Monday, September 30, 2019

Episode 492 (9-30-19): Virginia's Governor Places an Executive Order for Renewable Energy Sources

Click to listen to episode (4:31)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-27-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 30, 2019.

SOUNDS - ~ 6 sec – Sounds from an electricity-generating plant.

This week, sounds from the Virginia Tech Central Steam Plant open an episode about energy and a recent Virginia executive order.  Have a listen for about 15 seconds to two mystery sounds, and see if you guess the major focus of that executive order. And here’s a hint: think of a third “e” word, and sustainable ways to generate it.

SOUNDS - ~16 sec – Power line buzz, then wind in trees.

If you guessed renewable sources of electricity, you’re right!  An electric power line and wind are two aspects of the September 16, 2019, executive order by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam titled “Expanding Access to Clean Energy and Growing the Clean Energy Jobs of the Future.” Building upon Senate Bill 966 in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly and the 2018 version of the Virginia Energy Plan, the executive order seeks to address climate change, electric grid modernization, inequities in energy access due to socioeconomic factors, and the job-growth potential of the clean energy sector.

The order directs all executive branch agencies and state higher education institutions to operate in accordance with four goals: 1. By 2030, produce 30 percent of Virginia’s electricity from renewable energy sources, and reach 100 percent by 2050, which compares to about 6% renewables in 2016; 2. Have at least 30 percent of the electricity the Commonwealth procures from Dominion Energy be from renewable sources by 2022; 3. Develop a plan to reduce electricity consumption by state agencies and institutions, as part of a statewide goal to reduce electricity use by 10 percent by 2022, compared to 2006 levels; and 4. Develop an energy workforce plan.  For the renewable electricity goals, the order calls on the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy to develop a plan focused on solar energy, onshore and offshore wind energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, and energy equity.

How Virginia gets and uses its energy affects the economy, politics, society, and the environment.  In that latter case, water’s a major part of the conversation, because power generation is by far the largest use of water withdrawals in Virginia.  So there’s a lot at stake as Virginia charts its energy future.

We close with some music for the Commonwealth’s energy way-finding.  Here’s part of “Cool Rumblins,” by Kat Mills of Blacksburg.

MUSIC - ~ 24 sec – Lyrics: “Which way now?” then closing instrumental.
SHIP’S BELL

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.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The sounds heard in this Virginia Water Radio episode were as follows:
Virginia Tech Central Steam Plant in Blacksburg, September 5, 2014;
Power line at Appalachian Power’s Claytor Lake Hydroelectric Project on the New River in Pulaski County, Va., July 13, 2013;
Wind in leaves at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, March 15, 2013.

“Cool Rumblins,” from the 2015 album “Silver,” is copyright by Kat Mills, used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at http://www.katmills.com/ at https://www.facebook.com/katmillsmusic.

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

Energy consumption in Virginia by sources, 2017.  Image from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Virginia State Profile and Energy Estimates,” online at https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=VA, accessed 9/26/19.


Water withdrawals for power generation by state in 2015.  Image from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) “Thermoelectric Power Water Use,” online at https://www.usgs.gov/mission-areas/water-resources/science/thermoelectric-power-water-use?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects, accessed 9/26/19. According to the USGS, “Water Use Data for Virginia,” online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/water_use/, water withdrawals in Virginia in 2015 were about 5300 million gallons per day (MGD) for thermoelectric power generation, while withdrawals were about 1290 MGD combined for public water supply, industrial use, mining, livestock, aquaculture, and irrigation.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIRGINIA GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON RENEWABLE ENERGY

Following is the text of the September 17, 2019, news release from the Virginia Governor’s Office, “Governor Northam Signs Executive Order to Expand Access to Renewable Energy, Support Clean Energy Jobs of the Future,” online at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/september/headline-846745-en.html.

RICHMOND—Governor Northam has signed Executive Order Forty-Three, which establishes ambitious statewide goals and targets for clean energy deployment and expands upon the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce our environmental impact, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and boost the clean energy economy in Virginia. Governor Northam made the announcement today at the Virginia Clean Energy Summit in Richmond.

The Executive Order lays out Virginia’s objectives for statewide energy production, which includes the goal that by 2030, 30 percent of Virginia’s electric system will be powered by renewable energy resources and by 2050, 100 percent of Virginia’s electricity will be produced from carbon-free sources such as wind, solar and nuclear. The path forward includes ensuring at least 3,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind are under development by 2022, and that up to 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind are fully developed on an accelerated timeline by 2026.

“Since I took office, our administration has been focused on establishing a strong and bold vision for Virginia as we work to modernize our electric grid and reduce barriers to the development of clean energy resources,” said Governor Northam. “We know the importance of a true shift to reliance on renewable energy sources in reducing our carbon footprint, growing our economy, and creating the clean energy jobs of the future. This Executive Order will help ensure that Virginia remains at the forefront of clean energy innovation, meets the urgency of the challenges brought on by climate change, and captures the economic, environmental, and health benefits of this energy growth in an equitable way that benefits all Virginians.”

The Executive Order establishes lead-by-example targets for increasing energy efficiency and sets forth a goal of procuring at least 30 percent of the electricity consumed by the Commonwealth’s agencies and executive branch institutions from renewable resources by 2022.

“Virginia is already feeling the impacts of global warming in the form of rising sea levels, increased flooding, and more extreme weather events,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “The public health, public safety, and economic consequences of climate change are undeniable, and this Executive Order is a necessary piece of our strategy to reduce carbon pollution and related emissions and improve quality of life for all Virginians.”

This Executive Order directs the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, to develop a plan of action to meet these renewable energy goals. The plan will also address issues related to energy storage, energy efficiency, equity, and environmental justice.

“These energy goals send a clear signal to renewable energy industries that the Commonwealth is open for business, and that we will be a trailblazer in the development solar and wind energy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball.

The Chief Workforce Advisor and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade will work with stakeholders to develop an energy workforce plan that supports the growing needs of the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector and creates career pathways for the communities that need them the most by aligning current curriculum and training programs with job opportunities.

The full text of Executive Order Forty-Three can be online (as a PDF) at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-43-Expanding-Access-to-Clean-Energy-and-Growing-the-Clean-Energy-Jobs-of-the-Future.pdf.

EXTRA INFORMATION ON ELECTRICITY SOURCES IN THE UNITED STATES

The following information is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?” online at https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3.

U.S. Electricity Generation by Source and Percentage of Total in 2018*

Fossil Fuels (Total) = 63.5%
—Natural Gas = 35.1%
—Coal = 27.4%
—Petroleum = 0.6%
—Other Gases = 0.3%

Nuclear = 19.3%

Renewables (Total) = 17.1%
—Hydropower = 7.0%
—Wind = 6.6%
—Biomass = 1.5 % (includes wood, landfill gas, municipal solid waste, and other)
—Solar (Total - photovoltaic plus solar thermal) = 1.6%
—Geothermal = 0.4%

Pumped Storage Hydropower** = -0.1%

Other Sources = 0.3%

Notes:
*Includes utility-scale electricity generation, which is electricity generation from power plants with at least one megawatt (or 1,000 kilowatts) of total electricity generating capacity.
**Pumped storage hydroelectricity generation is negative because most pumped storage electricity generation facilities use more electricity than they produce on an annual basis. Most pumped storage systems use fossil fuels or nuclear energy for pumping water to the storage component of the system. For more on pumped storage hydroelectric, see https://www.eia.gov/tools/glossary/index.php?id=Pumped-storage%20hydroelectric%20plant.

SOURCES

Used for Audio


Mel Leonor, Dominion plans to build nation’s largest offshore wind farm off coast of Virginia, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/19/19.

Mel Leonor, Northam lays out renewable energy goals for Virginia, calls for carbon-free electricity by 2050, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/17/19.

U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Virginia State Profile and Energy Estimates,” online at https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=VA.

Virginia Clean Energy Summit, September 17, 2019, Richmond, Va., online at https://www.vacleanenergysummit.org/.  Va. Gov. Ralph Northam announced his September 2019 executive order on clean energy at this forum.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Status of Virginia’s Water Resources—A Report on Virginia’s Water Management Activities,” October 2018, online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/WaterSupplyPlanning.aspx.  The report PDF is online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/WaterSupplyPlanning/AWRR_2018-09-30.pdf. See p. 19 for water withdrawals from 2013 to 2017 for all use categories except power generation; see p. 46 for water withdrawals for power generation.

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, “2018 Virginia Energy Plan,” online at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/de/VirginiaEnergyPlan.shtml.  The 91-page document is available online (as PDF) at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/secretary-of-commerce-and-trade/2018-Virginia-Energy-Plan.pdf.  Along with the plan for the future, the document includes an analysis of Virginia’ energy system, as of 2016.

Virginia Governor’s Office, Executive Order No. 43 (2019), “Expanding Access to Clean Energy and Growing the Clean Energy Jobs of the Future,” online (as PDF) at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-43-Expanding-Access-to-Clean-Energy-and-Growing-the-Clean-Energy-Jobs-of-the-Future.pdf.

Virginia Governor’s Office, “Governor Northam Signs Executive Order to Expand Access to Renewable Energy, Support Clean Energy Jobs of the Future,” 9/17/19 News Release, online at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/september/headline-846745-en.html.

Virginia Legislative Information System, “Virginia General Assembly Session 2018—Senate Bill 966: Electric utility regulation; grid modernization, energy efficiency,” online at https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=181&typ=bil&val=sb966.  This large, complicated bill, also called the “Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018,” made changes to the electricity rate-review arrangement and transitional rate period established in 2015, and it included various provisions related to electricity grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

Virginia Tech Facilities Department, “Central Steam Plant,” online at https://www.facilities.vt.edu/energy-utilities/central-steam-plant.html.

For More Information about Energy in Virginia and Elsewhere

Appalachian Power (APCO), online at https://www.appalachianpower.com/.

Dominion Energy, online at https://www.dominionenergy.com/.

Union of Concerned Scientists, “Energy and Water Use,” online at https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/energy-water-use.

U.S. Department of Energy, online at https://www.energy.gov/.

U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Electric Power Annual,” online at https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/.  See Table 3.1.A., Net Generation by Energy Source: Total (All Sectors), 2007-2017, online at https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_03_01_a.html; and Table 3.1.B, Net Generation from Renewable Sources: Total (All Sectors), 2007-2017, online at https://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_03_01_b.html.

U.S. Geological Survey, “Water Use in the United States,” online at https://www.usgs.gov/mission-areas/water-resources/science/water-use-united-states?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects.  Information on thermoelectric power use is online at https://www.usgs.gov/mission-areas/water-resources/science/thermoelectric-power-water-use?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects.

Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, “Virginia Energy Patterns and Trends,” online at http://www.energy.vt.edu/vept/renewables/hydro.asp.  This project stopped in 2009, but the Web site maintains historical data.

Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives, online at http://www.vmdaec.com/.

Virginia State Corporation Commission/Division of Public Utility Regulation, “Energy Regulation in Virginia,” online at https://www.scc.virginia.gov/power/index.aspx; and “Electric Companies Regulated by the SCC,” online at https://www.scc.virginia.gov/pur/elec/reg_cos.aspx.

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 “Energy” subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on energy.

Episode 97, 1-30-12; Episode 98, 2-6-12; Episode 99, 2-13-12 – on water quality and coal.
Episode 170, 7-15-13 – on hydroelectric power.
Episode 380, 8-7-17 – on natural gas pipelines.
Episode 240, 11-17-14 – on solid-waste recycling, energy, and water.
Episode 316, 5-16-16 – on the American Power Suite.
Episode 410, 3-5-18 – on electricity regulation legislation in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or 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 Science SOLs

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
3.11 – sources of energy.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Force, Motion, and Energy Theme
6.2 – energy sources, transformations, and uses.

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.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Physical Science Course
PS.6 – energy forms, transfer, and transformations.

Earth Science Course
ES.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.8 – influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

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

United States History: 1865-to-Present Course
USII.9 – domestic and international issues during the second half of the 20th Century and the early 21st Century.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.7 – government at the state 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.4 – types and significance of natural, human, and capital resources.

Government Course

GOVT.1 – skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision-making, and responsible citizenship.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.

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 333, 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, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Episode 491 (9-23-19): “Samuel Mason,” by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, Recalls a Notorious, Virginia-born River Pirate

Click to listen to episode (4:17)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-20-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 23, 2019.

MUSIC – ~9 sec

This week, in a revised September 2014 episode, we feature a song about a Virginia-born river pirate who became infamous in 1790s and early 1800s.  Have a listen for about 60 more seconds. 

MUSIC - ~64 sec – “Samuel Mason, that is my name. I left Fort Henry seeking fortune and fame. I came from Virginia a long time ago, but now I am a pirate along the Ohio.” - (Instrumental break) - “Murder and robbery, those are my crimes. I’ll lure you in with women and wine. Hurricane Island seals your fate, for from this shore there is no escape.”


You’ve been listening to part of “Samuel Mason,” by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, from their 2010 album, “All the Good Summers,” on Great Bear Records.  Born in Norfolk in 1739, Samuel Mason was a Revolutionary War soldier and a farmer on the western Virginia frontier.  But he was known for criminal activities, and in the 1790s he became one of the most notorious pirates targeting riverside dwellers and flatboat traffic on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as well as land travelers along the Natchez Trace in Mississippi and Tennessee.

Mason’s killing in 1803—by fellow pirates seeking reward money—helped lead to the end of well-organized piracy on the Ohio and other waterways on the early-U.S. frontier.  But that by-gone era was, unfortunately, only a part of the long, tragic history of piracy that continues in the 21st Century on oceans and seas.  For example, in 2018 the International Maritime Organization received 223 reports worldwide of piracy and armed robbery against ships.

Thanks to Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 20 more seconds of “Samuel Mason.”

MUSIC - ~21 sec – instrumental.

SHIP’S BELL

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 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

This Virginia Water Radio episode revises and replaces Episode 232, 9-22-14.

“Samuel Mason” and “All the Good Summers” are copyright by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand and Great Bear Records, used with permission.  This music is also featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 422, 5-28-18, on Virginia connections to the Ohio River Valley.  More information about Andrew and Noah is available online at https://andrewandnoah.bandcamp.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

Map of Ohio River basin, showing the start of the main stem of the river (marked in bold blue) at Pittsburgh, Penn., and its confluence with the Mississippi River in southern Illinois.  Image from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Huntington, West Va., District, “Ohio River Basin,” online at https://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/ORBA/.\


Map of the area of the Natchez Trace.  Image from the cover of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Publication, “Mapping the Natchez Trace Parkway, 2011, Open-File Report 2011-1276, accessed online (as a PDF) at https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1276/OF11-1276.pdf.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT SOME PLACES CONNECTED TO SAMUEL MASON

Cave-in-Rock – A large cave in bluffs above the Ohio River in southern Illinois; now part of an Illinois state park.  The location was associated with pirates and other criminals who operated along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  Samuel Mason may have operated out of this area for some period of time.

Hurricane Island – an Ohio River island located near Tower Rock (on the Illinois side of the Ohio).  Some authors claim that Samuel Mason used the island as part of hits piracy operations on the Ohio, as mentioned in the music excerpt in this week’s Virginia Water Radio episode.

Natchez Trace – An over 400-mile-long footpath running from Natchez, Mississippi, through that state, part of Alabama, and western Tennessee to Nashville.  It was particularly important in the 1700s and 1800s as a return route for return travelers after going downstream on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans.  Part of Samuel Mason’s operations targeted travelers on this route.  It’s now included in the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, managed by the National Park Service.

Red Banks, Ky. – A 17th- and 18th-Century village along the Ohio River, now the location of Henderson, Ky.  In the 1790s, Red Banks served as the center of Samuel Mason’s pirate operations on the Ohio River.

SOURCES USED FOR AUDIO AND OFFERING MORE INFORMATION

Sources marked with an asterisk were used for the Extra Information section directly above.

*Todd Carr, Cave-in-Rock Pirates and Outlaws, The History Press, Charleston, S.C., 2019.

*Illinois Department of Natural Resources, “Cave-in-Rock State Park,” online at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/parks/pages/caveinrock.aspx.

International Maritime Organization, “Piracy and armed robbery against ships,” online at http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Security/PiracyArmedRobbery/Pages/Default.aspx.  The organization's April 2019 report on piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide during 2018 is available online (as a PDF) at http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Security/PiracyArmedRobbery/Reports/Documents/271%20MSC.4-Circ.263%20Annual%202018.pdf.

Legends of America Web site, “Mississippi Legends: Samuel ‘Wolfman’ Mason Takes on the Natchez Trace,” online at http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-samuelmason.html.

*Kate Lochte and Matt Markgra, “Samuel Mason: The Cave-In-Rock Pirate Who Prowled the Region's Waterways,” 6/18/15, WKMS-FM, Murray State University, Murray, Ky., online at https://www.wkms.org/post/samuel-mason-cave-rock-pirate-who-prowled-regions-waterways#stream/0.

*National Park Service, “Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail,” online at https://www.nps.gov/natt/index.htm; and “Natchez Trace Parkway,” online at https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm.  For maps of the Parkway, see https://www.nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/maps.htm.

*U.S. Forest Service, “Shawnee National Forest/tower Rock Campground,” online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/shawnee/recarea/?recid=10692.

*Mark J. Wagner and Mary R. McCorvie, “Going to See the Varmint: Piracy in Myth and Reality on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, 1785-1830,” in X Marks the Spot: The Archeology of Piracy, Russell K. Skowronek and Charles R. Ewen, eds., University of Florida Press, 2006.

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 “History” subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on Virginia’s connections to the Ohio River its watershed, including Virginia rivers in that watershed.

Episode 109, 5-7-12 – “Banks of New River” by Whitetop Mountain Band.
Episode 179, 9-16-13 – Twenty-two Miles along the New River Trail.
Episode 264, 5-4-15 – A Bird Day on the New River.
Episode 381, 8-14-17 – Midnight at the Water (including sounds from the New River).
Episode 419, 5-7-18 – Meet the Big Sandy Watershed with “Three Forks of Sandy” by Bobby Taylor.
Episode 420, 5-14-18 – Exploring Virginia’s Tennessee River Tributaries Through “Clinch Mountain Quickstep” by Timothy Seaman.
Episode 421, 5-21-18 – Connecting Southwestern Virginia Waters to the Ohio River Through “Ohio Valley Rain” by Cornerstone.
Episode 422, 5-28-18 – Virginia and the Ohio River Valley Connect Through Watersheds, Wars, and Western Migration.
Episode 425, 6-18-18 – Introducing the South Fork Holston River.
Episode 436, 9-3-18 – Labor Day, “Sandy Boys,” and the Big Sandy River.
Episode 442, 10-15-18 – New River High Water History at Radford, Va.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or 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 Science SOLs

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

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.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Virginia Studies Course
VS.1 – impact of geographic features on people, places, and events in Virginia history.
VS.6 – role of Virginia in establishment of the nation (including migration of Virginians into other states in 1800s).

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.2 – major land and water features of North America, including their importance in history.
USI.5 – factors that shaped colonial America and conditions in the colonies, including how people interacted with the environment to produce goods and service.
USI.8 – westward expansion and reform in America from 1801—1861.

World Geography Course
WG.5 – regions of United States and Canada.

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 333, 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, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Episode 490 (9-16-19): A Duck Trio’s Unusual Visit to Virginia Tech

Click to listen to episode (4:31)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-13-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 16, 2019.

SOUNDS – ~13 sec – At the Va. Tech Duck Pond on 9-11-19, 3:30 p.m.

That’s a sample of the sounds of people and birds at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg on a typical September afternoon.  In September 2019, however, something not typical at all happened at that popular aquatic location, when a trio of feathered visitors made an unusual drop-in on Virginia.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds to a recording of this species’ call, and see if you can guess the name of this bird.  And here’s a hint: whistle while you work on this, and you may end up feeling ducky.

SOUNDS - ~11 sec

If you guessed a whistling duck, you’re right!  More specifically, that was the sound of the Black-bellied Whistling Duck, one of two North American whistling duck species, which are noted for their whistle-like call, long goose-like legs, and similar appearance of both sexes.  The Black-bellied Whistling Duck is distinctive for its red and blue bill, reddish-pink feet, and tree-perching habit.

On September 10 and 11, 2019, the sighting of three Black-bellied Whistling Ducks generated excitement and serious attention from birders in Blacksburg, because the species is rarely seen in Virginia.  Its normal range is primarily in Mexico, Central America, Texas, Arizona, and Florida, although scientists have noted an expansion of the range northward, such as in the lower Mississippi Valley and along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina.  Observations beyond this normal range—including ones in Virginia—have been documented by the e-Bird program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.  Observations of birds beyond their normal range are referred to as “bird vagrancy.”  According to Audubon, causes of bird vagrancy can be some flaw in individual birds’ navigational capacity, being transported on ships, and being blown off course by weather systems.  In the recent Blacksburg case, the timing led to local birder speculation about the possible role of Hurricane Dorian the previous week.

Whatever the cause, the brief visit of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in southwestern Virginia was a bird-watchers’ bonanza and a sign of the surprises that nature can spring.

Thanks to Lang Elliott for permission to use the whistling duck sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs.  We close with some music in tribute to wildlife and its surprises; here’s part of “To the Wild,” by the Harrisonburg, Va.-based band, The Steel Wheels.

MUSIC - ~ 25 sec – mostly instrumental

SHIP’S BELL

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.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Stephen Schoenholtz and Mark Ford for their help with information in this episode.  Thanks to Gloria Schoenholtz for use of her photos of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.

“To the Wild,” by The Steel Wheels, is from the 2017 album “Wild As We Came Here,” used with permission.  This song was also included in Virginia Water Radio Episode 426, 6-25-18.  More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at https://www.thesteelwheels.com/ and at https://www.facebook.com/pg/thesteelwheels/about/?ref=page_internal.

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



Two photos above: Two shots of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, September 10, 2019.  Photos by Gloria Schoenholtz, used with permission.


Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Texas, July 2007.  Photo by Robert Pos, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 9-13-19.  URL for the specific image is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/14018/rec/1.

SOURCES

Used for Audio

American Birding Association, “ABA Blog,” online at http://blog.aba.org/.  Entries include various “Rare Bird Alerts,” such as for September 13, 2019, online at http://blog.aba.org/2019/09/rare-bird-alert-september-13-2019.html.

Shannon Brennan, For Love of Nature: Rare sightings set bird watchers a-flutter, 8/14/19, published by Lynchburg News & Advance.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/.  The Black-bellied Whistling Duck entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-bellied_Whistling-Duck.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America Online,” online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required).  The Black-bellied Whistling Duck entry is online at https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/bbwduc/introduction.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology National Audubon Society, “e-Bird,” online at https://ebird.org/home.  The Black-bellied Whistling Duck entry is online at https://ebird.org/species/bbwduc/.  See also the “Status and Trends” page, online at https://ebird.org/science/status-and-trends.

Kenn Kaufman, “The Curious Case of the Itinerant Fulvous Whistling-Duck,” 10/18/16, published by the National Aududon Society, online at https://www.audubon.org/news/the-curious-case-itinerant-fulvous-whistling-duck.

National Audubon Society, “Bird Vagrancy,” online at http://www.audubonguides.com/learn/bird-vagrancy.html.

National Audubon Society, “Guide to North American Birds/Black-bellied Whistling Duck,” online at https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-bellied-whistling-duck.

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

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/.  There was no entry for the Black-bellied Whistling Duck, as of 9-13-19; the entry for the Fulvous Whistling Duck is online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040050&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18152.

For More Information about Birds in Virginia and Elsewhere

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo ID.”  This 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/.

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

Stan Tekiela, Birds of Virginia Field Guide, Adventure Publications, Inc., Cambridge, Minn., 2002; and Nature Smart Web site, online at http://www.naturesmart.com/.

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, online 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 particularly the “Birds” subject category.

Following are links to other episodes on ducks.

Episode 136, 11-12-12 – on ducks generally.
Episode 197, 1-20-14 – on Canvasback.
Episode 303, 2-15-16 – on Common Goldeneye.
Episode 398, 12-11-17 on teal (two species).
Episode 472, 5-13-19 –on Mallard.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or 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 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
2.7 – Weather and seasonal changes affecting plants and animals.

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
2.5 – living things as part of a system, including habitats.

Life Science Course
LS.4 – organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.10 – changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
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/.

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 333, 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, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Episode 489 (9-9-19): Revisiting Storm Surge After Hurricane Dorian

Click to listen to episode (5:13)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-6-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 9, 2019.

MUSIC and SOUND – ~14 sec – “Storm surge is a dangerous event during a hurricane, where furious winds are driving deadly flows of water from our seas to our shores.”

That’s a stark message from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, about storm surge.  NOAA defines storm surge as “an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides…[and] produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of winds” associated with the storm.

During Hurricane Dorian in the first week of September 2019, storm surge—along with high winds and heavy rainfall— was predicted to cause some of the most severe impacts experienced along the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Dorian won’t be the last Atlantic tropical cyclone ever to threaten Virginia or other coastal areas with storm surge—it may not even be the last one this year—so that storm’s unwelcome arrival is a good time to revisit a Virginia Water Radio episode on storm surge, done previously in response to other hurricanes.  For an introduction to storm surge potential, have a listen for about 90 seconds to excerpts from, first, a 2013 National Hurricane Center [NHC] video, and second, a 2010 Virginia Department of Emergency Management [VDEM] video; the latter includes a list of Virginia areas most vulnerable to storm-surge flooding in any given storm.

SOUND/VOICE – NHC ~38 sec – “I’m Daniel Brown, hurricane specialist at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami.  Storm surge is the deadliest hazard associated with hurricanes. It’s a rise in the sea level by water being pushed to the shore by the force of the wind within the storm. But storm surge is not just a coastal event.  In some areas, the seawater can travel well inland with devastating consequences.  Storm surge is strongly influenced by a hurricane’s track, forward motion, intensity, and size.  Changes in any of these storm characteristics will significantly alter the amount of storm surge.”

SOUND/VOICE – VDEM ~47 sec – [Ellipses indicate places where portions of the original video were omitted from the audio segment used in this episode.] “Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms can put Virginia’s coast at risk for flooding.  Near the coast, such flooding could be caused by storm surge.  It can increase the normal high tide by 15 feet or more.  Wind-driven waves on top of the storm surge can cause severe damage.  Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, the Middle Peninsula, the Northern Neck, the Eastern Shore, and areas along the James River are all vulnerable to storm surge. ... If you live in an area that may flood, you should be prepared to leave immediately when officials issue an evacuation order for your community. ... Know your risk.  Be prepared before the storm hits. ...”

For more information on storm surge, visit the National Hurricane Center’s “Storm Surge Overview” Web site, online at nhc.noaa.gov/surge.

Here’s hoping for safety and recovery for people and places in the path of Dorian and any other tropical cyclone.

We close with about 25 seconds of tropical cyclone-inspired music.  Here’s “Tropical Tantrum,” composed for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett, a graduate student at Manhattan School of Music in New York.

MUSIC – ~27 sec - instrumental

SHIP’S BELL

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 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

This episode is the latest revision of a storm-surge-focused episode timed for particular tropical cyclones.  The previous episodes are the following: Episode 337, 10-10-16, on Hurricane Matthew storm surge; Episode 134, 10-29-12, on Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy storm surge; and Episode 385, 9-11-17, on Hurricane Irma storm surge.

The sources of the audio in this episode are the following:
Excerpt 1 – “Storm Surge and the SLOSH Model/Run from the Water, Hide from the Wind” (2 min./36 sec.), 2010, accessed at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/resources.php;
Excerpt 2 – “Hurricane Preparedness Week: Storm Surge,” May 15, 2013 (1 min./25 sec.), online at You Tube at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/resources.php;
Excerpt 3 – Virginia Department of Emergency Management, “Virginia Hurricane Evacuation: Storm Surge” (2 min./48 sec.), August 26, 2010, accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83m2K2VNUUo.

“Tropical Tantrum” was composed by Torrin Hallett in May 2017.  Mr. Hallett is a 2018 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio; as of 2019, he is a graduate student in Horn Performance at Manhattan School of Music in New York.  More information about Mr. Hallett is available online at https://www.facebook.com/torrin.hallett.  “Tropical Tantrum” was also included in the following other Virginia Water Radio episodes:
Episode 369, 5/22/17, on the upcoming Atlantic tropical storm season in 2017;
Episode 423, 6/2/18, on the upcoming Atlantic tropical storm seasons in 2018;
Episode 438, 9-17-18, on hurricane basic facts and history.
Virginia Water Radio thanks Mr. Hallett for composing this piece for Virginia Water Radio.

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


Satellite image of Hurricane Dorian on 9/6/19, 9:06 a.m. EDT.  Image accessed online at https://cdn.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES16/ABI/CONUS/02/1250x750.jpg, on 9/6/19, 9:30 a.m.


Map of Hurricane Dorian warnings cone as of 9/6/16, 8 a.m. EDT, from the National Hurricane Center.  Image accessed online at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/091553.shtml?cone#contents, on 9/6/19, 9:45 a.m.


Map of storm surge watches and warnings area for Hurricane Dorian, issued on 9/6/19, 8 a.m. EDT, by the National Hurricane Center. Image accessed online at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/211226.shtml?wsurge#contents, on 9/6/19, 9 a.m.  The online image includes the following “Product description”: “This graphic displays areas that are under a storm surge watch/warning.  A storm surge warning indicates there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours.  A storm surge watch indicates that life-threatening inundation is possible somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours.  All persons, regardless of whether or not they are in the highlighted areas shown in the graphic, should promptly follow evacuation orders and other instructions from local officials.”


Wind-speed probabilities map for Hurricane Dorian as of 9/6/19, 2 a.m. EDT, issued by the National Hurricane Center. Image accessed online at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/091553.shtml?cone#contents on 9/6/19, 9:45 a.m.

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Jason Samenow and Andrew Freeman, Dorian slams N.C. Outer Banks with 95 mph winds, charges toward southeast Va., southeast New England, in The Washington Post, 9/6/19.

National Hurricane Center, Public Advisory 52a on Hurricane Dorian, 8 a.m. EDT on 9/6/19, accessed at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2019/DORIAN.shtml,

National Hurricane Center, “Audio Briefing for 9/6/19, 9:04 a.m. EDT, accessed online at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/audio/; the specific URL for this podcast was https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/audio/201909061304.mp3.

National Hurricane Center, “Storm Surge Overview,” online at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/. Among other items, this page includes an explanation of the factors that lead to storm surge, photographs and graphics, and two short videos.  Information on storm-surge potential and probabilities are also part of National Hurricane Center updates and advisories on any tropical storm.

National Hurricane Center, “Storm Surge Resources,” online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/resources.php.  This site includes several videos, including the ones excerpted for this episode.

National Weather Service/Wakefield, Va. Forecast Office, “Storm Surge Warning,” 9/6/19 at 5:06 a.m. EDT, online at https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=akq&wwa=storm%20surge%20warning, accessed on 9/6/19 at 11 a.m.

The Weather Channel, Hurricane Dorian Battering South Carolina, North Carolina With Flooding Rain, Storm Surge, High Winds, Tornadoes, 9/5/19, approx. 1 p.m. EDT.

Bo Peterson, U.S. Geological Survey deploys computer-trackable storm surge sensors in South Carolina, The Post and Courier [Charleston, S.C.], 9/8/17.

PBS NewsHour, “Nearly 2 million warned to flee destructive Hurricane Matthew in the U.S.,” 10/6/16, online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nearly-2-million-warned-flee-destructive-hurricane-matthew-u-s/.  The segment includes an interview with then-Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate in which he discussed the dangers of storm surge flooding along coastlines and inland.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management storm surge items, online at https://www.vaemergency.gov/ready-virginia-newsletter-articles-june2014/.

For More Information about Preparedness for Hurricanes and Other Tropical Cyclones

American Red Cross, “Hurricane Safety,” online at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/hurricane.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “Hurricanes,” online at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA)/Climate Prediction Center, “Atlantic Hurricane Outlook and Summary Archive,” http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane-archive.shtml.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management, “Hurricanes,” online at https://www.vaemergency.gov/threats/hurricanes/.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management, “Know Your Zone,” online at http://www.vaemergency.gov/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup/.  This site allows citizens to determine whether or not they are in a zone most at risk from an approaching tropical cyclone, in order better to respond when emergency managers may be calling for evacuations or other actions.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management, “Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide,” online (as a PDF) at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/resources/VDEMs_Hurricane_Preparedness_Evacuation_Guide.pdf.

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.

Following are links to previous episodes on severe weather and its impacts.

Floods
Episode 272, 6-29-15 (Madison County in 1995).
Episode 328, 8-8-16 (flash flooding in general).
Episode 442, 10-15-18, (historic-record water level marker dedication at New River).
Episode 486, 8-19-19 (Nelson County in 1969).

Storm surge
Episode 134, 10-29-12 (from Superstorm Sandy).
Episode 337, 10-10-16 (from Hurricane Matthew).
Episode 385, 9-11-17 (from Hurricane Irma).

Tornadoes
Episode 342, 11-14-16 (research via virtual reality).
Episode 463, 3-11-19 (preparedness and annual statewide drill)

Tropical Cyclones (including hurricanes and tropical storms)
Episode 163, 5-27-13 (annual season-preview episode).
Episode 215, 5-26-14 (annual season-preview episode).
Episode 266, 5-18-15 (annual season-preview episode).
Episode 317, 5-23-16 (annual season-preview episode).
Episode 330, 8-22-16 (mid-season outlook).
Episode 345, 12-5-16 (season-review episode).
Episode 369, 5-22-17 (annual season-preview episode).
Episode 423, 6-2-18 (annual season-preview episode).
Episode 438, 9-17-18 (basic hurricane facts and history).
Episode 474, 5-27-19 (annual season-preview episode).

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or 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 Science SOLs

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 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
2.6 – identification of common storms and other weather phenomena.
4.6 – weather conditions, phenomena, and measurements.
5.6 – characteristics of the ocean environment.

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.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
6.6 – structure and dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere.

Life Science Course
LS. 10 - changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.

Earth Science Course
ES.10 – ocean processes, interactions, and policies affecting coastal zones.
ES.11 – origin, evolution, and dynamics of the atmosphere, including human influences on climate.
ES.12 – weather and climate.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

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 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/.

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 333, 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, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Episode 488 (9-2-19): The American Oystercatcher is a Shellfishing Specialist

Click to listen to episode (4:32)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Extra Information
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 8-30-19.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 9, 2019.

MUSIC – ~6 sec – instrumental

This week, that excerpt of “The Oystermen’s Ball,” by Bob Michel, opens an episode on a bird known for its association with oysters and other shellfish.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds to the following mystery sound, and see if you can guess this bird.  And here’s a hint: catch a key word in the title of the music you just heard.

SOUNDS - ~10 sec

If you guessed an oystercatcher, you’re right!  You heard the sound of an American Oystercatcher, one of two oystercatcher species in North America, out of several species found worldwide.  The American Oystercatcher is found exclusively near saltwater along the United States’ mid-Atlantic coastline, along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, and along the Pacific coastline of western Mexico and Central America.

This large bird inhabits beaches, mud flats, sand dunes, salt marshes, and dredge-spoil islands.  There, in falling or low tides, it finds the shellfish—particularly oysters, clams, and mussels, collectively known as bivalve mollusks—on which oystercatchers are adapted to feed.  An oystercatcher can use its distinctive, long, red-orange bill in various ways to get prey, including probing in the sand; stabbing the bill quickly inside a partially opened bivalve to cut the muscle that closes the two shell valves; and using the bill as a hammer to break open a closed shell.  According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, though, oystercatchers sometimes get caught by a bivalve closing its shell on the bird’s bill, threatening drowning the bird when high tide returns.

Oystercatchers also have a special courting ritual, known as “piping.”  The behavior typically involves two birds running beside one another, bobbing their heads up and down, and making loud calls.  The birds often also take flight in tandem, and that may attract other pairs of birds into what is sometimes called a piping “tournament” or “ceremony.”

The American Oystercatcher is distinctive in its colors, courtship, and prey-catching.  Here’s a 19th-Century take on that distinctiveness, by John James Audubon: “Shy, vigilant, and ever alert, the Oyster-Catcher walks with a certain appearance of dignity, greatly enhanced by its handsome plumage and remarkable bill.”

Thanks to Lang Elliott for permission to use this week’s sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs.  Thanks also to Bob Michel for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 20 more seconds of “The Oystermen’s Ball.”

MUSIC – ~20 sec - instrumental

SHIP’S BELL

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.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The American Oystercatcher sounds were 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 the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

“The Oystermen’s Ball," from the 2004 album of the same name, is copyright by Bob Michel, used with permission.  More information on Mr. Michel's music is available online at http://www.bobmichel.com/.  Excerpts from this song were also used in two Virginia Water Radio episodes on oysters in the Chesapeake Bay: Episode 279, 8/24/15 and Episode 280, 9/7/15.

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

American Oystercatcher at Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Photo by Keith Ramos, made available for public use public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 8-30-19. The specific URL for the image is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/11411/rec/24.


American Oyster-catcher painting by John James Audubon in Birds of America, plate CCXXIII (223), as reprinted in 1985 by Abbeville Press, New York.  Information about Birds of America is available from the National Audubon Society, online at http://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america; the Pied Oyster-catcher entry is online at https://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america/pied-oyster-catcher.  Photo above taken August 31, 2019, from the reprint copy (no. 6 of 350 copies printed in 1985) owned by Special Collections of Virginia Tech Libraries.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Special Collections for permission to photograph their copy and for their assistance.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER

The scientific name of the American Oystercatcher is Haematopus palliatus.

Here are some points about the American Oystercatcher, excerpted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Killdeer,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040114&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18138.

Occurrence in Virginia

“Common to abundant permanent resident on immediate coast of Eastern Shore; locally common in Tangier area of Chesapeake Bay.   Uncommon to rare transient in lower Chesapeake Bay. Only one record in Piedmont…; no records in Mountains and Valleys.… Breeding pairs observed on Virginia barrier islands: Assateague, Assawoman, Cedar Island, Cobb, Dawson Shoals, Fishermans, Hog, Little Cobb, Metompkin, Myrtle, Parramore, Rogue, Sandy, Ship Shoal, Smith, Wreck. Peak counts occur along the coast during summer.”

Physical Description

“The oystercatcher is a large, pied shorebird, 17-21 inches….   It has back and wing coverts of olive brown; upper tail coverts and base of tail of dusky brown; head, neck, and upper breast glossy black; lower breast and abdomen pure white. Its bill and iris are bright red; bill is long, laterally compressed and adapted to opening shellfish. Legs and feet are pale pink…  A bold white wing patch is visible during flight.”

Nesting Habitat and Behavior

“Pairs will nest on same territory as previous year.  Females arrive on territory up to 3 weeks before males, from last week of February to first week of March.  Pair formation will begin as soon as both sexes are on territory.  The breeding period extends from April to August. …

“Nest building, or scraping, begins several weeks before laying as a part of the courtship.  Both sexes participate in nest scraping though males typically do most of the work.  [Scrapes} are often decorated with pieces of shell. … This species is typically a solitary nester (but will roost and flock together).

“Nest sites are selected non-randomly with preferences for areas with more substrate, less vegetation, farther distance from water, and higher elevation.  In Virginia, nests have be found in dunes, salt marsh, dredge spoil, with spots often chosen on the edges of eroding high salt marsh on shell piles or rakes.  Typical substrate is soft on the surface with a firm underlying layer.

“Courtship behavior often described as ‘piping.’”

Feeding

“Foraging takes place along mudflats and receding shore.  Oystercatchers stab prey through abductor muscle and pry open with bill.  This species will stab crabs and probe for worms, besides typical shellfish food items.  Foraging occurs well beyond limits of territory.”

Predators

“Egg loss is high due to predation.  On Fisherman Island predated primarily by fish crows (Corvus ossifragus); only one in ten young fledged annually in four years of observation.  Other predators include mink, red fox, skunk, domestic dog, cat, rat, American crow, herring gull, greater black-backed gull, peregrine falcon, raccoon, and snowy owl.  Low productivity seems the rule in most studies.  Annual adult survival rate very high (up to 90%).”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

American Oystercatcher Working Group, online at http://amoywg.org/.  For information on the species’ courtship behavior, known as “piping,” see Alex Wilke, “American Oystercatcher Behavior,” undated, online at http://amoywg.org/american-oystercatcher/behavior/.

John James Audubon, Birds of America, National Audubon Society, online at http://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america.  The quotation in the audio was taken from Audubon’s commentary for “The American Oyster-catcher, Haematopus palliatus, Plate CCXXIII.”

Audubon Guide to North American Birds, “American Oystercatcher,” online at https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-oystercatcher.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/.  The American Oystercatcher entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Oystercatcher.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America Online,” online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required).  The American Oystercatcher entry is online at https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/ameoys/introduction/.

Encyclopedia Britannica, “Oystercatcher,” online at https://www.britannica.com/animal/oystercatcher.

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md. (2006).  See page 89.

New Hampshire PBS, “Wildlife Journal Junior/Haematopodidae,” online at https://nhpbs.org/wild/Haematopodidae.asp.

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

Stan Tekiela, Birds of Virginia Field Guide, Adventure Publications, Inc., Cambridge, Minn., 2002.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/American Oystercatcher,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040114&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18138.

For More Information about Birds in Virginia and Elsewhere

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo ID.”  This 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, online 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 particularly the “Birds” subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on shorebirds.

Episode 68, 6-13-11 — on Royal Tern.
Episode 79, 9-12-11 — on Piping Plover.
Episode 213, 5-12-14 — on Black Skimmer.
Episode 315, 5-9-16 — on sandpipers generally.
Episode 456, 1-21-19 —on pelicans.

Following are links to two previous episodes on oysters.

Episode 279, 8-24-15.
Episode 280, 9-7-15.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or 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 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
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 decisions, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

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; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.4 – organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.6 – ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.
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.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
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/.

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 333, 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, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.