How On Earth’s all-volunteer production team includes journalists, scientists and technologists of varying backgrounds, brought together by a shared love for communicating science to the world. Team members rotate through the role of Executive Producer each quarter. Click on a name to find out more:
Shelley Schlender is a freelance radio journalist whose features have aired nationally on Living on Earth, Making Contact, Free Speech Radio News, and Sprouts. Her radio features have aired internationally on The Voice of America. Her KGNU/Sound Partners in Health documentary on the Childhood Obesity Epidemic was a finalist in the 2004 National Federation of Community Broadcasters Awards. At KGNU Boulder-Denver, Shelley’s a volunteer who anchors the Friday morning news, does health and science features, and helps out with radio training, including with Overdub, KGNU’s Youth Radio collective. In her spare time, Shelley helps out with community health education, goes hiking with her husband, Greg and dog, Brian, likes to cook and go to movies. Shelley and Greg have two sons, Walt and Amory.
Joel Parker is a research astronomer, space mission manager, and Assistant Executive Director at the Southwest Research Institute. He studied astronomy and physics at the University of California at Berkeley and University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving his Ph.D. in 1992. He has worked at NASA in Houston and Maryland, and among other projects has been a scientist for telescopes that have flown on the space shuttle, and has used the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories in space and around the world for his research of massive stars, comets, and asteroids. He is honored to be a science team member and project manager on space missions to the Moon, comets, and the outer solar system. Joel also has been an actor, director, and crew member on stage, film, and TV for more than 35 years, and a musician for more than 40 years. His work with science education and public outreach combined with training in radio voiceover work drew him to How on Earth. Joel is proud to be a contributor to the HOE team, and thankful for the opportunity KGNU provides to learn radio production and studio engineering.
Susan Moran is a freelance journalist whose work focuses on environment, science, health and business. She writes most regularly for The New York Times and The Economist, with appearances in numerous other publications, including Marie Claire, Newsweek, High Country News, Wired and Inc. Susan often teaches magazine writing and reporting as an adjunct instructor at the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2009-10 she was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. In the 2001-01 academic year she was a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalist at the University of Colorado. Previously, she worked on staff at Business 2.0 magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Internet World, and Reuters news agency (in Tokyo, New York and Silicon Valley). She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, a master’s degree in Asian studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BS in political science (with a minor in environmental studies) from UC Santa Cruz. She lives with her husband in Boulder, Colo., where, unlike most Boulderites, she doesn’t rock climb or run an Iron Man before breakfast. Despite not living up to the zeitgeist of the town she does love nature, hiking, cycling, backpacking, and, of course, yoga.
Tom Mckinnon is the CTO of Boulder ElectroRide, Inc. and an emeritus professor of chemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. His research interests are in energy, combustion chemistry, biofuels, and climate change. For How on Earth he has been focusing on climate change solutions and energy-sector issues. He holds a PhD from MIT and a BS from Cornell University. Tom spends his free time bicycling, adventure motorcycling, and hiking.
Ted Burnham is a science journalist based in Boulder, Colo. During any given How On Earth episode he may be a host, writer, producer and/or sound engineer (he also built and manages the show’s website). Ted was an intern with the NPR science desk in Washington, D.C., and continues to write for the blogs Shotsand The Salt as a freelancer. He has produced multimedia features for NPR’s Intern Edition, NewsTeam Boulder and the Emmy-winning video podcast CU Science Update, and has written several science features for the Boulder Daily Camera. He was also a cofounder of The Boulder Stand, a student-run environmental news website. Ted sometimes writes about science, skepticism, science fiction, and assorted geekery on his blog, A Word For Science, and he tweets occasionally @awordforscience. Ted holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Bates College and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado. He likes to bike, ski, play ukulele, and cook.
Jim Pullen is a freelance radio journalist and physicist with over 25 years in the aerospace arena. He is a reporter for Free Speech Radio News and National Native News, and reports, produces, and hosts news and public affairs at KGNU Boulder-Denver. Although his interests are broad and ever-expanding, he specializes in science, technology, and the environment. Wearing his other hat, in 1985 he helped develop the initial operating requirements for the Advanced Tactical Fighter, now known as the F-22. Since then, he has helped design numerous airborne and spaceborne platforms, including the U.S. Navy’s SM-3 area defense ABM system, James Webb Space Telescope, and Kepler Space Telescope. His specializations are systems engineering, optics, signal processing and optimal estimation especially as applied to multiple target tracking. His alma mater is the University of Washington, where he took a Masters in physics and was a PhD student in Anthropology and in Geophysics. Jim has sung in operas, musicals and choirs. He loves to hike and be aboard boats. Jim holds a blackbelt in American freestyle karate.
Beth Bartel is a master’s student in journalism and mass communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder with too many interests to count. She has degrees in Spanish, geology, and geophysics with a specialization in volcano monitoring. Both for science and for journalism, she’s been lucky enough to see eruptions at volcanoes in the Philippines, Ecuador, the U.S., and Antarctica and maintains that watching lava flow at Kilauea is probably the coolest thing ever. Before starting in journalism she worked as a field engineer helping scientists with high-precision GPS all over the world. Her written work has been published in the Boulder Daily Camera, elephant journal, and the book “Antarctica: Life on the Ice,” with photography published in Viva Colorado. She is currently working to finish up a multimedia project about living with an active volcano in Ecuador. What’s next? Science, media, and travel!
Many How On Earth volunteers have contributed over the years and then gone on to new and exciting careers in science, technology, journalism and other life opportunities. We honor them and wish them all the best with all their endeavors!