101 episodes

Welcome to the American Geophysical Union's podcast about the scientists and methods behind the science. These are stories you won't read in a manuscript or hear in a lecture.

Third Pod from the Sun American Geophysical Union

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 39 Ratings

Welcome to the American Geophysical Union's podcast about the scientists and methods behind the science. These are stories you won't read in a manuscript or hear in a lecture.

    Staff Picks: Chasing Narwhals

    Staff Picks: Chasing Narwhals

    University of Washington biologist Kristin Laidre (https://staff.washington.edu/klaidre/) travels to the Arctic to study animals many of us have only seen in pictures. She has successfully tracked down the elusive narwhal and been up close and personal with a polar bear seeking to understand how the loss of sea ice and the effects of climate change are altering Arctic ecosystems.In this episode, part of our Staff Picks series, Kristin talks about what it is like to study these creatures, including the first time she saw a narwhal, what polar bear fur actually feels like and how climate change is impacting these animals.This episode was produced by Nanci Bompey and mixed and Shane M Hanlon (https://linktr.ee/EcologyOfShane).

    • 15 min
    Staff Picks: Toxic City Under the Ice

    Staff Picks: Toxic City Under the Ice

    In 1959, the United States built an unusual military base under the surface of the Greenland ice Sheet. Camp Century was a hub for scientific research, but it also doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic. When Camp Century was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be forever entombed beneath the colossal sheet of ice. But climate change has warmed the Arctic more than any other region on Earth, and parts of the Greenland Ice Sheet are melting faster than snow can accumulate. What will happen in the coming decades if the melting ice exposes the biological, chemical, and radioactive waste left behind at Camp Century?As part of our Staff Picks series while Third Pod is on break, University of Colorado Boulder glaciologist Mike MacFerrin (https://www.colorado.edu/geography/michael-mike-macferrin) recounts Camp Century’s intriguing history and its role in the Cold War. He discusses the potential hazard (https://news.agu.org/press-release/melting-ice-sheet-could-release-frozen-cold-war-era-waste/) Camp Century’s waste poses to the environment and surrounding communities and examines what, if anything, should be done about it now.This episode was produced and mixed by Lauren Lipuma (https://laurenlipuma.com/) and Shane M Hanlon (https://linktr.ee/EcologyOfShane).

    • 32 min
    Staff Picks: Mythical monsters & their real-life inspirations (Part 2)

    Staff Picks: Mythical monsters & their real-life inspirations (Part 2)

    We’ve all heard stories about fantastical creatures that people swear they’ve seen and have evidence of but can never be confirmed. Think Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. Mermaids or the Kraken. While there’s no evidence backing the existence of these creatures, either in present day or at any point in the past, there must be a reason why such legends were created in the first place. In most cases, the legend in grounded in fact.While Third Pod is on break, during this Halloween season we’re bringing you four stories from scientists who know a little something about the real-life animals that inspired these legendary creatures. In this episode, the second in a two-part series, we chatted with Rodrigo Salvador (https://rodrigobsalvador.wordpress.com/), Curator of Invertebrates at the Museum of New Zealand, about the connections between giant squids and the Kraken, and Danielle J. Serratos (https://fundygeological.novascotia.ca/about-museum/staff/danielle-serratos), Director/Curator of the Fundy Geological Museum, about the links between prehistoric aquatic reptiles and the Loch Ness monster, respectively.This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.  

    • 34 min
    Staff Picks: Mythical monsters & their real-life inspirations (Part 1)

    Staff Picks: Mythical monsters & their real-life inspirations (Part 1)

    We’ve all heard stories about fantastical creatures that people swear they’ve seen and have evidence of but can never be confirmed. Think Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. Mermaids or the Kraken. While there’s no evidence backing the existence of these creatures, either in present day or at any point in the past, there must be a reason why such legends were created in the first place. In most cases, the legend in grounded in fact.  While Third Pod might be on a break, Halloween comes around the same time every season. So this year we’re bringing you four stories from scientists who know a little something about the real-life animals that inspired these legendary creatures. In this first episode, we chatted with Cristina Brito (https://novaresearch.unl.pt/en/persons/cristina-maria-ribeiro-da-silva-brito), Director of the Centre for Overseas History at University of Lisbon, about the connections between mermaids and manatees, as well as Ryan Haupt (https://ryanhaupt.com/), Ph.D candidate, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming and co-host of the podcast Science…sort of, about the connections between Bigfoot and prehistoric giant sloths.   This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.  

    • 35 min
    Third Pod Presents: Stereo Chemistry - Searching for Mars’s missing water

    Third Pod Presents: Stereo Chemistry - Searching for Mars’s missing water

    More than 50 years of missions to Mars paint a clear picture of a cold, dry, desert planet. And at the same time, photographs, minerals, and other data tell scientists that Mars once had as much water as Earth, or even more. Why are the two planets so different today?We're excited to feature an episode from our friends over at Stereo Chemistry, where they talk to scientists about the latest research on Mars’s water and where they think the water went.You can find Stereo Chemistry on C&EN’s website, cen.acs.org (http://cen.acs.org), or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 21 min
    Staff Picks: The Johnstown Flood

    Staff Picks: 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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Boulderbomp ,

Love this podcast!

I am a non scientist but I have an interest in science-related topics. This podcast is fun to listen to and informative without being overly technical. Very interesting topics and fun hosts — Nanci and Shane!

fiooners ,

Great stories, not so great audio

As a former geology student, I really enjoy the stories and topics they cover. However, the sound effects are often so loud that they make it difficult to hear the interviewee or startle me when they come in. More subtlety in mixing, please!

hydroDavid ,

The human stories of research

Third Pod from the Sun connects with scientists in environmental fields about their work and the experience of doing it. I think AGU has really filled a niche with this podcast - this is exactly the kind of stuff I want to hear about! Keep up the good work!

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