74 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

    • Earth Sciences
    • 4.7, 36 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.

    Instruments of Unusual Size

    Instruments of Unusual Size

    Volcanic craters could be the largest musical instrument on Earth, producing unique sounds that tell scientists what is going on deep in a volcano’s belly.
    Chile’s Villarica volcano acted much like a gigantic horn when it erupted in 2015, created reverberating sounds that changed pitch as its lava lake rose to the crater rim. On the other hand, Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano has a deep, cylindrical crater that acts much like a massive organ pipe. The crater produced strange sounds scientists dubbed tornillos, the Spanish word for screw, when Cotopaxi began rumbling in 2015.
    Jeffrey Johnson (https://www.boisestate.edu/earth/staff-members/jeffrey-johnson/), a geophysicist at Boise State University, studies the unusual low-frequency sounds made by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and avalanches. Understanding each volcano’s unique voiceprint could alert scientists to changes going on inside the crater that may signal an impending eruption, according to Jeff.
    In this episode, Jeff describes how volcanoes and earthquakes produce infrasound – sound waves below the frequency of human hearing – and how the size and shape of a volcano’s crater defines the range of vibrations it can produce. Listen to Jeff recount the strange sounds geophysicists noticed during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 and hear how earthquakes can make mountains ring like giant bells.
    This episode was produced and mixed by Lauren Lipuma.

    • 20 min
    Special Release: Climate change, tree rings, and string theory

    Special Release: Climate change, tree rings, and string theory

    What’s it like to be one of the most well-known climate scientists around? People (e.g. your dad) should just trust what you say, right? Well…it doesn’t always work out like that.
    Kate Marvel, Associate Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia Engineering's Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics, started as a theoretical physicist before shifting to studying climate change. In addition to her research, she writes a regular column, “Hot Planet”, for Scientific American. She’s also an AGU Voices for Science Advocate
    This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.

    • 18 min
    Mt. St. Helens: 40 Years Later

    Mt. St. Helens: 40 Years Later

    On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted in Washington state, capping off a series of volcanic events that began on March 27th of that year. The May 18th explosions is credited with causing 57 deaths, >$1 billion in property damage, and forever changed the surrounding landscape.
    The eruption created a column of ash that shot into the atmosphere and was deposited in 11 U.S. states, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_eruption_of_Mount_St._Helens#cite_note-WashPost2005-3), landing as far away as Massachusetts, where 13 year old Seth Moran found his parent’s cars covered it in. That moment was a catalyst that inspired him into the field of volcanology, specifically volcano seismology, and to a career with the USGS. Moran is current the lead scientist at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Washington state he studies and monitors Cascade volcanoes in Washington and Oregon.
    In this episode, Moran chats about his path to becoming a volcanic seismologist, the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption, and the monitoring and measures that were put in place following the event.
    This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.

    Third Pod Live: The Dirty Links between Soil and Climate

    Third Pod Live: The Dirty Links between Soil and Climate

    Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry at the Life and Environmental Sciences unit, University of California, Merced. She received her PhD in Biogeochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley; M. Sc. in Political Ecology from Michigan State University, and BS in Soil and Water Conservation from University of Asmara, Eritrea. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, the Young Investigator Award from Sigma Xi, and the Hellman Family Foundations award for early career faculty.
    Basically, she rocks.
    Her research focuses on biogeochemical cycling of essential elements (esp. carbon and nitrogen), in particular in systems that experience physical perturbations (ex. erosion, fire, changes in climate). At the AAAS 2019 annual meeting in Seattle, we had a chance to sit down with her for a live interview where we talked about soil (not dirt), bribing lab mates to help with experiments, looking to the ground to mitigate climate change, and more!
    This episode was produced by and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.

    Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell - James Garvin on Earth Day at 50

    Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell - James Garvin on Earth Day at 50

    James Garvin is the Chief Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Garvin has been at NASA for 35 years in a variety of roles and missions, and is well known for his incredible work in NASA's Mars explorational programs. Listen to James talk about his beginnings in science, the legacy he wishes to leave behind, and what he hopes NASA will accomplish in the future.
    This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.

    Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell - Earth Day at 50, Stories from NASA

    Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell - Earth Day at 50, Stories from NASA

    This year is the 50th anniversary. To celebrate, we chatted with over a dozen NASA scientists about what Earth Day means to them in this special compilation episode!
    This episode was produced and mixed by Shane M Hanlon.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 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!

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!

Euchre boy 88 ,

A cool peek at how scientists conduct science

These fairly short episodes provide an excellent view into the way scientists do their work. Interesting stories presented in an engaging way. Nice job, AGU!

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