Our Changing World for Thursday 24 May 2007
On This Programme
The Catalogue of Life is an ongoing project that aims to create an online database of every living species on Earth, from mosses and jellyfish, elephants and slime moulds, to bacteria and even viruses. So far they have over 1 million taxonomic descriptions available online. Dacia Herbulock speaks to Dennis Gordon, the New Zealand coordinator for the project, about taxonomy's importance 300 years after Linnaeus.
Dean Williams interviews NIWA science managers Don Robertson and Clive Howard-Williams about a major scientific voyage to survey Antarctic marine life as part of New Zealand's participation in the International Polar Year.
We visit a newly-installed green roof atop the University of Auckland's Engineering building. This prototype, which was designed by PhD student Emily Voyde, uses native plants and volcanic rock to create a living layer on the rooftops of urban buildings.
Our health segment looks at Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Louise Wallace speaks to the author of a new book that details the experiences of eight women whose children have been affected by the disorder.
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Coming up in Our Next Programme
On 28 May, the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) announced that field testing of genetically modified brassicas will go ahead. Dean Williams speaks with ERMA's General Manager for New Organisms, Libby Harrison, about the decision.
New Zealand's landscape is buckling and twisting under the strain that builds up along the tectonic plate boundary that runs through our country. Research using incredibly precise GPS measurements is helping geophysicists map how pressure along the fault lines warps the ground under our feet. Dacia Herbulock talks to John Beavan of GNS Science about how his findings help shape our understanding of future earthquakes.
Dean Williams visits Bill Ballantine, a marine biologist, grassroots activist and the founder of New Zealand's first marine reserve at Cape Rodney, Goat Island, thirty years ago.
There are around 3000 practising midwives in New Zealand at present. Their average age is 50. Louise Wallace interviews Jackie Gunn of the Midwifery Development and Education Service at Auckland University of Technology about the chronic shortage of midwives and the aging workforce.