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Locally Sourced Science

LSS 77: Christmas bird count

The first show of the year brought us a report from the Christmas bird count conducted by the Cayuga bird club, predictions of scientific discoveries for the new decade, and information about the Tompkins County SciHub.

Interviews: Esther Racoosin

On January 1st, 2020, about 150 volunteers ventured out to count as many local birds as possible.  The birders participated in the Christmas Bird Count sponsored by Audubon and organized locally by the Cayuga Bird Club.

To find out more, Locally-Sourced Science contributor Esther Racoosin spoke with Diane Morton, president of the Cayuga Bird club, as well as with other birders. 


A group at Cornell University is working on developing the Tompkins County Science Hub.

To learn more about Sci Hub, I spoke to Dr. Bruce Lewenstein, Professor of Communications in the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  Lewenstein, project leader Norman Porticella, lecturer in the department of communications, and experts at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, are doing research on what a local science hub would look like.

Predictions for the next decade: Liz Mahood

Events: Patricia Waldron

Producer: Mark Sarvary

LSS 75: Quantum Computing and Computing in Operations Research

In this show Liz Mahood interviews Dr. Peter McMahon, Cornell Assistant Professor of Applied and Engineering Physics.  He walks us through quantum computers and what they are used for.

Later in the show, Esther Racoosin speaks with Dr. David Shmoys, Professor in the Cornell School of Operations Research and Information Engineering.  He is also a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and is the Associate Director of the Institute for Computational Sustainability.

He talks about his recent research article, “Analytics and Bikes: Riding Tandem with Motivate to Improve Mobility.”

Producer:  Cecil Barnett-Neefs

Interview of Dr. Peter McMahon:  Liz Mahood

Interview of Dr. David Shmoys:  Esther Racoosin

Science News:  Patricia Waldron

Science Events Calendar:  Luisa Torres

Music:  Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti.

Photo:   Dr. David Shmoys, Dr. Eoin O’Mahony, (courtesy of Dr. David Shmoys, Cornell University).

LSS 74: Fiber Science

With the season’s chilly weather requiring people to wrap up warm, it seems like a good time to talk about fibers and fabric. In this episode, first, you’ll hear Liz Mahood present a history of the creation and production of synthetic fibers. To learn more about this intriguing science history, see the links below.

Later in the show, Esther Racoosin interviews Dr. Mike Haaf, Professor of Chemistry at Ithaca College. Dr. Haaf recently published a research article in the journal Coloration Tech. It is titled, “In situ fabric coloration with indigo synthesized in flow”. The co-authors of the paper are Ithaca College graduate Katrina Piemonte, Dr. Tyler McQuade of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Lucy Cotton and Richard Blackburn of the University of Leeds in the UK.

In his paper, Dr. Haaf  and collaborators describe a new method for synthesizing indigo dyes. The method allows for direct coloration of cotton fabrics without using a typical vat dyeing process that is used in the garment industry to dye denim jeans.

Dr. Mike Haaf (right) of Ithaca College (Photo: Ithaca College)

Finally, we hear Meaghan McElroy present the science events calendar for the week.

Links to articles about the history of synthetic fibers:

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Dr. Mike Haaf: Esther Racoosin

History of the creation of synthetic fibers: Liz Mahood

Science Events Calendar: Meaghan McElroy

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti.