About Jim Pullen


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Jim Pullen has written 33 articles so far, you can find them below.


Buzz Aldrin’s Vision for Space//The Bees Needs

Buzz Aldrin’s Vision for Space Exploration (starts at 6:14) Dr. Buzz Aldrin advocates that the United States should not enter a space-race to the moon against the Chinese, or a race to Mars against the Russians, but rather show leadership by cooperating with the major space-faring nations to systematically step across the great void to the Red Planet. This is his personal Unified Space Vision. He is also working toward an independent council, a United Strategic Space Enterprise, that would advise American citizens about the nation’s space policy. USSE experts would draw on a deep knowledge of America’s previous successes and failures to present a unified plan of exploration, science, development, commerce, and security within a national foreign policy context. Buzz shared these visions with How On Earth’s Jim Pullen. Here’s an excerpt from his hour-long discussion with Jim. Stay tuned for the rest of his discussion, in which he shares little-known insights into why Apollo 11, not Apollo 12, was first to land humans on the moon, and never-before-shared honors for Neil Armstrong and Pete Conrad.

Bees Needs baby bee block at the KGNU Boulder studios © 2013 Jim Pullen

The Bees Needs (starts at 16:04) Colorado is home to over nine-hundred species of wild bees. Most of these solitary creatures nest in the ground, but others nest in the hollow stalks of plants, and about one hundred and fifty species nest in holes in wood. How are these bees doing? Are pesticides striking them down, like their honeybee cousins? How will they respond to changes in climate? CU scientists Dr. Alex Rose and Dr. Virginia Scott have embarked on a journey of discovery, and they’ve invited ordinary people to help. It’s the Bees Needs, a citizen-science project. How On Earther Jim Pullen is a part of that citizen-science team, and he invited Virgina and Alex to see what’s happening at the bustling bee block nest outside our studio.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Susan Moran
Producer: Jim Pullen
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker and Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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Coming Up: Earthquakes and Fracking

Oil and gas facility in Larimer County, Colorado. (© 2013 Jim Pullen)

Does fracking cause earthquakes? KGNU is hosting a discussion on the correlation between earthquakes, fracking, deep injection wells, and geothermal projects. Join seismologists Dr. Bill Ellsworth, USGS Menlo Park, Dr. Emily Brodsky, UC Santa Cruz, and Dr. Nicholas van der Elst from Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to learn the latest about anthropogenic (human-caused) earthquakes, including the Colorado connection. On KGNU’s The Morning Magazine, Wednesday, July 31, at 8:35AM. And to learn more before the show, listen to this short feature on Free Speech Radio News. To listen to the conversation, go here. Support your community radio, KGNU!

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World Listening Day

WWVB Ft. Collins (© 2013 Jim Pullen)

The World Listening Project celebrated its 40 anniversary on Thursday, July 18th. On Thursday, How On Earth’s Jim Pullen was in Ft. Collins recording audio for an upcoming story on the National Institute of Standards and Technology radio station WWVB. To celebrate the World Listening Project, World Listening Day, and the field of acoustic ecology, he took a few minutes to record a thunderstorm that was causing some havoc at the station. Take some time to listen quietly to the sounds in your life!

(Recorded using linear pulse-code modulation at a sample rate of 96 kHz and resolution of 24 bits per sample with a Marantz PMD 661 recorder specially fitted with low-noise preamplifiers by Oade Brothers and an Audio-Technica BP4025 x/y stereo field recording microphone. The audio file posted here is a 192 kbps mp3.)

Producer: Jim Pullen

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Bird collisions and wind energy policy

High importance (yellow) and critical importance (red) risk areas to birds and wind tower proposals (2003-2011) (dark crosses). Source: American Bird Conservancy.

 

One to two million additional bird deaths per year. Wind is the most rapidly growing energy source in the US, but are environmental protections keeping pace? Tuesday on How On Earth, Kelly Fuller, the American Bird Conservancy’s Wind Campaign Coordinator, talks with Jim Pullen about the impact of big wind on birds.

Host: Jim Pullen
Producer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Oh Thank You Canada: Lessons from the North on Growing Industrial Hemp

Canadian hemp being cut by combine-harvesters. (Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance)

(starts at 08:19) At (high? no, not this plant) noon on Tuesday, Governor John Hickenlooper will sign a bill that will legalize growing industrial hemp in Colorado. But it’s been 70 years since hemp was legally grown in the US… Fortunately, because Canada lifted its ban in the 1990s, we can seek the experience of our northern neighbors. Join the How On Earth team and guest Dr. Jan Slaski, a Canadian plant science expert, to learn about the modern practice of growing industrial hemp.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Joel Parker
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Palm oil and rainforest devastation

NASA satellite image of slash and burn being used to clear rainforest in Sumatra.

(start time: 07:23) We talk with Lindsey Allen, the Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network, about the destruction of rainforest from the proliferation of palm oil plantations.

Hosts: Jim Pullen, Joel Parker
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Dr. David Wineland and the human side of winning the Nobel Prize

Dr. David Wineland (photo courtesy of NIST)

Today on How On Earth, KGNU’s award-winning science show, we continue our discussion with Boulder’s Dr. David Wineland about the human side of winning the Nobel Prize. The National Institute of Standards and Technology scientist shared the 2012 physics award with France’s Serge Haroche. They’ve developed experimental methods for trapping and holding particles so that weird quantum behaviors can be studied. The research is critical to developing extreme quantum computers that may someday break today’s best encryption algorithms…and make truly unbreakable ones.

Host: Jim Pullen
Producer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Conference on World Affairs Special with SETI’s Seth Shostak

One of the SETI Institute’s telescopes in the Allen array. (2007 photo courtesy of Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill and used under a Creative Commons license.)

Welcome to a special episode of How On Earth with Dr. Seth Shostak, the Senior Astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute. We’ve been listening for their tell-tale signal for 50 years with no luck, but Seth says that he’ll bet a cup of coffee we’ll hear from them in the next few decades. We explore what might happen if we find these brainy aliens or if we don’t find them at all. It’s part of the Conference on World Affairs.

Host: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Everything died under a broiling sky

Extinction at the K-Pg boundary

Illustration courtesy NASA/JPL

CU professor Doug Robertson and a multidisciplinary team  argue afresh that a global firestorm swept the planet in the hours after a mountain-sized asteroid vaporized above the Yucatan, 66 million years ago. When the blown-out rock missiled back to earth, Robertson says the atmosphere became so hot the whole world burned. Almost every organism above ground and in the air perished. We talk to Dr. Robertson about that terrible day and how some species reemerged. His team just published their research in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.

Host: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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We Are the Martians

Orion spacecraft docked to a Mars Transfer Vehicle (NASA)

(Start time 5:15) “The Men of Earth came to Mars. They came because they were afraid or unafraid, because they were happy or unhappy, because they felt like Pilgrims or did not feel like Pilgrims. There was a reason for each man. They were leaving bad wives or bad towns; they were coming to find something or leave something or get something, to dig up something or bury something or leave something alone. They were coming with small dreams or large dreams or none at all…it was not unusual that the first men were few. The numbers grew steadily in proportion to the census of Earth Men already on Mars. There was comfort in numbers. But the first Lonely Ones had to stand by themselves…”

That’s from Ray Bradbury’s great 1950 collection of short stories, The Martian Chronicles. Today, there are plans being made to send people to Mars, a fraughtful trip of a hundred and a half million kilometers and more than a year, each way. To learn whether we will be the Martians, we chat with Brian Enke. Brian is a Senior Research Analyst at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, a member of The Mars Society, and the author of the 2005 science fiction novel about Mars, Shadows of Medusa.

Hosts: Jim Pullen, Shelley Schlender
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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