Dave Schlom

Host, Blue Dot

Dave Schlom has taught the physical sciences at Corning Union High School since 1991. A lifelong amateur astronomer and astronomy educator, he has a passion for both the earth and the space sciences, which are the principal areas of focus for guests on Blue Dot. He started doing radio interviews on space and astronomy topics for local stations like KFM and KPAY in the 1980s and into the 90s, where he was a popular go-to guest for local radio personalities. He is also an expert on the history and geology of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where he has served as a volunteer for decades. Dave enjoys a quiet life at home with his partner in life, Cheryl, and their two dogs, Elvis and Pearl, at their Red Bluff residence.

Jennifer Jewell

Dave talks to his metaphorical sister -- Jennifer Jewell, the host of Cultivating Place, which is also produced from North State Public Radio. Dave and Jennifer both began their broadcasting and podcasting careers on public radio at the same time and place and are longtime friends and supporters of one another. Jennifer Jewell has been compared to Krista Tippett, the host of On Being, but her purview is the world of gardening and the love of all things botanical. 

Titanic Facts


In this classic episode Dave visits with Stockton Rush, founder and CEO of OceanGate in Everett, Washington. The company is working on an ambitious plan to make the deep ocean accessible to paying customers as well as scientists starting with a set of expeditions next year to visit the most famous of all shipwrecks -- RMS Titanic.

 

Rush seems like a character right out of an adventure novel, getting a commercial jet pilot's license at 19 years old and working as a flight test engineer at Edwards Air Force Base before turning his attention to engineer submarines and submersibles to explore the biggest volume of our planet -- the sea beneath the waves. 

Sky And Telescope


Even casual observers of the night sky are familiar with the winter constellation Orion. It's two brightest stars, Rigel and Betelgeuse and its three belt stars make it an easy one to spot. But one of them has dimmed dramatically in recent months, the red supergiant star Betelgeuse. 

Daniel Levitin

 

Dave visits with neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist, musician and all-around amazing guy, Daniel Levitin. His book This is Your Brain On Music spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestseller list and his latest, Successful Aging is already on the top ten for this year's list. 

Levitin's biography thus far is nothing short of amazing. He's helped produce and consult on musical projects ranging from Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult and Joni Mitchell (just to name a few!) to being the music consultant for the 1997 film Good Will Hunting.

NASA


Dave talks with two of the Deputy Project Scientists deeply involved with the Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring Gale Crater since 2012, and the new, yet to be named, Mars 2020 Rover that will be launching this July. 

 

Abigail Fraeman is the DPS for Curiosity and explains how the mobile science laboratory has furthered our understanding of how Mars was once a planet that was suitable for primitive microbial life. 

Dave Schlom


In this episode, Dave is going to the dogs. Literally. But that's OK with him because Dave loves dogs and dogs love him and now, thanks to Dr. Clive Wynne, he can prove it. Dr. Wynne, a researcher in animal behavior at Arizona State University, is the author of the new book, Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.

From Pavlov's dogs (you'll find out there's more to that story than wringing a bell) to modern research using MRI machines, Wynne's book is an exploration of a simple and compelling question that he asked himself, "What is it that makes dogs special?" 


Dave visits with some very special friends! Amy Bean, Tracy Cernan, and Gwen Griffin all grew up inside the Apollo Moon program during the late 1960s and early 70s. Amy and Tracy's Dad's were among the 12 men who are the only ones to have ever walked on another world -- The Moon. 

NASA

 

Blue Dot looks back at 51 years of the Apollo program with a look at the very first mission to the Moon -- Apollo 8. Considered by most space historians as the most dramatic and bold mission of the entire lunar program, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders became the first human beings to leave ride the powerful Saturn V rocket, leave Earth's gravitational well and see the backside of the Moon with their own eyes.

NASA


Longtime listeners to Blue Dot know that Dave has a lifelong fascination with the Moon from its exploration to its role in eclipses. But how did our companion world come to be? 

 

Since the Apollo missions brought back lunar samples, the most accepted idea is called the "Giant Impact Hypothesis" but the notion has its flaws -- mainly that if a Mars-sized object actually did hit the Earth and create the Moon, where is the evidence in the Moon rocks which are isotopically identical to Earth's?

Johns Hopkins University

In this episode, inspired by our good friend Alan Stern, the Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Spacecraft, we examine a question that has vexed astronomers, planetary scientists and 5th graders, for decades: "What exactly is a Planet?" And more importantly, why should we care about definitions like this in science.

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