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Coming up on Connections: Monday, April 22, 2024

Two students wearing blue life jackets sitting in a row boat on a body of water: The student at left has short dark hair and is wearing a blue shirt and holding a plastic bottle and device; the student at right has short dark hair and is wearing a white t-shirt. There is a tube and plastic basin of water in the foreground.
Matt Hoffman
Evan Batte and Erika Fernandez sampling the limnocorral at Tait

First hour: Humans may consume up to a credit card's worth of plastic each week; local researchers discuss how to prevent it

Second hour: How you can help increase the number of trees planted in your community and combat climate change

Research shows humans may consume hundreds of plastic particles each day – up to a credit card’s worth every week. How do these particles get into our ecosystems and our bodies? Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Rochester Institute of Technology are studying this question. They recently received a $7.3 million dollar grant to establish the Lake Ontario Center for Microplastics and Human Health. The center’s work will focus on how plastic waste enters the Great Lakes and how it affects the health of humans, wildlife, and the environment. Our guests this hour discuss their research and what it means for the community. In studio:

  • Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Christy Tyler, Ph.D., professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology   
  • Matt Hoffman, Ph.D., professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology  
  • Sami Romanick, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester Medical Center            

Then in our second hour, local municipalities and community groups are working to increase the number of trees in the Rochester area. The City of Rochester is currently updating its Urban Forestry Master Plan. Part of that effort includes residents becoming "tree ambassadors." Meanwhile, the local chapter of the Sierra Club is gearing up for its annual tree giveaway event. This hour, we explore how community members can take a hands-on approach to creating more green spaces in their neighborhoods and how that can help combat climate change. In studio:

  • Andrew Place, city forester for the City of Rochester
  • John Kastner, member of the executive board for the Rochester Regional of the Sierra Club
  • Daryl Odhner, board member for the Rochester Regional Sierra Club, and tree enthusiast
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.