Bats are notorious in popular culture, but they play a vital role in our eco-system. Of the more than 1,000 species that exist worldwide, 13 can be found in Illinois, and six of those species are now being threatened by white nose syndrome, a poorly understood disease that's responsible for mass die offs of hundreds of thousands of bats nationwide. During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ed Heske, a mammalian ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, a part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, about bats, why they’re important and why white nose syndrome is so scary, especially for farmers.
According to a new report from the Milken Institute, Champaign-Urbana and Danville are both on the list of best performing small cities, but what does that really mean? The report shows Danville climbing in ranking while Chambana was slipping. During this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Vicki Haugen, President and CEO of Vermilion Advantage and Mike Kirchoff, President and CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.
We’ll talk about new development projects in the area, trends with unemployment rates and Danville’s retail resurgence. We’ll also talk about the health of the manufacturing industry in East Central Illinois, what’s ahead for the region and how we can keep local economies healthy in spite of state budget woes.
Monday, March 11 - My Name is Jody Williams
Have you been an activist? What causes matter to you?
Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. Monday on Focus, we’ll talk with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.” She’ll tell us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she uses the word “peace.”
During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talked with author David Toomey about his new book, “Weird Life: The Search for Life that is Very, Very Different From Our Own.” He tells us about organisms that live off acid rather than water, those that reproduce without DNA and thrive in temperatures and pressures so extreme that they really shouldn’t be alive in the first place. Meadows also talked with Toomey about our fascination with exotic life forms here on Earth and why we’re so fascinated with the possibility of the discovery of life in the rest of the universe.
The Truth… about insects, is out there. At least that’s May Berenbaum’s position on the matter. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talks with Berenbaum, University of Illinois Professor of Entomology, about this year’s Insect Fear Film Festival. We’ll ask her about this year's X-Files theme, and the character from Season 3 of the X-Files who is named for her. Bambi Berenbaum, an entomologist who appears the episode “War of the Coprophages,” is named for May. We interviewed Chris Carter Tuesday, February 19 on Focus and asked him about it. Find the podcast here.
Cohen also talks with Berenbaum about conspiracy theories surrounding UFO’s and her upcoming article in American Entomologist about how UFO’s are most likely insect swarms. Then, we'll discuss what’s in the future for cyborg insects, robotic bugs equipped with transmitters, cameras and recording devices.
Do you have questions about insects… real or robotic? Join our conversation! Connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter or post in the comments section below.
Brendan C. McKiernan, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM-SAIM, Professor, Veterinary Clinical Medicine Director, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Illinois
Julia Whittington, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor,Zoological Animal Medicine and Surgery; and Director of the Wildlife Clinic, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois
Host: Craig Cohen
We welcome your questions about the care and feeding of your pets on Wednesday’s Focus. From dogs and cats to birds to gerbils and hamsters to whatever animal companions may be cavorting around your house, we’ll welcome any questions you may have for Julia Whittington, Director of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Clinic, and Brendan McKiernan, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois.
Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man's Quest to Preserve the World's Great Animals
Jay Kirk, Teacher in the Creative Writing Program, University of Pennsylvannia
Host: David Inge
This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, 10 am
Mark W. Moffett, Ph.D., Biologist and Photographer
Host: Celeste Quinn
This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, June 08, 2010, 11 am
We’ll talk with Kenyan author and conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick. For 20 years beginning in the mid 1950s, she was co-warden, along with her husband David, of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. She is the first person ever to have successfully hand-raised newborn elephants, and rehabilitated many different animals, including rhinos and zebras. She will share stories from her African childhood and her 50 years of work in the field of wildlife conservation. That’s the subject of her memoir "Love, Life and Elephants."
This is a repeat broadcast from Monday, May 07, 2012, 11 am