Rare Earth Elements, Urban Coyotes, and Fixing Your Bike

Today’s episode is a special one.  Terra Informa is produced at CJSR in Edmonton.  CJSR is a community supported radio station that procures 45% of its annual operating budget from listener donations pledged during a 10 day long Fundrive that is happening right now!  For Fundrive we are putting together a special hour long episode much of which will be broadcast live in the Edmonton area and from CJSR’s website. What you’re listening to is a lot of the material that will air during the Fundrive Special, but crammed into a mere 29 minutes.  So strap yourself in and hold on tight because this is going to be a little speedy!

On this episode of Terra Informa we investigate rare earth elements; a group of minerals that can be environmentally damaging to extract, but which are essential for many of today’s clean energy technologies. We hear from Maureen Murray, a researcher who is studying coyote populations that have taken up residence in some of Canada’s major urban centres. And we take a look at some basic maintenance you can do to keep your bike rolling smoothly, whether you’re about to put it away for the winter or are getting it ready for months of snowy riding. All that, plus your wrap up of the week’s news headlines. But first,Marcus Peterson brings you a rapid review of this weeks environmental headlines.

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Photo by Marya (emdot) of San Luis Obispo, USA.

Download This Episode of Terra Informa

Environmental News Headlines

Going green in Edmonton (Edmonton Journal)

Action needed to save ecosystems in peril: report (Vancouver Sun)

Suppressed Report Confirms International Violations by Canadian Mining Companies (Mining Watch)

Rare Earth Metals

Have you ever heard of “rare earth elements?” They are also called “rare earth metals”, They refer to 17 chemical elements including the class of 15 chemically related elements with atomic numbers from 57 to 71, and scandium, yttrium. In 1787, the Swedish officer discovered them, and at first, it was used for grinding lenses in optical science industries. These days, rare earth elements are required in various industries such as not only in optical sciences, but also in electronics, medical, and petrochemical industries. However, it must be stressed that unlike other minerals, the process to extract and separate is very difficult and complicated. While in this process, toxic chemicals are added to make bubbles to separate from other minerals, and this causes serious environmental problems. This week, Terra Informa’s correspondent Seon-Ah introduces detailed story about rare earth elements.

Bicycle Traffic Report

Next up, Steve talks to Terra Informa’s Bicycle Traffic Reporter, Karly Coleman, about how to keep your bike riding smoothly. Whether you’re checking your bike over before putting it away for the winter or tuning it up for months of snowy riding, Karly’s ABC’s of bike maintenance are the perfect starting point. Karly served on the board of Edmonton’s community bike shop for years and is an avid cyclist who spent this past summer touring all over Canada. Steve caught up with her at her home in Edmonton.


Urban Coyotes

Urban coyotes are a growing issue across North America.  In the last two decade urban populations have sprung up in cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.  Now city residents are having to learn how to coexist alongside these opportunistic carnivores.  The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project is a multi-faceted study of coyotes based out of the University of Alberta. Their goal is to collect information on the movement, habitat selection and diet of coyotes, as well as the knowledge and perceptions of residents. Marueen Murray is a masters student working on the project and I met up with her in the department of biological sciences to record this Science Short for you.



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