Posts tagged 2012


Fee makes big dent in disposable bag use


 Reduces grocery checkout bags by 68 percent


After six months in effect, estimates show that the disposable bag fee has reduced use of paper and plastic checkout bags at grocery stores in Boulder by 68 percent. This reduction means the community has kept nearly 5 million disposable bags out of the waste stream since the fee went into effect on July 1, 2013.


“This is very positive news,” said Jamie Harkins, City of Boulder business sustainability specialist. “The bag fee arose from community concerns about the negative environmental and economic impacts of disposable bags in Boulder, and this progress report shows that we are addressing those concerns and doing so effectively.”


The disposable bag fee is one of several city initiatives aimed at bringing Boulder closer to its goal of becoming a zero waste community and diverting 85 percent of the waste stream away from the landfill and into recycling, composting and reuse facilities.


Of the approximately 22 million disposable checkout bags Boulder uses each year, 60 to 70 percent come from grocery stores. A study conducted by consultant TischlerBise in 2012 projected a 50 percent reduction in disposable bag use by the end of the first year of the fee, with approximately 3.6 million disposable bags subject to the fee (i.e. purchased) in the first six months. In actuality, Boulder shoppers have reduced disposable bag use by 68 percent and have purchased significantly fewer bags, approximately 2.3 million in total.


Of the 10 cents collected for each bag, 4 cents goes directly to retailers to defray fee implementation costs. The remaining 6 cents is remitted to the city to support education and outreach efforts about the bag fee as well as to cover expenses associated with providing bags to portions of the population that might be disproportionately impacted by the fee.  No revenue collected as part of the fee program can be used to support General Fund services or programs.


The disposable bag fee does not apply to bags used inside stores for items such as produce, bulk food, or meat and fish, and does not apply to pharmacy prescriptions or newspapers.






CU campus lock-down on 4/20 again (yawn)


CU-Boulder closes campus to non-affiliates
on April 20 for third straight year

The University of Colorado Boulder announced today it will be open to students, faculty and staff on Sunday, April 20, but for the third straight year will be closed to unauthorized non-affiliates.

“As we have said for years now, the 4/20 gathering is not welcome on our campus and has caused serious disruptions to our mission of research, teaching and learning,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “This campus closure continues a multiyear plan to eliminate this gathering.”

The main campus will be closed to non-affiliates from noon to 6 p.m. The Norlin Quad will be closed to everyone throughout the day. Even with the passage of Amendment 64 two years ago, state law does not allow pot smoking in public or possession of marijuana by those under 21.



CU-Boulder began these campus closure actions in April 2012. A Boulder judge upheld the university’s right to take reasonable steps to avoid disruption of the university’s academic mission. In 2012, the closure reduced a traditional 4/20 crowd of about 10,000 to 12,000 people to a gathering of several hundred. April 20, 2013, was a quiet day on campus with no arrests and no one entering the Norlin Quad.

A campus committee, whose members include leaders of the CU Student Government, has met for the past several months to discuss this year’s 4/20 operations. CUSG members have said they want the spontaneous 4/20 gathering to end, but have also expressed concerns and provided input on the planning process. CUSG also wants continued academic dialogue on drug policies and is planning a symposium on those topics for March or early April.

“With the passage of Amendment 64 and now the launch of retail marijuana sales, we believe there is plenty to discuss and debate about drug policies,” said Chris Schaefbauer, CUSG’s president of student affairs. “But that should take place in a thoughtful, academic setting – not among thousands of disruptive people on the Norlin Quad.”

DiStefano said the CU administration supports the students’ efforts to spur debate on drug policies.

“CU-Boulder is a place where academic debate and the free exchange of ideas have always been welcomed and encouraged,” he said. “I applaud the students for continuing this dialogue.”

This year on Sunday, April 20, the following measures will be in place:

  • Students, faculty and staff are all welcome on campus and invited to make use of university facilities as they always do.
  • Students, faculty and staff will be asked to present their Buff OneCard IDs at campus entrances and other areas.
  • Consistent with prior years’ protocol, law enforcement officers will politely and professionally engage those wishing to enter the campus to ascertain if they are affiliates or approved visitors. This will involve checking Buff OneCards for students, faculty and staff and credentials for registered visitors. Those unaffiliated with CU-Boulder, or who are not approved visitors, will not be permitted on campus.
  • Visitors who have official business, meetings or other officially sanctioned activities on the CU-Boulder campus will need to obtain a visitor’s pass. More details on that process will be announced soon.

Funding for the campus security measures comes from insurance rebates to the campus, not from tuition, student fees or taxpayer funds.



power plant

CU: Gas-fired plants help clean the air


 U.S. power plant emissions down with natural gas/new technology

Power plants that use natural gas and a new technology to squeeze more energy from the fuel release far less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than coal-fired power plants do, according to a new analysis accepted for publication Jan. 8 in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The so-called “combined cycle” natural gas power plants also release significantly less nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which can worsen air quality.

“Since more and more of our electricity is coming from these cleaner power plants, emissions from the power sector are lower by 20, 30 even 40 percent for some gases since 1997,” said lead author Joost de Gouw, an atmospheric scientist with NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The decommissioned Arapahoe power plant in south Denver.

The decommissioned Arapahoe power plant in south Denver.

De Gouw, who works at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), and his NOAA and CIRES colleagues analyzed data from systems that continuously monitor emissions at power plant stacks around the country. Previous aircraft-based studies have shown these stack measurements are accurate for carbon dioxide (CO2) and for nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide can react in the atmosphere to form tiny particles and ozone, which can cause respiratory disease.

To compare pollutant emissions from different types of power plants, the scientists calculated emissions per unit of energy produced, for all data available between 1997 and 2012. During that period of time, on average:

  • Coal-based power plants emitted 915 grams (32 ounces) of CO2 per kilowatt hour of energy produced;
  • Natural gas power plants emitted 549 grams (19 ounces) COper kilowatt hour; and
  • Combined cycle natural gas plants emitted 436 grams (15 ounces) CO2 per kilowatt hour.

In combined cycle natural gas plants, operators use two heat engines in tandem to convert a higher fraction of heat into electrical energy. For context, U.S. households consumed 11,280 kilowatt hours of energy, on average, in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. This amounts to 11.4 metric tons per year of CO2 per household, if all of that electricity were generated by a coal power plant, or 5.4 metric tons if it all came from a natural gas power plant with combined cycle technology.

The researchers reported that between 1997 and 2012, the fraction of electric energy in the United States produced from coal gradually decreased from 83 percent to 59, and the fraction of energy from combined cycle natural gas plants rose from none to 34 percent.

That shift in the energy industry meant that power plants, overall, sent 23 percent less CO2 into the atmosphere last year than they would have, had coal been providing about the same fraction of electric power as in 1997, de Gouw said. The switch led to even greater reductions in the power sector’s emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which dropped by 40 percent and 44 percent, respectively.

The new findings are consistent with recent reports from the Energy Information Agency that substituting natural gas for coal in power generation helped lower power-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012.

The authors noted that the new analysis is limited to pollutants emitted during energy production and measured at stacks. The paper did not address levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that leak into the atmosphere during fuel extraction, for example. To investigate the total atmospheric consequences of shifting energy use, scientists need to continue collecting data from all aspects of energy exploration, production and use, the authors concluded.

Authors of the new paper, “Reduced Emissions of CO2, NOx and SO2 from U.S. Power Plants Due to the Switch from Coal to Natural Gas with Combined Cycle Technology,” are de Gouw (CIRES), David Parrish (NOAA ESRL), Greg Frost (CIRES) and Michael Trainer (NOAA).

CIRES is a joint institute of NOAA and CU-Boulder.


Solar eruption could be like an attack on the Earth


CU-Boulder scientist: 2012 solar storm
points up need for society to prepare

A massive ejection of material from the sun initially traveling at over 7 million miles per hour that narrowly missed Earth last year is an event solar scientists hope will open the eyes of policymakers regarding the impacts and mitigation of severe space weather, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

The coronal mass ejection, or CME, event was likely more powerful than the famous Carrington storm of 1859, when the sun blasted Earth’s atmosphere hard enough twice to light up the sky from the North Pole to Central America and allowed New Englanders to read their newspapers at night by aurora light, said CU-Boulder Professor Daniel Baker. Had it hit Earth, the July 2012 event likely would have created a technological disaster by short-circuiting satellites, power grids, ground communication equipment and even threatening the health of astronauts and aircraft crews, he said.

CMEs are part of solar storms and can send billions of tons of solar particles in the form of gas bubbles and magnetic fields off the sun’s surface and into space.  The storm events essentially peel Earth’s magnetic field like an onion, allowing energetic solar wind particles to stream down the field lines to hit the atmosphere over the poles.

Fortunately, the 2012 solar explosion occurred on the far side of the rotating sun just a week after that area was pointed toward Earth, said Baker, a solar scientist and the director of CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. But NASA’s STEREO-A, satellite that was flying ahead of the Earth as the planet orbited the sun, captured the event, including the intensity of the solar wind, the interplanetary magnetic field and a rain of solar energetic particles into space.

“My space weather colleagues believe that until we have an event that slams Earth and causes complete mayhem, policymakers are not going to pay attention,” he said. “The message we are trying to convey is that we made direct measurements of the 2012 event and saw the full consequences without going through a direct hit on our planet.”

Baker will give a presentation on the subject at the 46th Annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union held in San Francisco Dec. 9 to Dec. 13.

While typical coronal mass ejections from the sun take two or three days to reach Earth, the 2012 event traveled from the sun’s surface to Earth in just 18 hours. “The speed of this event was as fast or faster than anything that has been seen in the modern space age,” said Baker. The event not only had the most powerful CME ever recorded, but it would have triggered one of the strongest geomagnetic storms and the highest density of particle fluctuation ever seen in a typical solar cycle, which last roughly 11 years.

“We have proposed that the 2012 event be adopted as the best estimate of the worst case space weather scenario,” said Baker, who chaired a 2008 National Research Council committee that produced a report titled Severe Space Weather Events – Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. “We argue that this extreme event should be immediately employed by the space weather community to model severe space weather effects on technological systems such as the electrical power grid.

“I liken it to war games — since we have the information about the event, let’s play it through our various models and see what happens,” Baker said. “If we do this, we would be a significant step closer to providing policymakers with real-world, concrete kinds of information that can be used to explore what would happen to various technologies on Earth and in orbit rather than waiting to be clobbered by a direct hit.”

Even though it occurred about 150 years ago, the Carrington storm was memorable from a natural beauty standpoint as well as its technological impacts, he said. The event disrupted telegraph communications — the Internet of the Victorian Age — around the world, sparking fires at telegraph offices that caused several deaths, he said.

A 1989 geomagnetic storm caused by a CME from a solar storm in March 1989 resulted in the collapse of Hydro-Quebec’s electricity transmission system, causing 6 million people to lose power for at least nine hours, said Baker. The auroras from the event could be seen as far south as Texas and Florida.

“The Carrington storm and the 2012 event show that extreme space weather events can happen even during a modest solar cycle like the one presently underway,” said Baker. “Rather than wait and pick up the pieces, we ought to take lessons from these events to prepare ourselves for inevitable future solar storms.”

CU media release.

bassballin net

Alcorn State no match for CU women


Colorado is now 2-0 against Alcorn State and a perfect 6-0 against schools from the Southwest Athletic Conference.

With tonight’s victory over Alcorn State, Colorado extends its streak of non-conference regular season wins to 26 games.

Colorado outscored Alcorn State 27-4 off of turnovers and 39-8 on bench points.

After red shirting last year, Lauren Huggins has come out on fire.

After red shirting last year, Lauren Huggins has come out on fire.


Colorado head coach Linda Lappe wins her 66th game at Colorado, outnumbering Kathy McConnell-Miller (2005-10) for the third most wins in program history. She trails only legendary head coach Ceal Barry, who won 427 from 1983-05 and Russell “Sox” Walseth who won 77 from 1980-83.

Tonight, Junior Lexy Kresel scored nine points achieving  501  points overall in her three seasons with Colorado. She also achieved her 100th career three pointer in the second half which is 11th all-time at Colorado.

Redshirt Freshman Lauren Huggins scored 16 points in tonight’s game which is four more than she scored overall in the five games she played before her injury in the 2012-2013 season.

Colorado Buffaloes Women’s Basketball

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bassballin net

CU women’s 2013-2014 basketball schedule announced



BOULDER - The 2013-14 University of Colorado women’s basketball schedule features 16 regular season home dates and 12 games against teams that participated in postseason events a year ago, head coach Linda Lappe announced on Tuesday.


In addition, the Pac-12 Conference announced Colorado would be featured on the Pac-12 Networks 15 times during the regular season, a school record number for television appearances in one campaign.


“It’s such an exciting opportunity to have 15 games on the Pac-12 Network,” Lappe said. “We are excited for that exposure.”

CU b-ball Linda L


Colorado appeared on a program-best 13 national and regional telecasts in 2012-13, a figure that also included three postseason contests. Entering this season, the Buffaloes have tipped off on 112 national or regional telecasts since the Fall of 2001.


After a home exhibition game against the Colorado School of Mines on Saturday, Nov. 2 (7 p.m.), Colorado officially kicks off its 40th season of varsity women’s basketball at Colorado State on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. It will be the first time since 2007 that the Buffaloes have started the season on the road, and the first time CSU has served as the Buffaloes’ opening opponent since 1979-80.


Colorado’s home opener, and the first of seven nonconference games at the Coors Events Center, takes place against Alcorn State on Friday, Nov. 15 (7 p.m.). The Buffaloes’ first Pac-12 Network contest will be played Wednesday, Nov. 20, as the Buffaloes host perennial Big Ten Conference power Iowa, with an 8:30 p.m. tip. The Hawkeyes were 21-13 in 2012-13, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


Following a road contest at New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 23 (2 p.m.), the Buffaloes host their 27th consecutive Thanksgiving weekend tournament. Tabbed the Omni Hotels Classic for the fifth time, Colorado welcomes Rice, Samford and South Alabama to Boulder, Nov. 29-30. CU will take on South Alabama in the first round on Friday (7:30 p.m.) while Rice and Samford will clash in the opener (5 p.m.). The consolation (5 p.m.) and championship (7:30 p.m.) games follow on Saturday.


Colorado finishes the nonconference schedule with a challenging five-game stretch. The Buffaloes play back-to-back games against 2013 Postseason WNIT teams, first visiting Wyoming on Wednesday, Dec. 4 (7 p.m.) in Laramie and then by hosting Illinois out of the Big Ten on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Saturday tilt against Illinois will be a double-header day as the men’s basketball team hosts Kansas at 1:15 p.m. followed by the women’s game against the Illini at 5 p.m.


After a home contest with Denver on Thursday, Dec. 12 (7 p.m.), and a break for finals, the Buffaloes travel to play 2013 NCAA runner up Louisville on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m. MT. Unranked Colorado pulled off a 70-66 upset of the Cardinals, ranked No. 8 at the time, in Boulder on Dec. 14, 2012. Colorado returns home after the holidays to host Southern Utah on Sunday, Dec. 29 (2 p.m.) in a final tune up for Pac-12 play.


“We will be challenged,” Lappe noted of her team’s nonconference schedule. “Quite a few of these games will help prepare us for conference play.”


Fourteen of Colorado’s 18 conference games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks, including eight of nine at home. All home games, and conference road games, not televised on the Pac-12 Networks, will be available online through Colorado’s Pac-12 video player.


The Buffaloes’ Pac-12 schedule once again features home-and-home series with seven schools, and one-game battles with four others. Colorado will host Pac-12 co-champions California and Stanford, but will not return to the Bay Area this season. The Buffaloes will play at Oregon and Oregon State this year, while those two teams do not travel to Boulder.


Colorado’s previous one-game series rotation involved the Washington and Los Angeles area schools. The Buffaloes will play home-and-home sessions with those four programs for the first time since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.


Colorado’s Pac-12 schedule is also fairly balanced, alternating two home games one weekend, two road games the next, with one lone exception: a home-and-home series with travel partner Utah at the mid-point of the conference schedule.


Colorado opens its Pac-12 season with the Los Angeles trip, debuting at USC on Friday, Jan. 3 (9 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network) and at 2013 NCAA participant UCLA on Sunday, Jan. 5 (either 8 or 9 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network).


The Buffaloes return home to host 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four participant California on Friday, Jan. 10 (8 p.m.) and turn around to battle defending league co-champion Stanford on Sunday, Jan. 12 (3 p.m.). Both contests are scheduled for the Pac-12 Network.


CU visits the Washington schools for the first time since January 2012, facing Washington State on Friday, Jan. 17, (TBA) and Washington on Sunday, Jan. 19 (5 p.m., Pac-12 Network). The Arizona duo visit Boulder the following weekend, Jan. 24 & 26. The Buffaloes host Arizona on Friday (7 p.m.) and Arizona State on Sunday (1 p.m., Pac-12 Network).


For the second straight season, Colorado faces its travel partner in back-to-back games. The Buffaloes travel to Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 29 (7 p.m.). Utah then returns to Boulder for a Feb. 2 “Super Bowl Sunday” matchup slated for 12 p.m. at the Coors Events Center. Both Utah games will appear on the Pac-12 Network.


Colorado makes its lone appearance against the Oregon schools, Friday, Feb. 7, at Oregon State (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network) and at Oregon on Sunday, Feb. 9 (TBA).


The Buffaloes finish with four of six at home, beginning with home dates with the Washington opponents, Washington on Friday, Feb. 14 (6:30 p.m. Pac-12 Network) and Washington State on Sunday, Feb. 16 (1 p.m., Pac-12 Network). Colorado travels to Arizona State on Friday, Feb. 21 (TBA) and Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 23 (3 p.m. Pac-12). The Buffaloes wrap up the regular season the same way they began, hosting UCLA on Friday, Feb. 28 (6 p.m. Pac-12) and USC on Sunday, Mar. 2 (12 p.m., Pac-12).


The 2014 Pac-12 Tournament returns to KeyArena in Seattle for the second time, scheduled for March 6-9. Please note that all times and dates remain subject to change.


Colorado returns nine letterwinners and four starters from its 2012-13 team that had its best season in more than a decade, compiling a 25-7 record and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in team history and first since 2004.




DATE                             OPPONENT                                       LOCATION                TIME (MST)    TV

Saturday, Nov. 2          COLORADO MINES (Exhibition)    BOULDER                 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 12          at Colorado State                                Fort Collins, Colo.       7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 15             ALCORN STATE                               BOULDER                 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 20                                                                IOWA                          BOULDER 8:30 p.m.                                P12N

Saturday, Nov. 23          at New Mexico                                    Albuquerque, N.M.      2 p.m.

Nov. 29-30                     &-27th ANNUAL OMNI HOTELS CLASSIC (Rice, Samford, South Alabama)

Friday, Nov. 29             &-Rice vs. Samford                          BOULDER                 5 p.m.

                                       &-SOUTH ALABAMA                       BOULDER                 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 30        &-Consolation                                   BOULDER                 5 p.m.

                                       &-Championship                               BOULDER                 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 4       at Wyoming                                         Laramie, Wyo.            7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 7           ILLINOIS                                            BOULDER                 5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 12        DENVER                                            BOULDER                 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 21          at Louisville                                         Louisville, Ky.              11 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 29           SOUTHERN UTAH                           BOULDER                 2 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 3                 *at USC                                               Los Angeles, Calif.      9 p.m.            P12N

Sunday, Jan. 5               *at UCLA                                             Los Angeles, Calif.      8 or 9 p.m.     P12N

Friday, Jan. 10              *CALIFORNIA                                   BOULDER                 8 p.m.            P12N

Sunday, Jan. 12            *STANFORD                                      BOULDER                 3 p.m.            P12N

Friday, Jan. 17               *at Washington State                          Pullman, Wash.          TBA

Sunday, Jan. 19             *at Washington                                   Seattle, Wash.            5 p.m.            P12N

Friday, Jan. 24              *ARIZONA                                         BOULDER                 7 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 26            *ARIZONA STATE                            BOULDER                 1 p.m.            P12N

Wednesday, Jan. 29      *at Utah                                               Salt Lake City, Utah    7 p.m.            P12N

Sunday, Feb. 2             *UTAH                                                BOULDER                 12 p.m.          P12N

Friday, Feb. 7                 *at Oregon State                                 Corvallis, Ore.             9 p.m.            P12N

Sunday, Feb. 9              *at Oregon                                          Eugene, Ore.              TBA

Friday, Feb. 14              *WASHINGTON                                BOULDER                 6:30 p.m.       P12N

Sunday, Feb. 16           *WASHINGTON STATE                   BOULDER                 1 p.m.            P12N

Friday, Feb. 21               *at Arizona State                                 Tempe, Ariz.               TBA

Sunday, Feb. 23            *at Arizona                                          Tucson, Ariz.              3 p.m.            P12N

Friday, Feb. 28              *UCLA                                                BOULDER                 6 p.m.            P12N

Sunday, Mar. 2             *USC                                                   BOULDER                 12 p.m.          P12N


March 6-9                      Pac-12 Tournament                            Seattle, Wash.            TBA       P12N & ESPN2

March 22-25                  NCAA 1st & 2nd Rounds                     TBA                             TBA      ESPN & ESPN2

March 20-April 1            NCAA Regionals                                TBA                             TBA      ESPN & ESPN2

April 6 & 8                      NCAA Women’s Final Four                Nashville, Tenn.          TBA      ESPN & ESPN2


All Home Games In BOLD CAPS

*-Pac-12 Conference Game

&-Omni Hotels Classic, Boulder

P12N – Pac-12 Network


Dates and times are subject to change

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CU: Rare western bumblebees netted on Colorado’s Front Range


A white-rumped bumblebee that has been in steep decline across its native range in the western United States and Canada appears to be making a comeback on the Colorado Front Range.

A survey of bumblebee populations carried out largely by University of Colorado Boulder undergraduates in undisturbed patches of prairieland and in mountain meadows above campus has turned up more than 20 rare western bumblebees, known scientifically as Bombus occidentalis.


This is the fourth summer of a planned five-year survey in Boulder County, led by biologists Carol Kearns and Diana Oliveras, both of whom teach in CU-Boulder’s Baker Residential Academic Program. The survey team, which this summer included five undergraduates along with Oliveras and Kearns, has been hunting bumblebees at nine different locations spanning low, middle and high elevations.

Volunteer Zoe Paggastis checks out a rare whire rump bumblebee found along the Front Tange

Volunteer Zoe Paggastis checks out a rare whire rump bumblebee found along the Front Range

The first western bumblebee was netted last year at one of the low-elevation plots, located at around 5,000 feet. The same plot also was visited frequently by Kearns and Oliveras during a more general survey of all pollinators between 2001 and 2005.

“For five years we sampled fairly intensely at this one site and never found anything,” Oliveras said. “Then all of a sudden, last year, we found several bees at that one site.”

The surveyors also found western bumblebees last year at a mid-elevation site of around 8,000 feet. In all, the team found nine western bumblebees in 2012: three queens and six workers.

Because insect populations are notoriously variable from year to year, Kearns and Oliveras wanted to find the bumblebees for a second year before announcing that the western bumblebee appeared to be returning to the Front Range. This year, the team has netted more than a dozen western bumblebees at four different locations, including the same low-elevation prairie plot and all three mid-elevation meadows. The distance between the sites means that the bumblebees are likely from separate colonies.

“These are sites that are fairly far away from each other, even as the crow flies,” Oliveras said. “Within a plot, if you’re going to be conservative, you can say that all the Bombus occidentalis arose from a single colony. But between plots, that’s quite a distance for them. They wouldn’t normally be traveling that far.”

The western bumblebee was once ubiquitous across the western portion of the United States and Canada, Oliveras and Kearns said. Its northern range encompassed all of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia and western Alberta. Its southern boundaries extended as far south as Arizona and New Mexico. The bumblebee’s range also stretched from the Pacific Ocean eastward through North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado. But beginning in the late 1990s, the western bumblebee became harder and harder to find.

“They have been disappearing rapidly across the West Coast, and there have been only occasional sightings in the Rocky Mountains,” Kearns said. “People have found a few bumblebees on the Western Slope of Colorado, but we were looking for them here and we weren’t finding any.”


Several factors have been implicated in the decline of the western bumblebee, according to Kearns and Oliveras. The biggest suspect is a non-native gut parasite that may have been transmitted from commercially raised bumblebee colonies. While parasites and other diseases can kill bees outright, anything that affects the bumblebees’ food supply or nesting sites also will affect their ability to survive. That means that habitat loss, pesticides, climate change and invasive plants and animals may be contributing to the losses in western bumblebee populations.

Earlier this summer, reports that the western bumblebee had been spotted in the Seattle area were confirmed by local biologists, indicating that the bumblebees could be making a broader comeback.

The wider goal of the ongoing bumblebee survey in Boulder County is to catalog all the types of bumblebees buzzing around the area and their population size. The team has catalogued a number of different species during the last four summers, including the mountain bumblebee, the Nevada bumblebee, the two-form bumblebee and the central bumblebee, among others.

“Our whole interest in bumblebees relates to the fact that pollinators are declining, but there is no abundance data for bumblebees in this area from the past,” Kearns said. “How do you tell if something is declining if there are no abundance data? So we decided we’d get out there and we’d find out what bumblebees are here and how many.”

Each year, Kearns and Oliveras have recruited undergraduate students to help them. This summer, the undergraduate researchers were Benjamin Bruffey, Sam Canter, Sarah Niemeyer, Zoe Praggastis and Cole Steinmetz.

To see a video about CU-Boulder’s bumblebee survey visit For more information on the Baker Residential Academic Program visit

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CU women’s soccer, with a record fourth shut-out, remain undefeated


Buffs Shut Out St. Mary’s 2-0, Break Program Record

BOULDER – When the University of Colorado and Saint Mary’s College soccer teams meet, records have a way of being broken.

In 2009, the Buffaloes scored a program high eight goals, behind multiple goal performances by both Nikki Marshall and Kelly Butler. In 2013, in just their second meeting, a 2-0 CU victory was another record breaker.

The Buffs have broken the record the squad set last season, shutting out their first four opponents, a program first. Last season, the Buffs set the precedent by shutting out their first three opponents, on their way to a record setting five game unbeaten streak to start the season. In the fourth game of that year, Anne Stuller recorded her third multiple goal game of 2012.

Anne Stuller had another good match

Anne Stuller had another good match

This year, Stuller continues to make her mark, becoming the first player since Kate Russell in 2010 to record at least two assists in a single game. In just her fourth collegiate game, Brie Hooks also continues to shine, scoring both of the Buffs’ goals in the win.

“I think they were two good balls from Stuller,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We need (Stuller) scoring goals, but we need her creating goals, and she’s doing that. The first one, she just put the ball in a dangerous spot, and fortunately for us it went in. The second one was a good run to get in behind the defense. It was a good shot coming off frame for the score.”

Hooks has already scored five goals and had two multiple goal games in the young season. She joins an elite group, becoming one of five Buffs to have recorded at least two multiple goal games in a single season. She joins Nikki Marshall (three in 2006 and two in both 2007 and 2009), Katie Griffin (three in 2005 and two in 2003), Stuller (three in 2012) and Fran Munnelly (two in 2005). She also ties Melissa Cartmell for fifth on the freshmen goals list.

With the win, the Buffs improve to a perfect 4-0, also a program first. After facing back-to-back ranked opponents before coming to Prentup Field on Sunday, the Gaels fall to 1-3.

“I like how we started today,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been starting slow, and we came out really fast. We had a couple good chances early, put Saint Mary’s under pressure with those early goals, which really kind of takes the pressure off the defense a little bit … We were good in the back today. Saint Mary’s did cause us some problems with some of their runs, and they had a good early chance that could have made it a different game. Big picture, especially in the second half, I felt we were very solid and did a good job.”

The Buffs outshot the Gaels 15-8, including an outstanding 10-3 differential in the first half. It took just 39 seconds for Stuller to take the first shot for the Buffs, and just over three minutes for CU to get its first goal.

At the 3:11 mark, the Buffs controlled the pace, with Hooks getting the ball from Stuller on the right side to give the Buffs the early 1-0 lead.

Freshman Bried Hooks scored the first goal of the game

Freshman Brie Hooks scored the first goal of the game

Stuller, who led the Buffs with seven shots, including three on goal, kept up her early attack. In just over a three minute span, Stuller took three shots, forcing a save in the 10th minute.

It took until the 14th minute for the Gaels to take their first shot, with Vicki Shimkus taking the first of her team-high three shots. The Gaels continued to control possession, but couldn’t seem to keep the ball out of their backfield. In the 29th minute, Hooks again caused a rumble at the net, but sent the ball wide.

Shimkus responded once more for the Gaels, hitting one wide less than a minute later. The Buffs would dominate both sides of the ball until halftime, allowing no shots in the final 15 minutes and scoring once more in the 36th minute. For the third time this season, and second in the game, Stuller connected with Hooks to give the Buffs the 2-0 lead.

“The first one was an accident, again just trying to cross it, and luckily it happened to go in,” Hooks said. “The second one was a really good cross from Stu, which we’ve been working on, getting those long balls over the back. She played a perfect ball, with just a touch and then I tried to slot it in.”

SMC was in fighting mode to begin the second half. Just 1:14 in, Amanda Glass sent one at CU keeper Annie Brunner. Less than a minute later, Melinda Madden hit one wide.

The Buffs responded in the 50th minute, with Hayley Hughes hitting it high. After a CU corner kick, Stuller had her shot blocked. CU remained on their offensive frenzy, with Saint Mary’s keeper Kaeli Schmidt jumping at a Bianca Jones shot, tapping the ball just over the top post in the 57th minute. With 30 minutes remaining, Darcy Jerman got a touch off a corner kick, but caught the ride side of the net.

From the 65th minute on, the Gaels began to press the Buffs, outshooting CU 3-1. With less than eight minutes remaining, Shimkus had another solid shot, but sent it just wide right. In the 87th minute, the Gaels tried again, but Brunner grabbed her third save of the game to hold the shutout.

The Buffs leave Prentup for the final time of the non-conference portion of the season for the DU Invitational at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium next weekend. CU opens play against Alabama at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6 and faces UT-Martin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.

“Alabama’s an SEC school off to a good start,” Sanchez said. “UT-Martin has won their conference the last couple of years. They made it to the tournament and lost in the first round in overtime last year. I know their coach from back in the DII days. Phil McNamara is a very good coach. I’m sure the team is very well coached, so tough challenges at DU next weekend.”

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Simpson Shines In CU V-Ball Debut Despite Loss To St. Mary’s



BOULDER—Junior Taylor Simpson and sophomore Alexis Austin each recorded 11 kills for the University of Colorado volleyball team, but unfortunately it was not enough as the St. Mary’s College Gaels won the first match of the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic on Friday night 25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 25-19.


Simpson made her CU debut in the match and took 36 swings to lead the team. She also added six digs and a pair of block assists. Austin added two digs and three block assists in the effort.

Taylor Simpson

Taylor Simpson


“I think that Taylor carried a big load for us tonight,” coach Liz Kritza said. “I think that what she is going to learn as we continue through the season is that the more points you’re getting on the offensive side, the more serve-reception balls you’ll have to handle. That’s because other teams are constantly going to try to load our front-row outsides. I’m pleased, because she is a nice addition to the program, and I only look for her to continue improving.”


Alexis Austin catches some major air

Alexis Austin catches some major air

Returning to CU’s line-up on Friday night was redshirt senior Kerra Schroeder who led the team defensively with 10 digs. She added a pair of kills and one block assist in her return.


“Kerra played in multiple positions tonight,” Kritza said. “She’s okay with that, because this isn’t about any individual player’s performance—it’s about the overall win-loss. I like being able to talk about that openly with players, because they know that we all want the same thing.”


Senior Nikki Lindow had nine kills and hit .312 for the Buffs. She also led the team with five block assists. Junior Kelsey English added seven kills and three block assists on the night. Freshman Joslyn Hayes had a nice debut for the Buffs as she hit .333 with five kills in her first career start.


“Hayes, as a freshman, was pretty productive,” Kritza said. “The thing with her is that I have to remember that she is still a freshman. There are some limitations right now until she gets more repetition. She contributed at a high pace.”


In total, the Buffs recorded 48 kills, 44 digs and 9.0 team blocks, while hitting .246. The Gaels put together 53 kills, 53 digs, 11.0 team blocks and hit .246.


SMC was led by Jordan Shaw who hammered 14 kills and hit .370. Kristina Graven added 12 kills and 11 digs for SMC. The Gaels, a 2012 NCAA Tournament Team, received votes in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll after finishing the 2012 season with an 18-11 overall record.


“They [St. Mary’s] were a lot more stable on their first contacts; that’s the story of the match,” Kritza explained. “We knew going in that the team who could win the serve-pass game would win, especially early in the season. This is a good team; they are organized, and they don’t make a ton of errors, as evidenced by being able to withstand some of our runs tonight. For us, there are a lot of really good things, lots of positives. Clearly, we’re disappointed, because we wanted to be able to have a more consistent group of our plays. For us, this is the beginning of a very long season that we know is going to be very productive.”


The Buffs got off to a great start in the first set, taking a 5-1 lead. The Gaels rallied back to tie the set up at 7-7. The set was close until CU was up 12-11; and at that point SMC put together a 10-0 run to take a 21-12 advantage. The Buffs kept attacking, but weren’t able to close the gap as the Gaels won 25-17.


The second set also started out well for CU and the Buffs had a 5-4 lead before SMC took three straight points to take a 7-5 lead. CU came back and tied the game at 8-8, but at that point the Gaels recorded six of seven points to go up 14-9. The Buffs didn’t let up, but unfortunately couldn’t get back in the set and fell 25-16.


The third set was another close one with 10 ties. Neither team had more than a three-point lead at any point during the game. The Buffs used a 5-0 run to take a 22-20 lead over the Gaels, forcing SMC to use a timeout. CU took the first point out of the time out to take a three-point lead at 23-20. The Buffs had set point at 24-21 thanks to a kill from Austin, but SMC fought off the first set point (24-22). The Buffs finished the set with a kill from Simpson on the following point (25-22).


The Buffs and Gaels played a tight fourth game until SMC took a five-point lead at 14-9. The Gaels extended their lead to eight points at 20-12, forcing the Buffs to use a timeout. The Buffs took the following three points out of the break, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped the fourth set 25-19.


Colorado and St. Mary’s will square off again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the final match of the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic. Early arriving fans will receive mini-volleyballs, courtesy of the Omni Hotels.


“The beauty of this type of double-header is that you can measure yourself; it’s virtually the same team,” Kritza said. “You can actually learn how to scout opponents; you can learn to come back. I think it’s very important for us, especially in nonconference play, to have a test like this at the very beginning.”






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Two former CU Buffs go head-to-head in pro soccer championship


Marshall, Barczuk Meet In NWSL Championship Game

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The inaugural National Women’s Soccer League championship game will be a battle between two Buffaloes.

Former teammates on the University of Colorado soccer team, Amy Barczuk (2009-12) and Nikki Marshall (2006-09) will this time compete against each other as the Western New York Flash and Portland Thorns FC meet in the championship game at Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday.

“We are very excited that Nikki and Amy will be representing Colorado soccer in the first NWSL final,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “It is a tremendous accomplishment for both of them and their teams. I have no doubt that the league will continue to grow. We wish them both the best of luck!”

Amy Barczuk

Nikki Marshall

Nikki Marshall

The Western New York Flash earned the NWSL Shield, winning the regular season with a 10-4-8 record. In last Saturday’s semifinals, the Flash met No. 4 seed Sky Blue FC. Behind two goals by Carli Lloyd, the Flash eased their way to the championship game.

Barczuk, who was selected by the Flash in the second round of the NWSL draft (14th overall), made her third professional start in the semifinal game. Though having what she described as an up and down season that saw her getting minutes in seven regular season games, Barczuk went into the playoff game ready to show her physicality.

“I came in because one of our starting midfielders was injured,” Barczuk said. “I played in the game before that against Boston, so our last three regular season games. Playing in that third game helped me get kind of settled in the midfield. Playing in the semifinal game, my coach kind of expected the same physical play out of me – winning everything in the middle and kind of just being that physical presence. If I get the opportunity to play in the championship game, I’m just going to bring that same attitude, and it definitely will help to have that semifinal game experience.”

Marshall has plenty of experience heading into this year’s championship game. She has four years of professional experience under her belt, including a WPSL Elite championship with the Flash in 2012. This season, Marshall has played in and started all of Portland’s games, just one of three Thorns to do so, has played 1,871 minutes, ranking third on the team, and contributed one assist during the regular season.

Thorns FC entered the semifinals as the No. 3 seed and fell behind FC Kansas City 2-0 in the first 25 minutes. Marshall says her team was really good on paper, though seemed to struggle putting everything together in the regular season. It wasn’t until the team’s most recent games that momentum began to swing in their way.

“We’ve had a turnaround,” Marshall said. “I think we’ve kind of realized that we should be a really good team, and we haven’t been performing. We had a couple of meetings before the game on Saturday and just kind of talked about the fact that we need to be more of a team and that we need to maybe be more positive and encouraging and love each other more and play with joy. I think that’s what we did on Saturday. We went out and said, ‘This is unacceptable,’ and then came out on top.”

Kansas City took the early lead behind goals by NWSL Rookie of the Year Erika Tymrak and Melissa Henderson. Tobin Heath helped get the Thorns on the board in the 33rd minute with her first ever goal with the squad. Though Portland had a 0-4-1 regular season record when trailing at halftime, the team’s change in attitude helped break that.

In the 65th minute, Marshall helped give Thorns FC the equalizer, sending a ball to the middle of the penalty box to Tiffany Weimer. With two minutes remaining in the first overtime, Allie Long put the game out of reach, clinching Portland’s ticket to the championship.

“That was just a really exciting game for us,” Marshall said. “We were losing 2-0 in the beginning of the game. We showed a lot of character, and like I said before, I think this is the first time our team, Portland Thorns, has come together and really done something special. So that’s been huge. Getting the assist was awesome. My teammates are incredible, so if I can cross the ball in there, they’re very world-class and can finish anything regardless of what kind of cross it is. That was really exciting. It’s just fun to be part of something like that, especially when we come back from 2-0. It was just awesome.”

Marshall said that that team mentality and positive attitude will be necessary in this Saturday’s final, especially against the Flash, who has won three consecutive championship titles.

“I think we have a solid game plan, and I think that’s probably why we’ve also been on a kind of winning streak, because we have adjusted and it’s the first time in the season that we have done so,” Marshall said. “I think that we have to be a first half and a second half team. We can’t just be a second half team, and we can’t just be a first half team, because that’s how we’ve been all season and that’s been killing us. I think just having that attacking mentality from the very beginning and also being solid defensively is going to be huge for us. It’s going to be a great game. I don’t think there’s a better championship match. We’re excited for it.”

Though having won the 2012 title with the Flash, Marshall says she feels no need for revenge on her former team. If anything, she feels she needs to play to the standards of Flash head coach Aaran Lines.

“I just want to go in there and perform my best because I know that Aaran believes in me,” Marshall said. “He’s given me so much and developed me so much last year as a player. I want to play up to his standards of what he thinks of me.”

Barczuk also feels the need to live up to the high expectations Lines’ has for all his players. In Barczuk’s defensive/midfield position, that means using her 5-10 height and physicality to change the field, winning every head ball and playing the ball simply.

“Coach Lines has developed a great winning culture,” Barczuk said. “He has always had great players play for him, but now it’s about the culture. This would be the fourth championship in, I think, six years at the professional or semi-pro level. That’s pretty impressive. To give him all the credit, he’s just really developed a winning culture here at Western New York.”

There’s also a culture of greatness throughout the league. Barczuk says she’s grown immensely as a player, getting to train with some of the best players in the world, including teammates and U.S. National Team “poster children” Abby Wambach and Carly Lloyd. Wambach and Lloyd will meet their Olympic gold medal teammate Alex Morgan in the championship, something Barczuk and Marshall both believe will help give the game national attention.

“When you have any big name players, it brings attention, especially with Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach playing against each other,” Marshall said. “That’s what makes this league so special as well. The competition is fierce, and there’s not a huge margin of difference between anyone on any of the teams. Everyone has great players, and that’s what makes this so much fun and fun to watch as well.”

The national stage also helps give a spotlight to the two Colorado standouts. Barczuk says that despite Colorado not yet being one of the biggest soccer schools, like North Carolina and Stanford, she and Marshall’s appearance in the title game proves that smaller soccer programs can produce top level professional level players.

Despite the competitive nature of their next meeting, Marshall and Barczuk are excited to play each other, both barely containing their affection for one another.

“I’m just really proud of her,” Marshall said of her former teammate. “It’s always fun to play against your friends. Off the field you’re friends and on the field, you’re still friends, but you’re competitive and you battle with each other. I think it makes it all the more fun. I’m just really excited for her getting this opportunity, and I’m just really proud of her. She’s done a really good job this year.”

While their strong friendship will remain unscathed, one of them will be victorious in Saturday’s championship. The teams’ two previous meetings have both been draws: their first a 1-1 tie in Portland on July 14, and their most recent, a 0-0 draw on August 10 in Rochester. Despite the previous finishes, Barczuk knows the championship will be a whole different game.

“Obviously we hope to one: win the game, and two: win the game in 90 minutes without going into overtime, with no PKs or anything like that,” Barczuk said. “You look back on the last two games, and yeah, they both were ties, but it’s the same two teams, and this the championship game. I think this is almost a completely new type of environment to play in. I think there will be lots of action on Saturday.”

The inaugural NWSL championship game will air on FOX Sports 2 and FOX Soccer on Saturday at 6 p.m. MT.



Marlee Horn

Graduate Assistant SID

University of Colorado

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