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.

This week's Blue Dot is a classic episode. Our nation's fleet of weather satellites are one of our greatest orbital assets. They provide the data that is fed into sophisticated computer models which are then used by forecasters to give us accurate 5 to 7 day outlooks on the weather. In November, the Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS-1 was launched with amazing instrumental capabilities. In the image above, you can see the smoke plumes from the devastating Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history.

Kimball Medders / Amazon

Author Kimball Medders grew up on military bases in Europe and Ethiopia with parents who were overseas teachers. His memoir, The Italian Lesson, recounts his adventures as a military brat and sailor.  After serving in the Navy, he returned to college in Sacramento, then later taught inmates in Susanville for 23 years, retiring from that job in 2009.

Today is bittersweet because this will be my final episode of the show before I leave NSPR to move to Los Angeles. Working as a producer and Music Director for the station has been the best job I’ve ever had, but after five years of service it’s time to move on…but before I do I’m thrilled to present the music of one of my favorite local songwriters, who just so happens to also be my brother, Cameron Ford. Currently releasing music under the name Free Until Midnight, Ford has been writing songs since he was in high school with his first band Panacea. It’s been a pleasure watching him grow into his new electronic sound, and we'll talk with him about his song "3 Peg Stool".

In this episode, Dave interviews James R. Hansen, author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong -- the first and only authorized biography of Neil A. Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11 and the first human being to set foot on another world. Hansen had unprecedented access to the famously reticent astronaut and conducted over 50 hours of deeply personal interviews and unfettered access to Armstrong's family and friends.

Award-winning poet Heather Altfield calls her collection of poetry The Disappearing Theatre. Philosophy professor Troy Jollimore received a National Book Critics Circle Award for a previous collection of his poetry. His newest book is Syllabus of Errors — Poems. This week join Nancy for a conversation with two local poets.

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".

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