The Trail Less Traveled

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Cheese Making in South Africa & Life on a Dairy Farm.

This episode was recorded on my family farm in South Africa's western cape. The interview features my good friend, Elna Fourie, who grew up on a farm located on the other side of the mountains. Elna studied cheese making in France and has been in high demand as a cheese maker in South Africa for the past 18 years. Elna won first prize for best aged Gouda in the country of South Africa in 2019. I do believe you will all enjoy this episode about growing up on a farm in South Africa, what a day in the life of a jersey cow is like, and exactly how different types of cheese are made.

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3/21/2021

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks looks into wildlife management & Chronic Wasting Disease with Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson is the region two wildlife manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Mike has had a 40-year commitment to managing and conserving the wildlife resources of Montana. Mike’s incredible work ethic, communication skills and unfailing ability to guide discussions and decisions concerning controversial wildlife issues and land acquisitions, is a true gift. Mike continues to bridge the gap among the biological, social and political sciences to represent the agency in a way that earns public trust and support. Mike’s career with FWP began in 1980. His early work included fencing on the Mt. Haggin Wildlife Management Area and working the paddlefish run at Intake along the Yellowstone River. In 1981, Mike completed his Master’s Degree at Montana State University by studying mountain goats along the Rocky Mountain Front. FWP hired Mike as a field assistant on the Elkhorn Mountains Elk Ecology project, to help develop an elk management plan for the area. Mike became a full-time FWP wildlife biologist in 1987, working in the Blackfoot watershed. Mike has been a principal force behind the conservation of more than 220,000+ acres of wildlife habitat in Western Montana. Mike has an uncanny ability of representing biological data and information in a way that anyone can relate to and understand. He does this through casual conversation, presentations, interviews, and now social media. Mr. Thompson, alias Mike Twain, authored more than 662 “Game Range Ramblings,” a column published weekly in the Seeley-Swan Pathfinder newspaper. The column had a 15-year run, became a readers’ favorite, and built and maintained a constituency for FWP in the Blackfoot and Swan Valleys. Mike’s list of co-authored publications and research papers is as long as his daily trip from his office to the front office candy box Mike Thompson has provided Montana’s residents and its natural resources with highly creditable service.
3/14/2021

Exploring the Universe & Dark Skies National Parks

Dr. Tyler Eugene Nordgren is an artist, author, astronomer, dark skies ambassador and professor of physics at the University of Redlands.Nordgren earned a B.A. in physics from Reed College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy from Cornell University.Before joining the University of Redlands in 2001, Nordgren was an astronomer at the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station and Lowell Observatory.In 2004, with six other astronomers and artists, Nordgren helped develop MarsDials, functioning sundials that NASA's Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity rovers carried with them to MarsNordgren also designed the giant sundial that resides on the wall of Appleton Hall at the University of Redlands and is accurate within 10 minutes.For the past five years, Nordgren has been traveling around the U.S. to educate the public about what eclipses are and how the opportunity to see the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 should not be missed. More of Nordgren's research on eclipses can be found in his most recent book Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets.Nordgren has been a member of the National Park Service Night Sky Team since 2007, working with the U.S. National Park Service to protect the night skies and promote astronomy education in U.S. national parks.Nordgren has helped document the parks' night skies with photography that has been on display in galleries from New York City to Flagstaff, Arizona, and is on display in a number of national parks. The Acadia Night Sky Festival has featured many of his photographs. Nordgren has also developed a poster campaign in conjunction with the National Park Service to “See the Milky Way” in America’s parks where “Half the Park is After Dark.”His 2010 book Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks was published as a way to spread the message of the importance of protecting the night sky. Nordgren was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Dark-Sky Association in 2011. He is also a member of the American Astronomical Society.
3/7/2021

River Conservation & Cleanup featuring the Clark Fork River.

Since 1985, the Clark Fork Coalition has worked to restore and protect the Clark Fork River basin, a 22,000 square mile area draining western Montana and northern Idaho. The Coalition's work is science-based and results oriented, and the organization strives to connect communities to the recovery of the Clark Fork River and its tributaries. Get involved as a volunteer with the Coalition atclarkfork.org.Is superfund cleanup of mining wastes in the Clark Fork making a difference? Yes! At least it is in terms of total amounts of copper and arsenic. And that’s especially good news because both are toxic: copper is extremely bad for fish, and arsenic is poisonous for people.It took decades of hard work by advocates for the river to make cleanup happen. Today we’re seeing tangible benefits from that unwavering commitment to a clean and healthy Clark Fork. What is Superfund?Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. These sites include manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining sites.In the late 1970s, toxic waste dumps received national attention when the public learned about the risks to human health and the environment posed by contaminated sites.In response, Congress established the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980.CERCLA is informally called Superfund. It allows EPA to clean up contaminated sites. It also forces the parties responsible for the contamination to either perform cleanups or reimburse the government for EPA-led cleanup work.When there is no viable responsible party, Superfund gives EPA the funds and authority to clean up contaminated sites.Superfund’s goals are to:Protect human health and the environment by cleaning up contaminated sites;Make responsible parties pay for cleanup work;Involve communities in the Superfund process; andReturn Superfund sites to productive use.