Nolan Ford

Music Director, Producer, Midday Host

Nolan Ford is the Music Director for North State Public Radio. After graduating with a Media Arts degree from Chico State University in 2004, he accepted a part-time position with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. The job's flexible scheduling presented Nolan with the opportunity to travel and perform music all across the West Coast with his first rock band, the secret stolen. A love of the arts bloomed into an obsession. Following five glorious years with SNBC, Nolan returned to CSUC and received a mathematics teaching credential in 2009. After several years of teaching middle and high school math, he accepted a position as Managing Editor for Chico arts/entertainment weekly, The SynthesisCurrently, Nolan can be heard on-air as the local midday host for NSPR, and also produces several programs for the station including Blue Dot, Nancy's Bookshelf, and Songs From Studio C. In his spare time, Nolan continues to travel and perform with various musical projects.

Before the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the signature temblor in the Bay Area occurred on October 21, 1868. That rupture of a major fault, 150 years ago has drawn the attention of scientists concerned that a magnitude 6.5+ quake is due for the densely populated East Bay. Dave is joined by USGS Geophysicist Ken Hudnut as they interview two leading experts on the Hayward Fault: David Schwartz and Tom Brocher. It's a fascinating and frightening discussion of the "ticking seismic time bomb" beneath the East Bay.

In this week's episode Dave is joined by Nolan Ford for an in depth conversation with Jad Abumrad, host of WNYC's Radiolab which is one of public radio's most popular and innovative programs. Jad was fascinated with recording sounds from an early age and after pursuing a college education that concentrated both on writing and musical composition, he kind of stumbled into a career in radio reporting which led, eventually, to the fascinating storytelling soundscapes that make up Radiolab with his longtime cohost Robert Krulwich. Jad will be visiting Chico for a stage presentation on Innovation at Laxson Auditorium on March 3. Also in this episode, Dave talks to Christopher Potter about his new book The Earth Gazers. The book is an extensive history of the space program from its earliest beginnings in Russia with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and America with Robert Goddard. Along the way he weaves Charles Lindbergh's little known influences on the nascent rocketry program in the U.S. and the complex story of German rocket scientist Werner von Braun who designed the giant rockets that hurtled American astronauts to the Moon during the Apollo Program. But a funny thing happened while trying to leave our planet, we discovered what it looked like to actually see our world from beyond. Dave and Christopher discuss how that has changed our world view, literally and figuratively!

Last February, NSPR put together a half-hour special highlighting The Celebration Gospel Choir of Chico, who at the time were preparing for a concert celebrating African-American sacred music. Tomorrow afternoon, in celebration of Black History Month, the choir will return to perform on the Chico State Campus. The event is free to the public and will begin at 3PM in the Performing Arts Center, Room 144. We hope that you enjoy this rebroadcast from February 2017.

Fog City Records

Today our guest is one of my personal favorite musicians, Tim Bluhm. Bluhm first started writing songs in Chico back in the early ‘90s along with his college friend Greg Loiacono. Together they formed one of Chico’s most popular rock bands, The Mother Hips. Now, after over two decades of recording albums and touring the country, The Hips’ music continues to resonate with the North State community and beyond. About two years ago Bluhm suffered a terrible paragliding accident that he’s been slowly recovering from ever since. We talk about how that experience has changed him. The Mother Hips will tour across California next month and plan to release a new album on June 8th through Blue Rose Music.

photo by Jay Blakesburg

Today our guest is singer/songwriter Greg Loiacono. Loiacono is well-known here in Chico for his decades-long career with the rock band The Mother Hips. In their first 10 years as a band, The Mother Hips grew from Chico State students gigging on the weekends all the way to major label stars, traveling the country and rubbing elbows with iconic songwriters like Johnny Cash. Loiacono has also developed a flourishing solo career in addition to his work with the Hips. The Mother Hips will perform in Petaluma on February 3rd, and then tour across California later in March. Also keep an eye out for their new album being released through Blue Rose Music on June 8th.

Climate Change. It generates controversy as well as extreme weather. In this episode we talk to Josh Willis and John Morales, two atmospheric experts on the frontlines of communicating climate science. Willis won a Presidential Early Career award from Barack Obama in 2009. A frequent contributor to Blue Dot, Josh's expertise is studying the interactions between warming oceans and melting ice. John Morales isn't just your average TV meteorologist. He is one of the few elected to be a Fellow with the American Meteorological Society and had a Ph.D. in meteorology, specializing in tropical storms. That comes in handy as the Chief Meteorologist for NBC TV's Miami affiliate. Find out what it was like to literally be responsible for people's lives during Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

Author and pilgrim Annie O'Neil is the director/producer of a documentary about a man named Phil who dreamed of walking the 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain to Santiago. This week join Nancy for a conversation with two local pilgrims and the author of Everyday Camino with Annie.

For the debut episode of our new hour-long Blue Dot format, Dave talks to David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, the filmmakers behind Bill Nye: Science Guy. The film ambitiously follows Nye over the course of a year as he debates creationist Ken Ham and takes on climate change denier Joe Bastardi. The film takes us on a journey from the persona that was created on the iconic Bill Nye The Science Guy television series to the man behind the bowtie. Find out what it was like to be in the whirlwind that is the life of one of America's most popular science communicators. 

In his weekly column "Biblio File," Chico Enterprise-Record book reviewer Dan Barnett has been featuring works by local authors for 30 years. This week join Nancy and Barnett for a look back at the books of 2017 by North State writers.

A recent meta-analysis revealed that calcium supplements confer no protection against bone fractures. In his book, Building Bone Vitality, Michael Castleman describes what does protect our bones. In Often Overlooked, local poet J.E. Mathews journeys through her memories of childhood to middle age. This week join Nancy for conversations with these two authors, plus a visit from Shane Weissman.

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