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November 1, 2012

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona ArtBeat: Lunar Landscapes

  |   Video
  • ASU Professor Mark Robinson, the principal investigator for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), provides a preview of “Lunar Landscapes,” an exhibition of LROC images using large-scale panoramic panels and digital projection. The exhibition opens November 2nd at the monOrchid gallery in Phoenix.
  • Mark Robinson - ASU Professor
Category: Science   |   Keywords: art, artbeat, lunar, landscapes, science, ,

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Ted Simons: Tonight's edition of Arizona Artbeat takes us more than 200,000 miles away from earth, to the surface of the moon. "Lunar Landscapes" is a photographic exhibition that opens tomorrow at the Monorchid Gallery in downtown Phoenix. We were there yesterday as the show was being assembled. It consists of dozens of images taken by NASA's lunar reconnaissance orbiter camera or L-roc. The high-quality images show prominent features of the lunar landscape. Impact craters, ancient lava flows, and the landing sites where Apollo astronauts once walked on the moon are all captured in stunning detail. ASU professor Mark Robinson calls the shots for cameras aboard orbiter. The L-roc was launched into space a few years ago on a fact-finding mission to help facilitate putting humans back on the moon. Joining me now to talk about the lunar landscapes exhibition is Mark Robinson, professor at ASU's school of earth and space exploration. He's L-roc's principal and investigator and curator of Lunar Landscapes exhibition. Good to see you again. Did you ever think you’d be a curator at an art exhibit.
Mark Robinson: I didn’t know I was.
Ted Simons: Congratulations.
Mark Robinson: I like the title.
Ted Simons: The thought behind this particular exhibit?
Mark Robinson: The thought behind the exhibit is to get people who don't normally interact with the science community or come down to ASU campus or even go to our web page to see the moon. We’ve got this fantastic exhibition of exploration that's been in orbit around the moon since June 2009 and every day we return 450 gigabits of fantastic images of the surface of the moon. The moon is an incredibly exciting place. It’s beautiful, it mysterious. It's not only scientifically but esthetically. Mountain ranges, you did a great intro. We take these pictures and they come down, and everybody on the team is, has engineering purposes or science purposes but you just can't help to be excited about the landscapes you are seeing. A lot of these images nobody has ever seen these landscapes before.
Ted Simons: They are, they are stunning and I want to take a look at some of them here real quickly including this first one. And it's interesting. It's literally a west to east view of the Tycho crater. You know exactly where it's at and what it's doing up there. Don't you? That's -- talk to bus that image. What can we learn from that?
Mark Robinson: Tycho crater is 82 kilometers in diameter. That's 50 miles. The actual peak in the middle is about 15 kilometers across or 10 miles and it's 2,000 meters or 6,000 feet high. That's a big mountain. OK? But unlike mountains on the earth, all the topography was formed in a few seconds and that's when an asteroid that was maybe 10 kilometers in diameter slammed into the moon at 20 kilometers a second and just those forces are so outside of our normal experience.
Ted Simons: How big would that have to be again?
Mark Robinson: 10 kilometers, something like that.
Ted Simons: And that makes something like that.
Mark Robinson: Yeah. The peak was formed in a matter of seconds. Again it's 6,000-foot-high mountain and that formed in a few seconds. See how it looks almost like sea ice around it.
Ted Simons: Yes.
Mark Robinson: That is frozen melt because there's so much energy released in the impact that the lunar surface melted right there and it pooled and if you come down to the show you will be able to see some of these exact flows in incredible detail down to the meter scale.
Ted Simons: There's another photograph of another crater, this apparently is a young crater, I think certainly the images of this one again, they are striking. We are seeing things that almost look like artist rendition. What about this particular one?
Mark Robinson: This is one of my favorite. It's about 2.5 kilometers. Have you ever been to meteor crater? It's about twice as big and twice as deep. It's about 500 meters deep, so 1500 feet deep. And if, I don't know if you can zoom all the way down here on --
Ted Simons: We will give it our best shot. There we go.
Mark Robinson: As you get down closer and closer you can actually see boulders that have streamed down the side and were thrown out on the edge. But if you look very closely there's some dark materials and bright materials. Now, imagine if you were going to the moon with either rover or you as an astronaut and you could plan out with these kind of images exactly where you wanted to go sample the different types of rocks. Because the black rocks are black for a reason. They are have more iron in them. The white rocks may have less iron in them or acidic. So that's one of the major goals of this whole mission is to help NASA map out most interesting places to go and what to do when we get there.
Ted Simons: There really is a colonization aspect to all this, isn't there?
Mark Robinson: Maybe colonization is down the road. Let's get back to the moon first. OK? It's been 40 years since we were at the moon. Right? NASA had a plan and a goal to get back to the moon about five or six years ago and due to the fiscal situation, so on and so forth, those plans are somewhat on hold right now. The economy is getting better. We are getting back. We have this fantastic data. We know where to go now. We have this great data from Apollo days, new information from the reconnaissance orbiter and we know there are resources on the moon. It’s not purely to go back for scientific reasons, it's to get resources and to help us to learn how to work in space so we can go beyond the moon and in to Mars. I would love to go to Mars. How about you?
Ted Simons: I think so!
Mark Robinson: But to get there first we have to learn how to work on another body. We want to do that. We are only three and a half days from earth.
Ted Simons: Do you think that with all the attention to the Mars rovers and these sorts of things the moon has been kind of forgotten here in recent years?
Mark Robinson: The moon doesn't get quite as much publicity as Mars does and I think that there's several reasons. One, the Apollo astronauts and brought rocks back. The moon is close. And it's similar. Right? And it's like, you live in Phoenix. How often do you go to particularly the meteor crater or Grand Canyon? Or you do it when out of town visitors come. Mars is a bit sexier, it’s farther away. People like to think about the possibility of life on Mars and the past. There isn't much possibility there's ever life on the moon. The moon has a vacuum. There's no atmosphere. But there's incredible geology to be had and incredible sights to be had and resources.
Ted Simons: No kidding. You mentioned there once was life on the moon. We had some astronauts up there and one of your photographs in this exhibition shows who Apollo 11, where it landed and the debris up there and the detritus of the landing. Correct?
Mark Robinson: Yeah. This is a great image. I love these pictures of the landing sites. You see right in the center of that very bright circular feature, that's the bottom stage of the lunar module. That served as a launch pad.
Ted Simons: It's still there.
Mark Robinson: And if you look to the south or below that you see those other bright spots? That's a retro reflector where we still shoot lasers at that so we can measure the distance to the moon with a meter. There’s a seismometer that’s lasted for three or four months and sends data back. And see to the right, that impact crater and that faint black line over there? Those are Neil Armstrong's tracks. He had a few minutes left after they got setting up the experiments. As he was noticing he went right over those craters and he said, I bet those geologists would love to have a picture inside of an impact crater. So, he ran over there, took the pictures and nobody knew on the ground. Right? That he did that. And you could see where he went back.
Ted Simons: Oh, my goodness.
Mark Robinson: To the lunar module. He was a great scientist even though he was an engineer. He collected probably one of the most fantastic sample collections in a few minutes. And he went over there and took a picture of the crater.
Ted Simons: This is great stuff. Again, monOrchid Galley, throughout the month? We will have more information in a second.
Mark Robinson: Every Friday night if you come down there between 6:00 and 10:00 there will be special tours. It's open all week. Please come down.
Ted Simons: Congratulations. Sounds like a great exhibit. Good to have you here. You can visit the surface of the moon starting tomorrow when Lunar Landscape opens at monOrchid Gallery during the first Friday walk in Downtown Phoenix. The show will remain open throughout end of November.

Arizona State Parks

  |   Video
  • Bryan Martyn, the new director of Arizona State Parks, talks about funding needs and strategies to improve the agency.
  • Bryan Martyn - New Director, Arizona State Parks
Category: Environment   |   Keywords: state, parks, director, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Arizona's state parks have not received appropriations from the state's general fund since 2009. The agency is now expected to be self-sustaining. But the new state parks director has identified some critical funding issues, and he's asking for $15 million to be included in the next state budget. Here to talk about that and his strategies for improving the agency is state parks director Bryan Martyn. Thanks for being here.
Bryan Martyn: Ted, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Ted Simons: What is the current state of Arizona state parks?
Bryan Martyn: We are doing well. We are doing a lot better than we were in the past. In the past we looked at parks kind like a museum or a library. Where it really didn't matter if you made money. It was a social contract you had with society. And these days we have to look at parks as being self-sustaining. You got to make money and that's kind of where we are at. We are trying to figure out how to keep our parks running efficiently and make money where we can.
Ted Simons: I know that some critics would say doing better is one thing but doing well would be another. They see some noticeable deterioration out there. How would you respond to that?
Bryan Martyn: I would say it's a marathon. It's not a sprint. We are moving forward slowly. We do understand that funds are limited throughout the state. You cannot expect to just raise your hand and get money thrown at parks. There are a lot of other obligation out there. We have to demonstrate our worth to communities throughout Arizona.
Ted Simons: Talk about the budgetary concerns here. What you are faced with and what you are asking for.
Bryan Martyn: Our budget has been reduced dramatically. And what we have asked for, as every agency in Arizona, there are over 80 different agencies that they all ask for what they can get. We have asked for those things that I would like to call tires and gas. State parks is kind of like a car running down the road at 100 miles an hour, and it has bald tires. You know you have got some things that you need to fix and you don't know when they are going to go so you hope to get some money to get new tires to keep your parks going. Because if they go down, car's not going anywhere. That's one of the big things. And the gas part we talk about enhancing our parks so they can make more money.
Ted Simons: Indeed. And state parks, this is an enterprise agency. Explain what that is.
Bryan Martyn: We eat what we kill, basically. We have to go out and make money and that's the basics of it. We are not on the general fund. We are one of about three states in the America that are not on the general fund. And that is just is what it is. And our job is to demonstrate why it's important that we get help from communities and friends groups and we demonstrate our worth every day.
Ted Simons: If it is what it is now, does it always have to be that way? Can that change? Can the state show a little more impetus in helping these parks succeed?
Bryan Martyn: There's no doubt. Arizona State Parks has friends throughout the state and throughout the legislature and the governor is a big fan of Arizona State Parks. Make no mistake. More and more they understand the value of state parks. But there are limitations on what funds are available. My job is to demonstrate these are our needs, these are the funds that we have asked for. If you have the ability, wherever that cut line is and we have no idea where that cut line is, it would be great to get some funds.
Ted Simons: Any indication that you will get some funds?
Bryan Martyn: It's difficult to say. We have no idea. The effect of Obamacare and those things on the state. We don't know how much revenue we have out there. My job is to director of the agency as the on the business end of the deal is to put forward a request and justify that request and then just wait and see.
Ted Simons: The request involves, what, capital project, maybe operations, staff, the whole nine yards?
Bryan Martyn: The whole nine yards, very much the tires and the gas. I mean, a sewage treatment plants that are 40 years old. That goes down, the park theoretically goes down. That's one of those tires. We have try to get money for those things and if we electrify a camp ground, get more people in the campground, the rates for being in the campground are raised and that’s kinds of our guess, we make more money.
Ted Simons: The car analogy, I know there are some lawmakers who don't think the state should be in the car in the first place. How do you convince them that state parks are important to Arizona?
Bryan Martyn: This is one of our resources in Arizona. And the reason state parks came around in the first place was to assist those rural communities. There are no state parks right now in Maricopa County that are operated by the parks system. So our parks are out in these rural communities and they are economic drivers for these communities. That's part of our obligation in Arizona to take this resource and make it enhance the communities, get people to these smaller communities.
Ted Simons: You referred to this earlier with the idea of financial partners. What's the status of that? How can you improve on that particular dynamic?
Bryan Martyn: We are very blessed in state parks. We have had a lot of people step up, friends groups, individuals, counties, cities, tribes, have given money to help keep parks open. Their park open. Because they understand the benefit of that park as an economic driver. These groups, they are getting tired. I mean, they continue to give and give and give. Our job is to continue to embrace them. We put our arm around them and thank them and give them loving and they continue to make our parks great. Eventually, those people aren't going to have the resources. We will continue to use their time. The important part, Ted, is, I need more people. We need more citizens who are willing to step up and help. I asked for a weekend a year. That's all I ask. If you can spend two days a year at a park, everything from pulling weeds to greeting people as they come in, that's great benefit added.
Ted Simons: Last point, I know a lot of citizens would say we need to see more of a commitment from the state. How hard are you going to push on this?
Bryan Martyn: I'm pushing as hard as I can. We work hard every day educating legislators on the value. You can't just go ask for something. We just don't have those kind of resources in Arizona. As a prior elected, I understand a lot of people have their hand out. Arizona state parks need to demonstrate the value of the investment, you’re investing in Arizona State Parks and there is a return monetarily and to our citizenry and our guests.
Ted Simons: Bryan, it's good to have you here. Thanks for joining us we appreciate it.
Bryan Martyn: Ted, I really appreciate the time.
Ted Simons: Thank you.
Bryan Martyn: Thanks.

Spirit of Enterprise Awards

  |   Video
  • For the 16th year, ASU is honoring Arizona companies for excellence in ethics, energy and entrepreneurship. Gary Naumann, Director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business, talks about this year’s award winners.
  • Gary Naumann - Director, Spirit of Enterprise Center at ASU W.P. Carey School of Business
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: ASU, spirit, enterprise, award, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. For the 16th year, ASU is honoring Arizona companies for excellence in ethics, energy, and entrepreneurship. The Spirit of Enterprise awards were handed out today at a luncheon sponsored by ASU's W.P. Carey school of business. Here to tell us about the winners is Gary Naumann, director of the school's Spirit of Enterprise center. Good to see you again.
Gary Naumann: Good to see you, Ted.
Ted Simons: Energy, excellence, ethics, and entrepreneurship, what are we talking about there?
Gary Naumann: Well, it's one of those things that's really hard to find. But you know it when you see it. It's very -- we take a lot of time. We spend a lot of time with our applicants and we are looking for companies. What it really comes down it to is that all rolls up into what's a great story? Who's done something that really captures our attention that says, not only have they done all the right things, they have shown ethics, they have shown energy and growing their business, they are ethical. They are doing all those things but they have a great way they put it altogether. That's what we are looking for.
Ted Simons: A lot of businesses to choose from?
Gary Naumann: We have a lot of businesses to choose from. It's quite a rigorous application process. We start back in February and March, starting accepting applications from companies and getting nominations and companies can be nominated by many different folks, some within our school, some former spirit alumni. We get them from many different sources. And by doing that, we get such great mix of companies here. Every year I'm just amazed at the wonderful companies we come up with and we get to honor. And we really come down to ten finalists. These final five winners came out of ten finalists and they were all honored today with five of them actually won the ultimate award.
Ted Simons: Let's talk about some of those winners. We will start with an automotive repair company that kind of takes things a little bit differently. Talk us to about, 180 Degrees Automotive?
Gary Naumann: Right. And the owner, founder of that company is a woman by the name of Bogi LaTyner. She is very interesting. She talks about, she started with no business plan and no money, and school of hard knocks and had to really pull herself up by her boot straps, if you will, to learn all those things that she really wasn't interested in. She wasn't interested in the numbers and the systems and all that. Then she realized about three years in I better get smart in all of this. She really dug in on her own and brought herself along from not knowing much at all to actually spending time and focus on making her company different.
Ted Simons: And that building, that's an auto repair shop. It's an art exhibit going on in the lobby.
Gary Naumann: She invites the community in. She wants to connect with her customers. She wants to make it a place where they want to come. And as one of our other guest speakers said today, when was the last time you had a good experience at -- right? That's what she's trying to do is connect with the customers, make it a place where it's fun to come. And to give good service. Nothing beats getting what you came for which is good automotive service. They make that their focus but try to make it a great experience along the way.
Ted Simons: Another winner, Daphne's head covers. Who knew that you could basically build an empire with golf head covers?
Gary Naumann: Golf head covers. Young 16-year-old girl and challenged by her mom to go do it, and sure enough, she went and just fought her way through all the trials and tribulations that somebody would have to do to make their mark in that business. And now, 75 countries, makes covers for all the top pros. And actually another interesting -- she's actually bringing some of our manufacturing here to Phoenix which is a great story because we are all talking about, where are the jobs? Where are things going? So she won our overcoming adversity award and did a great job. She overcame all the hardships that came with 2008 and when everything turned upside down. And she toughed it out.
Ted Simons: She started as a 16-year-old.
Gary Naumann: At 16. And name of the company after her mother, Daphne. Her name is Jane Spicer.
Ted Simons: Global Telemedicine honored as well. Telemedicine monitor, tell us about this.
Gary Naumann: Here's a company, when I say they come from so many different ways, this company started out in the semi-conductor industry doing quality assurance software and machinery for the semi-conductor industry. Found that it was an OK business but not a great business. Switched gears. They found in 2002, switched gears in 2005 into telemedicine and actually started building equipment so doctors could have somebody, a remote patient, they could actually diagnose and see that patient remotely and that works great for people that are like have emergencies that are not near a medical facility. They might have the telemedicine equipment, wonderful application.
Ted Simons: Great lesson in how you need to be adaptable to change.
Gary Naumann: Yes. If you say, hey, this is what I am doing, I'm not changing, I'm going to stick with it even if I hit the brick wall, that's crazy. You have to be willing to adapt. Change your business model to fit the circumstances and then push forward. That flexibility is very key.
Ted Simons: Another winner is a company called Law Logix, immigration software, I understand.
Gary Naumann:Yes, it is. And two partners, and one partner sort of came up with the idea when he was sort of stranded at the border in Mexico and going through all sorts of trials and tribulations of, why is this so hard? That's where a lot of these ideas come from. Why isn't this done better? Why are we banging our head against the wall? And actually said there's a way to do this and they develop case management software for I-9 and E-verify.
Ted Simons: My goodness. A perfect time for that, I would imagine.
Gary Naumann: They have -- I think probably 4 million foreign nationals they have served. A great, great application.
Ted Simons: The fifth winner here is called Total Transit, and this is just what basically a green cab company.
Gary Naumann: Green cab company. Craig Hughes tells the story when he started the company, I think he had been in a cab twice in his life or something like that and started with a couple of cabs. Another, think about this. A basic industry, cabs have been around forever. In 1984 is when Craig started his company and is actually our largest company in terms of employment today, 300 employees. So he was able to just gradually grow his business and innovate along the way. Take whatever technology brought his way and started building his company and now he has the largest Prius fleet in North America. He’s got a green cab company and he works with Valley Metro on doing dial a ride services and he made the vehicle fit the circumstance versus having to send out a vehicle that was way too large for the job so to speak so he got it down to the right size.
Ted Simons: Before we let you go, the Spirit of Enterprise center, basically responsible for the awards? How did they sponsor the awards, what are you trying to do there?
Gary Naumann: What we’re trying to do is, one of our tag lines, if you will, where campus meets community. And the great thing about that is, yes, we are the W.P. Carey school of business at Arizona State University and we have students and we try make sure that the companies that we talked about today, many of those companies will come back and be guest speakers in my courses for these students and with my other colleagues as well as we have student teams, student project teams. We will match them up with a needed project from these companies and all of a sudden now we have this great company, working with our great students and it's a great match.
Ted Simons: All right. It's good stuff. Gary, good to see you again. Thanks for joining us. Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.
Gary Naumann: Ted, thanks so much, really appreciate it.