Green Power for when the Power Goes Out

c Wiki Media from Olympus Digital Camera

Matt Johnson of Namaste Solar and Stu Cummings of Go Electric Colorado  share climate friendly ways to keep your home power going, even if power from your utility suddenly goes out.  It’s a discussion spurred by April’s massive power outages, when Xcel Energy Colorado abruptly shut off power to over 150,000 Denver Metro homes, citing concerns that downed power lines might spark a wildfire.

Hosts: Shelley Schlender, Esther Frost
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

 

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The Dirt on Composting

Photo credit: CU Boulder

Composting for Human, Soil and Climate Health  (start time: 4:39) It’s late spring, when many people are out gardening, planting vegetables, and spreading compost on the soil to give those veggies a leg up. Composting also benefits the planet.  If dumped into landfills, organic waste breaks down and releases methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent, if shorter-lasting, than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Municipal solid waste landfills are a major source of methane emissions. On this week’s show, host Susan Moran talks with two experts about the climate, ecological and human health benefits of composting, and some roadblocks to increasing the low rates of composting in the U.S., including Colorado.  Dan Matsch is the director of the Compost Department at Eco-Cycle in Boulder. He had been a commercial organic farmer for many years. Mark Easter is an ecologist focusing on the  carbon footprint of food and fiber. He worked for many years as a research research associate at Colorado State University. And Mark is the author of the forthcoming book The Blue Plate: A Food Lover’s Guide to Climate Chaos (September 2024, Patagonia).

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Headline contributor: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlener 

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Why a Parliament of Owls?

On this week’s show, Beth speaks with Jennifer Ackerman, about her new book, What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds. In a writing career spanning over three decades, Jennifer has covered many aspects of science and nature but recently has focused on birds. In the book she regales the reader with the amazing adaptations of owls to their predatory lifestyle, and visits to many field biologists studying these avian hunters. You can see the fantastic photography of owl flight as captured by the BBC here.

Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Shelley Schlender & BBC Science
Engineer: Sam Fuqua

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Bees and Other Bugs

This week on How on Earth, we revisit bees and pollination biology. Beth spoke with Professor Michael Breed about honeybees and other pollinators. These insects provide crucial service to our agricultural systems by pollinating flowers whose seeds and fruit produce our foods. But many of us ignore or take them for granted. The Colorado State University Extension Service offers a lot of information on local pollinators.
You’ll also hear about the once-in-200-years event occurring when 13 and 17-year cicadas emerge this month.

Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Sam Fuqua

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Birds & Habitat Preservation

Birds of Spring, Habitat Preservation (start time: 3:08)  It’s springtime, when many of us are woken up at the crack of dawn by a chorus of chickadees or other songbirds outside. To celebrate these emblems of spring, and World Migratory Bird Day (May 18), How On Earth’s Susan Moran interviews two bird/nature experts about the state of affairs for the North America bird population , including threats to their survival, efforts to preserve their habitats, and how we humans can get outside and appreciate the natural world while helping to give birds, insects and other wildlife a leg up.  Terri Schulz is senior conservation ecologist at The Nature Conservancy Colorado, focusing on preserving habitats throughout Colorado.  Dave Sutherland is a naturalist in Boulder who worked for many years as environmental education coordinator at the City of Boulder’s Open Space Mountain Parks. He leads frequent nature hikes.

Host/Show Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Jackie Sedley
Executive Producer/Contributor: Shelley Schlender

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Gold Lab Symposium – 2024 – Health, Intelligence & Culture

Gold Lab Foundation 2024 Illustration

Gold Lab Symposium on Science and Health.  (starts 6:40) Boulder scientist and entrepreneur, Larry Gold, shares a sneak preview of this year’s Gold Lab Symposium at CU-Boulder Muenzinger Auditorium this Thursday and Friday.  This year’s symposium focuses on Pain, Culture and Intelligence.

The symposium includes discussion of the paper, Organ aging signatures in the plasma proteome track health and disease

CU-Wizards (starts 1:00) and the upcoming show with CU-Boulder Nobel Prize Winner Eric Cornell

Scott Falci – Denver Neurosurgeon (starts 2:45) and the quest to solve suicidal pain in people who have been paralyzed.  Falci will speak live at the Gold Lab Symposium.

 

Executive & Show Producer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker

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Indigenous + Ingenuity = Indigenuity

 

Dr. Danile Wildcat c Indian Leader

Rising Voices Changing Coasts – Indigenuity Science leader Daniel Wildcat, talks about the Rising Voices/Changing Coasts symposium taking place this week Boulder.  The symposium connects Indigenous Leaders with climate scientists to solve pressing climate and environmental challenges..

Science Moab – Our “sister science program” features two Native American students, who tap the wisdom of Western scientists and Native American elders as they explore desert biocrusts and how to clean up uranium mines.  Go here for the full interview.

Executive & Show Producer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Esther Frost, Benita Lee, Science Moab

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The Curious World of Seahorses

Seahorses (starts 4:10) Science Writer Till Hein explains his new book, The Curious World of Seahorses:  The Life and Lore of a Marine Marvel.

Also in this episode, we share this week’s DomeFest West at CU-Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium (starts 2:00).  And we share congratulations to three new CU-Boulder members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (starts 1:00)

Executive Producer & Show Producer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Esther Franke, Joel Parker

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A History of Wolves

In this week’s show, Beth speaks with rewilder Derek Gow about his new book, Hunt for the Shadow Wolf, in which he explores the mythology, mystery and history of wolves in Europe, and their speckled history with our species.

Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Esther Franke, Joel Parker
Engineer: Sam Fuqua

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Science of Deathbed Visions

Dr. Christopher Kerr

The Science of Deathbed Visions  Many people have visions and dreams as they near the end of their life in which they reunite with loved ones who have gone before them. What can science tell us about these mysterious and common experiences? And how do they affect those who have them? These are questions that Chris Kerr, a hospice physician and neurobiologist, set out to answer  through research decades after he witnessed his dying father having one when Kerr was an adolescent.  Dr. Kerr, is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Hospice & Palliative Care  Buffalo. He was featured in a recent New York Times magazine article .  He is also the author of the book Death is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning in End-of-Life Dreams.

Host: Susan Moran
Producers: Susan Moran, Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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