Monday, November 25, 2013

Episode 189 (11-25-13): Thanks for the Water - Thanksgiving 2013 Edition

Click to listen to episode (2:06)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 25, 2013.

This week, to celebrate Thanksgiving, we drop in on a lively community gathering to hear people name something about water for which they’re thankful.  Have a listen for about a minute.

VOICES:

Water for my mom’s garden.
Thunderstorms.
For the snow.
Glaciers.
Waterfalls.
Beach.
Oceans.
I am thankful for the Pacific Ocean.
I’m thankful for the Atlantic Ocean.
Evaporation—it’s sustains life, and keeps up cool.
Water is life—without water, we would not be alive.
For life.
You drink it.
It keeps me hydrated.
Water makes up at least 75 percent of my being.
Cleanliness.
Taking my shower every day.
I love to exercise in the water—it keeps me going.
Water parks.
Creek boatin’.
Tears.
What’s not to like about water?  It’s all good as long as it’s clean.


Virginia Water Radio
thanks these Virginians for reminding us of the diversity, utility, necessity, and vitality of our common wealth of water.


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.

Happy Thanksgiving!


SHOW NOTES
 

Acknowledgments: Voices were recorded by Virginia Water Radio on November 22 and November 24, 2013, in Blacksburg; used with permission.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Blacksburg neighbors and Virginia Tech co-workers for their participation.

Photos:
Here’s a photographic sample of some of the water resources for which Virginians can be thankful.


Marsh at Wachapreague, Accomack County, October 2007
James River near Wingina, on the Nelson-Buckingham county line, July 2009.

Cedar Creek, Frederick County, October 2008.



South River, Rockbridge County, July 2011

Historic Aldie Mill, Loudoun County, March 2010



Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Episode 188 (11-18-13): Putting Used Motor Oil in its Place

Click to listen to episode (2:40)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 18, 2013.

This week, we feature more mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you guess what’s draining where.  And here’s a hint: If these liquids together flow, ‘twill be a tale of woe.

SOUND.


If you guessed water and oil, you’re right!  And if you guessed that the oil is going into a recycling drum, you know the right way to dispose of used motor oil.  The well-known adage that “oil and water don’t mix” has been applied figuratively to many unlike substances, and even to incompatible people.  But it’s literally and particularly true when it comes to keeping petroleum products, including used motor oil, away from surface waters and groundwater.  Used motor oil’s slow breakdown and its transport of various toxic substances give it a high pollution potential; according to the U.S. EPA, the oil from one automobile oil change can contaminate a million gallons of water.  Automobile oil leaks can also lead to water contamination by dripping onto roadways and then getting washed by stormwater into waterways.  So if you’re a car owner, help keep these two incompatible liquids apart—take care of oil leaks, and take used oil to the nearest oil-collection center.  You can find your nearest collection center by phoning 800-CLEANUP [800-253-2687] or visiting search.earth911.com.

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
 

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 11/18/13]

Graphic from the U.S. EPA’s “Used Oil Management Program” Web site (www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/usedoil/index.htm) and the agency’s “You Dump It, You Drink It” campaign.

Automobile oil leak on a street in Blacksburg, Va., on November 16, 2013. 

Acknowledgments: Virginia Water Radio thanks Advance Auto Parts in Blacksburg for permission to record sounds at their used-oil collection station.

Sources and more information:

Information on potential water pollution from used motor oil was taken from the U.S. EPA, “Used Oil Management Program,” online at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/usedoil/index.htm.  The EPA’s “You Dump It, You Drink It” campaign focuses on the proper management of used motor oil and includes a variety of free, printed materials that are available both in English and in Spanish.  Materials are available online at the Web site listed, or you can order materials by phoning (800) 490-9198.


An EPA poster about preventing car oil leaks to protect water is available (as PDF) online at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npstbx/files/psatautooil.pdf. 


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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Episode 187 (11-11-13): Music In Honor of Veterans Day and Our Armed Forces' Connections to Virginia's Waters

Click to listen to episode (2:53)

TRANSCRIPT


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 11, 2013.

This week, to commemorate Veterans Day, we feature excerpts from the anthems of the five branches of the U.S. armed forces, both to honor our service personnel and to reflect on the connections of Virginia’s water resources to the past and present of our nation’s military.  Have a listen for about a minute.


MUSIC

You’ve been listening to parts of the anthems of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force, from “Armed Forces Medley,” performed by the U.S. Air Force Band.  Since the Revolutionary War, Virginia’s coastal location and water-rich geography have made the Commonwealth a home for military bases, ship-building, training, research, and other activities, across all five service branches.  Today, Virginia is home to over two dozen active military bases or other facilities.  From the coast of the Eastern shore to inland rivers, water is part of the setting for many of them, including 11 Navy facilities and seven Coast Guard operations.  Thanks to the Air Force Band for making this week’s music available for educational uses.

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
 
[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 11/12/13]


Acknowledgments: Excerpts for the U.S. military themes were taken from Armed Forces Medley-Instrumental,” on the2013 CD “Esprit de Corps—America’s Ceremonial Music,” by the United States Air Force Band, accessed online at http://www.usafband.af.mil/ensembles/BandDiscography.asp?albumID=15.  The Air Force makes this and other recordings available to the public for certain purposes, including educational activities.


Sources and more information:

“Military Bases in Virginia,”
http://militarybases.com/virginia/;
Hampton Roads Naval Museum, http://www.history.navy.mil/museums/hrnm/index.html;
“U.S. Coast Guard History,” http://www.uscg.mil/history/h_index.asp;
Historical Office/Office of the Secretary of Defense,
http://history.defense.gov/refs_mhl.shtml; and
U.S. Marine Corps History Division,
https://www.mcu.usmc.mil/historydivision/SitePages/Home.aspx.


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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Episode 186 (11-4-13): Photosynthesis Fun and Fundamentals

Click to listen to episode (3:06)

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 4, 2013.

This week, we feature another mystery sound...

REPORTER: We break into this show to bring you exclusive audio from the Virginia Tech campus, where a shadowy team of scientists is tinkering with the process underlying all life on earth.  They haven’t yet revealed their possibly nefarious plans, so let’s listen in...

SCIENTIST 1: With this terrarium, we have a model system to test our carbon dioxide-manipulation scheme, and soon we’ll be ready to control earth’s fundamental food-producing process...

SCIENTISTS 1 and 2: Photosynthesis!

SCIENTIST 2.  Are all the components of the system ready?  Green plants with chlorophyll?

SCIENTIST 1.  Check!

SCIENTIST 2.  Soil with proper nutrients?

SCIENTIST 1.  Check!

SCIENTIST 2.  Light?

SCIENTIST 1.  Check!

SCIENTIST 2.  Water?

SCIENTIST 1.  Check!

SCIENTIST 2.  Air with CO2?

SCIENTIST 1.  CO2?

SCIENTIST 2.  That’s carbon dioxide!

SCIENTIST 1.  Oh...right...I mean, check!

SCIENTIST 2.  Let the photosynthesis start!  Engage monitoring device!

SCIENTIST 1.  CO2 taken in from the air...water and nutrients being absorbed through roots...light falling on leaves.  All systems go!  Light energy is driving CO2 and water to combine and form glucose, the chemical-energy form, while releasing oxygen.

SCIENTIST 2.  Apply the CO2 inhibitor!

SCIENTIST 1.  Lid applied!  CO2 source blocked...system CO2 levels dropping rapidly...plants responding as expected, using up available CO2.

SCIENTIST 2.  Reverse manipulation!  Apply the CO2 increaser!

SCIENTIST 1.  Lid removed!  CO2 added...plants responding.  Wait, they’re responding too fast!  They’re growing beyond the walls!  One has me...aieeeeeeee!

SCIENTIST 2.  Now it’s got me, too!  Noooooooo.....

REPORTER: Well, this might be a good time for us to return to our regular show.  Back to you....

Unlike this skit, there’s nothing make-believe about earth’s reliance on photosynthesis.  Giant, human-eating plants are a far-fetched fiction, but the role in photosynthesis of light, chlorophyll, nutrients, water, and carbon dioxide is a fact of life.  Thanks to Eli Heilker and John Kidd for participating in this episode.


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
 

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 11/4/13]



To demonstrate plant uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis, the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation attaches a terrarium via gas-transporting tubing to the CO2 monitor shown at right.

As this diagram explains, CO2 uptake by trees and other woody plants during photosynthesis results in carbon storage, or “carbon sequestration,” a key concept in the issue of climate change.  Diagram courtesy of John Seiler, Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.
 
In these Red Maple leaves in Blacksburg, Va., on October 30, 2013, the green chlorophyll pigment was breaking down as photosynthesis and chlorophyll production in the leaves were stopping as winter approached.  The breakdown of chlorophyll in the fall allows pigments of other colors in the leaves to be revealed.

Acknowledgments: Virginia Water Radio thanks John Kidd, of the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, and Eli Heilker, a Virginia Tech English major serving an internship in Fall 2013 with the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, for their participation in this episode.

Sources and more information: Information on photosynthesis was taken from Chapter 3, “Gas Exchange,” in Forest Biology and Dendrology Text, by John Seiler, John Groninger, and John Peterson (Blacksburg: Virginia Tech, 2009), online at http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/forbioeco/htmltext/chapter3.htm.

An introduction to photosynthesis is available from “NOVA” program Web site, online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/photosynthesis.html.  “NOVA” is a production of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and WGBH-Boston.


Information on fall leaf-color change is available in “The Miracle of Fall,” University of Illinois Extension, online at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/fallcolor/about.cfm.


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