96 episodes

Third Pod from the Sun American Geophysical Union

    • Science

    3rd Pod Summer: The Johnstown Flood

    3rd Pod Summer: The Johnstown Flood

    The Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889, after the failure of the South Fork Dam, which is located on the south fork of the Little Conemaugh River, 14 miles upstream of the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The dam, constructed to provide a recreational resource in part to support The South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, broke after several days of extremely heavy rainfall that liquified the dam and blew out the earthen structure, resulting in a torrent of water that killed some 2,200 people.
    This summer, 3rd Pod from the Sun is taking a vacation. In the meantime, we’re revisiting some of our favorite episodes. In this episode of Third Pod from the Sun, Neil Coleman, a professional geologist who resides just outside of Johnstown and teaches geophysics part time at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, describes how a confluence of greed, poor engineering decisions, and hydrology led to one of the most catastrophic disasters in American history.
    Coleman also delves into the formal investigation of the event by American Society of Civil Engineers that was subsequently buried, the cast of characters – including the leading steel and rail industrialists of the era – who were involved, the lack of accountability for the victims – save for a re-coop on the loss of a few barrels of whiskey, and the impact on the region that echoes to this day. He also provides insight into how the flood serves as a case study for current day hydrologists and engineers hoping to prevent, respond to, and investigate current and future flooding events.
    This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon (https://twitter.com/EcologyOfShane). The original episode was produced by Josh Speiser and mixed by Collin Warren.

    • 45 min
    3rd Pod Summer Series: Parking Lot Lava

    3rd Pod Summer Series: Parking Lot Lava

    In a parking lot behind the Comstock Art Facility at Syracuse University, geologist Jeff Karson and sculptor Bob Wysocki cook up something almost unimaginable – homemade lava. Using a gas furnace the size of a small truck, the two professors melt gravel typically used for roadbeds into hot molten rock that they pour onto sand to recreate natural lava flows seen in places like Hawaii, Iceland and Italy.
    This summer, 3rd Pod from the Sun is taking a vacation. In the meantime, we’re revisiting some of our favorite episodes. In this episode, listen to Bob and Jeff describe their eight-year lava-making journey, from googling “how to buy basalt” to pouring hot lava into the cavity of a frozen chicken. Learn what Jeff has discovered about the dynamics of volcanic eruptions and hear how Bob has turned pouring lava into an artistic performance. And finally, find out what happens when a scientist and an artist team up to create something truly unique and spectacular.
    Watch a video of the duo’s lava pours on the AGU YouTube channel and read more about their story on Eos.org.
    This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon (https://twitter.com/EcologyOfShane). The original episode was produced by Lauren Lipuma and mixed by Tori Kerr. 

    • 28 min
    Special podcast episodes explore allyship and DEI at AGU - Part 2 of 2

    Special podcast episodes explore allyship and DEI at AGU - Part 2 of 2

    Today, we are releasing two more special Third Pod from the Sun podcast episodes exploring allyship and diversity, equity and inclusion featuring conversations with Billy Williams, AGU executive vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Lisa White, director of education and outreach at the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley, chair of AGU's diversity and inclusion advisory committee and an Eos science advisor.
    The first episode examined the history of AGU’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion, from its beginnings in 2000 up through our work today. We also discuss the challenges of the last year and what is happening within the larger Earth and space sciences community to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.
    The second episode goes deeper into some of the new programs at AGU related to DEI, and our guests share some personal perspectives on the changes that have happened in Earth and space sciences over the past few decades.
    This is part two.

    • 21 min
    Special podcast episodes explore allyship and DEI at AGU - Part 1 of 2

    Special podcast episodes explore allyship and DEI at AGU - Part 1 of 2

    Today, we are releasing two more special Third Pod from the Sun podcast episodes exploring allyship and diversity, equity and inclusion featuring conversations with Billy Williams, AGU executive vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Lisa White, director of education and outreach at the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley, chair of AGU's diversity and inclusion advisory committee and an Eos science advisor.
    The first episode examines the history of AGU’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion, from its beginnings in 2000 up through our work today. We also discuss the challenges of the last year and what is happening within the larger Earth and space sciences community to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.
    The second episode goes deeper into some of the new programs at AGU related to DEI, and our guests share some personal perspectives on the changes that have happened in Earth and space sciences over the past few decades.
    This is part one.

    • 19 min
    Standing Up for Science During an Epidemic

    Standing Up for Science During an Epidemic

    Before COVID, before the swine flu, there was the bird flu outbreak of the mid-2000s. An international group of scientists came together to combat the deadly virus, including Dr. Ilaria Capua, a virologist, and now Director of the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Capua played a key role in helping to quell the outbreak, but little did she know that experience would not be the most trying moment of her career.
    In 2013, Capua was elected to national office in Italy, the only scientist to do so up until that point. However, her triumph was short lived as she was charged in a criminal case accusing her of illegal trafficking of viruses. While the legal process dragged on, Capua was recruited by the University of Florida, Gainesville. A few weeks after moving to the U.S., she was cleared of all charges in Italy as the accusations were baseless with no facts to back them up.
    In this episode of AGU’s podcast Third Pod from the Sun, AGU chatted with Capua about her work with viruses, overcoming a smear campaign, and the value of being surrounding by great peers and team members. 
    This episode was produced by Kelly McCarthy and Shane M Hanlon and mixed by Kayla Surrey and Shane M Hanlon.

    • 18 min
    Scientists Mine 16th Century Ship Logs for Geophysical Research

    Scientists Mine 16th Century Ship Logs for Geophysical Research

    As ships explored the world from the Age of Sail through 20th century, mariners kept detailed navigation records using the Sun and stars. Scientists scoured these ship logs, many of which are preserved in European libraries, for clues about Earth’s magnetic field. The work, published in 2000, created the first-ever magnetic field map for the past four centuries.
    Third Pod spoke with the historian who launched the project about the trials and tribulations of turning historical measurements into cutting-edge scientific data. Along the way, Nanci Bompey learns about sea shanties.
    This episode was produced by Jenessa Duncombe and mixed by Kayla Surrey.

    • 23 min

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