Environment

Environment
12:12 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Fungus threatens Michigan's bat population

White nose syndrome has been detected in bats in 25 states.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Since 2006, a deadly bat fungus called white nose syndrome has spread its way throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada, decimating bat populations. This April, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the disease has been detected in Michigan.

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Environment
1:56 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

MSU students work to make clean water more accessible in developing world

MSU Engineering students (L to R) Grant Golasa, Scott Oldham, and Shenli Pei with their recently developed water purification device. The mechanism includes a small, battery powered mercury bulb and switch. Its light neutralizes impurities.
Credit Emanuele Berry/WKAR

Earlier this year, Current State welcomed John Barrie from the Appropriate Technology Collaborative to Studio S. He explained that the collaborative  creates new technologies to improve the quality of life in developing countries worldwide. The organization also collaborates with universities. This year, a team of Michigan State Engineering students worked to build a water purification system for low income countries.

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Environment
1:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Disclosure stirs Lake Huron nuclear waste worries

Lake Huron borders the Canadian province of Ontario and is the second-largest of the Great Lakes in terms of surface area.
Credit Flickr - jpwbee

Ongoing concern over a proposed nuclear waste site very near Lake Huron took a new twist recently. A Canadian government review panel is exploring the viability of a new underground storage facility in Kincardine, Ontario.

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Environment
12:42 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

MSU Museum looks at 'Turtles in Trouble'

The exhibit runs through Sept. 21 in the MSU Museum's Art-Science-Creativity Gallery.
Credit Flickr - Alexandra MacKenzie

A new exhibit at the MSU Museum focuses on the plight of turtles around the world. “Turtles in Trouble” is meant to boost awareness of the impact humans have on turtles populations worldwide.

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Environment
1:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Recent spill triggers closer look at tar sands shipping on Great Lakes

Demonstrators gather in Chicago to protest the BP oil spill in Lake Michigan.
Credit Flickr - BobboSphere

Last week, as much as 1,600 gallons of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, 20 miles from Chicago. After a week-long cleanup, authorities say they have found no further trace of spilled oil in the area. However, the political ramifications of the spill are likely to remain long after this incident. The BP refinery processes oil from tar sands found in Canada. Tar sands contain a thick petroleum that’s gaining popularity as a new energy source. New technology is making it easier to mine tar sands, but some worry that could increase the likelihood of more spills like the one last week.

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Environment
12:03 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

National Geographic editor on photography, climate change

National Geographic editor Dennis Dimick will be speaking at MSU on Thursday, April 3.
Credit Flickr - poptech/John Santerre

While for some media outlets photography is taking a back seat, at National Geographic it continues to be a central part of the brand. The photos featured in the magazine not only take readers around the world, but they also help tell the story of our changing environment.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Michigan Food and Farming Systems

Denae Friedheim is the operator of Foodshed Farm in Bath Township.
Credit Courtesy of www.miffs.org

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Michigan Food & Farming Systems, or MIFFS. It’s a statewide organization based in East Lansing that advocates for and offers assistance to new and women farmers, as well as those from underrepresented groups in Michigan’s agriculture industry.

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Environment
2:24 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Tar sands, Great Lakes Day, water retail

Gary Wilson explains that when shipping accidents occur, tar sand oil sinks, making it much harder to clean up.
Credit Flickr - chefranden

At the end of each month on Current State, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the Basin.

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Environment
1:19 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Grass carp, the overlooked Asian carp

Dr. Dan O’Keefe explains that carp species will be most problematic in bay areas and connected rivers with rich nutrients.
Credit Flickr - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Most people have heard about Asian Carp and the threat they pose to the Great Lakes. However, many don't understand what the label Asian carp means. There are many types of fish that fall under the Asian carp umbrella, each bringing their own unique peril to the Great Lakes basin. One type of Asian carp that is overlooked and underestimated is the grass carp.

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Environment
12:57 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Emergency personnel plan for mid-Michigan flood scenarios

Emergency personnel are preparing for the dangers of possible springtime flooding.
Credit Fickr - cseeman

The mercury is slowing climbing and Thursday marks the first day of spring. As the snow fades away it’s time to be aware of the dangers of flooding. High water can be a dangerous scenario for drivers on the roads and also for anyone in low-lying areas. First responders are getting ready for those potential hazards.

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Environment
12:55 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Models help communities plan for climate change

Laura Schmitt-Olabisi's project focuses on a model of Detroit in the case of an extreme heat wave, but also the uncertainty of climate change.
Credit Flickr - Sagittariuss

Trying to determine the impacts of climate change is a difficult task. There are hundreds of different factors which could determine how communities are influenced. To more effectively understand the challenges associated with climate change, scientists are using system dynamics models. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, an ecologist and modeler at Michigan State University, about her latest project that explores how higher temperatures could impact Detroit.

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Environment
1:06 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

When passenger pigeons filled Michigan skies

Seven passenger pigeons from the aviary at the University of Chicago, 1896.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Later this year, we mark the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon---the last being a resident of a Cincinatti zoo.  The well-publicized event capped the annihilation of a species whose population at one point was so overwhelming that one ornithologist believed there were more passenger pigeons than all other species combined. 

Efforts to bring the population under control began back in the mid 19th century, in part because enormous flocks wreaked havoc on trees and farms.

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Environment
2:04 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Could Michigan do more with its water resources?

The Great Lakes Compact bans freshwater exports, but as Dale Buss explains, there are opportunities to positively exploit shipping freshwater to areas in need, such as California.
Credit Flickr - gbozik photography

With snow piled deep across the Great Lakes region, there are hopes that the upcoming melt will push lake levels higher. It’s a scenario envied by many in the American west, especially in California where residents are being hammered by the severest drought in three decades. 

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Environment
1:34 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

When will it end? Spring weather preview

Provenzano says that Michigan can expect one more heavy snowstorm before spring arrives in March.
Credit Flickr - Yannick Bammert

How much longer?  That’s the question on most of our minds as March 1st and “meteorological spring” arrive.  Current State got a spring forecast preview from WILX’s Andy Provenzano.

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Environment
1:01 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Great Lakes Month in Review: Algae blooms and Gov. Snyder's record

Wilson says its perplexing and frustrating that Snyder has not mentioned the Army Corp study on invasive Asian Carp.
Credit NASA Goddard Photo and Video

At the end of each month we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’re focusing on Governor Snyder’s environmental efforts and algae blooms.

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Politics & Government
12:34 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Supreme Court hears arguments on EPA's reach

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today about the EPA's ability to regulate certain kinds of emissions.
Credit Flickr - SalFalko

The U. S. Supreme Court hears arguments today that will help determine the scope of what kinds of emissions the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate. The outcome could have a big effect on industrial facilities nationwide.

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Environment
12:32 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

A wealth of water could shape Detroit's future

A view of Lake St. Clair
Credit Flickr - cseeman

While the city of Detroit works to overcome its financial troubles, some see a bright future for the city because of  Detroit’s location.

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Environment
12:34 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Innovative urban tree farm to plant soon in Detroit

Hantz Farm plots were originally intended for agriculture or Christmas trees, but neighbors raised concerns about rodents and pesticides.
Credit Flickr - Mr.Mac2009


After years of delays, Hantz farm is starting to take shape. In 2009, John Hantz, CEO of Southfield-based Hantz Group LLC proposed building the world’s largest urban farm in Detroit. After cutting through red tape and shifting plans to center on building an urban tree farm, the project is starting to unfold.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:15 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Ingham commissioners consider parks millage

Ingham County Commissioner Randy Schafer argues that other county departments are more in need of revenue than parks. However, Koening and Holman are not eager to dismiss the discussion.
Credit Flickr - UGArdener

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is looking at a possible county parks millage. Earlier this week, the body asked its County Services committee to begin work on a draft proposal. The focus of a millage would primarily be an expansion of Lansing’s Rivertrail network.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

China's environmental concerns could be GM's problem too

Credit Flickr - kevin dooley


You’ve probably seen the pictures of the Chinese smog problem, including shots from Shanghai or Beijing that show buildings disappearing in what appears to be a thick, brown, fog. There are a number of things that cause smog, but one of them is the increasing numbers of cars and that has implications for U. S. automakers like General Motors, which counts China as its biggest market.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

MSU musician builds greener instrument

Alex Smith builds his own marimba out of Michigan Sassafras.
Credit Gabriela Saldivia/The Michigandered Marimba


When we think about our carbon footprint, we often look at things like our car’s gas mileage, our home’s energy usage, and how far our food had to travel to get to the plate. Rarely mentioned in a discussion about carbon footprints, however, are musical instruments.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:32 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Current State #212 | December 3, 2013

Today on Current State: former LSJ executive Mickey Hirten joins City Pulse as editorial director; tar sands shipping in the Great Lakes region; and a new Broad Art Museum exhibit pays homage to a Lansing-born visionary architect.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:22 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Report: Great Lakes ill-equipped to ship tar sands safely

As the tar sands industry continues to grow, a pressing issue is finding ways to transport the crude oil to midwest refineries. Some are hoping to ship tar sands across the Great Lakes, while others fear another disaster like the Kalamazoo spill.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Recently, the EPA denied Enbridge’s request to extend the deadline for dredging sections of the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is still trying to clean up the remaining tar sands crude oil in the Kalamazoo watershed from the spill three years ago.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:49 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Great Lakes Month in Review: Asian carp and petcoke

Four years ago Asian carp DNA was detected in the Chicago River. With that, ‘Carp Watch’ began and four years later, the watch continues.
Credit Wikimedia Commons


We check in monthly with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’re focusing on petcoke piles and Asian carp.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:39 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Artist Chris Jordan captures immensity of modern woes

Chris Jordan's project "In Katrina's Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster" includes this image of the remains of a business in St. Bernard Parish.
Credit www.chrisjordan.com

Tonight,  the MSU Department of Geography welcomes acclaimed artist and cultural activist Chris Jordan to the Pasant Theatre at Wharton Center. Jordan turns numbers into powerful art.

Radio Made in Michigan
1:26 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Report: Climate change threatens to alter big game in Michigan

Moose are among Michigan's big game animals possibly affected by changes in climate.
Credit Flickr - als pictures

Throughout the 20th century large investments of time and money were made to help restore big game populations across the U.S. Many of these efforts were successful, but those successes may be short lived.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:14 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

On hunt’s eve Saginaw Chippewa’s to hold vigil for wolf

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe is holding a candlelight vigil and sacred fire to honor the wolf.
Credit Wikimedia Commons


Tomorrow marks the opening day of Michigan’s first wolf hunt in nearly 40 years. The state has issued 1,200 hunting licenses to kill 43 wolves, all in the Upper Peninsula.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:02 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Despite expert agreement, perceptions of climate change vary

Credit http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/

 

Reports, predictions and warnings of climate change are hard to avoid these days. But just how are Americans processing all of this news, and what do we really think about climate change and our environment?  

MSU alum and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication Anthony Leiserowitz explores these questions in his research.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:57 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Current State #197 | November 7, 2013

Today on Current State: Michigan human trafficking report released; destruction from MSU football tailgating; an 'Interrupting Racism' workshop; and Asian-American stereotypes in the media.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:41 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Destruction from tailgating at Michigan game called ‘worst ever’

An influx of tailgaters for the Michigan game meant some MSU trees were 'pruned' or otherwise damaged. The trees are important not only for their beauty, but also to classrooms and researchers.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Every home football Saturday here in East Lansing, thousands of people flock to the Michigan State campus to take part in a sacred ritual:  tailgating.  But the pastime takes a toll. After the celebrating, landscaping personnel at MSU repair damage to grass and trees.

Some of those personnel are calling last Saturday’s damage the worst they’ve seen.

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