environment

4:50pm

Thu August 1, 2013
Science

Study: River Forecasting in Rockies Needs Dusting

Dust on snow is easily visible to human eyes. And Satellites too. Burgess-Bryant is involved in a project that assesses dustfall on snowpack using satellite imagery.
Credit NASA

Snow in the Upper Colorado River Basin provides water for seven states.  Farmers, factories, and families alike depend on this water, and a considerable amount of effort goes into understanding and forecasting how much melt is going to come from the snowpack, and when.  

Read more

3:43pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Mountain Edition

Mountain Edition - July 18th, 2013

Pitkin County’s library is moving ahead with designs to expand, but the plan is significantly scaled back because voters turned down funding the project.

In Southwest Colorado, a massive wildfire closed down businesses in tourist towns. Now businesses are trying to recover...They’re applying for special loans.

We’ll talk about fire with Congressman Scott Tipton. In response to deadly forest fires he has sponsored legislation to thin forests so they are less explosive.

And, we’ll make a trek to Gothic, Colorado on the other side of the Maroon Bells where scientists have been studying a colony of marmots....for more than 50 years.

Finally today...The Thompson Divide Coalition’s attempt to buy out oil and gas company leases is not new...It’s been tried in other Western states.

8:56am

Thu July 18, 2013
Science

What Can Marmots Teach Us About Plastics?

A yellow-bellied marmot.
Credit John Breitsch / flickr user - breitschbirding

At the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Gothic, just over the Maroon Bells from Aspen, a number of long-term field studies are pumping out reams of scientific data. In part two of our report on the laboratory, science reporter Ellis Robinson looked at a study on marmots that raises questions about the abundance of plastics in human society.

Read more

8:25am

Thu July 18, 2013
Science

The Marmots of RMBL

Marmot scientist and UCLA Ph.D. student Adrianna Maldonado Chaparro sets up marmot traps in "marmot meadow."
Credit Ellis Robinson, Aspen Public Radio

A colony of small mammals lives high above Crested Butte, just on the other side of West Maroon Pass from Aspen.  And, for more than fifty years, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory there has been watching the daily lives of these yellow-bellied marmots.  It’s one of the longest running animal studies in the world.  Our science reporter Ellis Robinson spent several days hanging out with the marmots and the “marmot-teers” who study them.  In the first of two reports, Ellis explores what data the researchers are collecting.

Read more

1:14pm

Mon July 15, 2013
Science

Wildfires Contribute More to Atmospheric Warming, New Study Shows

Scanning electron microscope images revealing soot (bottom left) and tarball particles (top left, bottom right) collected from 2011 Las Conchas fire.
Credit LANL (China, S, Mazzoleni, C, Gorkowski, K, Aiken, AC, Dubey, MK; Nature Communications, 2013)

As the country recovers from the worst wildland firefighting accident in years, there’s more attention on fire crews and the homes they’re trying to protect. But an often invisible result of wildfire can have a big effect on human health and climate... even after the flames die down. Science correspondent Ellis Robinson takes a look at the effects of wildfire smoke on air quality. And that means understanding something called a “tarball.”

Read more

Pages