Our Changing World for Thursday 26 July 2007
On This Programme
Submarine fibre-optic cables provide a critical link for communications. Running along the seabed for thousands of kilometers, they can be vulnerable to natural hazards, like earthquakes and mudslides. Dacia Herbulock talks to Lionel Carter, a marine geologist at Victoria University of Wellington, about his research into this type of threat.
The Otago Energy Research Centre is drawing together academics from many diverse fields to collaborate on energy issues. Justin Gregory speak two key staff members at the centre, Janet Stephenson and Gerry Carrington of the University of Otago.
Justin Gregory goes for a tour of the Wellington city landfill to shed light on New Zealand's long-term solid waste issues, and hear about new schemes to capture methane gas released by decomposing rubbish.
Louise Wallace reports on a pilot project running in the Rodney area of Waitemata this month, which is studying the Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Properly -- code named DUMP.
Coming Up in Our Next Programme
We visit Mt John Observatory in the MacKenzie District to hear about a proposal to establish the world's first protected starlight reserve here in New Zealand. It will protect the area's dark nighttime skies from light pollution, and preserve viewing opportunities for stargazers and professional astronomers alike.
Veronika Meduna spends some time stomping around in the mud at Pauatahanui Inlet, the largest estuarine wetland left in the lower North Island. She meets with volunteers who work to protect this unique ecosystem.
Justin Gregory brings us part two of his tour of the Wellington city landfill. He sits down to talk about the future of rubbish, including the potential for a true zero-waste policy.
Auckland's Mercy Ascot Hospital is looking at introducing a robot to do some of its most complicated surgeries within the next three months. It's called the da Vinci system and it's the first of its kind in New Zealand. Louise Wallace checks it out with one of only two local doctors trained in its use - urological surgeon, Chris Hawke.