Monday, September 26, 2011

Episode 81 (September 26, 2011): Aquatic Macroinvertebrates and Stream Assessment

Click to listen to episode (2:30).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


TRANSCRIPT 

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 26, 2011.

This week we feature another series of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 45 seconds, and see if you can guess what kind of water investigation these people are doing.  And here’s a hint: How’s the water?  Look below the surface!

SOUNDS. 

If you guessed sampling aquatic life, you’re right!  You’ve been listening to Virginia Master Naturalist students doing a Virginia Save Our Streams assessment of water quality using benthic macroinvertebrates.  That mouthful means organisms that live on the bottom of a stream or lake, are visible without a microscope, and have no backbone.  This includes many kinds of immature insects, but also crayfish, snails, and other animals.  Macroinvertebrate surveys are one type of bioassessment, where the composition of a biological community helps indicate the ecological conditions of a water body.  In contrast to chemical and physical measurements, which provide information on conditions at the time of measurement, bioassessments—whether using invertebrates or other organisms—reveal the impacts of such conditions over a period of time.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES:
Acknowledgments:
Thanks to the New River Valley Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists for help with this week’s sounds, recorded by Karen Reighley during a Master Naturalist field trip at Glen Alton in Giles County, Virginia, on September 17, 2011.



Sources:  More information on aquatic assessment and benthic macroinvertebrates is available in “Bottom-dwellers Tell Stories about the Water Above,” by Sarah Engel in Virginia Water Central Issue #21 (April 2002), online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html.  The article starts on page 11 in the two-column version and page 12 in two-column version; both are available online); be sure the check out the aquatic invertebrate cartoons by George Wills!  Information about the Virginia Master Naturalist Program is available online at 
http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/.  Information about Virginia Save Our Streams is available online at http://www.vasos.org/.  Virginia Save Our Streams is a program of the Izaak Walton League of America (http://www.iwla.org/).

Recent Virginia Water News
For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events
For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Episode 80 (September 19, 2011): "The Luna," by TJ Savage, Mike Steen, and Cindy Warner

Click to listen to episode (2:08).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 19, 2011.

This week we feature a music selection about a ship being given a new, history-teaching purpose.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds.

MUSIC.

You’ve been listening to part of “The Luna,” performed by TJ Savage, Mike Steen, and Cindy Warner, with lyrics by Ms. Warner.  The tune is from the 2009 CD “Loaded to the Gunwales,” a sea-faring compilation produced to benefit the Colonial Seaport Foundation, located in Hampton, Virginia.  The actual Luna is a 20th-Centrury recreational ship being converted to a replica of an 18th-Century merchant vessel.  The Foundation plans to use the re-created ship as a floating classroom to support the group’s efforts to preserve and teach about America’s colonial maritime history.  Thanks to the Colonial Seaport Foundation for permission to use this week’s music.

For other Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES:

Acknowledgments:  
“The Luna” and “Loaded to the Gunwales” are copyright 2009 by the Colonial Seaport Foundation, used with permission.  This week’s music was previously used in Virginia Water Radio Episode 43 (week of 11-22-10).


Sources:
  Information about The Luna and the other activities of the Colonial Seaport Foundation is available online at http://www.colonialseaport.org or http://www.colonialseaport.org/blog/, or by phone at (757) 303-8529.


Recent Virginia Water News
For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events
For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://vwrrc.vt.edu/VAConfQuickGuide.html. The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Episode 79 (September 12, 2011): Piping Plover

Click to listen to episode (2:13).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 12, 2011.

This week we feature another mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making the “pip” and “peep” sounds.  And here’s a hint:  This small shorebird has a strong set of pipes.

SOUND

If you guessed a Piping Plover, you’re right!  You've been listening to some of the calls this species uses for courtship, contact between mates, aggression, or alarm.  One of several species of plovers in North America, Piping Plovers are found during their breeding season on the barrier islands of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and on beaches around Hampton Roads.  This five-inch-tall bird feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, insects, worms, and other marine animals.  Piping Plovers have been listed as threatened in Virginia and other areas since the 1980s.  That status has led to many years of population research by Virginia scientists, including current work by Virginia Tech’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation on the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Piping Plovers’ wintering grounds around the Gulf of Mexico.  Thanks to Lang Elliott of NatureSound Studio for permission to use this week’s recording.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
Acknowledgments:  Alyssa Hart helped write this week’s show.  The Piping Plover recording was from Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes, Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997, used with permission of Lang Elliott.

Sources for this episode: Information on Piping Plovers was taken from A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, by Chandler S. Robbins et al. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2001, p.114); A Guide to Endangered and Threatened Species in Virginia, by Karen Terwilliger et al. (Blacksburg: MacDonald and Woodward, 1995, p.164); Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Fish and Wildlife Information Service Web site at http://vafwis.org/fwis/booklet.html?Menu=_.Status&bova=040120&version=15216 (accessed 9/12/11); “Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus),” by E. Elliott-Smith and S.M. Haig (2004), from Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of North America Online Web site at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/002 (accessed 9/12/11); A Storm and a Study Save Piping Plovers, by Holly Kays, Virginia Tech Magazine, Winter 2011; and Virginia Tech gets $3.4 million for Gulf oil spill study on plovers , Virginia Tech News, 11/2/10.

Other information (added at date indicated)
5/4/15 - Piping Plover field data smartphone app: On May 4, 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced iPlover, a phone app to help scientists coordinated data collection on Piping Plovers.  More information on the tools is available in Shorebird Science? iPlover is the App for That, U.S. Geological Survey News Release, 5/4/15.

11/20/15 - U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Study on decreasing Piping Plover habitat in Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota: Piping Plovers Losing Breeding Habitat to Wetland Drainage, USGS News Release, 11/19/15.


Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and  Other Events, online at http://vwrrc.vt.edu/VAConfQuickGuide.html.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Episode 78 (September 5, 2011): "Little Brown Bats Eating Mosquitos," by Timothy Seaman

Click to listen to episode (2:24).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

 

TRANSCRIPT



From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 5, 2011.

This week we feature a musical selection that reminds us of a nightly aerial duel between predator and water-based parasite.  Have a listen for about 35 seconds.

MUSIC.

You’ve been listening to part of “Little Brown Bats Eating Mosquitos,” performed by Timothy Seaman on his 2004 CD “Virginia Wildlife,” from Pine Wind Music.  Mosquitoes, which breed in a wide variety of still-water habitats, are well-known for their unrelenting whine and their biting habit, which is annoying at best and disease-spreading at worst.  On the positive side, however, mosquitoes are food for a variety of animals, including other insects, fish, birds, and—as reflected in the title of this song—bats.  Little Brown Bats, found throughout Virginia as well as in most other states, emerge at dusk to hunt for various kinds of insects.  At two-to-four inches in length, these bats may be little, but their ability to catch and eat as much as half their body weight each night gives them a big, valued reputation as a natural control on mosquitoes.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


SHOW NOTES
Acknowledgments:  This week's episode repeats the musical selection and some of the information previously used in Episode 53 (week of February 14, 2011); Emily Whitesell helped write that episode.  Thanks to Timothy Seaman for permission to use “Little Brown Bats Eating Mosquitoes,” copyright Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music (http://www.timothyseaman.com/). 

Sources and More information:  Information about mosquitoes was taken from “Mosquitoes and Water,” Virginia Water Central, June 2009, available online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watercentral.html.  Information about Little Brown Bats was taken from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Web site at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/?s=050020, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Web site at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/Wildlife_profiles/profile_LB_bat.htm.  Mr. Seaman did his 2004 “Virginia Wildlife” CD in collaboration with the Virginia DGIF to celebrate Virginia’s natural resources and support non-game wildlife programs.  “Little Brown Bats Eating Mosquitoes” was composed in honor of Virginia’s Non-Game Wildlife Tax Check-off.  Contributions by Virginia taxpayers through this tax check-off help protect the habitats of many non-game animals   Information about this tax check-off is available online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/donate/, and information about other voluntary contributions for Virginia taxpayers through various check-offs is available from the Virginia Department of Taxation at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=voluntarycontributions.


Recent Virginia Water News
            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and  Other Events, online at http://vwrrc.vt.edu/VAConfQuickGuide.html.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.