The Curious World of Seahorses

Seahorses (starts 4:10) Science Writer Till Hein explains his new book, The Curious World of Seahorses:  The Life and Lore of a Marine Marvel.

Also in this episode, we share this week’s DomeFest West at CU-Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium (starts 2:00).  And we share congratulations to three new CU-Boulder members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (starts 1:00)

Executive Producer & Show Producer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Esther Franke, Joel Parker

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A History of Wolves

In this week’s show, Beth speaks with rewilder Derek Gow about his new book, Hunt for the Shadow Wolf, in which he explores the mythology, mystery and history of wolves in Europe, and their speckled history with our species.

Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Esther Franke, Joel Parker
Engineer: Sam Fuqua

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Science of Deathbed Visions

Dr. Christopher Kerr

The Science of Deathbed Visions  Many people have visions and dreams as they near the end of their life in which they reunite with loved ones who have gone before them. What can science tell us about these mysterious and common experiences? And how do they affect those who have them? These are questions that Chris Kerr, a hospice physician and neurobiologist, set out to answer  through research decades after he witnessed his dying father having one when Kerr was an adolescent.  Dr. Kerr, is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Hospice & Palliative Care  Buffalo. He was featured in a recent New York Times magazine article .  He is also the author of the book Death is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning in End-of-Life Dreams.

Host: Susan Moran
Producers: Susan Moran, Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Colorado – The Quantum State

Corban Tillemann Dick c Mabell Quantum
Corban Tillemann Dick c Maybell Quantum

Colorado – The Quantum StateWe speak with Corban Tillemann-Dick about how Colorado has emerged as a world leader in Quantum Technologies.  Tillemann-Dick will speak at CU-Boulder’s Conference on World Affairs, Thursday, 10:30, at the UMC Central Ballroom.  Tillemann-Dick heads up Elevate Quantum, a consortium of over 85 quantum-focused organizations in Colorado and the Mountain West.   He’s also the founder and a CEO of the Denver company, Maybell Quantum.  It’s named after the tiny town of Maybell, Colorado, which  holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in Colorado – Minus 61 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Maybell Quantum honors the little town’s record-breaking cold with a refrigerator the company calls “The Icebox”    Quantum computers can only operate at the incredibly cold temperature of -441 F.   Maybell Quantum’s  Icebox” is designed to help quantum processors stay that supercold – which is one of the many keys to unlocking the quantum breakthroughs up ahead.

Show Producer, Executive Producer and Host: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Pam Johnson

 

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Solar Eclipse 2024!

In this episode of How on Earth, we talk about the upcoming 2024 April 8th solar eclipse.  Our guests are science writer David Baron, author of American Eclipse, and Dr. Doug Duncan, served as Director of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium.

Show Producer and Host: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Colorado River: new deals, old tensions

Lake Mead’s water level
Credit: Research Gate

Colorado River: Promise and Peril  (start time: 6:28)  For more than two decades the Colorado River has been shrinking, afflicted by climate change-induced drought, population growth, and water politics. Some 40 million people living in seven states, and 30 tribes, depend on the river.  The Upper Basin — Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico– have been at odds with Lower Basin states – California, Nevada and Arizona — over who should do more to cut back on water use.  Meanwhile, here in Colorado, cities and towns on the Front Range have been clashing with those on the Western Slope over water from the river. After all, Front Range cities get almost half of their water from the Western Slope, through transmountain diversions. In this week’s show, host Susan Moran interviews two journalists who have been covering water issues in the West.  They recently produced a feature on a surprising new water-rights purchase that could ease west-vs-east tensions, while giving endangered fish a leg up.   Alex Hager is a reporter covering the Colorado River Basin for  KUNC and many NPR network stations. Luke Runyon is co-director of The Water Desk, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Journalism at CU Boulder. Previously he was managing editor and a reporter at KUNC.

Host/Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Sam Fuqua
Headline contributors: Joel Parker, Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Astronomy Highlights: Habitable Worlds Observatory, Impostor Phenomenon

This is the third and final episode of a series where we hear about recent research presented at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) January 2024 meeting.

Habitable Worlds Observatory (starts at 5:15) Dr. Megan Ansdell, Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters in the Astrophysics Division and the Planetary Science Division, talks about the Habitable Worlds Observatory, a proposed mission for a large ultraviolet, optical, infrared space telescope.

iStock/dane_mark

Impostor Phenomenon (starts at 14:28) Jennifer Bates, a licensed clinical social worker, the Broadening Participation Program manager at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the project lead for the Radio Astronomy Data Imaging and Analysis Lab discusses Imposter Phenomenon and how it affects science researchers.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer and Host: Joel Parker
Additional Contributions: Shelley Schlender

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SOLO: Building a Remarkable Life of Your Own

Peter McGraw cc Glenn J. Asakawa
Copyright: University of Colorado

In this Spring Pledge Drive show, we talk with CU-Boulder professor and behavioral economist Peter McGraw about his new book, Solo:  Building a Remarkable Life of your own.  The book is also available through KGNU for listeners who give a donation to support this non-commercial, community radio station.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer/Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Hosts: Shelley  Schlender/Susan Moran

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Astronomy Highlights: 3D Astronomy, AI in Astrophysics

This is the second episode of a series where we hear about recent research presented at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) January 2024 meeting.

Credit: ESO/Igor Chekalin

3D Astronomy (starts at 3:08) Dr. Nicole Karnath, Research Scientist, at Space Science Institute, talks about using the Hubble Space Telescope and the airborne SOFIA telescope to explore the wondrous 3D world of protostellar shocks.

AI in Astrophysics (starts at 17:38) Dr. Megan Ansdell, Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters in the Astrophysics Division and the Planetary Science Division, talks about using artificial intelligence and machine learning in astrophysics research, and how AI/ML can be applied to large datasets, and the example of data that will come from the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Show Producer and Host: Joel Parker

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Deep-sea Coral Reefs // Mineral-Mining

This week’s How On Earth offers two features:

Deep-sea Coral
photo credit: NOAA

Deep-sea coral reef discovery (start time: 0:58)  Scientists recently discovered and mapped the largest known deep-sea coral reef in the world. It’s located up to 200 miles off the U.S. Atlantic Coast, and it’s larger than Vermont. The news comes as a bright spot for oceans and marine life, when ocean acidification related to global warming, as well as overfishing, have been destroying coral reefs around the world. Contributing host Kara Fox interviews Kasey Cantwell, the operations chief for the Expeditions and Exploration Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, about the big discovery and its implications.

Deep-sea mineral nodules
photo credit: NOAA

Deep-sea mining: promises and perils (start time: 10:48)  Exploratory mining of the ocean floor for minerals began decades ago. Although commercialization remains elusive, some some companies are moving rapidly to exploit the seabed for commercial use. They aim to harness critical minerals – manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt and others for use in the production of electric vehicle batteries, cell phones, wind turbines, etc. Some scientists, environmentalists, a regulatory body, and even some auto and tech companies, have called for at least a temporary ban on seabed mining, out of concern about its impact on marine life. Host Kara Fox interviews Farah Obaidullah, founder of the conservation group The Ocean and Us, and editor of a book of the same name, about seabed mining.

Hosts/Producers: Kara Fox, Susan Moran
Engineer: Sam Fuqua
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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