Population growth won't be the only reason for increased food demand in the years ahead--the changing diets of the world's growing middle class, from plant- to animal-based, will play a significant role. Dick talked with Dr. Jamie Gerber, co-director of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's Global Landscapes Initiative, to learn about it. You can read much more on their environment reports website. Jamie also suggests the Better Buying Lab to help make more sustainable food choices.
Pretty cool--you can count seals in Antarctica, right from your couch, via satellite images. Dr. Michelle LaRue is a research ecologist at the U of MN Department of Earth Sciences and lead researcher on the project, which is called "Satellites Over Seals." She talked with Dick about what they're studying, why the seal count is important, and why they've turned to the public for help. It's easy to get started counting seals--just go to www.tomnod.com and follow the instructions.
Perseid meteor showers peak the week of Aug. 8...and best overnight Thursday night. One of our favorite regular guests, Bob King, chatted with Dave about when and where to see them, and how to get pictures, too. Lots of great info here including where to get the best northern lights predictions, aurora apps for your phone, and a simple explanation of what a meteor shower actually is. Bob is a photographer and photo editor at the Duluth News Tribune, and writes the popular Astrobob blog.
What do those labels on 'ecofriendly' products really mean? Dave chatted with Dr. Tim Smith of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise to learn what to look for and how to better read those labels. Dr. Smith suggests the Good Guide phone app as one of many tools to help make more environmentally-friendly buying decisions.
Researchers at the MN Invasive Terrestrial Plants & Pests Center recently compiled an extensive paper that ranks the 124 top invaders--and now they're looking for input from you. Dick spoke with Rob Venette, director of the center, and Heather Koop, associate director, about the report, why it's important, and how you can help. They're accepting public input on their website through July 29.
Ever hear of forest bathing? It's an idea that comes from Japan, of literally immersing yourself in nature to improve your mental and physical health. Dr. Jean Larson of the Center for Spirituality & Healing and the U of MN Arboretum joined Dave recently to explain why getting out into the forest, away from the bustle of modern urban life, is good for body and soul.
Just in time for the holiday weekend, we checked in with Kurt Steele, district ranger for the Tofte district of the U.S. Forest Service. He talked with Dick about safety, ethics, permits, and much more.