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The Rocky Mountains Have A Dust Problem

56 minutes ago

A menace lurks beneath the snow high up in the southern Rocky Mountains: Dust. Lots and lots of dust.

This dust speeds up spring water runoff, causing intense melting and streams to peak weeks earlier than usual — which wrecks havoc throughout the alpine ecosystem. Water managers and fire forecasters alike are sounding the alarm about the consequences of less water flowing in streams and reservoirs.

At first glance the dust seems innocuous. How could something so simple undermine water infrastructure, stress wildlife and lengthen the wildfire season all at once?

Liuba Grechen Shirley has a son who's almost two and a daughter who's almost four. And until recently, the stay-at-home mom and freelance consultant had her childcare routine down.

"The bulk of the child care during the day was up to me," she said. And when she had work to do, she'd get help with watching the kids — but it was free.

"My mother is a teacher. She comes home at 3:30 every afternoon, and she would watch my children from 3:30 on, and that's when I'd start consulting," Grechen Shirley said.

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Death is an aspect of being human that is a taboo subject in our culture. In her latest book, Nevada City teacher and therapist Patt Lind-Kyle has advice for preparing for this inevitable transition. This week join Nancy for a conversation with the author of Embracing the End of Life: A Journey Into Dying & Awakening.

Photo by College Plus Coordinator, Doug Ferguson

“Hi. My name is Dan and I am a student at Chico State, and I also have Asperger's disorder. My question is, ‘What in Butte County is there for someone such as myself to have as a service here in Chico? That is to say what is available to me through scenarios to cope with any discrimination or misunderstanding?”

We visit two different theater venues in Chico to talk with directors and actors from two current productions: Chico State's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Chico Theater Company's "9 to 5 the Musical."

In this episode we revisit two authors we interviewed in 2017. Jeff Goodell is the author of The Water Will Come, a sobering look at what lies ahead as the world's oceans expand and rise due to climate change. A contributing editor to Rolling Stone, the New York based writer was inspired to write the book in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast with flooding in 2012, previewing what is certainly going to be a major and ongoing slow motion disaster in the near future. Goodell visits Miami Beach where the effects of sea level rise are already becoming a problem. Perhaps the most alarming chapter is about the U.S. Naval base at Norfolk one of the nation's most important defense installations that is likely to be abandoned in the next couple of decades. On a personal note, Dave also learned to his amazement that Goodell's mother is close friends with his neighbor, proving the adage that it is indeed, a small world, and one destined for major coastal changes no matter what actions we take to combat global warming in the near future.

In the second half of the show, Dave revisits his interview with Kathryn Miles, author of Quakeland: On The Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake. Her book opens with a look at the tragic events following the Hebgen Lake earthquake of 1959 and takes readers on a a story that is part science and part travelogue as she journey's around the country investigating what scientists know, and more alarmingly don't know, about the ground beneath our feet. Miles travels into the bowels of the Earth in deep mines and the Hoover Dam in her search to understand how a devastating earthquake could have cataclysmic effects on the economy and infrastructure of the U.S. And not just in the seismically active west, but also on the east coast and midwest.

 

Photo used courtesy of Benjamin Vogt

Benjamin Vogt is a next generation student of the beloved conservationist and writer Aldo Leopold and a passionate nature and garden advocate himself. In his book “A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion For An Uncertain Future” he takes the essence of Leopold’s "A Land Ethic" and brings it home to our gardens in some surprising and sometimes challenging ways. 

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How do we conserve our valuable land and water resources? New York Times best-selling author Miriam Horn continues her look at conservation in America through the livelihood of five American families, and author Robert Glennon tells us what we can do about America's water crisis. This week join Nancy for conversations with two authors who wrote books about land and water conservation.

While both medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is legal in California – many communities are still not allowing the retail sale and distribution of it. Redding is about to become the second city in Shasta County that will. The decision came after a long and emotion-charged Redding City Council meeting Tuesday night. 

There were those who were in favor it and those who were opposed. Citizens voiced arguments ranging from "It's legal now. Smoke a joint. It cures reefer madness.” to “Each of you will violate 21 USC which is conspiracy to violate the federal narcotics act.”

We talk with members of Uncle Dad's Art Collective about their major production coming up at Chico State's Laxson Auditorium -- "The Songs of Stevie Wonder." We also talk with artist Molly Amick about her magic-realist collages on mythic themes. Her art is now on display at Chico's Beatniks Coffee House.

  

The Chico State Research Foundation Board of Directors, the governing board of North State Public Radio, will hold an NSPR Board Meeting on Monday, March 12 at 11:45 AM in Bell Memorial Union, Room 210 on the Chico State campus 400 West 1st Street, Chico, California. Community members are welcome to attend. 

Click here for radio station public information, including independent audits and the FCC Public File.

Sea level rise and eclipse phenomena highlight this episode. First Dave talks to NASA Oceanographer Josh Willis about two new studies. The first reports that sea level rise isn't increasing at a linear rate -- it is accelerating. The second study demonstrates how much our understanding of ice melt from Antarctica's glaciers has advanced in just the past few years. Then we revisit The Great American Eclipse of 2017 with Dr. Gordon Telepun. A plastic surgeon from Alabama, Telepun created the smart phone app Solar Eclipse Timer. His YouTube channel by the same name (as the app) features detailed explanations of the varied and amazing phenomena associated with total solar eclipses.

 

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With our new series Since You Asked, we're turning to YOU. What have you always wondered about the North State? What questions do you have about this place we call home?

There’s still time to head up the road for a late-summer adventure. Plan a trip with help from this new map of California destinations featured by Kim Weir on her show Up the Road on NSPR.

On Cultivating Place, we speak with people passionate about plants, gardens, and natural history. We explore what gardens mean to us and how they speak to us.

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities.

Each week host Nancy Wiegman talks to local, regional and national writers about their latest projects.

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