Come Rain or Shine

Come Rain or Shine

Collaborative product of the USDA Southwest Climate Hub and the DOI Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. We highlight stories to share the most recent advances in climate science, weather and climate adaptation, and innovative practices to support resilient landscapes and communities. We believe that sharing forward thinking and creative climate science and adaptation will strengthen our collective ability to respond to even the most challenging impacts of climate change in one of the hottest and driest regions of the world. New episodes on the first Wednesday of each month. Please help us to grow by rating us and/or leaving us a review! Funding for the podcast comes from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded Sustainable Southwest Beef Project.

Episodes

October 6, 2021 34 min

This month we take a closer look at desalination of brackish groundwater and/or seawater as a potential solution to augment water supply in the arid southwest. We are joined by Dr. Sam Fernald, Director of the New Mexico State University Water Resources Research Institute, and Dr. Pei Xu researcher and professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University, who share their current research and thoughts on t...

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In this episode we continue our conversation around the topic of extreme heat. We visit with three experts in urban planning to discuss how we can mitigate public health impacts of extreme heat through improved urban planning and green infrastructure. Dr. Ladd Keith, a researcher at the University of Arizona, Dr. Dave Hondula, a researcher at Arizona State University, and Lisa LaRocque, Sustainability Officer for the City of Las Cr...

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August 4, 2021 36 min

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Extreme heat kills on average more than 600 people in the U.S. each year. Over the course of just a few weeks this summer (2021), three different heat waves baked the western U.S., breaking numerous heat records and killing hundreds. In this episode, as part of our educational outreach to local communities, we interview three experts, Drs. Jennifer Vanos and Rachel Braun, ...

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Taking action to manage drought and adapt to changing conditions can sometimes have unintended impacts on the adaptive capacity of others in the same social and ecological system. Jen Henderson, an assistant professor of geography at Texas Tech University, shares about two instances where social learning took place after actors experienced unanticipated impacts from others’ decisions. Jen is a disaster scholar and interdisciplinary...

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CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail and snow), with the unique ability to capture fine-scale variability in local precipitation. CoCoRaHs is currently in all fifty states and currently expanding internationally as well. In th...

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May 5, 2021 51 min

In this continuation of our special series on drought, we interview two water and climate scientists to learn what streamflow forecasts are predicting for the upcoming summer, and to learn more about an emerging area of research, termed snow drought. Dr. Adrian Harpold is a hydrologist with the University of Nevada, Reno, and is also a SW CASC funded researcher. Dr. Brad Udall is a Senior Water and Climate Scientist with the Colora...

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In this mid-month bonus episode we interview Dr. Dannele Peck, Director of the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub, about a rangeland/grassland forage productivity forecasting tool called Grass-Cast. Grass-Cast uses well-known relationships between historical weather and grassland production to provide estimates of annual forage production, beginning in the spring of each year and updated on a two-week cycle throughout the growing sea...

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April 7, 2021 45 min

Drought impacts more than our physical world - the psychological impacts of drought are also very real. Crop damage or failure, running out of forage for livestock, the loss of culturally important natural resources, and many other drought-related effects can lead to stress, anxiety, and a deep sense of loss. Sometimes it’s hard to know who to talk to or what resources are available. In this episode, we talk to three experts on thi...

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As of March 1st 2020, 85% of Arizona and 82% of New Mexico were in extreme to exceptional drought--the most severe drought categories used by the U.S. Drought Monitor--and other states in the Southwest were fairing similarly. Rangelands and other arid ecosystems that are able to withstand exceptionally high temperatures may not seem as vulnerable to drought as other types of ecosystems, but they may be even closer to thresholds and...

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Do you drink wine? Do you know how many varieties of wine there are in the world? What’s enology? What makes a vintage unique? Join us as we sit down with three scientists who specialize in viticulture and the cultivation of wine-grapes to hear about all of this and more. Dr. Kerri Steenwerth, with USDA-ARS in California, Dr. Andy Walker, from UC Davis, California, and Dr. Jeremy Weiss, from University of Arizona, tell us why the s...

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Is climate change already impacting viticulture (the cultivation of grapevines)? How might a changing climate affect wine production? Is today a better time to drink red wine in Germany? Does weather affect alcohol content? You might be surprised by the answers to some of these! In this second half of our two-episode feature on viticulture, we delve into the effects of climate, weather, and our changing future on viticulture. If yo...

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January 6, 2021 48 min

We interview Ann Marie Chischilly, a member of the Navajo Nation and Executive Director of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), and Amber Pairis, Director of the Climate Science Alliance and partnership liaison for the Southwest CASC, to hear what they have to say about climate hope, and what gives them hope for the future. Episode image credit: USDA.

All episodes: https://rainorshine.buzzsprout.com/

We welcom...

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December 9, 2020 21 min

Dr. Andres Cibils reflects on the first year of the Sustainable Southwest Beef Project - what's been accomplished, what's in the works, and what's changing. Want to learn about the beef and what's being researched? Check out this podcast, and visit https://southwestbeef.org/. 

The Sustainable Southwest Beef Project is funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative...

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December 2, 2020 26 min

Drs. Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist, and Nick Webb,  research scientist  at the Jornada Experimental Range, discuss the nitty gritty of dust (pun intended). While it may seem dry (haha, okay we'll stop now), it's important to know about moving forward.  What weather conditions produce dust? What kind of modeling and monitoring projects are being implemented currently? They go over this and some speculations for...

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November 4, 2020 35 min

Urban expansion and mismanagement of the Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona had led to a dry river bed for much of the year. Using effluent (treated wastewater), the City of Tucson Water Department brought perennial flow back to a portion of the river, just South of downtown Tucson. The returned water recharges groundwater to the local aquifer, while restoring vegetation and wildlife to this stretch of the river. James McAdam fro...

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October 7, 2020 41 min

How would you sum up the 2020 fire season in just one word? Tim Brown, Royce Fontenot, and Megan Friggens share their impressions of the current fire season and discuss their work with pre-fire preparedness, active fire management, and post-fire recovery. They close with sharing some additional thoughts on fire management and response. Want to hear what working with fire is really like? Take a listen to this podcast. URLs for onlin...

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There are times when community resilience needs to be financially supported for a vision of sustainability and resilience to become reality. This month we interviewed Fred Petok from USDA Rural Development about the business of financially supporting climate adaptation for communities, and how the programs he administers can support rural communities in a changing climate.

All episodes: https://rainorshine.buzzsprout.com/

We welcome ...

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August 1, 2020 41 min

From smartphones to remote-controlled home appliances, the “internet of things” is everywhere. In this episode, Dr. Tony Waterhouse, professor emeritus at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) discusses virtual fencing, animal location/movement sensors, and other cutting edge precision ranching technologies either in the making or currently being introduced and tested for sheep and cattle ranching operations.

The Sustainable Southwest Bee...

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The Sustainable Southwest Beef Project is a 5-year project funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program, grant #2019-69012-29853. Here Drs. Sheri Speigal and Andres Cibils discuss the goals and objectives of the project, the collaborations and partnerships, and some of the planned research and project outputs. There may even be s...

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July 1, 2020 46 min

Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) are narrow streams of moisture in the atmosphere that transport water vapor from the tropics to other regions. In the U.S., they mostly impact the West Coast where they account for much of the region’s moisture. ARs can propagate as far inland as Utah, however, and have been identified as the primary source of hydrologic flooding in the western U.S. 

In this episode of Come Rain or Shine, Sarah LeRoy talks w...

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