OSU Research Matters is a bi-weekly look inside the work of Oklahoma State University faculty, staff and students. The show showcases the impact of OSU's research on everyday life. Find out more at research.okstate.edu
How geoscientists help us understand the earth
The Boone Pickens School of Geology is focused on making a positive impact on Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through an integrated understanding of the earth – particularly in the fields of petroleum, energy and environmental geosciences. To help their mission, Oklahoma State recently introduced two new degree programs in geophysics and environmental geosciences. As a geology major, you have a total of four concentrations to choose from. In this episode, Meghan Robinson speaks with Dr. Camelia Knapp, the head of the school, to learn more about everything the major has to offer.
The value we put on our emotions
How do we value the things that we value? We produce information-processing models of the psychology that supports value computation in humans. We ask questions such as: What is a value, that the mind would have evolved to represent it? What design features does a mind need to be equipped with in order to value things, events, states of affairs, and social partners the human way? In this episode, Meghan Robinson speaks with Dr. Daniel Sznycer to learn more about the value we put on our emotions.
How chemists can impact everyday society
In this episode, Meghan Robinson speaks with Dr. Jimmie Weaver to learn more about how chemists can impact everyday society.
How the population cycles of prairie dogs affect livestock, wildlife
Black-tailed prairie dogs are native to the Great Plains, but Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is not. This disease was first introduced to North America in the early 1900s and only reached many regions of the Great Plains within the past 20–30 years. This disease can wipe out 95-99% of prairie dogs in a landscape. In some landscapes, these population "busts" can be followed by rapid growth, leading to population "booms" that intensify conflicts with livestock. This destabilized system has negative effects on both livestock and wildlife, and understanding either how to stabilize these dynamics, or at least mitigate their effects, is a major priority for managers. In this episode, Meghan Robinson speaks with Dr. Courtney Duchardt, an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, who is studying these population cycles to evaluate their effects on associated wildlife, and explore management strategies to address these issues.
How to improve tornado warnings using infrasound
All around us are sounds that we cannot hear that are capable of traveling over extreme distances, even around the Earth. Just like regular sounds, these sounds carry information about what made them. This is how you could be blindfolded and still know where someone is in the room if they are talking. Oklahoma State University professor Dr. Brian Elbing and his team has been listening to these sounds for six years with some of the detections being from explosions, earthquakes, fireballs, and tornadoes. Tornadoes have been the primary focus, with the goal being to determine what exactly produces the sound and whether it can be used to improve warnings. More recently, they have begun listening for earthquakes from high altitude balloons as part of a collaboration with NASA JPL and Sandia Labs. This work uses Earth has a model for Venus to see it could be used to study the structure of Venus, which is too hot to have any sensors on the surface. In this episode, Meghan Robinson speaks with Dr. Elbing to learn more about how we can use infrasound to improve tornado warnings.
How to avoid making memory errors
Have you ever forgotten a new acquaintance’s face? We all have, and usually with minor consequences, if any. This error becomes problematic in the legal system, though. Eyewitnesses to crimes sometimes make memory mistakes that lead to innocent people being accused and imprisoned of crimes they did not commit. People also sometimes fail to notice missing or wanted people in their midst. In this episode, Meghan Robinson speaks with Dr. Kara Moore, an assistant professor in Oklahoma State University's Psychology Department. The conversation explains how memory is crucial to missing and wanted persons cases, and how we can avoid errors — or account for them — in the legal system.
Find more of Dr. Moore's research here: https://calmlab.mystrikingly.com/