Science

Marci Krivonen

A laboratory that tests retail marijuana is opening in Carbondale. It’s one of just two such Colorado labs west of the Continental Divide. The scientists who run GreenHill Laboratories say they will be testing for potency and they’ll be one of the first to test for contaminants. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Inside Greenhill Laboratories in Carbondale, Lab Owner Hilary Glass motions toward her equipment.

Glass: "These are my incubators. I need about eight more."

On today's show, Chip Comins, President and CEO of the American Renewable Energy Institute on this year's ARE Day Summit, August 10-13 in Aspen.

And Jackie Francis, Executive Director of the Aspen Science Center on Sunday's ASC Street Fair in Paepcke Park.

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) has been an advocate for environmental education for over 45 years. Arin Trook is the Education Director, and is in charge of the in-school ACES programs in schools between between Aspen and Rifle. Trook explains the importance of environmental education and his  goals for future expansion.

In an effort to increase awareness and promote further academic understanding and research on global climate change, the Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) has teamed up with Colorado Mountain College to create an online database titled From the Horses Mouth. This resource is geared toward high school and undergraduate science classes. The database contains video and research from workshops and conferences hosted by AGCI. The subjects range from butterflies to atmospheric chemistry. 

Elise Osenga, a Research Associate for AGCI, and James Arnott, AGCI's Program Director, discuss the new database, its importance in the scientific community, and ways AGCI is looking forward and preparing for the uncertain future of climate change. 

Visit From the Horses Mouth or learn more about AGCI

Climate Change and Conflict and the Media

Aug 9, 2013
Solomon Hsiang, et al / Science, 2013

ROGER ADAMS, HOST: Global temperatures on are the rise, and scientists predict that that will make for more extreme weather events—things like higher temperature spikes, drought, and more intense storms. And a team of researchers has made headlines by quantifying how much increased violence comes from extreme shifts in climate.

Aspen Public Radio’s science reporter Ellis Robinson, joins us on Valley Roundup. Hey Ellis.

ELLIS ROBINSON, REPORTER: Hey Roger.

The Water Delivery Man Problem

Aug 6, 2013
Bill Cook / In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman

There is a problem that has vexed mathematicians for the greater part of the past century. Currently, there is no solution, and nobody knows for certain whether or not one exists. But cracking the code would be a huge breakthrough both in theoretical mathematics and practical everyday applications. Ellis Robinson brings the story, starting with a description of the problem from physicist Eddie Farhi.

Study: River Forecasting in Rockies Needs Dusting

Aug 1, 2013
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.  

Kathleen Smith / Lawrence Livermore National Lab

You may have missed it, but last week national headlines read, “the CIA wants to control the weather.”  Those headlines came on the heels of the media learning the CIA was funding a report on geoengineering. It’s an idea that’s akin to a man-made thermostat for the globe.  Aspen Public Radio’s Science Reporter explains what geoengineering is, why you need to know about it, and why the CIA is involved.

Cassini space-probe / NASA

A billion miles from the Roaring Fork Valley, there’s a satellite orbiting Saturn. This afternoon, from that planet’s shadow, the NASA space probe will take a historic photograph of Earth.  It’s the first time people down here will know exactly when the earth is going to get its picture taken... and they can look up at the cosmos and smile. Ellis Robinson has the story.

  UPDATE (July 22, 9:01 AM): The Friday July 19, 2013 photograph of the earth and our moon, taken by Cassini, was released this past weekend.

What Can Marmots Teach Us About Plastics?

Jul 18, 2013
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.

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