Science

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.

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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.

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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.”

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4:30pm

Wed July 3, 2013
Health and Science

Study Gives "Tree of Life" New Meaning

Emerald Ash Borer larvae tunnel along tree trunks searching for food.
Credit John Hritz / Flickr (user jhritz)

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.

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9:44am

Tue July 2, 2013
Ice Age Fossils

Mammoths and Mastodons Return to Snowmass Village

Seven bones arrived in Snowmass Village in June. The plaster casings will be removed so the public can see the bones.
Marci Krivonen

After a two year hiatus, the fossils found in a dried up reservoir bed in Snowmass Village are back. A handful of mastodon tusks and mammoth rib bones arrived at the Ice Age Discovery Center earlier this summer. Now, they’re being displayed for the public. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Gussie Maccracken carefully saws open a plaster mold around a huge mastodon tusk. The bone inside hasn’t seen the sun in a couple of years and parts of it haven’t been exposed for several millennia.

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