About Jim Pullen


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


Dr. David Wineland

Dr. David Wineland (photo courtesy of NIST)

Today on How On Earth, KGNU’s award-winning science show, we sit down with Boulder’s Dr. David Wineland and chat about his Nobel-prize-winning research. The NIST scientist shared the 2012 physics award with Frenchman 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
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Bernie Krause

Today on How On Earth we speak with Dr. Bernie Krause about how soundscapes can help us understand the health of ecosystems. Dr. Krause has been recording the whole sounds of nature all over the world for 40 years. His new book is The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Joel Parker
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Additional Contributions: Shelley Schlender and Rabah Kamal
Executive Producer: Jim Pullen

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Clean Tech Nation//Feedback in Climate Models

Clean Tech Nation (start time: 4:57): Over the last few years renewable electricity generation has doubled, thanks in part to President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package. In fact, many clean technologies and industries have taken off, including solar, biofuels, green building and electric vehicles. But the stimulus money is about to run out, as is the production tax credit for wind development. To make sense of the current status of and future prospects for clean tech, co-host Susan Moran interviews Clint Wilder, co-author (along with Ron Pernick,) Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy.

Wilder and Pernick run Clean Edge, a clean-tech research and advisory firm.

Dr. William Hay of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Feedback in Climate Models (start time: 14:00): We are witnesses to unprecedented changes to the earth. Great storms and melting ice caps. Scientists say these events are related to the carbon we are dumping into the atmosphere. But even the scientists are stunned by the speed and scale of melting sea ice and ice caps and sea-level rise. Dr. Bill Hay, professor emeritus of geology at CU-Boulder, talks with us about why scientists haven’t been able to keep up with mother nature.

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

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CU Multidisciplinary Oil Production Study

Fracking well in Boulder County, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Jim Pullen.

How can we best live with natural gas development? A University of Colorado team has just been awarded an NSF grant to tackle the problem. Here to chat with us about the study is Dr. Joe Ryan, the lead-PI of the multidisciplinary team. And the lead of the study’s air quality task, Dr. Jana Milford, is also with us.
Hosts: Jim Pullen and Joel Parker
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Jim Pullen

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Pledge Drive Show//Genetic-mutant Paganini

Paganini in 1831 (credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niccol%C3%B2_Paganini)

This is our 2012 Fall Pledge Drive Show and our subject is Genes Gone Bad, or do you have to be a genetic-mutant superhuman to play Paganini? Helping us answer that question is Boulder’s own and world-renowned Dr. Gregory Walker. And in a very special treat, Gregory plays the magnificent Paganini Caprice No. 24, live in KGNU’s Kabaret studio. And we hear a bit of an interview with Sam Kean, author of the book, The Violinist’s Thumb, which inspired our show.
Hosts: Jim Pullen and Joel Parker
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineers: Jim Pullen, George Figgs, and Dafe Hughes
Executive Producer: Jim Pullen

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Public health risks of BPA

Dr. David Dausey, Director of the Mercyhurst Institute for Public Health

(start time: 5:50). We Coloradoans pride ourselves on our healthy habits — eating right, exercising, and paying attention to what’s in the food we eat. Yet many of the things we use everyday, like water bottles, sunscreens, makeup, and – OK, soda cans — are full of toxic chemicals. Many of them are untested, and may be insidiously making us sick. One of the more controversial compounds is BPA, which is used to make some hard plastic bottles and other food packaging. Today we have with us public health expert Dr. David Dausey to talk about BPA –bisphenol A — and other environmental toxins. He directs the Mercyhurst Institute for Public Health in Pennsylvania.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Susan Moran
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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Planetary Sciences Budget // Curiosity’s RAD

Donald Hassler

Curiosity’s RAD (start time 7:14). To design a successful manned mission to Mars, we’ll have to know a lot about the radiation environment between the Earth and Mars and on the planet’s surface. The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument on Curiosity is designed to make those measurements. We talk with Southwest Research Institute’s Dr. Donald Hassler, the RAD instrument Principle Investigator, about RAD’s purpose, how the instrument works, and the joys and scary moments that come with working on Mars.

Planetary science budget (start time: 15:49). Despite the successes of the Mars missions and voyages to our other planetary neighbors, the White House decided that NASA’s planetary science budget should be drawn down. The hit would be substantial, a twenty percent reduction from 2012. 300 million dollars would be removed from a baseline one and a half billion dollars. We ask Dr. Alan Stern, who has served as the chief of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, about why the planetary science budget should be restored.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Shelley Schlender
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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Global Weirdness // Institute for Social and Environmental Transition

Why global climate change is real. (Random House 2012)

We feel it when we step into the heat outside; something weird is up with the climate. . Not only is it hot, we’re weathering a drought of historic proportions. That drought has set the stage for crop losses and for wildfires that are burning up the homes of people who live in the mountains here in Colorado. And the strangeness continues across the globe. We learn on the internet that ice at the poles is melting feverishly. And we’ve just lost another huge chunk. Last week scientists announced that in Greenland, a mass of glacial ice twice the size of Manhattan Island is slipping away. To help us make sense of the strangeness, we talk with Michael Lemonick, coauthor of the new book: Global Weirdness, Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future.

2010 Pakistan floods from space (NASA)

We next turn to new ideas about how humans can adapt to global weirdness, by undoing what we’ve always done. Marcus Moench, the Director of Boulder’s Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, joins us to talk about why de-engineering the floodplains in South Asia may be best.

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

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Dr. Paul Lightsey

Dr. Paul Lightsey

Dr. Paul Lightsey and JWST (start time: 5:55). Paul Lightsey, mission system engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope, joins us to share his intimate knowledge of the telescope’s optical element. JWST is the replacement for the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. The telescope will stare back so far in time and space that it will be able to see the first stars and galaxies in the universe being formed.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Beth Bartel
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Joel Parker
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Potable water//Electric vehicle infrastructure

Dr. Jörg E. Drewes

Potable Water (start time 5:31). Here on the Front Range, the last three months have been the driest on record. Usually, we get about 8 inches of rain through this time period. This year, it’s more like three inches of rain. A dry year raises a question that’s always a worry in Colorado — what can people do to get enough water? The question is even more urgent because more people are moving to Colorado . . . which means, they will demand . . . more water! As for where to get that water when supplies are scarce, Jörg Drewesat the Colorado School of Mines is leading a plan to build city water systems so that we save drinkable water for, well, drinking. And we use less clean water for flushing toilets, washing laundry, and watering lawns.

This way to the juice!

Electric vehicle Infrastructure (start time 14:25). We cover electric vehicle technology a lot on How on Earth, but equally important issues to the vehicles themselves are the infrastructure required to make it work and the government policies. Rocky Mountain Institute, which has an office in Boulder, is an organization that has thought deeply about these issues. With us in the studio is Ben Holland, manager of the Project Get Ready.

Hosts: Tom McKinnon and Susan Moran
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Additional contributions: Shelley Schlender and Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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