Rangeland Restoration – A Science Moab Show

On this week’s How on Earth we’re airing a show produced by Science Moab‘s Peggy Hodgkins. She speaks with Professor Kari Veblen, who is currently a professor of rangeland ecology at Utah State University. Her research focuses on the ecology and management of rangelands, including questions related to restoration, plant community dynamics, grazing and unraveling livestock vs. wildlife effects on their environment. Her research takes place predominantly on multi-use rangelands that are managed simultaneously for livestock production and wildlife conservation. She works closely with both public and private land managers, as well as interdisciplinary teams of scientists, to find ways to improve restoration and other management practices.
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Show Producer:Beth Bennett
Headline: Joel Parker
Engineer: Jackie Sedley

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Our Moon

In this episode, we talk with journalist and author Rebecca Boyle about her book Our Moon – How Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us Who We Are. We discuss how the Moon impacts all aspects of our lives including the creation of life. It is a key component to philosophy and religion, culture and agriculture, art and science, sense of time, and sense of our place in the universe.

Producer/Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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“Compostable” Product Truths & Lies

Making “Compostable” Products Truly Compostable (start time: 0:56)  You’ve probably wracked your brain at some point trying to figure out whether the compostable-labelled clamshell or the green-tinted plastic cup you got at a restaurant is truly compostable.  Many products contain misleading and outright false claims, leaving consumers confused about how to do good by the planet.  Indeed, tons of food and yard waste, as well as organic food-packaging products, end up in landfills, where they decompose under anaerobic conditions and generate methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent, if shorter-lasting, than carbon dioxide. Organic waste from landfills and wastewater is the third largest source of human-related methane emissions, after livestock and oil and gas emissions, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute.
On this week’s show, host Susan Moran interviews Dan Matsch, the director of the Compost Department at Eco-Cycle in Boulder; and Nora Goldstein, editor and publisher of BioCycle, about a new  product-labeling law in Colorado and other efforts to hold product manufacturers accountable, and to clean up the waste stream.
(Click here for the Compostable Labeling Complaint Form in Colorado. And listen to our recent “The Dirt on Composting” show.)

Host/ Show Producer: Susan Moran
Engineers: Jackie Sedley, Greta Kerkhoff
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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The Ins and Outs of Cheese

This week on How on Earth, Beth talks with author and cheesemaker extraordinaire and author, David Asher, about his book Milk Into Cheese: The Foundations of Natural Cheesemaking. The science and art of cheese.
David Asher has a long career as an educator, activist, and celebrated natural cheesemaker. In our conversation, you’ll hear about the cultures and processes underlying the making of some cheeses, the role of agricultural practices in making cheese, the biological evolution of cheese, and the transformation of milk into cheese through fermentation. Also an update on Long Covid – possible causes and treatments.

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

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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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