Nolan Ford

Music Director, Producer, Midday Host

Nolan Ford is the Music Director for North State Public Radio. After graduating with a Media Arts degree from Chico State University in 2004, he accepted a part-time position with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. The job's flexible scheduling presented Nolan with the opportunity to travel and perform music all across the West Coast with his first rock band, the secret stolen. A love of the arts bloomed into an obsession. Following five glorious years with SNBC, Nolan returned to CSUC and received a mathematics teaching credential in 2009. After several years of teaching middle and high school math, he accepted a position as Managing Editor for Chico arts/entertainment weekly, The SynthesisCurrently, Nolan can be heard on-air as the local midday host for NSPR, and also produces several programs for the station including Blue Dot, Nancy's Bookshelf, and Songs From Studio C. In his spare time, Nolan continues to travel and perform with various musical projects.

Local researcher Maris Thompson collected stories of immigration in the German American Midwest during World War I. Award-winning NPR journalist Tom Gjelten talked to immigrant families in Virginia for his book A Nation of Nations. This week join Nancy for immigration stories past and present.

Award-winning cameraman and producer Tim Ortman has written a memoir about his years working overseas for NBC when TV news reporting was at its zenith. This week join Nancy for a conversation with the author of Newsreal: A View Through The Lens When...

In this episode we celebrate 15 years of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The infrared telescope, one of NASA's "Great Observatory" has helped revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. Dave is joined by three top scientists from the Spitzer mission. Lisa Storrie Lombardi is the Project Manager and describes the telescope and its operations from an engineering standpoint. Then we are joined by Spitzer Science Center staff astronomer Sean Carey who describes some of the amazing discoveries made by Spitzer and finally, the dean of the Spitzer staff, Mike Werner, who has been with the project since its inception shares his insights from decades of work on the infrared observatory. Learn about seeing the invisible universe through the eyes of the chilled sensors of the Spitzer Space Telescope!

Standup comedian Paula Poundstone is a popular panelist on NPR's weekly news quiz show, "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me," and will be bringing her improvisational humor to Laxson Auditorium in Chico on September 21st.

Today we’re joined by El Dorado rock band, Island of Black and White. Originally formed in 2005, the group started as an acoustic duo led by songwriter Chris Haislet. Over time the band began to add more members, including percussionist and band manager Nawal Haislet, who Chris credits for taking the group to the next level as career musicians. For the last ten years Island of Black and White has been actively traveling across the country to perform their versatile blend of blues, rock, reggae and Americana music. We talk with the band about their approach to songwriting, and hear an in-studio performance of their song "West Edge".

In this episode of Blue Dot we go hurricane hunting with Commander Justin Kibbe. A veteran combat pilot, Justin flies the intrument laden NOAA turbo prop airplanes that fly into the maw of the world's most powerful storms. Hear what it is like to fly through the eyewall of a massive tropical storm into the eye of a hurricane in search of data to help us better understand one of nature's most destructive forces. Then one of the scientists that flies with Kibbe, hurricane meteorologist Jonathan Zawislak as he tells us what kinds of data he collects and what we learn from these amazing flights into storms that can wreak havoc on sea and land.

Growing up in Northern California, each of today's two guests developed a passion for the outdoors. Wildlife biologist and photographer Jeffrey Rich has compiled a visual essay of America's national bird. His new book is Bald Eagles in the Wild. Former columnist for the Chico News & Review John Soares has hiked the trails of Northern California since he was five years old. His guidebook 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California is in its 4th edition, and he also has a new book, Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen and Trinity Alps Regions.

The catastrophic wildfire season in the west has been called "the new normal?" But is it? And what could normal even mean when confronted by such extreme events. We asked three experts to weigh in on the science of wildfire. Natasha Stavros is a forest and wildfire ecologist who does research for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and weighs in on the many factors affecting western wildfires. Then Eric Kurth joins us from the National Weather Service's Sacramento office. They have the difficult task of forecasting fire weather and smoke conditions in the wake of massive fires from Yosemite to Redding. Finally, Dave turns to Blue Dot's Oceanographer/Climate expert emeritus Bill Patzert to give us all much needed big picture perspectives and a look at the difficult solutions needed to move forward in the wake of two straight years of disastrous California wildfires.

Attorney Bryan Stevenson was featured in a recent issue of Time magazine as an agent of change in the south. After Harvard law school, he went to the south to advocate for prisoners facing execution - almost all of whom were black. He is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and titled his best-selling memoir Just Mercy. Local author Lani Muelrath gives us a 30-day plan for finding health, balance, peace and happiness in her book The Mindful Vegan. She encourages us to shed old thinking patterns and live more joyfully with food.

Today our guests make up the LA folk duo, Mapache. Songwriters Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci were just high schoolers when they first met at a local skate park in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles. After discovering a mutual interest in the music of artists like The Beatles and The Band, the two began writing their own songs and have continued to perform as Mapache ever since. We discuss their song "Song For A Seagull" as well as some performance advice they received from songwriter Jonathan Richman.

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