager (NFI) occulting the disk of the Sun.
(image credit: SwRI)

The PUNCH mission (starts at 8:05) NASA’s new mission to study the Sun is called PUNCH (Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere).  In this episode of How on Earth we talk with solar physicist Dr. Craig DeForest, the Principal Investigator of the PUNCH mission.  Dr. DeForest is a Program Director at the Boulder office of Southwest Research Institute, and he explains how PUNCH will use polarimetry to study the outer part of the solar atmosphere, the million-degree hot corona, and how it interacts and evolves into the solar wind.

Host, ProducerEngineer: Joel Parker
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer
: Beth Bennett

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Cancer, Immunity and the Future of a Cure

EndOfBeginningCoverPegasusDespite all the advances in modern medical science, a diagnosis of Cancer often casts a pallor of hopelessness, for both the patient and the practitioner.  For many types the prognosis is often poor; the cure is often worse than the disease; victory is usually called simply remission, temporary, perhaps fleeting.  One might think the inability to find a cure indicates bafflement by our scientists and stagnation in our efforts.  According to Professor Michael Kinch, there is in fact a frenzy of activity by scientists and doctors. And a recent spate of breakthroughs, developing treatments based on the inherent powers of our immune systems, represent not a refutation of all we have known before, but a continuation of efforts made by medical pioneers stretching back over a century.  His latest book is titled The End of The Beginning: Cancer, Immunity and the Future of a Cure.  Kinch was a professor at Purdue University, where he researched breast and prostate cancer.  He then went on to found an oncology program at the biotechnology company MedImmune.  He is now professor and vice-chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis.  Here he shares with Chip Grandits stories from the front lines in the battle with cancer, both past and present.  He speaks with what can best be described as a disciplined optimism.

Host: Chip Grandits
Producer: Chip Grandits
Engineer: Chip Grandits
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Yeast & Entropy

Matthias Heinemann

Matthias Heinemann

Yeast & Entropy  (starts 2:30) When yeast cells eat sugar and then give off ethanol, it helps us make yeast breads and beer.  But WHY would yeast work so hard to metabolize sugar, simply to spit out as ethanol?  This is a mystery that Matthias Heinemann is  trying to figure out. Heinemann is a professor of molecular systems biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.  His research published in Nature shows that yeast spits out ethanol to protect the yeast from “ metabolic overload.” Heinemann has figured out how to predict when this will happen, using the Gibbs Equation, ie through the perspective of conventional  biology. Heinemann seeks clues about metabolism by applying some scientific laws that are best known for explaining machines and engines. They’re the laws of thermodynamics.  (TRANSCRIPT HERE)

Host, ProducerEngineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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