Friday, April 21, 2017

Episode 365 (4-24-17): Where’s Stormwater Get Started? Ask a Middle Schooler!


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:53)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 4-21-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 24, 2017.

SOUND – ~4 sec

This week, we drop in on a group of Virginia middle-school students giving citizens a vocabulary test related to one of the Commonwealth’s most challenging water issues. Sound unbelievable? Well, just have a listen for about 35 seconds.

GUEST VOICES - ~35 sec

You’ve been listening to Christiansburg Middle School students who attended Stormwater Education Day on April 12, 2017.  The vocabulary list you heard included processes of the water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle; along with geographic features of watersheds, a term that people often interchange with drainage areas, drainage basins, or river basins.  Water cycle processes and watershed features are key elements in stormwater: when, where, and how much of it occurs.  Stormwater occurs when rainfall or other precipitation can’t seep—or infiltrate—into the ground, particularly when the precipitation lands on pavement or other impervious surfaces.  Stormwater runs off over the land surface into water bodies or into drains and pipes that eventually lead to water bodies.  During that runoff, stormwater can pick up various water pollutants, and high-volume stormwater can cause flooding and erosion.  Such impacts, and the laws and regulations implemented in response, have made stormwater-management a far-reaching water issue, affecting local governments, homeowners, and businesses all over Virginia.

Back in Christiansburg, students learning now about the water cycle, watersheds, potential contaminants, and the filtering potential of different materials will be the future idea-generators and decision-makers who’ll deal with this widespread and complicated issue.

Thanks to Christiansburg Middle School students, teachers, and volunteers for lending their voices to this episode.  And we close with some appropriate sounds for stormwater.

SOUND - ~12 sec – Rain and thunder

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The voices of sixth-grade students (and some adults) from Christiansburg Middle School in Christiansburg, Va., were recorded April 12, 2017, during Stormwater Education Day, held on the grounds of the Christiansburg/Montgomery County, Va., chapter of the Izaak Walton League.  Thanks to Patricia Colatosti of the Town of Christiansburg and to Patricia Gaudreau of the Montgomery County School Division for organizing Stormwater Education Day and for allowing Virginia Water Radio to participate.

The terms called out by the students were the following:
water cycle;
watersheds;
evaporation;
transpiration;
condensation;
precipitation;
rainfall intensity;
infiltration;
runoff;
groundwater;
surface water;
impervious surface;
divides;
drainage areas;
tributaries;
river basins;
the ocean.

The learning stations at the April 2017 Stormwater Education Day were the following:
Montgomery County – groundwater model;
Skyline Soil and Water Conservation District, Christiansburg, Va. – runoff boxes;
Town of Christiansburg/Town of Blacksburg/Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering – stream table;
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Montgomery County Unit – pet waste and streams;
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering – groundwater models;
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Karst Program – karst, springs, and groundwater;
Virginia Tech Facilities – watershed model;
Virginia Tech Forestry Graduate Student Association – sand filters and stormwater;
Virginia Tech Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) lab – runoff boxes;
Virginia Tech Museum of Geosciences Outreach – watershed model;
Virginia Water Resources Research Center/Virginia Water Radio – recording terms related to stormwater.

Click here
if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

IMAGES

Learning stations on April 12, 2017, for Christiansburg Middle School’s Stormwater Education Day, at the grounds of the Christiansburg/Montgomery County, Va., chapter of the Izaak Walton League.
The water (or hydrologic) cycle. Diagram from the U.S. Geological Survey, “Water Science School/Water Cycle,” online at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html.

Virginia’s major watersheds (river basins). Map by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, accessed online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/wsheds.shtml.


EXTRA FACTS ABOUT STORMWATER


From the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Stormwater Management,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

“DEQ is the lead agency for developing and implementing statewide stormwater management and nonpoint source pollution control programs to protect the Commonwealth's water quality and quantity.  Stormwater runoff from streets, lawns, parking lots, construction sites, industrial facilities and other impervious surfaces occurs as a result of precipitation events (for example, rain water or melted snow).  The stormwater runoff may enter surface waters directly or through natural and constructed channel systems.  Activities occurring in developed and urban areas contaminate stormwater runoff with pollutants such as automobile oil, grease, metals, sediment, bacteria from animal waste, nutrients and pesticides, as well as deposits from airborne pollutants.  Unmanaged stormwater can cause erosion and flooding.   It also can carry excess nutrients, sediment and other contaminants into rivers and streams.  Properly managed stormwater can recharge groundwater and protect land and streams from erosion, flooding and pollutants.  As authorized under the State Water Control Law and the federal Clean Water Act, the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permitting program...includes stormwater discharges from: MS4s, construction activities, [and] industrial discharges.  ...MS4 is shorthand for a municipal separate storm sewer system. Publicly owned systems such as storm drains, pipes, ditches or swales that collect or move water to surface waters must obtain permit coverage and develop a stormwater management program. ...”

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Danielle Guerin, “Wherever You Are, Stormwater’s On Your Street” and “Stormwater Information Sources,” August Virginia Water Central Newsletter, August 2010 (pages 3-7), available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49363.

King County, Washington, “Stormwater glossary of terms and abbreviations,” online at http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/stormwater/glossary.aspx.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Science School, “The Water Cycle,” online at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html; and “The Water Cycle for Schools,” online at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle-kids.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “NPDES Stormwater Program,” online at https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Stormwater Management,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

For More Information about the Water Cycle, Watersheds, or Stormwater

Code of Virginia
, “Virginia Stormwater Management Act,” online via the Virginia Legislative Information System at http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacodefull/title62.1/chapter3.1/article2.3/.

College of William and Mary Department of Geology, “The Geology of Virginia/Hydrology,” online at http://geology.blogs.wm.edu/.

Radford University, “Virginia’s Rivers, online at http://www.radford.edu/jtso/GeologyofVirginia/VirginiasRivers/Drainage-1.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Surf Your Watershed,” online at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm.  This site allows users to locate watersheds and watershed information across the United States.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Virginia’s Major Watersheds,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/wsheds.shtml; and “Hydrologic Unit Geography,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil_and_water/hu.shtml.  The latter site provides detailed information on how watersheds are designated, plus access to interactive maps of Virginia’s watersheds.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, “Virginia Water Central News Grouper/Stormwater,” blog posts online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/category/stormwater/.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Water Central Newsletter, February 2000, “An Introduction to Urban Stormwater,” by Rich Wagner (pages 1-7); and “Divide and Confluence” (pages 8-11); available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49316.  The two articles give basic introductions to stormwater and to watersheds, respectively.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the following subject categories: Rivers, Streams, and Other Water Bodies; Science; Weather.

The following episodes relate specifically the stormwater, watersheds, or the water cycle, or watersheds:
Stormwater: Episode 182, 10/7/13; Episode 338, 10/17/16;
Watersheds: Episode 156, 4/8/13, Episode 209, 4/14/14, Episode 251, 2/2/15;
Water cycle: Episode 191, 12/9/13, Episode 198, 1/27/14.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
2.7 – Weather and seasonal changes affecting plants and animals.
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
2.6 – identification of common storms and other weather phenomena.
4.6 – weather conditions, phenomena, and measurements.
5.7 – constant change of Earth’s surface (including weathering and erosion, and plate tectonics).

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
6.5 – properties and characteristics of water.
6.6 – Properties of air (including pressure, temperature, and humidity) and structure/dynamics of earth’s atmosphere, including weather topics.

Life Science Course
LS.6 - ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.
ES.12 – weather and climate.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.10 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 - national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.18 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Episode 364 (4-17-17): Red-winged Blackbirds


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:03)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 4-14-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 17, 2017.

MUSIC – ~ 13 sec – Excerpt of “Red Wing” by The Steel Wheels.

This week, music from the Harrisonburg, Va.-based band The Steel Wheels introduces a mystery sound that’s common to Virginia’s wet areas.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making the three-note song.  And your hint was in the music you heard!

SOUNDS - ~10 sec

If you guessed a Red-winged Blackbird, you’re right!   Found year-round throughout Virginia, this bird is often seen, and distinctively heard, around ponds, marshes, streams, and other wet areas.  A black body with red-and-yellow shoulder patches makes the males easy to identify; females, though, are brownish and lack the shoulder colors.  The Red-wing is one of five North American species of blackbirds, and one of about 20 North American species categorized in the family that includes blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, meadowlarks, and orioles.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes Red-wings as “perhaps the most abundant and most commonly studied bird of North America.”  This species feeds on insects during the nesting season but later in the year switches to grains and seeds, with impacts in some cases on corn, sunflowers, and other crops by birds gathered in large, mixed-species flocks.  About the flocking characteristic, authors Alice Jane and Robert Lippson—in their 2006 book Life in the Chesapeake Bay—wrote that “as fall approaches, [Red-wings] throng in huge mixed flocks with grackles and cowbirds...[gathering] in great clouds and [spiraling] in long, seemingly never-ending smoke-like plumes” until they “suddenly descend into a grove of trees.”

Thanks to The Steel Wheels—who put on a summer festival called the Red Wing Roots Music Festival—for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with a few more seconds of “Red Wing.”

MUSIC - ~33 sec

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“Red Wing” is copyright by The Steel Wheels, used with permission.  The version used in this episode is from the 2011 album “Live at Goose Creek”; the song was first released on the 2010 album, “Red Wing.”  More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at http://www.thesteelwheels.com/. I n 2017, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival will be July 14-16 at Natural Chimneys Regional Park at Mt. Solon, Va. (Augusta County); more information about the festival is available online at http://www.redwingroots.com/.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode. More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

IMAGES
A male Red-winged Blackbird in California in 2009, showing the red and yellow wing-bar colors.  Photo by Lee Karney, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/natdiglib/id/6889/rec/3

One of many Red-winged Blackbird habitats: Stroubles Creek along Plantation Road on the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg, where the bird sounds used in this episode were recorded on March 17, 2017.

Red-winged Blackbird painting originally published between 1827 and 1838 by John James Audubon in Birds of America (plate LXVII [67]), as reprinted in 1985 by Abbeville Press, New York.  Audubon titled the painting “Redwinged Starling or Marsh Blackbird—Icterus phoeniceus,” but it is clearly the Red-winged Blackbird (scientific name Agelaius phoeniceus).  A Red-winged Starling (scientific name Onychognathus morio) is an African species with a much different appearance (see http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-red-winged-starling.html).  The painting includes an adult male (top), young male (middle left), adult female (middle right), and young female (lower), accompanied by blooming Red Maple branches.  Photo taken April 17, 2017, from the reprint copy (no. 6 of 350 copies printed in 1985) owned by Special Collections of Virginia Tech Libraries.  Information about Birds of America is available from the National Audubon Society, online at http://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america.  Also, a list of the Birds of America plates in numerical order, by volume, is available from the University of Pittsburgh, online at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/a/audubon/plates.html.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Virginia Tech Libraries' Special Collections for permission to take photos from their copy of Birds of America and for their assistance.

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America/Red-winged Blackbird,” online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/184/articles/introduction (subscription required).

George M. Linz, editor, Management of North American Blackbirds (proceedings of a special symposium of the Wildlife Society’s 9th Annual Conference, September 27, 2002, Bismarck, North Dakota); available online at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/symposia/blackbirds_symposium/.

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md. (2006).

National Sunflower Association page on blackbirds, at https://www.sunflowernsa.com/growers/black-birds/.

Chandler S. Robbins et al., A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, St. Martin’s Press, New York, N.Y. (2001).

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Menu=Home.Species+Information.

For More Information about Birds
Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo ID.”  The application for mobile devices allows users to submit a bird photograph to get identification of the bird.  Information is available online at http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, “eBird,” online at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/.  Here you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations.

Virginia Society of Ornithology: online at http://www.virginiabirds.org/.  The Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.

Xeno-canto Foundation Web site at http://www.xeno-canto.org/.   The site provides bird songs from around the world.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See specifically the “Birds” subject category.

The following episodes also have some connection to Red-winged Blackbirds:
EP118 – 7/9/12 – A Summertime Virginia Sampler of Birds around Water;
EP206 – 3/14/14 – A Spring Serenade;
EP259 – 3/30/15 – Red-winged Blackbird Research Follows Connections among Hormones, Avian Malaria, Aquatic Habitats, and Mercury;
EP308 – 3/21/16 – Treating Spring Fever with Water, Featuring “Until the Summer Comes” by The Steel Wheels;
EP309 - 3/28/16 – A Pondside Temperature Tale (on temperature regulation by animals).

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

The episode may help with Virginia 2013 Music SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

This episode may also help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
3.4 - behavioral and physiological adaptations.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
4.5 - ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.4 - organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.8 - community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Episode 363 (4-10-17): Students Make a Call for Stream Insects and Other Aquatic Invertebrates


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:17)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 4-7-17.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 10, 2017.

SOUND - ~ 4 sec

That’s the sound of water flowing in the South Fork Roanoke River in Montgomery County, Va.   If you were under that flow on a rock, stick, leaf, or sediment on the stream bottom, who, or what, might be your neighbors?  This week, a group of Virginia high school students gives us a quick lesson on that subject.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds.

GUEST VOICES - ~18 sec –
Males: Black fly! Crane fly! Midge!
Females: Riffle beetle! Water Penny! Hellgrammite!
Males: Mayfly! Stonefly! Caddisfly!
Females: Dragonfly! Damselfly!
Males: Lunged snail!
Females: Gilled snail!

You’ve been listening to the names of 13 kinds of aquatic organisms found in streams, lakes, or other freshwater habitats.  The names were shouted out by students from Patrick County High School, located in Stuart, Virginia, during a visit to Virginia Tech on March 31, 2017.  Collectively, the organisms are called macroinvertebrates: “macro” because they’re large enough to be seen without a microscope; and “invertebrates” because they don’t have an internal backbone.

Over 11,000 species of macroinvertebrates are known to inhabit freshwaters in North America, and many more species are found in marine waters.   Some, like freshwater snails, are aquatic for their entire life cycle; others, like many aquatic insects, emerge from water as adults.  Aquatic macroinvertebrates are important components of biological communities, the term for interacting populations of different species within a given area and time.  Within those communities, macroinvertebrates have various ecological roles, such as, as predators, like dragonflies; prey for fish, like many mayflies; consumers of algae off surfaces, like many snails; collectors of floating organic debris, like blackflies; or parasites, like some water mites.

They also have various requirements or tolerances for different physical and chemical factors, such as temperature, the level of dissolved oxygen, and the level of pollutants.  This, along with relatively limited movement, makes macroinvertebrates valuable for biological assessments of water quality and aquatic habitat.  For example, freshwater Virginia streams without significant pollutants or other impairments typically have a diverse biological community, with many different kinds of macroinvertebrates.  In contrast, a stream with poor physical or chemical conditions will tend to have less diversity and may be dominated by the more tolerant kinds of organisms.

Thanks to Patrick County High School students and the school’s Dan River Basin Association Club for lending their voices and energy to this episode.  As those students did at Virginia Tech, bring your curiosity and observation powers next time you visit a stream or other water body, and you just might have a biological community meeting with...[GUEST VOICES] aquatic macroinvertebrates!

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.   In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The guest voices in this episode were students from Patrick County High School, located in Stuart, Virginia, recorded on a visit to the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment on March 31, 2017. Thanks to the students, the school’s Dan River Basin Association Club, school faculty Stephen Henderson and Brenda Martin, and the Dan River Basin Association’s Wayne Kirkpatrick for their visit and participation in this episode.

Thanks to Liz Sharp, Tony Timpano, and Eryn Turney, all of the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment, for their help with this episode. 

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

Special note: Careful listeners may have heard a bird in the background near the end of this episode.  That was a Tufted Titmouse, calling outside the window during the recording of this episode at Cheatham Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.  It doesn’t have anything to do with aquatic macroinvertebrates, but it sounded nice, so it stayed!

PHOTOS

Dragonfly perched above a pond on the grounds of Eyre Hall near Cheriton, Va., (Northampton County), October 6, 2007.

Stoneflies collected from the South Fork Roanoke River near Elliston, va. (Montgomery County), September 24, 2009.
Caddisfly cases on a cobble in the New River near Eggleston, Va., (Giles County), August 31, 2014.


EXTRA FACTS ABOUT AQUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATES, THROUGH CARTOONS

Below are three cartoons about aquatic macroinvertebrates, which illustrate some behaviors seen in three important groups: mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies.  The illustrations are by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt).  The source of the illustrations and the accompanying information is “Bottom-dwellers Tell Stories about the Water Above," written by Sarah Engel for Virginia Water Central, April-June 2002 (Virginia Water Resources Research Center newsletter), available online at online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49327.

If water flow or the level of dissolved oxygen in water, some mayflies may use movements to increase the pass of water across the gills on their abdomen (posterior body section), where oxygen is absorbed from the water.

As a group, stoneflies are particularly sensitive to the level of dissolved.  In response to low dissolved oxygen, some stoneflies will use “push-ups” to increase movement of water across the gills on their thorax (middle body section).
 
Many kinds of caddisflies are known build various kinds of cases from leavers, stones, or other materials, held together by a silk-like material that the insects produce.  But net-spinner caddisflies (the family known as Hydropsychidae) don’t live in cases; instead, they use silk-like material to produce nets with which they filter food out of passing water.

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Michael T. Barbour et al., Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Wadeable Streams and Rivers (Second Edition), EPA 841-B-99-002, July 1999.

Sarah Engel, “Bottom-dwellers Tell Stories about the Water Above,” Virginia Water Central, April-June 2002, pages 11-17, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Blacksburg, online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49327.

R. W. Merritt and K. W. Cummins, An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America, 2nd Edition, Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, Ia., 1984.

Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus (American Edition), Oxford University Press, New York, 1996.

J. Reese Voshell, Jr., A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America, McDonald and Woodward, Blacksburg, Va., 2002.

R. G. Wetzel, Limnology—Lake and River Ecosystems (Third Edition), Academic Press, San Diego, Calif., 2001.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Terms of Environment, EPA 175-B-97-001, 1997. This source give the following definition of “community”: “In ecology, an assemblage of populations of different species within a specified location in space and time. Sometimes, a particular subgrouping may be specified, such as the fish community in a lake or the soil arthropod community in a forest.”

For More Information about Aquatic Insects or Other Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

Iowa State University Department of Entomology, “BugGuide,” online at http://bugguide.net/node/view/15740.

W. Patrick McCafferty, Aquatic Entomology: The Fishermen's and Ecologists' Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Toronto, 1998; available online at http://books.google.com/books?id=wiTq7x-fI_0C&dq=aquatic+gnats&source=gbs_navlinks_s.

Alan Raflo, David Gaines, and Eric Day, “Mosquitoes and Water,” Virginia Water Central, June 2009, pages 6-15, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Blacksburg, online at http://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49357.

University of Florida Department of Entomology, “Featured Creatures” Web site, http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html). See particularly the “Insects” and “Invertebrates Other Than Insects” subject categories.

A previous episode on stream assessment with aquatic macroinvertebrates is Episode 81, 9/26/11.

Other previous episodes on aquatic macroinvertebrates include the following:
Episode 78, 9/5/11 – on mosquitoes;
Episode 119 (revisited), 8/3/15 – on dragonflies and damselflies;
Episode 262, 4/20/15 – on freshwater snails;
Episode 268, 6/1/15 – on chironomids (non-biting midges).

For a previous episode featuring Virginia high school students, please see
Episode 325, 7/18/16 – on Chesapeake Bay submerged aquatic vegetation.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
3.8 – Basic patterns and cycles in nature.
3.9 – Water cycle, including sources of water, energy driving water cycle, water essential for living things, and water limitations and conservation.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
3.10- impacts on survival of species.
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
K.7 – basic needs and processes of plants and animals.
1.5 - animals’ basic needs and distinguishing characteristics.
2.4 - life cycles.
3.4 - behavioral and physiological adaptations.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 - living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.5 - food webs.
3.6 - ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
4.5 - ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.4 - organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.8 - community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS.9 - adaptations for particular ecosystems’ biotic and abiotic factors, including characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater environments.
LS.10 - changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

Biology Course
BIO.2 – water chemistry and its impact on life processes.
BIO.4 – life functions (including metabolism and homeostasis) in different organism groups, including human health, anatomy, and body systems.
BIO.6 - bases for modern classification systems, including structures, biochemistry, and developmental stages.
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Episode 362 (4-3-17): Hail


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:37)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, photos, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-31-17.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of April 3, 2017.

MUSIC – ~ 9 sec

This week, music called “Storm” by Torrin Hallett, a student at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, sets the stage for a storm-related mystery sound.  Have a listen for about 15 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making this sound.  And here’s a hint: What high-altitude, icy creation ranges in size from a garden pea to a softball or even bigger?

SOUNDS - ~16 sec

If you guessed hail, you’re right!  You heard the sound of small hail hitting a car in Blacksburg, Va., during a brief storm on March 18, 2017.   That relatively mild hailstorm did little damage, but annually in the United States, hail typically causes at least hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to property and agricultural crops.  Hail forms inside thunderstorms, thousands of feet high in updrafts of warm, human air.  There, as moisture rises and cools, water droplets can freeze around particles called ice nuclei.  In strong updrafts, a frozen droplet can be held aloft and repeatedly encounter droplets of supercooled water—that is, liquid water below the freezing point—adding more ice and forming a hailstone.  A hailstone’s size depends largely on how strong, large, and long-lasting the updrafts are, determining how long a growing hailstone can be supported aloft.  Hailstone diameter can range from about the quarter-inch of a garden pea, to the four inches of a softball, to the eight inches of the largest recorded hailstone in the United States, which fell in South Dakota in July 2010. Not all thunderstorms produce hailstorms, of course.  But hail of 1 inch or more in diameter is one of three criteria—along with tornadoes or wind gusts of 58 miles per hour or more—that the National Weather Service uses to categorize thunderstorms as severe.

We close with a few more seconds of Torrin Hallett’s “Storm”; followed by about 20 seconds of “Hail Improvisation,” created in March 2017 by Williamsburg, Va., third-grader and hammered-dulcimer student Simon Fass.  Thanks to Torrin, Simon, and Simon’s music teacher Timothy Seaman for providing this week’s music for hail.

MUSIC - ~ 35 sec

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“Storm,” a movement from “Au Naturale,” is copyright by Torrin Hallett, used with permission. Click here to listen to the full version (1 min./44 sec.).   In 2016-17, Torrin is a fourth-year student at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, majoring in horn performance, music composition, and math major.  More information about Mr. Hallett is available at his Web site, http://www.torrinjhallett.com/.

“Hail Improvisation” was created March 23, 2017, by Simon Fass in a hammered-dulcimer music lesson with Timothy Seaman; used with permission.   In 2017, Simon is a third-grader in Williamsburg, Va. Click here to listen to the full version (2 min./20 sec.).   More information about Mr. Seaman and his music is available online at http://timothyseaman.com/en/.

Click here
for the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.   More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

PHOTOS
Small hail pellets on the ground immediately following a one-to-two minute hailstorm in Blacksburg, Va., March 18, 2017, about 6 p.m.
Clouds immediately after short hailstorm in Blacksburg, Va., March 18 2017, about 6 p.m.
Large hail photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Severe Storms Laboratory, “Severe Weather 101—Hail,” online at http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/hail/.

EXTRA FACTS ABOUT HAIL


Hail diameter size comparisons, from the National Weather Service/Sterling, Va., Forecast Office, “SKYWARN® Hail size,” online at http://www.weather.gov/lwx/skywarn_hail:
1/4" Pea Size
1/2" Small Marble Size
3/4" Penny or Large Marble Size
7/8" Nickel Size
1" (Severe Criteria) Quarter Size
1 1/4" Half Dollar Size
1 1/2" Walnut or Ping Pong Ball Size
1 3/4" Golf Ball Size
2" Hen Egg Size
2 1/2" Tennis Ball Size
2 3/4" Baseball Size
3" Teacup Size
4" Grapefruit Size
4 1/2" Softball Size

Hail formation description, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Severe Storms Laboratory, “Severe Weather 101—Hail,” online at http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/hail/:
“Hailstones grow by colliding with supercooled water drops.   Supercooled water will freeze on contact with ice crystals, frozen raindrops, dust or some other nuclei.  Thunderstorms that have a strong updraft keep lifting the hailstones up to the top of the cloud where they encounter more supercooled water and continue to grow.  The hail falls when the thunderstorm's updraft can no longer support the weight of the ice or the updraft weakens.  The stronger the updraft the larger the hailstone can grow.  Hailstones can have layers like an onion if they travel up and down in an updraft, or they can have few or no layers if they are ‘balanced’ in an updraft.  One can tell how many times a hailstone traveled to the top of the storm by counting the layers.   Hailstones can begin to melt and then re-freeze together—forming large and very irregularly shaped hail.”

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Stanley Changnon, “Trends in Hail in the United States,” part of the Workshop on the Social and Economic Impacts of Weather, April 2-4, 1997, Boulder Colorado; online at http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/socasp/weather1/index.html (click on Table of Contents to find link to specific talks).

Insurance Information Institute, “Hail,” online at http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/hail.

C. Knight and N. Knight, “Hail and Hailstones,” pages 924-929 in Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences Volume Three, James R. Holton et al., eds., Elsevier Academic Press, London, 2003.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Severe Storms Laboratory, “Severe Weather 101—Hail,” online at http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/hail/.

NOAA/National Weather Service/Columbia/S.C. Forecast Office, “Hail Awareness,” online at http://www.weather.gov/cae/hail.html.

NOAA/National Weather Service/Storm Prediction Center, “Frequently Asked Questions,” online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/ (question 4.2 is “How does the NWS define a severe thunderstorm?”).

For More Information about Hail or Other Severe Weather

NOAA/National Weather Service/Storm Prediction Center, “Storm Reports,” online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/today.html; and “Annual Severe Weather Report Summary 2015,” online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/monthly/2015_annual_summary.html#.  At the former site, users can search for preliminary reports across the United States of hail or other severe weather for any given day.

WTVR TV – Richmond, Va., Storms dump hail across Central Virginia, 2/25/17.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html). See particularly the “Weather” subject category.

The following episodes focus on topics related to hail:
Episode 106, 4/9/12 - Weather watches and warnings.
Episode 152, 3/11/13 - Weather balloons.
Episode 342, 11/14/16 - Tornado research via virtual reality.
Episode 358, 3/6/17 - Tornado preparedness.

STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

The episode may help with Virginia 2013 Music SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

This episode may also help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs:

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
2.6 – identification of common storms and other weather phenomena.
4.6 – weather conditions, phenomena, and measurements.
6.6 – properties of air and structure of Earth’s atmosphere; including weather topics.

Earth Science Course
ES.12 – weather and climate.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.7 - national government organization and powers.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2015 Social Studies SOLs, which become effective in the 2017-18 school year:

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.