Louisiology is a weekly radio show on WHYR Baton Rouge Community Radio, 96.9 FM. The show was developed and produced by myself and two other students, April Newman and Eric Roy. In each episode, we explore a natural science topic of interest in Louisiana. The show continues to air on WHYR and episodes can be found here below or on the mixcloud page, with nearly 1000 listens.
Phil Turnipseed runs the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. In this epsiode, Mr. Turnipseed discusses the challenges facing coastal Louisiana’s wetlands, and the science undertaken by the NWRC to manage these challenges. He describes the storm surge monitoring done as Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana, and the ongoing investigations of “brown marsh” phenomenon.
In this episode of Louisiology, we hear from Dr. Eric Hoffmayer, a research scientist for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Pascagoula Mississippi. Dr. Hoffmayer studies large pelagic sharks, specifically those found in the northern Gulf of Mexico. He discusses his recent efforts to understand some of these animals by tracking them with satellite tags and observing their behavior remotely. He has made some interesting discoveries through these efforts. He also discusses his study of Whale Sharks, the largest fish in the sea, and their yearly congregations in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
In this episode, we bring you a story about the world of microbes in our oceans. Are they important and why? Dr. Krista Longnecker of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution helps us answer these questions and provides some insight into the role of these microbes right offshore of Louisiana.
In this final part of a three episode series on Louisiana Swamp Forests, April Newman talks with Dr. Julie Whitbeck of Jean Lafitte National Park, on what makes a baldcypress restoration project successful.
In this second episode of a three part series on Louisiana Swamp Forests, April Newman talks with Dr. Jim Chambers, a faculty member in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU, who describes the challenges facing these ecosystems and the management of their resources.
In this first of a three part series on swamp forests in Louisiana, April Newman talks with Dean Wilson, an Atchafalaya Basinkeeper who unearthed illegal logging operations in the Atchafalaya Basin, and who is a strong advocate for the sustainable use of this precious resource.
In this episode of Louisiology, we sit down with Bryan Piazza and Seth Blitch from the Louisiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy to discuss their work on oyster reefs in coastal Louisiana. In addition to being delicious, oysters and the reefs they build provide valuable ecosystem services for the state, ranging from habitat creation to erosion combatants. As it turns out, stakeholders across the state realize this and most are interested in restoring and creating oyster reefs in strategic areas. TNC is acting on this by building interactive tools for the public as well as artificial oyster reefs across the coast.
In this Episode of Louisiology, Ben Branoff explores the history of the Baton Rouge lake system and its implications on the environmental quality of the area. Dr. Robert Gambrell, from the LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, details his participation in a 1970’s lake restoration project in which contaminated sediments were detected and removed from the system. Dr. Xu, of the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources, then explains some of his more recent research on the current quality of the lake surface water. Finally, Gwen Emick from Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful, explains her experience with the problem of litter in the lakes. As always, Louisiology focuses on science and this episode interplays the rich history of Louisiana’s musical heritage.
In this episode of Louisiolgy, April Newman delves into the issues surrounding Baton Rouge’s drinking water. Salt water intrusion into the aquifer that provides water for both municipal and industrial use may soon compromise a valuable resource that many local residents take for granted. In the first half of the show, Anthony Duplechin, director of the Capitol Area Groundwater Conservation District (http://www.cagwcc.com), explains that concerns about saltwater intrusion into the aquifer have been driving management decisions for decades. In the second half of the show, John Lovelace, assistant director of the Louisiana Water Science Center, US Geological Survey, explains how aquifers work and provides more technical details on the problem as well as potential solutions. Finally, Joey Breaux of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Office of Soil and Water Conservation describes how Project WET (http://projectwet.org/) provides resources to educators.
In Episode 4 of Louisiology, Eric Roy investigates air quality in the Baton Rouge area and explores some science related to air pollution. Air quality specialists Timothy Bergeron and Vivian Aucoin at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality provide information on the current status of air quality in Baton Rouge and explain some relevant scientific and regulatory issues. Dr. Marwa Hassan of LSU then introduces listeners to an emerging technology called photocatalytic pavement that shows promise for reducing pollution from vehicular emissions. Finally, Eric speaks with Lauren Stuart, executive director of the Greater Baton Rouge Clean Cities Coalition, about her organization’s effort to bring cleaner burning fuels to our area. Mixed in throughout the episode, Eric supplements the interviews with segments that highlight interesting air quality information, issues, and science.
Episode 3 of Louisiology tells a story of wetland restoration in Louisiana. Louisiana harbors a large portion of the country’s coastal wetlands, nearly 30%. These ecosystems provide multiple services to the local communities as well as to the rest of the country. However, we are losing these beautiful and productive systems due to human influences and a rising sea. We’ll hear from various scientists as they describe the ecology of these systems and how the State is working to protect them. This includes discussions with Kevin Roy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Dr. Gene Turner and Gary Peterson from Louisiana State University and Scott Nesbit, a Baton Rouge based environmental consultant.
In Episode 2 of Louisiology, April Newman leads us on an exploration of the 2011 Mississippi River Flood in the Atchafalaya Basin. We hear from Russel Beauvais, the project manager for the Morganza Spillway, as he describes the process of opening the floodgates. We also hear from a crawfish fisherman who harvests the Louisiana culinary favorite in the Basin. Drs. William Kelso and Richard Keim then help explain some of the ecological and hydrological science behind this great flood.
Episode 1 follows some of the science behind the 2011 Mississippi flood in southeastern Louisiana. River dynamics and engineering provide an introduction to how the river floods and the corrective actions that are taken to alleviate the potential for human harm.
We then follow scientists conducting research in Lake Pontchartrain, the receiving body of water for the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Here, an optimal set of environmental conditions may lead to algae blooms that could be hazardous to human health as well as the ecology of the area.