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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Capital Public Radio podcast team brings climate conversation to campus

(left to right) Emily Zentner, interactive producer, and Sally Schilling, data reporter, in the Performing Arts Center Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. (Taylor LaBella/[email protected])

Students packed into the Performing Arts Center at City College Nov. 14 to listen in on a lecture by two members of Capital Public Radio’s “TahoeLand” podcasting team about the causes of climate change in the Lake Tahoe area and the issues that may manifest in the future due to them. 

The event, hosted by Craig Davis, City College geography professor, invited CapRadio data reporter Sally Schilling and interactive producer Emily Zentner to talk about the project, which was reported over the last year.

They discussed the leading factors contributing to Tahoe’s recent climate change epidemic and the steps taken to work around the weather patterns and revert Tahoe back to the snowy tourist attraction it once was.

“A lot of aspects of the environment up there are so special,” gushed Schilling. “There’s a lot of aspects that people value, but with climate change now, looking out to the future, the things that we value and some rely completely on can change.”

Schilling and Zentner discussed the natural changes that come with varying temperatures, problems with bears becoming reliant on humans, as well as future research endeavors in the area, but one of the main topics brought up regarded the overpopulation of Mysis shrimp in Lake Tahoe and the affect it is having on the clarity of the lake.

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“Fish are not eating the shrimp-like they’re supposed to, but the shrimp are eating a lot of the water bugs called daphnia, and daphnia basically vacuum all of the gunk and dirt out of the lake water,” expressed Zentner. “These tiny bugs are gone, and the lake is getting greener because of it.”

Schilling and Zentner explained a project created by researchers from UC Davis, in which nets full of the Mysid shrimp are pulled from the bottom of the lake in an attempt to decrease the population and 

“[Scientists] would like to have 27 shrimp per square meter in the lake, that’s where they think they can get that clear water back. Right now there’s 76 shrimp per sq meter, so we have a long way to go for them to reach that goal.”

After the presentation, accompanied by images, video and segments of the CapRadio “TahoeLand” podcast, students were invited to ask any questions they may have, leading to more discussion of research, the future of the environment and the steps society can take to fight climate change.

After the presentation, Zentner explained her desire to spread awareness about climate change and influence people to positively change the way they live their life.

“I have learned that climate change is really going to mean a different life for a lot of us by the end of the century,” said Zentner in an interview after the presentation. “If we don’t reduce these greenhouse gases, if we’re not using more renewable energy, using less fossil fuels, these [negative] changes are going to happen.”

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