Summer is here, the humid days and the hot nights. The nesting robins and the walks through nature sanctuaries. The dead armadillos by the side of the road, yes, it’s all part of Nature in the City.
Larry Rizzo, Natural History Biologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation in Kansas City, and Mark McKellar, formerly with the Nature Conservancy and the Audobon Society and now owner of the Backyard Bird Center in the Northland, join us to explore these issues and more on this summer edition of Nature in the City.
Ash Grove Cement Company has agreed to pay a penalty, and invest $30 million in new pollution control technology at its nine manufacturing plants-one of which is in Chanute, Kan. The settlement stems from charges that Ash Grove violated the Clean Air Act.
The consent decree allows the Overland Park-based company to pay a $2.5 million penalty, and install new pollution controls at plants in nine states, without having to admit to violating air quality requirements.
They spread disease and pollute the land. They devour birds and baby fauns. They have sharp teeth, weigh 300 pounds, and are now in 38 states across the US. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but the wild pig is real and they cause damage to farms and rural communities throughout America.
If you're reading this right now you're consuming energy and that energy has to come from somewhere. Typically, "we’re killing people in foreign lands in order to extract 200-million-year-old sunlight. Then we burn it... in order to boil water to create steam to drive a turbine to generate electricity. We frack our own backyards and pollute our rivers, or we blow up our mountaintops just miles from our nation’s capital for an hour of electricity, when we could just take what’s falling free from the sky.” Those words from Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sunergy, are the heart of any call for more investment in solar energy. It’s a hot topic and in Kansas City, Missouri were 80 government buildings will soon be leasing solar panels and getting cheaper energy as a result. In light of that we take a look at our regions solar options with Chuck Caisleym, vice president of Marketing & Public affairs at KCP&L and Susan Brown, VP of Public Affairs at Brightergy.
Summer is the season for camping, walks and bike rides in wooded areas, but this also means it's the season of ticks. From April to September is tick season, and this is when the insects are most prevalent looking for a blood host.
Not only are ticks a pain to try and remove if they get on your skin, but getting bit by one can cause serious illnesses like Lyme disease. Recently, another tick-related disease was discovered by Scott Folk, a doctor at Heartland Adult Infectious Diseases.
Plans to expand a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas have run into another snag.
An appellate court in Washington, DC, says a federal agency violated the law by clearing the way for expansion of Sunflower Electric’s power plant in Holcomb without first reviewing its impact on the environment.
Attorney Amanda Goodin represents the Sierra Club, which filed suit to stop the expansion.
The Superfund National Priorities List now includes nine new sites-one of them where a smelter used to operate on the east side of Iola.
The EPA says the soil on hundreds of residential and commercial properties in and around Iola is contaminated with lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc. EPA Region 7 spokeswoman Dianna Whitaker says the biggest concern is lead.
“Children can get into that lead—especially young children," she says. "They put their hands in their mouths, and then they can be exposed and absorb lead, and lead is very dangerous for young children."
Imagine a Kansas City covered by ice sheets, oceans that ebb and flow, or lush rain forests with soaring ferns and palm trees.
These were some of the different landscapes that covered this area millions of years ago. UMKC geosciences professor emeritus Richard Gentile says we learn all this by “reading the rocks” beneath our feet.
The volunteer crew members pulled on their life jackets and climbed into a flat-bottomed aluminum boat at a ramp near Nebraska City, Neb. They came out early on a cold, gray April morning hoping to catch an endangered pallid sturgeon.
Say you’re researching for a book report. Or looking up local history. Maybe you want to learn to some do-it-yourself home repair. Chances are good you’ll log on to the internet and get your answers in a few minutes without leaving your chair.
This leaves old-fashioned libraries with a problem: how to get people back to the stacks.
One local library has a unique solution for facing the future by embracing the past. The new branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library literally joins a 21st century building with a pre-Civil War home.
Who doesn’t love Monarch Butterflies? Could you imagine the loss we would feel if they disappeared? Our guest on Central Standard today will talk to us about the decline of monarch butterfly populations. It comes down to a loss of habitat. We discuss the severity of the situation and what we can do to help turn things around? We also discuss threats to bees and the implications of having another pollinator at risk. Our guest works for K-U. Orley “Chip” Taylor is a trained insect ecologist and founded Monarch Watch some 20-years ago. It’s an opportunity to learn about monarch butterflies….
After a drawn out winter where we in Kansas City found ourselves hibernating through the snow and ice of March, spring has finally sprung. The trees are blooming and the landscape is finally peppered with color as plants and wildlife emerge from dormancy. On this Central Standard, we explore the nature around us as we transition into Spring.
April 1st marks the start of spring turkey season in Kansas for archers, youth and disabled hunters.
In the early 1960s, wild turkeys were reintroduced to the state, and almost every county now has a huntable population.
Mike Miller with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, says turkeys are anything but easy prey.
“When everything works out right it can be a really easy exciting hunt, for any hunter, especially a young hunter, just because of what you see and what you hear, and the whole build up as you get into shotgun range,” says Miller.
Most of the freshwater on earth isn’t held in rivers, lakes or streams. It’s in massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. Those ice sheets hold a valuable record about the past climate of earth, but now they are melting at an increasing rate. Professor Prasad Gogineni of Kansas University and director of the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) joins us to discuss how scientists are studying this phenomenon.
Decades ago, scientists and energy experts predicted that 2013 would include flying cars and that by now, oil would be a thing of the past. But the state of our energy consumption in America has stayed somewhat the same, while causing intense political discussion on the matter.
The American Crow is a smart and wary social bird with all black feathers, black talons and a black beak. Every once in a while during the winter, you can see thousands of these crows gathering in certain spots around parts of Kansas City. Over the past 50 years, crows have been congregating more and more in urban environments – and if you’ve been in the middle of a dive-bombing murder, you know they create quite the disturbance.
The heavy snow last week caused several roof collapses around the Kansas City area. And several more buildings were evacuated for fear of a collapse, including a Macy’s in Overland Park. KCUR’s Dan Verbeck sat down with Overland Park Code Administrator, Tim Ryan, to find out more about addressing and preventing roof collapses.
It was a bad day to try to get around in Kansas City. KCI essentially closed at mid-morning with about 300 flights cancelled. Although flights are expected to resume later tonight, more cancellations are all but certain tomorrow morning. Driving was terrible, too.
PLEASE NOTE: This show was recorded on January 14.
The oil and gas industry is seeing a slew of booms all over the country—in North Dakota, Texas, and now in southern Kansas. The key: How much can be retrieved from something called the Mississippi Line Formation in south-central Kansas.
It may be the dead of winter, but there is still plenty of nature to see in the Kansas City area. Larry Rizzo, natural history biologist, and Joe Werner, biologist and urban ecologist will cover the best places to observe eagles and nesting Great Horned Owls, and explain what's going on pre-February with groundhogs. And we'll also explore how unseasonably warmer weather and a continued drought is affecting animal habits?