How does the Cyanide heap leaching process work and what are the potential impacts to the environment?

Answered by Bonnie Gestring – Northwest Program Director for EARTHWORKS Cyanide leach mining is a type of gold mining that uses cyanide to extract gold from the surrounding rock. First, the rock that contains gold (the ore) is dug out of the ground, leaving behind a large open pit. Then, the ore is crushed into…

We keep hearing it is going to be a La Nina Event this year. What does that likely mean for us here in eastern Idaho?

Answered by Timothy Axford – Meteorologist – National Weather Service – Pocatello Great question! Meteorologists get asked this a lot. As the days shorten and we start looking towards the winter season, everyone wants to know whether it will be several months of cold and snowy or mild and dry. Meteorologists and Climatologists (someone who…

How do you stop a desert wildfire?

Answered by Kelsey Griffee, Fire Information & Prevention, BLM-Idaho Falls District Office Wildfire is a mesmerizing natural occurrence created by the chemical reaction of oxygen, heat and fuels. Oxygen is supplied from the air all-around us and spurred by wind. Heat is sparked by lightning or human folly. Fuels come in the form of grass,…

How do boats float?

Answered by Randy Haws, Environmental Scientist, Pro2Serve Whether an object floats or not depends on several things. Solid objects, like wood or apples, float because they have lots of air in them and are lighter than the water around them. Objects like pennies or paper clips sink because the atoms in them are close together…

What makes a heat wave?

Question Answered by Nicole Desmet, Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Pocatello, Idaho A heat wave is simply a period of prolonged period of very hot, uncomfortable temperatures. Typically a heat wave lasts two or more days. Several factors can influence how hot temperatures can get, where temperatures will be warmest and how long it will be that…

What are your favorite experiments?

Answered by Alana Jensen, Environmental Educator, INL ESER Program I have so many favorite experiments, but here are a couple of fun ones to do in the summertime. Blow Bubbles!You will need: Dishwashing soap, glycerin, water, large jar, liquid measuring cup, pipe cleaners, pliers Measure the volume of your jar by filling the jar with…

Does water reflect or refract light?

Answered by Alana Jensen, INL ESER Program Water is both a reflector and refractor of light. Let’s examine these properties of light separately. Reflection: Reflection is when light hits the surface of an object and then that light travels to our eyes so we can see. All materials reflect light to some extent, but a…

I read an article about how kokanee eat and I’m confused. What is a gill raker? And how does the food get from the gill raker into the fish’s stomach?

Answered by Gregg Losinski, Conservation Educator First things first.   In Idaho, when we are talking about kokanee, we are actually talking about the same fish that we also call a sockeye salmon.   These are the fish that are famous for turning bright red when the time comes for them to spawn.  (Spawning is the way…