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.

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.

In this episode Dave talks to Adam Frank. Adam is a regular contributor to NPR's All Things Considered where he weighs in on scientific issues with his expertise as an astrophysicist. He is also a writer. His latest book The Light of The Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth examines what role climate change must ultimately play in any technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization. Frank argues that we should stop arguing about climate change, accept that it is just a part of being a successful industrial civilization and use the same intelligence that created it to adapt to and evolve past it. This wide ranging conversation covers a wide variety of topics as the host and guest engage in a lively exchange of ideas. Then Sheryl Hosler, YouTube's The Roving Naturalist takes to the trail to visit with folks out hiking to get their take on why being out of doors in a natural setting is important to them.

Many people in the North State have walked, or dream of walking, the medieval pilgrimage route across northern Spain to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Now over a million pilgrims from across the world travel to Spain to walk the Camino, and about a fifth of them receive their certificate of completion when they arrive in Santiago. Two such pilgrims are Nancy's guests today. Kurt Koontz wrote of his pilgrimage in his book A Million Steps. Terrence Callery also wrote about his 500-mile pilgrimage will tell us about his adventure on the Camino de Santiago.

    

The Dot goes deep Blue on this episode as we explore the mysterious and immense submarine canyon that lies below the surface of Monterey Bay. Monterey is known for its famed Monterey Bay Aquarium but did you know it also has a separate scientific research center? Based in Moss Landing at the very head of the Submarine Canyon, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is one of the world's leading oceanographic and marine biology/ecology research centers. Dave is joined by geologist Charles Paull along with fellow MBARI researchers James Barry and Bruce Robison plus robotic submarine operator Craig Dawe as we explore the deep waters of California's central coast.

Dave visits with Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach, two poets laureate from Texas. In 2013, Karla herd a speaker talk about the 2016 centennial of the National Parks and decided to do something meaningful to celebrate it. She invited her fellow poet laureate Alan to join her on a quest to share the parks through the lens of poetry by visiting all 60 parks together. Their journey is nearly at the halfway point as of this interview. Journey through what Wallace Stegner called "the best idea America ever had," our national parks and yes, you will hear some lovely poems!

Today our guest is Seattle songwriter, Jack Knight. Once part of the popular Chico indie/rock band The Mondegreens, Knight eventually split off to pursue his own solo career. We talk with Knight about the songwriting of his latest album Some For Jack, Some For Jesus.

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