A Scientific Look at Legislation
Step into the classroom and listen in while UNH students explore the underlying aspects of current issues under consideration at New Hampshire's State House. They pick apart those issues and connect with experts. All to share insights with listeners from our scientific community that enhance our understanding of the biological world right here in New Hampshire, home of the greatest democracy in the world.
Anna and student science liaisons explore HB199, an act including soil health and soil conservation in the state soil conservation plan. Joined by expert guests, Cheshire County Extension specialist, Carl Majewski, and Cheshire County Conservation District’s Amanda Littleton, they learn about soil conservation and how it intersects with agricultural business in the great state of New Hampshire.
What is the state soil conservation plan in New Hampshire? Who is in charge of following through with these guidelines and plans? Who does this legislation impact? And what even is a conservation district? These are some of the questions that the team of student science liaisons had when beginning to research HB199 and soil conservation as a whole in the state of New Hampshire. Luckily, Carl Majewski, Cheshire County Extension specialist, and Amanda Littleton from Cheshire County Conservation District were just the right people to ask! Join us as we learn all about the work being done in the state of New Hampshire to protect soil health, and the roles of the state, the legislation, and private landowners and businesses in this mission to protect our soil.
UNH Biology student, Ryan Spelman ’20, follows HB 1658 relative to the growth of hemp (part of the 2020 legislative calendar).
UNH Biology student, Ryan Spelman ’20, summarizes the state of northeast hemp production in 2020. Ryan shares his conversation with Dr. Cheryl Smith, Extension Professor & Plant Health Specialist Emerita from UNH’s Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, and Extension’s Plant Diagnostic Lab Director. Dr. Smith provided insights into the legality of producing hemp in New Hampshire and what is in store for those who might like to get into this business. New Hampshire became the first state approved for licensing to grow hemp under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Program, with the first six growers receiving licenses in early 2020. Lawmakers laid this bill on the table in June 2020, as the creation of this federal licensing program and low demand for a state-run program made the passing of HB 1658 an unnecessary step in the legal production of hemp in New Hampshire.
UNH Sustainable Agriculture student, Allie Pisano, ’22, follows HB 85 relative to using Atlantic Standard Time in New Hampshire.
After attending public hearings held by the NH House Committee on Executive Departments and Administration, UNH Sustainable Agriculture student, Allie Pisano, ’22, leads a conversation on how a potential change in time zone might affect day to day life in the northeast. The group is joined by chronobiologist, Dr. Joanna Chiu, University of California, Davis, to discuss the dangers of daylight savings time and gives us some tips on improving our light health.
Dental Health & Fluoride with Dr. Maggie Dylewski Begis
UNH Nutrition student, Max LaPointe ‘21, follows HB103-FN: establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program and HB611-FN: abolishing fluoridation in water.
After attending public hearings held by the NH House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs and the House Committee on Resources, Recreation & Development, UNH Nutrition student, Max LaPointe ’21, leads a conversation on how dental health influences our overall health.
Max interviews Dr. Maggie Dylewski Begis, Clinical Professor in UNH’s Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems and Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. They discuss how to evaluate health information we read on the internet and try to figure out …what the deal is with fluoride?
- HB 103 establishing a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=HB103&txtsessionyear=2021
- HB 611 abolishing fluoridation in water: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/Results.aspx?q=1&txtbillnumber=HB611&txtsessionyear=2021
- Recommended tutorial for learning how to evaluate internet health information: https://medlineplus.gov/webeval/webeval.html
- Tool to see which water systems add fluoride: https://nccd.cdc.gov/DOH_MWF/Default/Default.aspx
- Alaska community water fluoridation study: https://bmcoralhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12903-018-0684-2
- CA adult Medicaid dental study: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2014.1358
Compost with UNH Professor Emeritus, John Aber
UNH biology student, Patrick Kaplan ’20, follows HB 1704 relative to compost.
UNH biology student (and solid waste management enthusiast), Patrick Kaplan ’20, covers the basics of composting. Patrick also shares his conversation with UNH’s Department of Natural Resources & the Environment, Dr. John Aber, who is not only a leader in sustainable agriculture but an expert in making the most of compost.
- HB 1704 (2020): http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2020&id=2245&txtFormat=html
- Composting at the UNH Organic Dairy Research Farm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNTX5vqN2Fs
- BioCycle Article on Heat Recovery from Aerated Static Pile Compost at UNH: https://www.biocycle.net/heat-recovery-from-compost/
- UNH resource on making compost: https://extension.unh.edu/resource/composting-home-gardener-fact-sheet
- UNH resource on buying compost: https://extension.unh.edu/resource/purchasing-compost-tip-sheet
Read essays on weather, climate and climate change at: https://lessheatmorelight.substack.com/
Alternative Energy with Clayton Mitchell & Chris Skoglund
Discussing the factors that influence setting greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for New Hampshire and establishing a climate action plan.
UNH Environmental Sustainability & Conservation student, Emily Thompson ’21, follows HB 172 establishing greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for the state and establishing a climate action plan. Emily interviews Clay Mitchell (UNH Department of Natural Resources & the Environment) Chris Skoglund (NH’s Department of Environmental Services) to gain some perspective on the feasibility of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions in New Hampshire by 2050.
- HB 172: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billinfo.aspx?id=128&inflect=2
- SB 721: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/results.aspx?adv=2&txtbillno=sb71
- Energy consumption in New Hampshire: https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=NH#tabs-1
- Information on understanding energy grids: https://www.energy.gov/articles/infographic-understanding-grid
- Information on how solar panels work: https://solect.com/the-science-of-solar-how-solar-panels-work/
- NHPR podcast on Offshore Wind: https://www.nhpr.org/environment/2021-07-17/windfall-the-transition-to-a-renewable-economy