Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Episode 441 (10-8-18): Calling on Citizens to Catch the King Tide in the Hampton Roads Region

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:01)

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

Except as otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 10-5-18.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 8, 2018.


This week, we drop in on the fun and the serious purpose of imagining Elvis Presley participating in a citizen-science effort to help assess sea-level rise in Hampton Roads, Virginia.  Have a listen for about 60 more seconds.


You’ve been listening to the audio from a “Catch the King” promotional video produced by WHRO, the public media station in Norfolk.  As you heard, king-tide data-collection events in Hampton Roads, this year on October 27, are an effort to map that area’s highest annual astronomical tide.  Similar king-tide data-collection and mapping events are happening in other states, too, including North Carolina and South Carolina.  In Hampton Roads, WHRO and several partners are also coordinating the participation of area schools in a year-round flood-mapping project, in which students will use a smart phone app to submit quarterly measurements on areas affected by flooding.

The effects of current and predicted sea-level rise are a big challenge along Virginia’s coast.  Virginians in the Hampton Roads region are responding with imagination, funding, community spirit, scientific information, and a sense of humor.

Thanks to WHRO for permission to use sounds from the “Catch the King” video, which is part of its Batten Environmental Education Initiative.  And if you live in or near southeastern Virginia, our closing words are for you…



Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The audio on the king tide measurement in Hampton Roads was taken from a video produced by WHRO FM in Norfolk, Va.; audio used with permission.  The video (1 min./33 sec.) and the “Catch the King” project are part of the stations’ Batten Environmental Education Initiative; the video is available online at http://kingtide.whro.org/.  More information about WHRO is available online at https://whro.org/; more information about the station’s environmental education programs is available online at https://environment.whro.org/.  Thanks to Brian Callahan, WHRO’s chief education officer, for providing permission to use the audio and for other information.

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.


Diagram of factors contributing to sea levels, reproduced from a 2001 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Figure 1 in Thomas Doyle et al., “Sea-Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists,” U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 185, 2015, online (as PDF) at https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1815/pp1815.pdf.

Maps of sea-level changes along coasts of the United States, 1994-2012. Figure 7 from Thomas Doyle et al., “Sea-Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists,” U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 185, 2015, online (as PDF) at https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1815/pp1815.pdf.


Used for Audio

Dave Mayfield, Hampton Roads sea level rise is accelerating, report says, Virginian-Pilot, 3/12/18.

Christina Ianzito, Welcome to Virginia Beach, home of the East Coast’s fastest-rising sea level, Washington Post, 9/6/18.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Ocean Service, “What is a King Tide,” online at https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/kingtide.html.

Sea Level Rise, online at https://sealevelrise.org/virginia/.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “South Carolina King Tides Initiative,” online at https://mycoast.org/sc/king-tides.

University of North Carolina, “North Carolina King Tides Project,” online at http://nckingtides.web.unc.edu/.

Virginian-Pilot, “Editorial: Another Chance to Catch the King,” 9/28/18, online at https://pilotonline.com/opinion/editorial/article_4ebf740e-c290-11e8-87ed-e388736e774b.html.

WHRO FM-Norfolk, Va., “King Tide,” online at http://kingtide.whro.org/.

For More Information about Sea-level Rise

Thomas Doyle et al., “Sea-Level Rise Modeling Handbook: Resource Guide for Coastal Land Managers, Engineers, and Scientists,” U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 185, 2015, online (as PDF) at https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/1815/pp1815.pdf.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, online at http://www.ipcc.ch/.  On sea level rise particularly: “Climate Change 2007: Frequently Asked Question 5.1 - Is Sea Level Rising,” online at https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-5-1.html.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Climate Adaptation Science Centers, “Sea Level Rise,” online at https://casc.usgs.gov/announcement-keywords/sea-level-rise.  See particularly “Safeguarding Our Cultural Past from Future Climate Change: Scientists work to protect cultural resources in Jamestown [Va.] from a changing climate,” 11/28/16, online at https://casc.usgs.gov/content/safeguarding-our-cultural-past-future-climate-change-scientists-work-protect-cultural.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Center for Coastal Resources Management, “Coastal Topics Catalog: Climate Change/Sea-level Rise,” online at http://ccrm.vims.edu/publications/catalog/topics.html.

Wetlands Watch, “Sea-level Rise Adaptation,” online at http://wetlandswatch.org/adaptation.


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

Following is the link to another episode on tides.
Episode 275, 7/20/15 – The Moon and Water.

Following are links to some other episodes related to climate.
Episode 231, 9/15/14 – Exploring Climate Change Basics, with Examples from Assateague Island National Seashore and Shenandoah National Park.
Episode 312, 4/18/16 – Student’s Research Digs into Streamside Soils, Rainfall Rates, and Greenhouse Gases.


The episode—the audio, additional information, or information sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2013 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2010 English SOLs

Reading Theme

8.5, 9.4, 10.4, 11.4 – symbols, imagery, figurative language, and other literary devices.

2010 Science SOLs
Grades K-6 Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic Theme
2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, and 6.1 – Gathering and analyzing data, and current applications to reinforce science concepts.

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
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, including effects of fire, flood, disease, and erosion on organisms.
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decision, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
5.6 – characteristics of the ocean environment (ecological, geological, and physical).
6.8 – organization of solar system and interaction of bodies, including gravity, lunar phases, tides, space exploration.

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

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
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.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
ES.3 – characteristics of Earth and the solar system (including sun-Earth-moon relationships, tides, and history of space exploration).
ES.10 – ocean processes, interactions, and policies affecting coastal zones, including Chesapeake Bay.
ES.11 – origin, evolution, and dynamics of the atmosphere, including human influences on climate.
ES.12 – weather and climate.

Physics Course
PH.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
PH.2 – analyzing and interpreting data.
PH.3 – nature and practice of science.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-6 Geography Theme
1.6 – Virginia climate, seasons, and landforms.

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

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
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.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
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.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
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/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.
Episode 250 (1-26-15) – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255 (3-2-15) – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282 (9-21-15) – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309 (3-28-16) – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 332 (9-12-16) – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403 (1-15-18) – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404 (1-22-18) – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade. Episode 406 (2-5-18) – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407 (2-12-19) – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.