Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Episode 512 (2-17-20): Fog’s Low Visibility Brings Mystery and Advisories

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:31).

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


All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 2-14-20.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 17, 2020.

SOUND – ~5 sec

This week, that ship’s horn opens an episode about an atmospheric event that’s often perceived as mysterious and is, in fact, often dangerous.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds to the ship’s horn again, followed by two additional mystery sounds, and see if you can guess this soundless water and weather phenomenon.

SOUNDS - ~41 sec

1) Ship horn.

2) National Weather Service dense-fog advisory on August 20, 2012: “Near zero conditions are being experiences on Interstate 77 near Fancy Gap, along and near mountain ridges and passes, and in some of the deeper mountain valleys.  Conditions in these areas are not likely to significantly improve until shortly after daybreak on Monday.  Motorists traveling through the area are urged to drive with low beams on, slow down, and provide additional time to reach their destination.”

3) Foghorn on U.S. Route 50 Chesapeake Bay Bridge.


If you guessed fog, you’re right!  After the ship’s foghorn, you heard an excerpt from a National Weather Service dense-fog advisory and then the foghorn at the U.S. Route 50/Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland.

Mysterious in movies and potentially dangerous on roadways, shipping channels, and flight paths, fog’s silent movement was described by poet Carl Sandburg as “coming on little cat feet.”  Fog actually comes in when invisible water vapor in air becomes cooled enough to condense into visible, liquid water suspended close to the ground—essentially a very low-lying cloud.  A key factor is the dew point, the temperature to which air of a given moisture level and pressure must be cooled for fog, clouds, or precipitation to form.

Fog can form under various weather and landscape situations, resulting in the identification of several types of fog.  Six of those types are radiation fog, when land surfaces cool at night, in turn cooling moisture-laden air; mountain-valley fog, when cold air sinks into moisture-containing valleys; advection fog, when winds move moist air over a cold ground; steam fog, occurring over lakes in the fall; freezing fog, when water droplets from fog contact objects below the freezing point; and ice fog, occurring in polar regions.

Temperature, moisture level, air pressure, landscape topography, and winds all interact to determine whether fog creeps in on mysterious city streets or on the particular route you may be traveling.

Thanks to Freesound.org user inchadney for making the ship foghorn sound available for public use.  We close with about 20 seconds of music from a song whose title matches a color that fog frequently presents.  Here’s part of “Grey” by Blacksburg, Va., singer/songwriter Kat Mills.

MUSIC - ~20 sec – Lyrics: “We won’t try to fake it, don’t worry we’ll make it, and summer will be here one day. Till then it’s grey, grey, grey.”

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

This Virginia Water Radio episode revises and replaces Episode 124, 8-20-12.

The first sound was as a ship foghorn recorded by “inchadney” on June 3, 2012, accessed from Freesound.org online at https://freesound.org/people/inchadney/sounds/157284/, for public use under Creative Commons License 3.0/Attribution.

The second sound was part of a National Weather Service (NWS) special weather statement/dense-fog advisory from the August 20, 2012, NWS Weather Radio broadcast from Blacksburg, Virginia, from a recording of the broadcast made by Virginia Water Radio.

The third sound was the foghorn for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on U.S. 50 in Maryland, recorded by Virginia Water Radio on Kent Island, Maryland, February 29, 2012.

“Grey,” from the 2006 album “Two,” is copyright by Kat Mills, used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at https://www.reverbnation.com/katmills.

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


Fog below Brush Mountain north of Blacksburg, Va., February 13, 2020, 10 a.m. EST.


Morning fog on the Potomac River downstream from Bonds Landing in Allegany County, Maryland, July 11, 2010.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT SOME TYPES OF FOG

The following information on several types of fog is quoted from the National Weather Service, “Fog Advisories,” online at https://www.weather.gov/safety/fog-ww.

Advection Fog

“Advection fog forms as warmer, moist air moves over a cold ground.  The air is cooled to saturation by the cold from the ground below cooling the air above.  Unlike radiation fog [see below], advection fog may form under cloudy skies and with moderate to strong winds. Initial stability is relatively unimportant since low level cooling makes the air stable near the ground, allowing the fog to form.  Once formed, it may move across the landscape, pushed by low level winds.  Advection fog can last for several days and is most common in the U.S. on the West Coast.”

Freezing Fog

“Tiny, supercooled liquid water droplets in fog can freeze instantly on exposed surfaces when surface temperatures are at or below freezing.  Some surfaces that these droplets may freeze on include tree branches, stairs and rails, sidewalks, roads and vehicles.  Extreme caution should be taken if travel is necessary. Freezing fog can cause black ice to form on roadways. …For those flying, a thin layer of ice can form on aircraft, making flight very dangerous unless the aircraft is treated or has effective de-icing equipment.”

Mountain/Valley Fog

“…There are two ingredients that add to the formation of fog in areas of variable terrain.  First, overnight, the ground cools as the heat that was gathered from the sun’s rays during the day is released back into the air near the ground level.  The denser, cooler air on mountain-tops sinks into valleys, and collects there. Second, over the course of the night, the valley begins to fill from the bottom with cold layers of air.  This phenomenon is known as 'cold air drainage.'  This cooler air lowers the surrounding air temperatures closer to the dew point and subsequently saturation.  If there is sufficient moisture in the air, fog will begin to form in these valleys as the night progresses.  This type of fog is most commonly observed in the autumn and spring months, and is densest around sunrise when surface temperatures are often lowest.”

Radiation Fog

“Radiation fog is a very common type of fog throughout the United States.  It is most prevalent during the fall and winter. It forms overnight as the air near the ground cools and stabilizes.  When this cooling causes the air to reach saturation, fog will form.  Fog will first form at or near the surface, thickening as the air continues to cool.  The layer of fog will also deepen overnight as the air above the initial fog layer also cools.  As this air cools, the fog will extend upward.  The most favored areas for fog development are sheltered valleys where there is little to no wind and locations near bodies of water.  Wind would disrupt the formation of radiation fog.  Radiation fog is usually patchy, tends to stay in one place, and goes away the next day under the sun’s rays.  Thicker instances of radiation fog tend to form in valleys or over calm bodies of water.  A special kind of radiation fog, called 'tule' (TOO-lee) fog, occurs each winter in the Central Valley of California.  The combination of a cool, moist layer of air from the Pacific close to the surface, clear skies above, and light winds results in exceptionally thick fog on many nights from late October through February.  This phenomenon is often visible on satellite.”

Super Fog

“Super fog forms when a mixture of smoke and moisture released from damp smoldering organic material such as brush, leaves and trees, mixes with cooler, nearly saturated air.  Visibility is lowered to less than 10 feet.  Under light wind conditions, super fog meanders through low terrain areas such as creek beds or drainage ditches.  Super fog can be very dangerous when present over highways, and has been the cause of several large, multi-vehicle pileups.”

SOURCES USED FOR AUDIO AND OFFERING MORE INFORMATION

Bartleby Publishers, “Chicago Poems/Carl Sandburg,” online at http://www.bartleby.com/165/.  “Fog” was originally published as part of Chicago Poems (1916), by Henry Holt Co. (New York).

National Weather Service, “Dew Point vs. Humidity,” online at https://www.weather.gov/arx/why_dewpoint_vs_humidity.

National Weather Service, “Fog Advisories,” online at https://www.weather.gov/safety/fog-ww.  That site’s “Fog Resources” section’s subjects were as follows (all hyperlinked) as of 2-12-20:
Fog Safety; Fog Over Water; Mountain/Valley Fog; Super Fog; Freezing Fog; Advection Fog; Radiation Fog; Driving in Fog; Boating in Fog; Flying in Fog.

National Weather Service, “Fog Types,” online at https://www.weather.gov/source/zhu/ZHU_Training_Page/fog_stuff/fog_definitions/Fog_definitions.html.

National Weather Service, “Glossary,” online at https://w1.weather.gov/glossary/.

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/Climate/Natural Disasters” subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on common weather phenomena.

Freezing Rain – Episode 461, 2-25-19.
Frost – Episode 387, 9-25-17.
Hail –Episode 362, 4-3-17.
Rainfall – Episode 338, 10-17-16 (frequency probabilities); Episode 455, 1-14-19 (record precipitation in 2018).
Sleet – Episode 461, 2-25-19.
Snow – Episode 300, 1-25-16 (snow terms); Episode 407, 2-12-18; Episode 461, 2-25-18.

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

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

Earth Science Course
ES.12 – weather and climate.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

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.

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, February 10, 2020

Episode 511 (2-10-20): The Saltmarsh Sparrow and Its Connection to Sea-level Rise

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:02).

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


All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 2-7-20.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 10, 2020.

MUSIC – ~8 sec – Instrumental.

This week, the start of “Sparrow,” from Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, opens an episode about a kind of sparrow closely connected to the impacts of sea level rise on Atlantic coastal habitats.  Have a listen for about 10 seconds to the following mystery sound and see if you know this species of sparrow.  And here’s a hint: look for it where tides wash over tall grasses.

SOUNDS - ~11 sec

If you guessed the Saltmarsh Sparrow, you’re right!  This species, sometimes referred to as the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, is one of 25 kinds of sparrow known to occur in Virginia.  The Saltmarsh Sparrow is found exclusively in Atlantic Coast salt marshes, living among the grasses and other plants in tidal zones from Maine to Virginia in breeding season and as far south as Florida in winter.  This has made the Saltmarsh Sparrow an indicator species—or, in a familiar bird metaphor for a danger signal, a so-called “canary in a coal mine”—for the loss of Atlantic coastal saltmarsh habitat, particularly as a result of rising sea level and higher tides.  Reports indicate that the bird’s population over its whole range decreased about 75 percent between 1998 and 2012; moreover, according to the Saltmarsh Sparrow Research Initiative in Rhode Island, some studies predict that rising water levels could cause the species’ extinction by 2040.

The Saltmarsh Sparrow’s woes have been one stimulus for various saltmarsh habitat restoration or preservation efforts, including a project started in 2016 in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Chesapeake Bay near Cambridge, Maryland.  If successful, those efforts will help not only Saltmarsh Sparrows but a wide range of organisms and ecological functions sustained by salt marshes.

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

MUSIC – ~22 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

“Sparrow,” from the 2004 album “Driftage,” is copyright by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand and Great Bear Records, used with permission.  More information about Andrew and Noah and their bands is available online at https://www.andrewandnoah.com/andrewandnoah/dev/music/.  This music was also used in Virginia Water Radio Episode 254, 2-23-15, on sparrows generally.

The sounds of the Saltmarsh Sparrow were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

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.

IMAGE

Saltmarsh Sparrow, location unidentified, June 11, 2005.  Photo by Dominic Sherony, made available for use under Creative Commons, “Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0),” accessed online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/9765210@N03/7749644414/, 2/10/20.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE SALTMARSH SPARROW

The scientific name of the Saltmarsh Sparrow is Ammospiza caudacuta (formerly Ammodramus caudacutus).

Here are some points about the Saltmarsh Sparrow, excerpted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Saltmarsh Sparrow,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040381&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18298.

Occurrence

“Common transient and uncommon to common winter resident in coastal and [Chesapeake] Bay salt marshes, locally common summer resident in northern Accomack County.  Peak counts occur along the coast during winter. Rare fall transient [occur] in the Piedmont and Mountains and Valleys with single sightings from Albemarle County in 1948 and 1967, Prince Edward County in 1948, and Clarksville [Mecklenburg County] in 1952.  It is a common transient and uncommon to common winter resident in the coastal salt marshes and a rare transient inland, chiefly in autumn.”

Physical Description

“Length [is] 5.0 to 5.75 inches, wingspread [is] 7.0 to 8.25 inches.  Bill [is] slender; tail graduated, [and] the feathers narrow and pointed.  Top of head [is] brownish with a median line of dark gray; cheeks deep mouse-gray, bordered above and below with cinnamon-buff; upperparts dark grayish-olive, tinged with brown, the middle of the back narrowly lined with white; bend of wing pale yellow; underparts white; the breast and sides streaked…. The similar Nelson's sharp-tailed species lacks conspicuous breast streaking and has a more strikingly streaked beak.  The Nelson's throat is buffy, contrasting little in color with the light stripe below the back.”

Reproduction

“A clutch of 3 to 6 eggs is laid in June or July. Incubation lasts 11 days and nestling period lasts about 10 days.  Usually 2 broods per year are raised.  Nest is usually in higher portions of marsh seldom flooded by tides, [in] salt hay meadows, [or in] borders of fresh marsh and upland.  Nest is typically well hidden in ground vegetation.  Breeding occurs in May, with the peak in late May for Virginia. …Males are not territorial and females defend only the nest site.”

Feeding

“Use ground and herb stem gleaning to forage for seeds, insects and small aquatic animals.  Forages on the mud of salt marshes for small animals (all year) and seeds are added in the winter.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

BirdNote®, “Canary in a Coal Mine,” online at https://www.birdnote.org/show/canary-coal-mine.

Michael Burke, “Saltmarsh sparrow needs tide to turn in its favor if it is to survive,” Bay Journal, 12/14/18, online at https://www.bayjournal.com/article/saltmarsh_sparrow_needs_tide_to_turn_in_its_favor_if_it_is_to_survive.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.  The Saltmarsh Sparrow entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Saltmarsh_Sparrow.

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 Saltmarsh Sparrow entry is online at https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/sstspa/introduction.

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md. (2006).  See particularly the “Salt Marshes” section in the “Wetlands” chapter, pages 209-216.

National Park Service, “Salt Marshes,” online at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/oceans/salt-marshes.htm.

Megan Ossmann, “Seven critters that call wetlands home,” Chesapeake Bay Program’s “In the News,” 11/22/19, online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/news/blog/seven_critters_that_call_wetlands_home.

Kathy Reshetiloff, “The canary in this ‘coal mine’ is the saltmarsh sparrow, Bay Journal, January/February 2020, online at https://www.bayjournal.com/.

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

Saltmarsh Sparrow Research Initiative [based in Rhode Island], online at https://www.salsri.org/.

Mike Slattery and Stephanie Smith, “By supporting key habitats, we support the ecosystem,” Chesapeake Bay Program’s “In the News,” 1/5/16, online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/news/blog/by_supporting_key_habitats_we_support_the_ecosystem.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge,” online at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/blackwater/.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Title=VaFWIS+Species+Information+By+Name&vUT=Visitor.  The Saltmarsh Sparrow entry is online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040381&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18298.  Information on 25 species of sparrows found Virginia is at this link, as of 2/7/20.

For More Information about Birds in Virginia and Elsewhere

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.

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

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, “Animal Diversity Web,” online at https://animaldiversity.org/.

Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at http://www.virginiabirds.org/.  The Society is a 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 area links to three other episodes related to sparrows or marshes.

Episode 254, 2-23-15 – on sparrows generally.
Episode 429, 7-16-18 – on marshes generally.
Episode 430, 7-23-18 – on marsh birds generally.

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
1.5 – animals’ basic needs and distinguishing characteristics.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 – living things as part of a system, including habitats.
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.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.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.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

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

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national 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.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Episode 510 (2-3-20): Voting on Water in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly

Click to listen to episode (4:59)

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 1-31-20. 

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 3, 2020.

SOUNDS – ~10 sec – Deputy Clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates Sharon Crouch Steidel: “Ayes 99.  I declare Eileen Filler-Corn duly elected Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.” Applause.

That’s an excerpt of the January 8, 2020, election of Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax as the first female Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.  After that historic moment, the House—along with the Virginia State Senate—began the business of considering over 3100 bills and resolutions that have been introduced into the 2020 General Assembly session.  At least 180 of those bills concern water resources, either focusing directly on water, or focusing on land uses, such as energy use and production, that have impacts on water.

This week is Virginia Water Radio’s annual episode giving you a chance to imagine being an Assembly member, and to consider how you’d vote on six of those water-related bills.  I’ll give brief descriptions of the bills, followed by a couple of seconds of a ticking clock sound to decide if you would vote for or against the idea.  Then I’ll give the bill’s status—still alive or already failed—as of January 29.  Here we go.

No. 1: House Bill 705 would transfer permitting authority from the Air Pollution Control Board, Waste Management Board, and State Water Control Board to the Department of Environmental Quality.  [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill was in alive in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources, or ACNR, Committee.

No. 2: House Bill 542 would have the State Water Control Board facilitate regional water supply planning by localities, including predicting risk of shortfalls in each locality and region, encouraging cross-jurisdictional supply projects, and using river basins to designate regional planning areas. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking]  This bill had passed the House ACNR Committee and was alive in the House Appropriations Committee.

No. 3: House Bill 794 would create a Flood Insurance Fund to subsidize purchase of flood insurance by low-income Virginians in flood-prone areas.  [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking]  This bill also had passed the House ACNR committee and was alive in the House Appropriations Committee.

No. 4: House Joint Resolution 89 would request the Department of Environmental Quality to study the impacts of litter on fishing, farming, stream water quality, and other components of Virginia’s economy and habitats.   [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking]  This bill was alive in the House Rules Committee.

No. 5: Senate Bill 361 would direct the Joint Commission on Technology and Science to study the economic, quality-of-life, and safety consequences of weather and climate-related events on Virginia’s coastal areas.   [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking]  This bill failed in the Senate Rules Committee.

And No. 6: Senate Bill 1027 would authorize the Department of Environmental Quality to establish a carbon cap-and-trade program, selling carbon allowances and using the revenues for community flood preparedness, energy-efficiency programs for low-income citizens, and statewide climate change planning and mitigation.  [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking]  This bill was alive in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.

This short game obviously can’t capture the scope of the General Assembly’s potential impacts on a subject as complicated, connected, and vital as water.  Any bill involves more information and details than you heard here.   The General Assembly’s Web site, virginiageneralassembly.gov, has tools to help you get the details and to express your opinions to Assembly members.  The 2020 General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on March 7, so now’s the time.

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 opening audio was from the Virginia House of Delegates opening session January 8, 2020, in Richmond.  The audio was excerpted from the House of Delegates livestream video archives, accessed online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php.

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

Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons swearing in Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, January 8, 2020. Image taken from House of Delegates livestream video archives, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php.


Members of the Virginia House of Delegates, January 8, 2020. Image taken from House of Delegates livestream video archives, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php.


Members of the Virginia Senate, January 8, 2020. Image taken from Senate livestream video archives, online at virginia-senate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=2825.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT LEGISLATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Following are Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) summaries of the bills mentioned in this episode, as of 1/31/20, accessed at http://lis.virginia.gov/ (edited in some cases for space or clarity).  The bill numbers are hyperlinked to the respective LIS pages for each bill.

HB 542 – Regional water resource planning; State Water Control Board regulations.  “Directs the State Water Control Board to predict the risk that each locality and region in the Commonwealth will experience water supply shortfalls, to encourage the development of cross-jurisdictional water supply projects, and to adopt regulations designating regional planning areas based primarily on river basin.  Each locality in a particular regional planning area shall participate in cross-jurisdictional, coordinated water resource planning, and all localities in each area shall together develop and submit a single regional water supply plan.  The bill directs the Department of Environmental Quality to facilitate the creation of the regional water plans by ensuring sufficient coordination among localities, providing planning and other assistance, and ensuring that each regional plan identifies risks and proposes cost-effective strategies in response.  The bill directs that the Board and the Department prioritize the allocation of funds to localities that sufficiently participate in regional planning. The bill contains technical amendments.”

HB 705 – State air, waste, and water boards; permit authority.  “Removes the authority to issue, reissue, amend, or modify permits or certificates or to hear permit actions from the Air Pollution Control Board, the Waste Management Board, and the State Water Control Board and places such authority with the Department of Environmental Quality.  The bill changes the composition of the three boards from appointment exclusively by the Governor to the following: two members appointed by the Governor; two members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules from a list recommended by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; and three members appointed by the Speaker of the House from a list recommended by the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources.  The appointing authority shall appoint members for the unexpired term upon a vacancy other than by expiration of a term.”

HB 794 – Flood Insurance Fund; low-income Virginians.   “Creates a Flood Insurance Fund and directs the Executive Director of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Resources Authority to establish a program to use the Fund to subsidize the purchase of flood insurance by low-income Virginians.  Such program shall include an application process, application guidelines, and a ranking system that prioritizes the use of the Fund to support the purchase of flood insurance in the most flood-prone areas.”

HJ 89 - Study; economic and environmental impacts of litter on fishing, farming, habitat, organisms, and water quality in streams; report.   “Requests the Department of Environmental Quality to study the economic and environmental impacts of litter on fishing, farming, water quality, and other components of Virginia's economy and habitat and to propose strategies, campaigns, and necessary state actions to protect the economy of the Commonwealth from harm caused by litter and to promote Virginia's economic welfare.”

SB 361 – Study; JCOTS; safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia; report.   “Directs the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) to study the safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia.  In conducting its study, JCOTS shall examine (i) the negative impacts of weather, and geological and climate-related events, including displacement, economic loss, and damage to health or infrastructure; (ii) the area or areas and the number of citizens affected by such impacts; (iii) the frequency or probability and the time dimensions, including near-term, medium-term, and long-term probabilities of such impacts; (iv) alternative actions available to remedy or mitigate such impacts and their expected cost; (v) the degree of certainty that each of these impacts and alternative actions may reliably be known; and (vi) the technical resources available, either in state or otherwise, to effect such alternative actions and improve our knowledge of their effectiveness and cost.”

SB 1027 – Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act; fund.   “Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to incorporate into regulations previously adopted by the State Air Pollution Control Board certain provisions establishing a carbon dioxide cap and trade program to reduce emissions released by electric generation facilities.  Such provisions are required to comply with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative model rule.  The bill authorizes the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to establish, implement, and manage an auction program to sell allowances into a market-based trading program.  The bill requires revenues from the sale of carbon allowances, to the extent permitted by Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, to be deposited in an interest-bearing account and to be distributed without further appropriation (i) to the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund; (ii) to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy for low-income energy efficiency programs; (iii) for administrative expenses; and (iv) for statewide climate change planning and mitigation activities.  The bill continues the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund as the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund for the purpose of creating a low-interest loan program to help inland and coastal communities that are subject to recurrent or repetitive flooding.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

University of Virginia, “State Government Relations/Key Dates for the 2020 General Assembly Session,” online at https://sgr.virginia.edu/key-dates-2020-general-assembly-session.

Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations Committee, “Legislative Budget Process,” online at http://hac.virginia.gov/legislative.htm.

Virginia House of Delegates live stream video archive, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php, and Virginia Senate live stream video archive, online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  Live streaming of committee meetings also is available; information on live streaming of House committee meetings is online at https://publications.virginiageneralassembly.gov/display_publication/209; Senate committee meetings are online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

Virginia Legislative Information System, online at https://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm.  This site provides lists and summaries of all bills, searchable by topic, member, committee, etc.  As of January 31, 2020, “Session Statistics,” online at https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+oth+STA, listed 3155 House or Senate bills, resolutions, or joint resolutions introduced for the 2020 session.

Virginia General Assembly, online at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php.  This Web site offers several useful features, including member lists, session calendars, live video of floor sessions, and information on legislative processes.

Virginia Water Resources Research Center, “Virginia Water Legislation,” online at https://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/.  This site provides access to inventories of water-related bills in the Virginia General Assembly from 1998 through 2019.

For More Information about the Virginia General Assembly

To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are requested to contact their respective delegate of senator.  If you do not know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.  You can find members’ contact information at these links:
House: http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php;
Senate: https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/index.php.

The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm.  For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.

Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on the Virginia General Assembly are available online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=General+Assembly.  Items are categorized by the year of each session, from 2012 to 2020.

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 “Community/Organizations” subject category.

Following are links to previous episodes on the Virginia General Assembly.

Episode 143, 1-7-13 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 147, 2-4-13 – on General Assembly committees.
Episode 196, 1-13-14 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 247, 1-5-15 – annual General Assembly preview, with special focus on state budget.
Episode 252, 2-9-15 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 297, 1-4-16 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 302, 2-8-16 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 350, 1-9-17 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 353, 1-30-17 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 359, 3-13-17 – on General Assembly subcommittees.
Episode 402, 1-8-18 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 405, 1-29-18 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 410, 3-5-18 – on electricity regulation legislation in 2018 session.
Episode 454, 1-7-19 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 460, 2-18-19 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 506, 1-6-20 – annual General Assembly preview.

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).

2010 Science SOLs 

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
6.9 – public policy decisions regarding the environment.

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; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.10 – oceans, including economic and policy decisions affecting oceans, the coastal zone, and the Chesapeake Bay.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

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

Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.18 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course

GOVT.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy 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.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Episode 509 (1-27-20): Early-breeding Wood Frogs and Little Grass Frogs Get the Jump on Spring

Click to listen to episode (4:24)

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 1-24-20.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of January 27, 2020.

MUSIC – ~6 sec – instrumental

That’s part of “The Coming Spring,” by Andrew VanNorstrand, from his 2019 album, “That We Could Find a Way to Be.”  This week, with spring still two months away by the calendar, we get an early jump on that season with two frogs that begin breeding in Virginia in mid-winter.  Have a listen for about 20 seconds to these mystery sounds, and see if you know these frogs.  And here’s a hint: If you heard these species’ earliest breeding calls, you would probably see little grass.

SOUNDS - ~19 sec

If you guessed a Wood Frog and a Little Grass Frog, you’re right!  You heard the clucking of a Wood Frog and the insect-like chirps of a Little Grass Frog.  These two species are part of 28 native frog and toad species found in Virginia.  As a group, frogs and toads are known for aquatic-habitat breeding that typically involves calling by males to attract females.   For most Virginia frogs and toads, that breeding activity starts in March or April.  But six species are considered early-season breeders, with activity starting by February, and Wood Frogs and Little Grass Frogs may start in January.

These two species occupy different parts of Virginia: Wood Frogs are found mostly in Virginia’s mountains and Piedmont, while Little Grass Frogs are found in the Commonwealth’s southeastern corner.  Wood Frogs gather in large groups in various temporary, or ephemeral, water habitats, for breeding over a few days, during which the females deposit large floating masses containing hundreds or thousands of eggs.  Little Grass Frogs, the smallest frog species in North America, seek shallow-water grassy areas and lay much smaller numbers of eggs on plants or on the bottom of a shallow pond.

These two frog species—in different regions, with different sounds and different breeding behavior—together offer much of Virginia a chance to hear life-cycles restarting well before the more familiar signs of spring.

Thanks to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and to Lang Elliott for permission to use the Little Grass Frog sound, from the 2008 CD, “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads.”  Thanks also to Andrew VanNorstrand for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 20 more seconds of “The Coming Spring,” featuring singer Kailyn Wright.

MUSIC – ~21 sec - lyrics: “I went outside and I remembered everything: how the coldest winter melts before the coming spring.”

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

The Wood Frog sounds heard in this episode were recorded by Virginia Water Radio in Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., on February 18, 2018.

The Little Grass Frog sounds in this episode were from “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads” CD, copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and Lang Elliott/NatureSound Studio, used with permission.   For more information on this CD, contact VDGIF online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/; by mail to P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228-0778; by phone to (804) 367-1000 (VTDD); or by e-mail to dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov.  Lang Elliott’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

“The Coming Spring,” from the 2019 album “That We Could Find a Way to Be,” is copyright by Andrew VanNorstrand, used with permission.  More information about Andrew VanNorstrand is available online at https://www.andrewvannorstrand.com/.

Thanks to the following people for their help with this episode:
Tommy Cianolo, Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation;
Kevin Hamed, Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation;
Tom McNamara, Craig County, Va.;
John Kleopfer, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries;
Elizabeth Shadle, Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences.

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

Wood Frog.  Photo by Elizabeth Shadle, used with permission.


Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris ocularis) in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, February 2011.  Photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library, online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/12030/rec/1.


Wood Frog egg masses.  Photo by Elizabeth Shadle, used with permission.


Virginia county occurrence map for the Wood Frog.  Map from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife Information/Wood Frog,” online at online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/wood-frog/.


Virginia county occurrence map for the Little Grass Frog.  Map from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife Information/Little Grass Frog,” online at online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/little-grass-frog/.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE WOOD FROG AND THE LITTLE GRASS FROG

Wood Frog

The Wood Frog’s scientific name is Lithobates sylvaticus.

The following information on the Wood Frog is quoted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Wood Frog Life History Chapter,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=020019&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18270.

Physical Description
“This species ranges in length from 35-83 mm (1.5-3.25 in).   It has a distinctive dark "mask" extending back from the eye.  Dorsal [top] coloration varies from nearly pink to shades of brown to nearly black.  Females are typically more brightly colored and larger than the males.”

Reproduction
“This species is often described as an explosive, short-term breeder.  In this region, breeding often takes place over just a few days in February or March.  The breeding cue is typically temperature with males sometimes heard calling when ponds are still iced over.  Male breeding call is a raspy clacking sound similar to the quacking of a duck.  Breeding adults gather in large numbers. Females lay globular masses of eggs often closely aggregated and attached to submerged plants or other objects in shallow pools.  Mean clutch size is 1750 eggs. …This species prefers ponds, slow portions of streams, and ditches for breeding.”

Behavior, Feeding, and Habitat

This species is adapted to the cold and ranges farther north than any other North American amphibian or reptile.  It appears very early in the year, and males are often heard calling before ice-out on the ponds. …Apart from the breeding period, individuals are typically found in or near moist woods often far from open water.  They hibernate under detritus or logs in wooded ravines.  This frog feeds primarily on insects, especially beetles and flies. …In Virginia, this species is found in the mountains and in scattered locations across the Piedmont and northern Coastal Plain.  It is typically found in or near moist woods frequently far from open water.”

Little Grass Frog

The Little Grass Frog’s scientific name is Pseudacris ocularis.

The following information on the Little Grass Frog is quoted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Little Grass Frog Life History Chapter,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=020010&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18285.

Physical Description
“This is the smallest frog in North America ranging in size from 11-19 mm (7/16 to 3/4 in).  Its dorsal [top] coloration ranges from gray to brown to reddish.  A characteristic dark stripe extends from nostril through the eye onto the sides.  A dark mid-dorsal stripe is sometimes present.”

Reproduction
“Few specifics are known about the life history of this species in the northern portion of its range which is southeastern Virginia.  However, general information is available.  This species breeds in association with spring and summer rains.  The male's mating call is a tinkling, insect-like ‘set-see, set-see.’  Though breeding is typically associated with rains, the calls can be heard throughout the year during warm weather.  Females deposit approximately 100 eggs singly on the bottom of shallow ponds and in vegetation.”

Behavior, Feeding, and Habitat
“This species prefers grassy areas near bogs or ponds in pine savannas and pools or streams in hardwood forests and swamps. …This species' principal prey item are small insects. …This species is found near bogs or ponds in pine savannas and pools or streams in hardwood forests and swamps.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Bernard S. Martof et al., Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1980.

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, “Animal Diversity Web,” online at https://animaldiversity.org.  The Wood Frog entry is at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Lithobates_sylvaticus/; there’s no listing for the Little Grass Frog.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/.
The Wood Frog entry is online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=020019&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18270.
The Little Grass Frog entry is online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=020010&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18285.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Frog Facts: Wood Frog,” 2/6/15, online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/blog/frog-facts-wood-frog/.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Virginia Frog and Toad Calling Survey,” online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/frogsurvey/.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife Information,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/. A list of 85 amphibians, including 28 frogs and toads, found in Virginia is online at this link.
The Wood Frog entry is online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/wood-frog/.
The Little Grass Frog entry is online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/little-grass-frog/.

Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS), online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/.  The VHS supports the scientific study of amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders) and reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles).
The VHS’ Wood Frog entry is online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/wood-frog/wood_frog.php.
The VHS’ Little Grass Frog entry is online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/little-grass-frog/little_grass_frog.php.
The “Frog Calling Schedule” is online (as a PDF) at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/_phenology/va-frog-and-toad-phenology.pdf.

For More Information about Frogs and Other Amphibians

AmphibiaWeb, https://amphibiaweb.org/index.html.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “National Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative [ARMI],” online at https://armi.usgs.gov/index.php.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Virginia is for Frogs” Web site, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/virginia-is-for-frogs/.

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 “Amphibians” subject category.

Following are links to other Water Radio episodes that include sounds of the Wood Frog or the Little Grass Frog.

Episode 206, 3-24-14 – A Spring Serenade (including the Wood Frog).
Episode 408, 2-19-18 – A Frog and Toad Medley (including the Wood Frog).
Episode 464, 3-18-19 – Calling All Virginia Chorus Frogs (including the Little Grass Frog, which is classified as a type of chorus frog).

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 Life Processes Theme
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.
3.6 – ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
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.4 – organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.8 – community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.

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

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, January 21, 2020

Episode 508 (1-20-20): A Water-related Introduction to Virginia’s Legislative Commissions, Committees, and Councils

Click to listen to episode (5:42)

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


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 1-17-20.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of January 20, 2020.

VOICE – ~7 sec – “This is an issue, this is a problem, this something that needs resolution yesterday. And we cannot wait any longer.”

That’s the voice of Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax County, the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, referring to the problem of sea-level rise and coastal flooding.  She was speaking at the December 4, 2019, meeting in Blacksburg of the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science, or JCOTS.  This week we focus on JCOTS as an example of Virginia’s wide variety of legislative commissions, committees, and councils, and their connection to the work of the Virginia General Assembly.  Have a listen for about 90 more seconds to the sea-level rise part of the December 4 JCOTS meeting.

VOICES - ~98 sec

James Aylor – “Our mission, and the mission of JCOTS, really overlap extensively.   In other words, you folks are looking at science and technology for the state, and we have a set of experts…who work pretty much—well, they do work free when they do these studies.   It seemed like to me an opportunity for us to join up and do some things together. …”

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn – “Yes, I get the importance of the study, and I do think I share your interest in doing that moving forward.  What can be done prior to that study?  I’m trying to figure out what we can do now with regard to coastal flooding. I know as I spent more and more time…in your region, Mr. Chairman, countless times there were meetings and events that were literally just canceled.  People could not get out of their house, they could not down the roads.  We all know that but it’s different to actually be there and to see it. …”

Sen. Bill DeSteph – “I sit on the joint committee on coastal flooding.  We met Monday.  We had just over three hours of briefings.  I’ve been briefed by the Army Corps of Engineers; that was a six-hour brief. … The concern I have is, almost all of these folks are referring to the same NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] model, but for 2070 everybody’s opinion of where we’re going to be [on sea level in coastal Virginia] is different. … So I think it’s truly important to get a group of scientists [and engineers] to sit down, agree on what the underlying assumptions are, and then build a model for a recommendation, if there is a way to come to an agreement in the underlying assumptions.”

Sen. John Cosgrove – “We can go back and forth on what’s causing sea-level rise, but the sea-level is rising.  And I think this group can give us a “nuts-and-bolts/here’s-what-we-really-believe brief, with no outside influence. And I think that’s exactly what we all need.”

You heard, first, James Aylor, president of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, referring to that group’s proposal for a sea-level rise study, followed by some reactions from three JCOTS members: Delagate Filler-Corn, Senator Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach, and Sen. John Cosgrove of Chesapeake.  Following-up that meeting, in January 2020 Sen. Cosgrove proposed to the General Assembly Senate Joint Resolution 38, which would direct JCOTS to study “the safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia.”  This is an example of how JCOTS is involved in gathering information that may lead to General Assembly legislation.

JCOTS is one of over two dozen legislative commissions and other groups listed by the Virginia Division of Legislative Services, the legislative branch agency tasked with providing nonpartisan legal and research services to the General Assembly.  The subject matter and purposes of these groups vary widely, but collectively they provide information, make legislative or regulatory recommendations, monitor implementation of some legislation, and perform other services for the Assembly.

Besides JCOTS and its water-science connection, three other long-term groups particularly relate to water: the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee, the State Water Commission, and the Coal and Energy Commission.  Water can also be the subject of shorter-term study committees or subcommittees that the General Assembly appoints from time to time; one current example is the Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding.

While the General Assembly is in session for only about one to two months each year, during the rest of the time legislative commissions, committees, and councils help carry out Assembly actions and gather information to support future bills.  More information on these groups is available at the Division of Legislative Services’ Web site, dls.virginia.gov.

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 voices heard in this episode were recorded on December 4, 2019, at the meeting of the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) at the Virginia Tech Inn in Blacksburg.  The comments presented here are excerpts intended to give the sense of the speaker’s comments at the time.  The excerpts are in the order in which people spoke during the sea-level rise segment of the meeting.

Thanks for James Aylor, president of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, for providing information for 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.

IMAGE

Dr. James Aylor, president of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, making a presentation to the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, December 4, 2019.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT VIRGINIA LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES, SUBCOMMITTEES, AND COUNCILS

Following are the commissions, committees, subcommittees, and councils listed by the Virginia Department of Legislative Services (DLS), online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html, as of January 20, 2020.  The categories are as listed on the DLS page, and the group hyperlinks from that page are retained here.

Business
Commission on Electric Utility Regulation
Commission on Economic Opportunity for Virginians in Aspiring & Diverse Communities
Health Insurance Reform Commission
Manufacturing Development Commission
Small Business Commission
Joint Commission on Technology and Science
Commission on Unemployment Compensation

Education
Commission on Civic Education

Energy and Environment
Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee
Coal and Energy Commission
State Water Commission

Health
Autism Advisory Council
Virginia Disability Commission

Historical
Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Committee
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission
Virginia World War I Commemoration Commission
Virginia World War II Commemoration Commission

Housing
Virginia Housing Commission

Legal and Regulatory
Administrative Law Advisory Committee
Joint Commission on Administrative Rules
Virginia Code Commission
Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council
Freedom of Information Advisory Council
Commissioners for the Promotion of Uniformity of Legislation in the United States

Procurement Processes
Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act Model Guidelines Working Group

Taxation
Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences

Transportation
Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability

Interim Study Committees
ABC Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century
Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding
Joint Committee to Study the Future of Public Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commonwealth
Paid Family and Medical Leave Study

Other Legislative Commissions and Councils
Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
Capitol Square Preservation Council
Chesapeake Bay Commission
Virginia State Crime Commission
Joint Commission on Health Care
Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC)
Virginia Commission on Youth

SOURCES USED FOR AUDIO AND OFFERING MORE INFORMATION

Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, online at http://www.vasem.org/.

Virginia Division of Legislative Services (DLS), “Commissions and Committees,” online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html; “Joint Commission on Technology and Science,” online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commission/jcots.htm; and “Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding,” online at http://dls.virginia.gov/interim_studies_flooding.html.

Virginia General Assembly, “Interim Studies and Commissions Listing/Joint Commission on Technology and Science,” https://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/studies/179.

Virginia General Assembly, “Virginia House of Delegates Member Listing,” online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php; and “Senate of Virginia,” online at https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/index.php.

Virginia Legislative Information System, “Bills and Resolutions/2020 Session/ Senate Joint Resolution (SJ) 38: Coastal areas; study on economic consequences of weather-related events,” online at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+SJ38.  This is the source of the quote from SJ 38 in this episode’s audio.

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 “Community/Organizations” subject category.

Virginia’s State Water Commission was the focus of Episode 347, 12-19-16.

This most recent episode on the Virginia General Assembly is Episode 506, 1-6-20; the show notes for that episode include links to previous General Assembly episodes.

Following are links to some other episodes on Virginia state agencies.
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries – Episode 322, 6-27-16.
Marine Resources Commission – Episode 91, 12-5-11.
State Water Control Board – Episode 94, 1-9-12.
State Parks System – Episode 320, 6-13-16.

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).

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Virginia 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, and cost/benefit assessments).

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

Life Science Course
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.10 – ocean processes, interactions, and policies affecting coastal zones, including Chesapeake Bay.

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.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

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

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.

Government Course
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.