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New Mexico in Focus begins its 14th season with a look back at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since it first hit the state in March, and a look forward from the time women won the right to vote 100 years ago. As part of an online preview screening this week of the PBS program “American Experience: The Vote,” correspondent Megan Kamerick led a conversation about the history of women’s suffrage in New Mexico. Kamerick is hosting a new podcast series on the topic. For the rest of the show, NMiF highlights noteworthy segments from the past four months, including a May 8 conversation with Sec. Kathyleen Kunkel of the Department of Health on the state’s efforts to ramp up and maintain COVID-19 testing. Throughout the pandemic, correspondent Laura Paskus has been interviewing journalists around the state as they cover COVID-19 in their communities. Correspondent Antonia Gonzales has been examining the pandemic’s effect on Native communities, which have been among the hardest hit by the virus. Gene Grant and The Line opinion panelists have been discussing and debating public health reactions to the pandemic crisis since the first case hit the state in March. Key excerpts from panel conversations on March 13 and March 27 are shown.
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A Dry Rio Grande and Its Impact on Endangered Fish
On this month’s episode of Our Land, we visit the dry bed of the Rio Grande south of Socorro, New Mexico, and also talk with biologist Thomas Archdeacon about why the drying occurs, how it affects endangered fish, and why this year’s recovery of rare silvery minnows was complicated by COVID-19. New Mexico’s largest river has consistently dried in this stretch over the past two decades, and as the region continues warming, that will continue to occur. This year, the mountains that supply the Rio Grande saw near-normal snowpack for most of the winter, and yet drying still began in late May. And, as Archdeacon points out, even in years like 2019 which saw record high runoff, the river dried in the fall.
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COVID-19 Survival and Recovery on the Navajo Nation (from May 15)
Correspondent Antonia Gonzales has been examining the pandemic’s effect on Native communities, which have been among the hardest hit by the virus. On May 15, she spoke with journalist Sunnie Clahchischiligi and Lewis Joe, a Navajo COVID-19 survivor.