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.
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.”
A sudden loss in the number of trees around you may slightly increase your chances for death. That's what a study from the US Forest Service published earlier this year suggests. Scientists found that areas with mass-tree deaths from beetle infestations had increased numbers of cardiovascular and lower-respiratory related deaths.
Elena Kagan, Eric Lander, Robert McDuffie, Anna Deavere Smith, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Katie Couric, Dick Costolo, Jeffrey Rosen, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, James Fallows, Beth A. Brooke, Eric Cantor, Ramesh Ponnuru
The Aspen Ideas Fest kicked off its second day of heady talks and colloquia on Thursday. Attendees and speakers from all over gathered to discuss the most pressing issues of culture, media, and foreign policy facing us here on earth. But others were turning their backs, literally, on our planet to get a different viewpoint. Science reporter Ellis Robinson explains.
In a matter of days, it’ll be illegal to give family or friends a gun... without having them getting a background check. Today we’ll hear about confusion over details of the new transfer law.
That and other new Colorado laws have frustrated local enforcement officials--enough that they’ve filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. We’ll talk with a Roaring Fork Valley sheriff about why he signed on with that effort.
Our science reporter delves into the tricky question of how air quality is monitored... even when pollution is coming from hundreds of miles away.
A major group of wildfires continues to burn in southwestern Colorado. That’s as Stage One fire restrictions kick into place for parts of the Roaring Fork Valley. We’ll find out why many in Pitkin County are at risk if a wildfire does break out nearby.
We’ll take a tour of one of the most energy efficient houses in the world. Amory Lovins is Chief Scientist for Rocky Mountain Institute. He takes us on a tour of his Old Snowmass home... spoiler alert, it has bananas, too.
The US Supreme Court is in the news for decisions on same sex marriage and voting rights... but the highest court in the land is also planning to look at air pollution. At issue is who's to blame when air quality monitors go way past the legal limit. The court announced Monday it will soon review a 2011 EPA rule... one designed to help protect communities downwind of power plants. Part of the problem is figuring out how to regulate air pollution that goes across state lines. Aspen Public Radio’s science reporter wondered how air quality is measured and tracked. From a field in Carbondale, here’s Ellis Robinson.
Physics is often introduced to young minds by teaching them to calculate the trajectory of a baseball or the time it took the apple to drop from the tree and bonk Newton on the head. But maybe kids should learn how to calculate the speed at which nutrients zoom around our bodies, or the force of proteins building and tearing-down structures inside of cells. Now, the fundamental toolbelt of physics is being applied to better understand diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's, according to physicist Jennifer Ross.
The scientific community agrees: exercise does a body good. When comparing a sedentary lifestyle spent on the couch versus being an active cross-country skier, the recommendation from doctors is a no brainer: Go grab those skis! Which is a lesson Aspenites have long taken to heart. But a recent study from Sweden complicates the simplistic “exercise is good” mantra that we are used to hearing.
That's the sound of 15-thousand cross country skiers simultaneously embarking on a grueling 90 km course. This is the Vasaloppet in Sweden.