Energy and Environment

Noah Glick

Northern Nevada had an average year for its snowpack, and sometimes being average isn't a bad thing.

Researchers measured 42.1 inches of liquid water on Mt. Rose Friday, which is above median for the end of the season.

"You know, the take home message is that this was a great year compared to the last four," said Jeff Anderson, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. "Fortunately, we didn't dig the hole any deeper for the drought."

Anderson added that last week's surprise spring snowstorm offered a helpful boost, especially out east.

Daniel Sancho / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Nevada Department of Agriculture is offering a grant to help stimulate specialty crops in the state. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick has that story.

Specialty crops are plants used for human consumption that are not animal- or grain-based: things like fruits, nuts and herbs. The Nevada Department of Agriculture is offering $250,000 to promote this industry.

Ashley Jeppson is with the department, and she says the purpose of the grant is to enhance human food production.

Noah Glick

The Stillwater Hybrid Plant in Fallon, owned and operated by Enel Green Power, officially unveiled its solar thermal energy capability Tuesday, making it the first power plant in the world to combine that type of energy with geothermal and solar panels. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick was there.

Dignitaries including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi spoke at the ribbon cutting.

Ken Lund / CC BY-SA 2.0

Governor Brian Sandoval has cautiously agreed to put the Anaconda Copper Mine on the National Priority List, opening up federal funding for clean up efforts. Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick reports.

The cost to clean up the site is estimated at $31 million. By getting it on the EPA’s National Priority List, Governor Sandoval hopes that federal dollars can provide a solution.

Desert Research Insitute

The Desert Research Institute recently unveiled its new Wildland Fire Science Center, a concept that brings together scientists from various disciplines to combat wildfires. As wildfire season approaches, Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick chatted with the center's new director, Hans Moosmüller.

NG: This is not a physical, research center. So what is this?

Interview: The Threats Facing Monster Fish

Mar 18, 2016
Steve Shadley

Scientists say climate change and increasing demands on the world's rivers are harming enormous freshwater fish that can weigh more than 200 pounds. As Reno Public Radio’s Steve Shadley reports, one museum is helping the public understand the challenges ahead for so-called Monster Fish.

The Discovery Museum in downtown Reno is full of children excited to see replicas of giant fish from India and other parts of Asia. Our tour guide is Zeb Hogan. He's a University of Nevada, Reno biologist and host of Monster Fish, a TV series produced by National Geographic.

Tesla Gives Rare Glimpse Inside Gigafactory

Mar 18, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Tesla opened its doors today to local media to get a glimpse of its progress at the $5 billion Gigafactory under construction in Storey County. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey takes us inside.

The echo-filled lobby of Tesla's battery factory is about one of three places journalists were allowed to record today during a two-hour tour at their massive compound inside the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

A spokesman for the company, who asked not to be named, gave several updates on their construction progress and production capacity.

UNR

  Western Shoshone ranchers and sisters, Carrie and Mary Dann, fought for decades with the federal government for the right to graze their cattle on ancestral lands. Although they ultimately lost, a new collection preserves the records of their long struggle.

Mary Dann passed away in 2005 and her surviving sister, Carrie, still lives near Battle Mountain on land her ancestors settled centuries ago.

Researchers Testing Cloud Seeding With Drones

Mar 16, 2016
Julia Ritchey

A month after researchers conducted a cloud-seeding test using unmanned aircraft, a Reno-based drone company is building the next generation. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the project hopes to bring cloud seeding into the 21st century.

Inside the shop at Drone America, design engineer Kyle Pruett is showing off their plans for a new unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft called the Savant.

Adam Mayberry, City of Sparks

The cities of Sparks and Reno are touting energy and cost savings after unveiling a new $25 million system that turns sewage into electricity. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

"As you can tell, it's a big engine and it's loud,” says Michael Drinkwater, plant manager at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility. “It's a GE Jenbacher, 20-cylinder engine, so we're burning right now approximately 250 cubic feet per minute of methane gas."

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