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Thursday, May 28,2015

So-called organic marijuana

Nobody in Colorado’s cannabis industry can stop a grower from calling its weed organic, but plans for certification may soon change that

By Christi Turner
We only use 100 percent organic soil and nutrients.” “Quality medication, which is … chemical free.” “Consistently high-quality, organic medical marijuana.” “All natural.” These are a few claims made by some of the 10 marijuana-growing companies that Colorado investigated for pesticide-related violations this spring on the Front Range.
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Thursday, January 29,2015

Jim White

Still pressing the science of climate change, four decades of research later

By Christi Turner
Eyeing the Rocky Mountains out his office window on the University of Colorado’s East Campus in Boulder, geochemist, climatologist and director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research Jim White describes his youth in East Tennessee. Then, the Smoky Mountains were his big backyard.
Thursday, January 15,2015

Tiny homes and tiny roadblocks

How small can you live in Boulder County?

By Christi Turner
An entrepreneur and construction expert, Fears says he thinks the Aspen has used its square footage optimally. The 24 feet by 7 feet of space occupied by this “Tiny,” as Fears affectionately refers to all super-small dwellings — otherwise known as tiny homes, tiny houses or micro-homes — is permanently mounted to a specially designed steel trailer.
Tuesday, December 30,2014

Roots in the water

Sustainable wastewater treatment from Boulder to ‘The Smiling Coast of Africa’

By Christi Turner
That’s how the Boulderbased company Agua Inc describes its rich collection of macrophytes, a class of plants that dominate wetlands, streams and shallow lake ecosystems in the wild. Macrophytes are also the key to Agua’s vision: helping to make clean, safe water attainable in the poorest and least developed corners of the globe.
Thursday, September 25,2014

Profile of a sustainability hub

The century-old Alliance Center in Denver emerges from a renovation more sustainable than ever

By Christi Turner
It’s been 10 years since the Alliance Center took up residence as a multitenant co-working space on Wynkoop Street in Denver; grassroots powerhouses like Conservation Colorado have anchored the center since it opened its doors in 2004. But this August, it emerged from eight months of multimillion-dollar renovation as a true bastion of sustainability.
Thursday, September 25,2014

The pros and cons of industrial-scale solar

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant is intended to lessen reliance on traditional forms of energy, but some question whether the environmental impacts outweigh the benefits

By Christi Turner
It’s an undeniably gruesome image: A bird soars over the Mojave desert, and suddenly, revoltingly, catches fire, streaks momentarily like a small meteor, and then seems to disappear, leaving only smoke. Seen from afar, some are calling them “streamers.
Thursday, September 25,2014

Soot on snow

A Colorado native researches how ‘black carbon’ from increased wildfire is changing snowmelt, and consequently water supplies, in the West

By Christi Turner
The duo of snowmobiles has climbed to over 6,000 feet elevation, halfway to the study site where researcher Susan Kaspari and her small team will dig into six feet of snow and sample for soot, more accurately known as black carbon.
Thursday, May 1,2014

With mud season’s arrival comes questions about mudslides

Researchers work to collect data, provide predictions despite unprecedented conditions

By Christi Turner
Geologists and emergency managers are working to improve our ability to predict and prepare for future mudslides in the Front Range region — an increasingly visible issue after September’s historic flooding led to roughly 1,000 mudslides — but there’s still a long way to go in that area of natural disaster prediction and planning.
Thursday, February 27,2014

Burning down current wildfire management

Fire-severity study challenges conventional wisdom on preventing all severe fires

By Christi Turner
Fire-severity study challenges conventional wisdom on preventing all severe fires.
Thursday, February 6,2014

Mobile methane detection

Boulder scientist building a better way to monitor air emissions on the go

By Christi Turner
An array of equipment and an independent power source have converted a research scientistīs sturdy pickup truck into a mobile methane emissions detection unit.