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

Listen to the show here:


Monarch Migration // Better Batteries

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed. Courtesy Tom Ranker.

Feature #1: (start time 4:45) As we unpack our coats and boots from storage boxes, so are insects, in their own way, planning for a seasonal change.  Monarch butterflies in our neighborhood, east of the Rockies, fly south to very specific forests high in the mountains of Mexico. Their journey, and life at their destination, is a precarious one.  Dr. Deane Bowers, a professor and curator of entomology at the CU Boulder Museum of Natural History, speaks with co-host Susan Moran about what is happening now with monarchs and other butterflies. And she discusses how the ability of certain insects, such as caterpillars, to defend themselves against predators by making themselves taste disgusting is being affected by human disturbances, such as nitrogen fertilizer runoff. To get involved in monarch conservation, go to Monarch Watch.

Feature #2: (start time 14:30) One of the greatest limitations of effectively using clean and renewable energy sources is a simple device with which we are all undoubtedly familiar — the battery.  Dr. Conrad Stoldt is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at CU Boulder and co-founder of Solid Power, Inc., where he is developing an all-solid-state lithium metal battery. Stoldt talks with co-host Beth Bartel about how batteries work, why batteries are such a stumbling block in the current race to energy solutions, and how his research may just lead to the next big thing.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Beth Bartel
Producer: Susan Moran/Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

Click on audio file below.