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Environment

courtesy MPR

Paul Huttner, MPR's chief meteorologist, talks climate change and more

MPR's chief meteorologist Paul Huttner was in town to speak at North House, and stopped by our studios to chat with CJ. Hear what he has to say about climate change, Minnesota's shifting weather, the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, and more. You can read his Updraft blog here.


Earthrise, NASA

Biodiversity valuable in many ways to humans and the planet

Researchers at the U of MN's College of Biological Science say we're on the brink of mass extinction, due to habitat destruction, overhunting, the introduction of nonnative species, and more. Forest Isbell, lead author of a study published in the scientific journal "Nature," joined Dave to explain the ways biodiversity benefits us, and why it's so important for humans and the whole planet.


courtesy David Shaw

Alaska communities turning increasingly to renewable energy

David Shaw is a science writer, guide, photographer, and wildlife biologist living near Fairbanks, Alaska. He joined CJ to talk about the rise of renewable energy in rural Alaska communities as a way to control costs and address climate change. He also chatted about his work as a guide and photographer--you can learn more about him here.


courtesy abbaslabs.com

U of MN "Super Sponge" can clean mercury from lakes

A research team at the U of MN has developed a sponge that can absorb mercury from a polluted water source in seconds. Dave talked with the team's leader, Prof. Abdennour Abbas, of the department of bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the U. You can learn more about his lab here.


courtesy Ann Bancroft Foundation

Polar explorer Ann Bancroft talks achievements, challenges and future projects

March is Women's History Month, and we were lucky to speak with a Minnesota woman who made history by becoming the first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South poles. Ann Bancroft joined CJ to talk about those epic adventures, what she's found as her greatest challenges, and her current projects including the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Follow Ann's expeditions here.


Forest Road 166_Photo from scenicphoto.com

Study finds secret to success of diverse forests

Scientists from the U of MN think they've found the reson why diverse forests are often more productive than monocultures. Laura Williams, a graduate student at the U and lead author of the study, chatted with CJ about the study and its findings and implications. 


John Whitman's book

Northern Gardening with author and gardener John Whitman


New Deep Winter Greenhouse in Finland, Minn.

New 'Deep Winter Greenhouse' in Finland enables food production all winter long

The first "Deep Winter Greenhouse" is done and ready to go in Finland, at the Organic Consumers Association. It's a project of the NE MN Regional Sustainable Development program, which has several more planned for other areas in the state. Two of the leaders of the project, Dan Handeen and Greg Schweser, chatted with Dave about the greenhouse, what it's meant to do, and the special features of its construction. Local carpenters Gordon Thorne and Hans Mueller built the greenhouse.

Photo by Bryan Hansel

Sunny's Back Yard: Nature's jewel tones

Nature has its own array of "jewel tones" - whether colors, smells or sounds. In this edition of Sunny's Back Yard, we are reminded that jewel tones are a gift to the spirit.