Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Episode 246 (12-29-14): A Year of Virginia Water Sounds and Music – 2014 Edition

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:20)

Transcript, a photo, and additional notes follow below.


TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 23, 2014.

This week, we look back on 2014 with a medley of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 60 seconds, and see if you can identify these sounds from the past year of Virginia Water Radio.

SOUNDS


If you guessed all these, you get the 2014 water prize!  The sounds were a New Year’s Day wader in the New River; a snow shovel; a sling psychrometer for measuring relative humidity; a fishing-warning signal at the Claytor Lake Hydroelectric dam; a Black Skimmer; a well-drilling rig; Cricket Frogs at Bull Run near the Manassas Civil War battlefields; an Eastern Screech-owl amidst katydids; a NOAA Weather Radio forecast on air pollutants that can affect water; the name of an aquatic “true bug”; recyclable materials; and finally, a truck crossing the 136-year-old Waterloo Bridge over the Rappahannock River between Culpeper and Fauquier counties.  Thanks to the Lang Elliott for permission to use the Black Skimmer sound, and thanks to several friends for providing sounds or their voices.

I’ll close 2014 with a 60-sec sample of music heard on Virginia Water Radio this year.  Thanks to Stewart Scales, the Floorboards, Chamomile and Whiskey, and the Celtibilllies for these pieces, and to all the other musicians who have allowed me to play their music.  Here’s to a New Year rich with friends, sounds, music, and water.

MUSIC –
“Cripple Creek,” traditional tune performed by Stewart Scales; “Woman Named Whiskey,” by The Floorboards; “Dirty Sea,” by Chamomile and Whiskey; “Abe’s Retreat,” traditional tune performed by the Celtibillies.

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 12/23/14]

All year round, Virginia’s waters are full of potential—and sometimes hard-to-spot—surprises, such as these two grebes on a pond in Blacksburg, Sept. 28, 2014.  They provided the idea for Virginia Water Episode 233, 9-29-14.


Acknowledgments
The sound of the Black Skimmer was taken from the 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, whose work is available online at http://www.langelliott.com/ and the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

The version of the traditional tune “Cripple Creek” used in this episode was recorded for Virginia Water Radio on February 11, 2014, by Stewart Scales; used with permission.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group
New Standard is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

“Woman Named Whiskey” is copyright 2012 by The Floorboards, used with permission.  More information about The Floorboards is available online at http://thefloorboards.net/
.

“Dirty Sea,” from the 2013 album “Wandering Boots,” copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and by County Wide Records, used with permission of Chamomile and Whiskey.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at http://www.chamomileandwhiskey.com/, and information about Charlottesville-based County Wide Records is available online at http://countywidemusic.worldsecuresystems.com/.


“Abe’s Retreat” (part of the medley “Abe’s Retreat/Big Lick”), on the 2005 album “The Shoemaker’s Child,” is copyright by The Celtibillies, used with permission.  More information on The Celtibillies is available online at http://celtibillies.com/.

Links to Full Episodes

Please see the following episodes (all are hyperlinked to the respective episode) to listen to the sounds and music heard in this episode, for acknowledgments to people involved, for more information and sources used, and for suggestions on possible use by Virginia’s K-12 teachers:


New River and water thermodynamics on New Year’s Day – Episode 195, 1-6-14

Snow shoveling lessons in water chemistry and physics –
Episode 199, 2-3-14
Sling psychrometer and other tools related to spring wildfire season –
Episode 207, 3-31-13

Fisherman’s warning signal and seasonal signals for fish –
Episode 208, 4-7-14

Black Skimmer –
Episode 213, 5-12-14

Well-drilling –
Episode 219, 6-23-14

Bull Run and the Manassas, Va., Civil War battles –
Episode 223, 7-21-14

Eastern Screech-owl –
Episode 227, 8-8-14

Air  pollutants affecting water –
Episode 230, 9-8-14

Aquatic true bugs –
Episode 237, 10-27-14

Recycling and water –
Episode 240, 11-17-14
Waterloo Bridge and Virginia’s heritage of bridges –
Episode 245, 12-22-14


“Cripple Creek,” performed by Stewart Scales – Episode 202, 2-14-14

“Woman Named Whiskey,” by The Floorboards – Episode 210, 4-21-14

“Dirty Sea,” by Chamomile and Whiskey – Episode 214, 5-19-14

“Abe’s Retreat,” performed by the Celtibillies – Episode 224, 7/21/14


Previous "Year of Sounds" Episodes

Monday, December 22, 2014

Episode 245 (12-22-14): Virginia's Bridges Span Currents, Current Events, and History

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:41)

Transcript, photos, and additional notes follow below.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 22, 2014.

This week, we feature a history-mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds, and see if you can guess what kind of water infrastructure being used here is part of Virginia's past, present, and future.  And here's a hint: like water itself, these structures may go mostly unnoticed, until they're no longer there, or at least, no longer open.

SOUND
.


If you guessed a bridge, you're right!  That was the sound of a truck crossing the Waterloo Bridge, an 1878, metal-truss bridge over the Rappahannock River at the Culpeper-Fauquier county line.  In January 2014, the Virginia Department of Transportation, or VDOT, deemed the bridge unsafe for vehicles and closed it, sparking a debate in Culpeper and Fauquier over the costs and values of restoring and re-opening the historic structure, replacing it with a new bridge, or some other alternative.  The debate over the Waterloo Bridge highlights the important role of bridges in Virginia's history, replacing shallow-water fords and ferries as connectors for travel, commerce, military engagements, and communities.  In fact, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 includes bridges as part of the cultural resources that must be considered for historical significance when federal funds are used in projects.

In 2014, Virginia’s over 100,000 miles of streams and rivers intersect with over 57,000 miles of highways and many more miles of unpaved rural roads.  The Commonwealth’s bridges range from pedestrian-only, historic wooden structures over small streams [SOUND – 3 SEC - At the Newport covered bridge in Giles County, Va., 12-21-14] to multi-lane steel-and-concrete structures over major rivers [SOUND - 3 SEC - At the New River bridge on Rt. 114 between Montgomery and Pulaski counties, 12-21-14], including almost 21,000 highway bridges maintained by VDOT [not all of which cross water].

New or old, big or small, igniting debate or mostly ignored, bridges span the story of Virginians and our water-shaped landscape from Wise to Waterloo to Wachapreague.  We close with some music appropriate to the Waterloo Bridge, “Rappahannock Rapids,” by Morey Stanton, courtesy of the Rappahannock River Campground in Culpeper County.

MUSIC - ~13 SEC


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 12/22/14]


A Virginia Bridge Photo Gallery



Waterloo Bridge over the Rappahannock River on Route 613 between Culpeper and Fauquier counties, Va., October 2014.  Photo by Julie Bolthouse, used with permission.

Metal truss bridge over Catoctin Creek on Featherbed Lane in Loudoun County, Va., June 25, 2010.


Historic covered bridge and modern secondary-road bridge over Sinking Creek near Newport (Giles County), Va., Dec. 21, 2014.

Bridge over the New River on Rt. 114 on the Montgomery-Pulaski county line.  This bridge captures the old and the new: it’s on Pepper’s Ferry Road, named for the ferry that this bridge replaced; and the expansion of the bridge was just completed in 2014, as you can see by the relatively unstained supports on the left of this photo.

Interstate 295 bridge over the James River, June 22, 2014.
Acknowledgments
The sound of a truck crossing the Waterloo Bridge was from a video recorded in August 2013 by Julie Bolthouse of the Piedmont Environmental Commission in Warrenton, Va.; used with permission.


“Rappahannock Rapids” was composed by Morey A. Stanton for the staff of Rappahannock River Campground, 33017 River Mill Road in Culpeper County, Va.; used with permission of the campground owners.  This music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 89 (11-21-11). 

Sources for this Episode

Bridge between Fauquier and Culpeper closes Wednesday,” Fauquier Times, 1/15/14.

Final Report: A Management Plan for Historic Bridges in Virginia (VTRC 01-R11; 122 pages), by Ann B. Miller, Kenneth M. Clark, and Matthew C. Grimes, Virginia Transportation Research Council, January 2011; online (as PDF) at http://www.virginiadot.org/programs/resources/01-r11.pdf.  This report’s Appendix A (starting p. 29) lists the bridges in Virginia eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and for which the Virginia Department of Transportation had responsibility at the time.


“Final Report: Survey of Metal Truss Bridges in Virginia” (VTRC 97-R03; 61 pages), by Ann B. Miller and Kenneth M. Clark, Virginia Transportation Research Council, August 1997; online (as PDF) at http://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main/online_reports/pdf/98-r3.pdf.
Preservation Virginia Announces 2014 Most Endangered Sites List, Preservation Virginia News Release, 4/29/14.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Draft 2014 305(b)/303(d) Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report” (Chapter 2. State Background Information), available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityAssessments.aspx.


Virginia Department of Historic Resources, “Review and Compliance,” online at http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/review/orc_home.html.

Virginia Department of Transportation, “Bridges in Virginia,” online at http://www.virginiadot.org/info/Bridge.asp
.

Virginia Department of Transportation, “Virginia’s Highway System,” online at http://www.virginiadot.org/about/vdot_hgwy_sys.asp.

Waterloo Bridge among Va. “most endangered” sites
, Fauquier Now, 5/1/14.


Waterloo Bridge restoration estimated at $1.8 million
, Fauquier Now, 10/2/14.


Other Sources of Information about the Rappahannock River

Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on news, events, and information resources relevant to the Rappahannock are available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Rappahannock+River.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Rappahannock River-Upper,” online at www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/waterbodies/display.asp?id=170.

Related Virginia Water Radio Episodes

Episode 71, 7/11/11
– “Rappahannock Running Free,” by Bob Gramann (on the removal of Embrey Dam from the Rappahannock just above Fredericksburg, Va., in 2004).


Episode 89, 11/21/11 – “Rappahannock Rapids,” by Morey A. Stanton (on the Rappahannock River watershed).

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers

This episode may help with Science Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Living Systems in Grade Six and for Earth Science; and with Social Studies Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Virginia Studies, World Geography, and Virginia and United States History.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Episode 244 (12-14-15): What Makes a Virginia Water Lesson?


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:16)


Transcript, photos, and additional notes follow below.


TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 15, 2014.This week, we listen in as several groups of college students try to answer the question, “What do Virginia’s over 8 million residents need to know about their water resources?”  Sound big?  Well, just have a listen for about 40 seconds. 

VOICES

Those were excerpts from Virginia water lessons, created and produced by students in the fall 2014 Virginia Tech course, Introduction to Water Resources, taught by Luke Juran of Tech’s Department of Geography.  The challenge for each of six small groups of students was to prepare a brief lesson on a topic of significance to Virginia’s water resources.  The groups were allowed to choose their presentation format among video, audio, or live performance.  But all groups had to take on some topic that seemed broadly significant to Virginia, and they had to have reliable sources to back up any stated facts or assertions.  Here are the six topics that, collectively, attracted these students’ attention: management of biosolids; stormwater runoff; growth impacts on Virginia’s major river basins; Blue Crabs; bottled water pros and cons; and possible impacts of proposed natural gas pipelines on local water supplies, including water used in Virginia’s craft breweries.

Are these among the most important water issues for Virginia?  The Commonwealth’s 8.2 million residents may or may not agree.  But for many Virginians, at least some water situation probably makes them say, [STUDENT VOICE] “It’s a huge issue!  [What] could be a solution?”  And getting college students thinking creatively about water issues, information, and communication methods is one step towards solutions for Virginia’s large, complex, water-using public.


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 12/15/14]

Virginia’s major river basins were the topic of one of six Virginia water lessons done by Virginia Tech students during fall 2014.  Shown above are (top) the New River at Eggleston (Giles County) in August 2014; (middle) the James River at Scottsville (Albemarle County) in February 2009; and (bottom) the Potomac River at Mt. Vernon in January 2005.


Acknowledgments
The Virginia water lessons described in this episode were done in fall 2014 by Virginia Tech students taking Geography/Natural Resources 2004: Introduction to Water Resources, taught by Dr. Luke Juran, Virginia Tech Department of Geography/Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  For more information, visit Dr. Juran’s Web site at http://geography.vt.edu/people/juran.htm, or contact him at ljuran@vt.edu or (540) 231-0265.  Thanks to Dr. Juran and his students for making their lessons available for use in this episode.

The topic areas of the six lessons produced by student groups were the following:
Biosolids management (skit performed in class);


Bottled water pros and cons (audio, done as a radio report);

Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs (poem recited in class);


Impacts of growth on Virginia river basins, as discussed in an imaginary Virginia Department of Environmental Quality meeting (skit performed in class);

Porous pavement and its application in stormwater-runoff management (video);


Water quality’s connection to craft-beer brewing and potential impacts on water of proposed natural gas pipelines (video).

Source for this Episode
Information on Virginia’s population was taken from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “State and County Quick Facts” Web site, online at http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51000.html, on 12/15/14.  The number used is the episode script was based on the Census Bureau’s 2013 estimate of Virginia’s population at 8,260,405.

Related Virginia Water Radio Episode
Episode 243, 12/8/14
: “Water’s Complexity, Connections, and Challenges Await Students as Virginia Tech’s Undergraduate Water Resources Degree Debuts in 2015.”

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers

This episode may help with Virginia Science Standards of Learning (SOLs) in Earth Science (ES.6 and ES.8) and in Biology (BIO.8).