SDPB's Cara Hetland is underground at the 4850 foot level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. This year marks 10 years of Neutrino Day. Christopher Mossey is the Deputy Director for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility. He talks about the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment and what it takes to collaborate with scientists from more than 30 countries to get this experiment up and running.

Talithia Williams Previews NOVA Wonders

Apr 23, 2018

In The Moment ... April 23, 2018 Show 321 Hour 2

NOVA tackles the biggest questions on the frontiers of science in a new six-part series called NOVA Wonders. The first episode airs on SDPB-TV this Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Central.

One of NOVA Wonders' three hosts is mathematician Talithia Williams. Her TED talk "Own Your Body's Data" celebrates the power of personal data collection. She's the author of the book Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics.

In The Moment ... October 26, 2017 Show 207 Hour 1

Follow a team of experts investigating the Great Hurricane of 1780 that killed more people than any other Caribbean hurricane. Historical evidence points toward the future ... and what we can expect as the ocean warms and sea levels rise. NOVA's "Killer Hurricanes" airs on Wednesday, November 1st at 8 p.m. Central, 7 Mountain on SDPB-TV.

Victoria Wicks

There is a difference between science and science fiction, of course. But the two converge at events like Comic Con. At the Denver Comic Con this summer, real scientists included three students and a lecturer from the physics department at the School of Mines and Technology.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Biotechnology is a booming business, and South Dakota companies are competing with organizations around the globe. Local scientists pioneer medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, and research. A researcher-turned-business developer outlines his assessment for area investors and scientists in an extended interview.

South Dakota Biotech's annual summit brought professionals together for the discussion, and some future scientists help equip fellow kids.

Sioux Falls researchers are employing light to open blood vessels. The US Food and Drug Administration is green-lighting a trial that could help patients who suffer from peripheral vascular disease. Doctors say more than 8 million people live with the condition.

Research leaders say the FDA okays a study that uses NVS to treat PVD. Acronyms aside, leaders have the go-ahead for a clinical trial. It may determine whether a new combination of a medical device and a drug can help people with leg problems related to their blood vessels.

Kara Frame/NPR

In The Moment ... May 30, 2017 Show 103 Hour 2

Each person has different biological traits based on family lineage, and scientists are finding certain cultures and ethnic groups have unique biological traits. That information can change genetic research that aims to improves lives.

Cara Hetland

In The Moment ... March 27, 2017 Show 058 Hour 2

Lisa Gardner is the department chair and the Sammons Group Director of the School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management and the EMC Insurance Center Director at Drake University. She joins us from her office in Des Moines to talk about health insurance risk and give the us the basics behind the insurance industry. We spoke earlier and begin with the basic risks behind the Affordable Care Act.

Larry Deiter is the South Dakota Insurance Commissioner and joins the conversation now to talk about the industry in South Dakota.

Photo by Dr. Ben Sharp

Scientists in Antarctica are moving research camps because of a 100 mile long crack moving across the world’s southernmost continent. They’re also concerned that a substantial portion of Antarctica will fall into the sea. .But not everything in “The Land of Ice” is threatened. In fact, the world’s largest marine protected area was recently created in the Ross Sea.

Mammoth Site Researches Rare Mammoth Skull

Feb 6, 2017
Courtesy National Park Service

Scientists from The Mammoth Site at Hot Springs are in Santa Barbara, California this week to take part in research on a mammoth skull. The findings may bring startling results from the rare mammoth fossil that was unearthed last year at Channel Islands National Park.

Justin Wilkins is the in situ bone bed curator at The Mammoth Site. He’s part of  its research team at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. 


Supporters of a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse say it maximizes academic freedom in the classroom, and its opponents say the measure is anti-science. Senate Bill 55 has passed two of the four hurdles to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk.

The bill is one sentence long. It says, “No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.”

Photo by Jim Kent

The Mammoth Site has unveiled a temporary exhibit that’s part of a new program called “What’s In Your Backyard”…and that has nothing do with mammoths. The goal is to create more of a community atmosphere for those interested in paleontology as well as to expand education of the general public.

Chief scientist Jim Mead says the annual meeting of The Mammoth Site membership is always an exciting time especially when unveiling a new exhibit and a new program.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders use the phrase "workforce shortage" often as South Dakota sees low unemployment and a mismatch of skills with job openings. Local hospitals and clinics are not immune. One area health organizations is paying to train students for positions they can’t fill. In turn, students learn on-the-job during internships and commit to staying in town for a few years.

Innovation: Mel Ustad

Jan 13, 2017

Mel Ustad joined Innovation to discuss the programs in place to help science and technology companies grow in South Dakota. Ustad is the Director of Commercialization at the Governor's Office of Economic Development.


Roger Dietrich/

The 117th Christmas Bird Count is underway. The nationwide event is sponsored by the National Audubon Society, it gives bird enthusiasts the chance to get outside during the winter months to document avian species in their areas.

Volunteers monitor a fifteen mile radius to record bird species. Sometimes, the findings are unusual.

In South Dakota, around 20 bird counts are set to take place over the next couple of weeks, including one in Pine Ridge.

National Fossil Day In South Dakota

Oct 12, 2016
Courtesy SDSM&T

It’s National Fossil Day. The National Park Service set aside this day in 2009.  The annual celebration is focused on promoting public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as fostering a greater appreciation for their scientific and educational value. 

Badlands National Park is known for its eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires. But Education Technician Ed Welsh says the area has a significant paleontological history.

Universities Seek Funding For New Research Buildings

Oct 5, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

Universities across South Dakota are proposing building projects to enhance research and development capabilities.    The South Dakota Board of Regents is submitting funding proposals to the governor's office for the projects.  The outcome of the process could lead to new facilities at various university campuses and even a major new building in Rapid City.

Courtesy National Park Service

The recent unearthing of a rare mammoth skull at the Channel Islands National Park was accomplished with the assistance of personnel from The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. We spoke with the director of the world-renowned mammoth research facility about what the find means.

An exceptionally well-preserved fossil of a complete mammoth skull has been uncovered from an eroding stream bank on Santa Rosa Island in California.

submitted photo

Dr. Ranjit Koodali, USD Chemistry Professor and now Dean of the USD Graduate School joins us to discuss the latest in research around the country. Dr. K is the Public Relations Chair of the Sioux Valley Section of the American Chemical Society. He provides regular collection of science articles and is going to join Innovation once a month to talk about what’s happening around the country.

Today we discuss how Engineered Microbes make silver nanoparticles.

Charles Michael Ray

Rapid City Stevens High School opens a new science wing this school year. It features eight state of the art science classrooms with chemical resistant floors and countertops. The space has separate teaching and lab areas. SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray toured the new wing and spoke with Rapid City Schools Facilities Manager Kumar Veluswamy. 

Courtesy The Mammoth Site

Volunteers for The Mammoth Site Excavation and Preservation Program are in Hot Springs this month. Participants lend their assistance to the continuing scientific efforts at the world’s largest concentration of mammoth remains. SDPB’s Jim Kent stopped by to visit with two women who have been searching for bones at the active paleontological dig site for years.

Today’s South Dakota weather report says we’re expecting several days of very warm, humid weather, with heat indexes over 100 degrees.

Connie Walter, Communications Director, Sanford Underground Research Facility discusses the annual Neutrino Day festivities in Lead. She talks about the Science Festival, featured speakers and tours of the hoist room at the underground lab.  

Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Inc.

A group of fossils from four triceratops found in Wyoming could change what scientists know about the dinosaurs’ behavior.


The five-year walleye tagging project, which is in its final year, focuses on the Missouri River from the Oahe Dam near Pierre, South Dakota, north to the Garrison Dame near Riverdale, North Dakota. Researchers have tagged 26,132 fish in the last three years. Researchers hope to understand the basic science of angler harvest and how food sources and flooding impact the walleye population. We talk with researcher Brian Graeb and his doctoral student Eli Felts.

SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Eddie Sullivan is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. based in Sioux Falls. The biopharmaceutical company leads the science and manufacturing of polyclonal antibody therapies. Eddie Sullivan has been named chair of the food and agriculture section governing board for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization or Bio. It’s the industry’s largest international trade association.


Dr. Ranjit Koodali, USD Chemistry Professor and now Dean of the USD Graduate School joins us to discuss the latest in research around the country. Dr. K is the Public Relations Chair of the Sioux Valley Section of the American Chemical Society. He provides regular collection of science articles and is going to join Innovation once a month to talk about what’s happening around the country. Today Dr. K. teaches us about using biosynthesized ZnO nanoparticles and soil fungi.

Dead End For Deep Hole In Spink County

Jun 22, 2016

Organizers of a project to test rocks deep underground in Spink County say they won’t pursue the plan any further. Researchers wanted to find out if it’s possible to drill a hole deep and straight enough to store nuclear waste inside. Proponents say nuclear waste isn’t involved in the project. Opponents worry about what will happen after the hole is dug.

Spink County

Spink County Commissioners say there’s not enough local support for the proposed deep borehole field test to go forward.

Researchers want to find out if it’s possible to drill a hole deep and straight enough to store nuclear waste inside. They proposed a more than three mile deep test hole in Spink County.   Proponents say nuclear waste isn’t involved in the project. But opponents worry what will happen after the hole is dug. 


SDSU Plant Pathologist Febina Mathew discusses how South Dakota farmers are dealing with two emerging fungal diseases— sudden death syndrome in soybean and Phomopsis stem canker in sunflowers.

Fungicides are largely ineffective, so farmers must rely on changes in management practices and selection of resistance varieties to reduce their losses.