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Stateside: Critical minerals; empowering Muslim girls with books; Detroit zoo and climate change

Multi-colored books.
Kimberly Farmer
Sisters Zena and Mena Nasiri were inspired to start their project Girls of the Crescent when they struggled to find biographies of influential Muslim women in their local library.

Today on Stateside, we hear from two sisters working to increase Muslim representation in the books at libraries. Plus, we talk to the director of the Detroit Zoo about the role that zoos can play in addressing the impacts of climate change. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

In a bid to reduce foreign dependency, researchers explore “critical” mineral reserves in Michigan

Stateside’s conversation with Bill Harrison and Peter Voice

  • The federal government is on the hunt for minerals. The Interior Department has a list of 35 minerals that it considers critical to our economy and national security. And now, it's giving grants to researchers to help them find where in the U.S. these essential minerals are found.
  • Stateside discussed Michigan's role in mining these raw materials with Bill Harrison, Western Michigan University Professor Emeritus and director of the Michigan Basin Core Research Laboratory, and Peter Voice, a research scientist at the Michigan Geological Survey who focuses on the history of mining in Michigan.
  • This segment originally aired on July 16, 2019. 

Sisters on a mission to stock library shelves with books featuring Muslim women characters

Stateside’s conversation with Zena and Mena Nasiri

  • What do you do when you’re looking for a certain type of book in the library and you come up empty-handed? Sisters Zena and Mena Nasiri first experienced that dilemma in fourth grade. A research project required them to read about someone they looked up to, but when they went to their local library for biographies about Muslim women they admired, they couldn’t find any. Supported by fundraising, ranging from bottle drives to website donations, the girls purchase a wide variety of biography, fiction, and nonfiction books featuring Muslim people to donate to local libraries.
  • This segment originally aired on February 13, 2019. 

UM professor combines human, artificial intelligence to make autonomous vehicles safer

Stateside’s conversation with Walter Lasecki

  • There’s an idealized image of a future where autonomous vehicles seamlessly zip us from point A to point B while we read a book or watch a movie. But there’s quite a bit of work to do before we realize that utopian vision, especially when it comes to safety.
  • Walter Lasecki is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan. He discusses his work on a project that combines human and artificial intelligence in autonomous vehicles to make self-driving cars safer.
  • This segment originally aired on April 9, 2019. 

Detroit Zoo wants kids to be active part of the climate change conversation

Stateside’s conversation with Ron Kagan

  • The Detroit Zoo, which was named the "Greenest Zoo" in the United States by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2015, has been committed to growing its sustainability initiatives for nearly two decades.
  • Ron Kagan is the CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. He says that the Detroit Zoo offers visitors a range of environmentally-minded resources, including their “Shades of Green” guide, which lists some of the ways that people can reduce their daily ecological footprint.
  • This segment originally aired on August 13, 2019. 

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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