In the Moment: Innovation

Fridays at Noon Central, 11 am Mountain

SDPB Radio News Director Cara Hetland hosts this program which explores the cutting edge products and services being offered by South Dakotans. Airs on alternating Fridays.

Click here to view the archive

Susan Sanders, warning coordinator with the National Weather Service, spoke on the science of weather and weather safety during the Neutrino Day Science Cafe in . The presentation was recorded live from the Bumping Buffalo in Lead.

In an extended cut of the original story, SDPB's Charle Michael Ray shares more on the efforts of researchers near Wind Cave to save prairie dogs from the plague. Plus, SDPB's Kent Osborne reminds listeners of the upcoming Landscapes of South Dakota photo contest and presents a special challenge for this weekend.


In honor of Neutrino Day, this week's Innovation broadcast live from a mile undergroud at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Scientists from around the country and the world gather there to investigate the mysterious building block of the universe: dark matter.  

  , and UC Berkley grad student Mia Ihm explained the LUX experiment, which uses the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Alan Poon and Wenqin Xu of the Majoranna Project also explained the underground construction of a new double beta decay detector.


Neutrino Day keynote speakers Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams believe we are at the center of the visible universe...and so is everything else. Primack is a professor of physics and astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz, and Abrams is a writer with a B.A. in history and the philosophy of science from the University of Chicago.


On the eve of the 7th annual Neutrino Day, Sanford Underground Research Facility lab director Mike Headley discussed the future of the lab, which includes the next generation of dark matter research. Communications director Connie Walter also shared what visitor's can expect from Neutrino Day. Among many other attractions, the free event features the Journey Museum planetarium, tours of the underground lab and a space school musical.

Sioux Falls-Based Company Wins NASA Award

Jun 20, 2014
Raven Industries

Raven Industries is based in Sioux Falls and highly successful, but many don’t know what the industry produces. In addition to making all large-scale Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons since the early 1980s, Raven Industries creates high altitude balloons that have been used by NASA as well as innovative technologies to aid the agriculture industry. Raven Industries Communications Manager Kristen Tilus joined the program to discuss in detail the company’s success, including a recent award from NASA.

The Argus Leader

Dave Hintz is the Warning Coordinator for the NWS in Aberdeen. He's currently stations at the Emergency Operations Center in Pierre to assist with flood and tornado operations in Wessington Springs. He joined the program to explain the wild weather pattern that has rocked South Dakota over the last week, and to clarify the differences in different storm warnings.  

Algae In Rapid Creek Warrants Study

Jun 20, 2014
Charles Michael Ray, SDPB

Anyone spending time along Rapid Creek may have noticed what looks like clumped up toilet paper in the water. It is, in fact, natural algae called didymo. Dr. Lisa Kunza, an assistant professor at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, is studying the algae. She met with SDPB's Charles Michael Ray to discuss the impact the increase in didymo may be having on the Rapid Creek ecosystem.

Avera Queen of Peace Announces Major Expansion Project

Jun 20, 2014

Friday morning, Avera Queen of Peace CEO Tom Clark announced that 30 acres of lands have been purchased as part of a long-term development plan just off I-90. Ground breaking is planned for August 5th, and the first project will be a new office facility. Eventually, a new hospital will be added to the new acreage near Mitchell. Tom Clark joined the program to discuss the reasons behind the expansion and what patients can look forward to with the new facility.

Sanford Researcher Wins $1.75 Million Grant

Jun 6, 2014

Sanford Research's Dr. Jill Weimer recently won a $1.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Over five years, this money will help Dr. Weimer study intracellular trafficking in neurological disorders, including the rare pediatric Batten disease. Dr. Weimer joined the program to share her knowledge of Batten disease and how this grant will help expand knowledge of other disorders.

Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess is a teacher and author of the New York Times best-seller "Teach Like A Pirate." In the book he outlines the need for passion and innovation in the classroom. On June 18-19, Burgess will present his ideas at a South Dakota State University event meant to encourage more students to become teachers. Dave Burgess joined the program to discuss his book. Later in the segment, SDSU associate professor Sharon Vestal addressed the purpose of Burgess' appearance and the need for math and science teachers.

Avera Team Uses Genetics to Fight Cancer

Jun 6, 2014
Avera Medical

Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones leads the applied genomics team that specializes in scientific and medical aspects of cancer at Avera McKennan. He joined the program to discuss genetics in a clinic setting, as well as the possibility of cancer treatments beyond chemotherapy.

First Graduates Of New Technology High School

May 16, 2014

New Technology High School graduates its first class of students this weekend.  Innovation host Cara Hetland spent an hour visiting with students and faculty about the past four years and the new style of teaching.  Guests included Principal Dolly Ellwein, counselor Vickie Donohoe, Spanish 1 teacher Chris Coughlin, administrative intern Heidi Jorgenson and seniors Leah Bernard, Wes Rasmusson, Max Rysdon and Mina Big Eagle.

Farmers And Soil

Apr 18, 2014

Jeff Hemenway, Soil Quality Specialist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Paul Hetland, a farmer in Mitchell, joined the program to discuss the science and technology with what farmers will do with soil to make it more productive.

Climate Change

Apr 18, 2014

Dr. John Stamm with the United States Geological Survey in Rapid City spoke with Charles Michael Ray about his presentation at the annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference earlier this month about climate change. To view the final draft of the April 2014 IPCC report, go to:

Anniversaries For Landsat 7 And 8 Satellites

Apr 18, 2014

This week marks the 15th anniversary of the Landsat 7 satellite and the first anniversary of images coming from Landsat 8. Jim Vogelmann, Research Ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science, joined Innovation to discuss the satellites and what they've done for science.

Don And Carmen Meyer Center Of Excellence

Apr 4, 2014

Michael O'Keefe, VP Business Development Avera St. Lukes, discussed the launch of the Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence that will house the Avera Cancer Institute in Aberdeen.

Walking Forward Program In South Dakota

Apr 4, 2014

Dr. Daniel Petereit, Department of Radiation Oncology at Rapid City Regional Hospital's Cancer Care Institute, and Principal Investigator of Walking Forward, and Dr. C. Norman Coleman,  Associate Director and Radiation Research Program Senior Investigator for the National Cancer Institute, based in Bethesda, Maryland, joined Innovation host Cara Hetland to discuss the Walking Forward program in South Dakota as well as the efforts to take lessons learned world-wide.

Scott Meyer is the brofounder of 9 Clouds, a digital marketing and education firm that improves the digital literacy of businesses. He writes and hosts the Digital Homesteading blog and podcast focusing on growing rural business and community. His most recent book, Navigating Social Media: A Field Guide, provides strategies and tutorials for using social media effectively for business. Learn more and join his band of digital homesteaders at Meyer talked about new efforts to teach rural entrepreneurs how to improve their communities.

Computer Course At DSU Without Keyboard Or Mouse

Mar 21, 2014

Dakota State University Professor Chris Olson developed a series of voice narrated tutorial videos for the DSU online course, Introduction to Computers. The course consists of 13 voice-narrated tutorials that align with a chapter in the textbook. Olson's online course targets those who have access issues or disabilities along with their rehabilitation counselors. He teaches the user how to leverage the power of the voice recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, to create word processing documents, slideshow presentations, spreadsheets, databases and web pages.

Dr. Gareth Davies, Scientific Director, Avera Institute for Human Genetics and Dr. Erik Ehli, Research Scientist, Avera Institute for Human Genetics, joined Innovation to discuss the latest research papers being published on their work with the Netherlands twin genetic study.

Researchers hoped a new compound treatment is a miracle drug to reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease. But that's not the case for more advanced patients. So now they're looking at using the treatment on early onset of the disease. Dr. Bill Fuller with Avera Behavioral Health discussed the research study of mild Alzheimer patients.  To find out more about the study call Gail at Aver Behavioral Health at 605-322-3075.

Online Fraud For South Dakota Residents

Mar 7, 2014

Sarah Jennings, AARP State Director, joined Innovation to discuss a new AARP study that says South Dakota residents are at higher risk for online fraud based on behavior and life experiences. Online behaviors include opening email from unknown sources, clicking on pop-up ads and signing up for free trials.

First Annual Sanford FASD Symposium

Mar 7, 2014

The first annual Sanford Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Symposium was held at the research center Thursday, February 27. Dr. Gene Hoyme, Chief Academic Officer at Sanford Health and President and Senior Scientist with Sanford Research, and Kenneth Warren, PhD who is the acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), discussed the symposium.

Neurological Function Study On Youth Football

Feb 21, 2014

Sanford Health recently released findings on a pilot study that looks at the effects of youth football on selected clinical measures of neurological function. Thayne Munce, PhD, National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance, talked about the results in the study on Innovation.

Youth Football And ACL Injuries

Feb 21, 2014

Judith Peterson, Physician Sport Medicine Rehabilitation, has been involved in a project to decrease ACL knee ligament tears in adolescent athletes in South Dakota. These severe injuries are a national epidemic and affect many South Dakota athletes and families. Peterson is presenting a lecture on this topic at the national meeting of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation October 5 in Washington DC. She joined Innovation host Cara Hetland to discuss this severe injury suffered on the playing field.


Impact Of Pine Beetles To Water Supply

Feb 7, 2014

SDPB's Charles Michael Ray interviewed South Dakota School of Mines researchers Jim Stone and Heidi Sieverding about new research on the impact of pine beetles to the water supply.

Cliff Swallow Research

Feb 7, 2014

Dr. Charles Brown, Professor of Biology at the University of Tulsa, is researching on the behavioral and disease of ecology of birds. His long-term project (27 years) is among the longest running, continuous field studies on birds in North America. His focus on cliff swallows identifies the causes of group living and to understand why breeding colonies vary in size. Dr. Brown talked about what he's discovered so far.

Sanford Imagenetics

Feb 7, 2014

Sanford Health recently announced a $125 million gift to fund the genomic initiative for internal medicine. The gift launches Sanford Imagenetics. Dr. Eugene Hoyme, President of Sanford Research, joined Innovation to discuss genetic testing for patients. For more information, go to:

Creating A Center For Security And Counterfeiting

Jan 17, 2014

Dr. Jon Kellar and Dr. Grant Crawford of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology join Innovation to discuss the creation of a Center for Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeiting Technology. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is the lead institution for the project. Collaborating with other faculty from the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University, these university-based researchers will work on new projects to address the most pervasive and destructive security and counterfeiting problems.