Saving A Shoreline, With Oysters
December 14th, 2013
Saxis, a tiny fishing community off the east coast, has lost so much shoreline it’s almost an island now. Russell Burke (Christopher Newport University) is using oysters as part of what he calls “living reefs” as a buffer against the encroaching waters. Also featured: It’s a mystery to scientists why there is a string of relatively young volcanoes along the eastern side of North America. Elizabeth Johnson (James Madison University) examines rocks from the depths of extinct volcanoes to unearth what really caused these baffling eruptions. Plus: Researchers are experimenting with radar as a means of tracking the migration patterns of flocks of songbirds. Eric Walters and Andrew Arnold (Old Dominion University) have teamed up with NASA and environmental groups to study one of the major flyways in the United States.
Later in the show: Bats aren’t so scary—but they are mysterious. Scientists are only just beginning to unravel how bats navigate and hunt in the dark using echolocation. Paul Moosman (Virginia Military Institute) has developed a device that he can strap onto bats to record their night journeys. And biologist Rick Sherwin (Christopher Newport University) joins the conversation to talk about a bat species that depends on access to abandoned mines for survival. Plus: Baby chimpanzees in the mountains of Tanzania are at risk of contracting human diseases. Taranjit Kaur (Virginia Tech) lived with her family on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and used an innovative eco-friendly field lab to learn how to protect the chimps.