Photo by Expert Infantry Courtesy of Flickr CC

A group of computer students at Trinity College have created a smartphone app to improve disaster relief management.  As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the project aims to help Haitians recovering from the 2010 earthquake.

Trinity is part of a collaboration between Wesleyan University and Connecticut College to create free software that benefits the common good. It's funded by the National Science Foundation.

Rebranding The "Rising Star"

Aug 17, 2011

For a decade now, Hartford has been “New England’s Rising Star.” It never really caught on, did it?

That “branding” campaign was pretty widely ridiculed from the moment it was first unveiled. Why? Because people who know the city...who know its story...don’t really believe in what that slogan says.

It IS however, a city with an amazing history...linked with innovation and risk...and its a place just struggling enough that someone with imagination, creativity and daring might make it big.

Plan Ties Protecting LI Sound To Healthy Economy

Aug 16, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The group, Save the Sound, joined public officials in Bridgeport yesterday to discuss a new ten-year plan for protecting Long Island Sound. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

When some people think of Long island Sound they picture summer days from childhood on the beach. Others feel the tug of a Striped Bass on the end of their line. For Curt Johnson it’s a cool dip, at night.

Gary Choronzy

Over Chef Bun Lai's creative, soulful, and sustainable cuisine - at the restaurant his mom started when there literally were no sushi restaurants in Connecticut - we gathered with three guest editors: Pam Landry, Mary Scanlon and Randye Kaye - our "fabulous female broadcasters in transition."

These are smart, funny women, and their pitches reflected their shared sensibilities, with questions ranging from preparing for your next job (Pam), to correcting your friends (Mary), to modern-day "choice paralysis" (Randye).

We hope you enjoy the show!

Competing For The Barn

Aug 9, 2011
Chion Wolf

The Coventry Regional Farmer’s Market has been named one of three finalists in a national competition for the best farmer’s market in the country. It’s competing with markets in Michigan and New Jersey. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the state’s Agricultural Commissioner is urging residents to cast a vote for Coventry.

The Fracking Debate

Aug 9, 2011
Photo by Rennett Stowe (Flickr)

Natural gas is responsible for more of New England’s energy than you might expect.

More than 40 percent of power plants in our region are fueled by gas. It’s cleaner - though more expensive to burn - than coal. And with the cost of heating oil high - many homeowners have switched over.

For years, we’ve had to pipe it in from as far away as The Gulf of Mexico.

Hunting For The Invasive Water Chestnut

Aug 5, 2011
Judy Preston

The Tidewater Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are surveying the lower Connecticut River for an invasive aquatic plant, called “Water Chestnut”. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

© Ocean Exploration Trust

After discovering the shipwrecked Titanic in 1985, Dr. Robert Ballard could have retired and still gone down as one of the greatest explorers ever. More than 25 years later though, he’s still at it.

His latest expedition is underway and he’s monitoring its every move from his control room in Mystic Aquarium, his computer at home, and on his iPhone everywhere else.

Connecticut Agencies Plan Ahead For Tree-Eating Insects

Aug 4, 2011
Kyle Ramirez via WikiMedia Commons

Two invasive insects that attack and kill trees have infested areas of Massachusetts and New York in recent years. Connecticut is putting a plan in place that specifies the role of different state agencies --- if these insects were to be found in Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Chion Wolf

A Group of Yale Undergraduates who participated in Yale's Rainforest expedition and Laboratory course have found an organism that can break down plastic, holding the promise of significantly reducing waste in the world's landfills. Their paper was published in the journal Applied and  Environmental Microbiology.

Joining us by phone is one of those students, and one of the lead authors of the paper, Jon Russell.

puuikibeach, creative commons

The number of shark attacks reported worldwide increased 25% in 2010.

That sounds scary!  Until you realize that the worldwide total is 79.  And despite an increase in shark sightings, the shark population is actually declining.

Today, where we live, while the Discovery Channel has their beloved Shark Week, we’re taking a small bite out of the action with our own shark day.

Weaving New Life Into The Long Island Sound

Aug 1, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Save the Sound, part of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, released a two-year plan today to protect Long island Sound. Recently the group helped organize a hands-on effort to restore habitat outside of Clinton Harbor. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

About two dozen scientists and volunteers are weaving strands of a seagrass, known as Eelgrass, in and out of circles of burlap. It looks like green linguini with a rounded tip. Gwen Macdonald of Save the Sound is part of the sewing circle .

Christine Woodside

The state’s environmental agency wants to increase the overall recycling rate and has initiated a program to make state parks more sustainable. But as WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports there aren’t a lot of visible recycling bins at one of the most popular state parks.

If you visit Hammonassett Beach State park it’s easier to find a trash can than a recycling bin. Diane Joy, Assistant Director of State Parks, says the state has a new contract with trash haulers to place special green dumpsters that take only recyclables in the parking lots, They'll be right next to the trash dumpsters.

Flickr Creative Commons, jitze

Yesterday, The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection announced its preliminary findings on the origin of the now-famous Mountain Lion that was struck and killed by a Hyundai SUV in Milford last month. 

We spoke with Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette today to hear the details.

Listen to our previous show that aired shortly after the news of the Mountain Lion's death here.

It WAS A Wild Cat

Jul 26, 2011
Courtesy Conn. Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection

Connecticut’s environmental officials announced today that the Mountain Lion that was killed on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in June was a wild animal that traveled hundreds of miles from South Dakota to Connecticut. It is the first confirmation of a wild Mountain Lion in the state in more than 100 years. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.