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.

  

Dave talks to wildlife veterinarian Joe Gaydos from the Sea Doc Society (a research center on Orcas Island in the Salish Sea off the Washington Coast) and UC Davis along with NOAA marine wildlife biologist Dawn Noren as they examine the lives and deaths of one of the Earth's apex predators: Killer Whales.

 

Both were part of a multi year study investigating the deaths of whales, mostly in the Pacific Northwest to determine their cause of death. 

Dave visits with one of the world's leading climate scientists, Dr. Michael Mann. The professor of atmospheric sciences at Penn State's just published book, The New Climate War documents how the fossil fuel industry political forces aligned with them have used a systematic program of disinformation and deflection to keep large scale policy changes to confront the climate crisis from happening. 

 


Dave visits with two dear friends, both Poets Laureate of Texas: Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach. When we last visited with the pair of traveling poets in 2018, they were about half way through their quest to visit every U.S. National Park. 

 

Beginning with Yellowstone and ending with their 62nd park, White Sands in New Mexico, karla and Alan documented their journeys with poems and photographs that were just published by TCU Press, The National Parks A Century of Grace. It's a lush and epic volume filled with anecdotes, stunning pictures and of course, poems! 


Dave visits with legendary United States Geological Survey volcanologist Donald Swanson in this look back at the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980.

Preceded by weeks of earthquakes and minor eruptions, Mt. St. Helens exploded in violent fury on that fateful spring morning in the Pacific Northwest, taking 57 lives and devastated millions of cubic meters of timber, killed thousands of big game animals, destroyed 250 homes and wiped out hundreds of miles of highway. 

 


Blue Oyster Cult guitarist, vocalist and co-producer Richie Castellano makes his second appearance on our show to talk about rock guitar effects and what it's like to use technology for live streaming concerts during a time of pandemic.

 

Richie is joined by his father John, who is also an outstanding musician and it's no wonder -- New York City has seen a long line of musicians in the family.

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Dave once again delves into the Apollo Program 50 years ago with this in depth look at the iconic space suits that Neil Armstrong and his 11 fellow moonwalkers wore on the lunar surface. Bill Ayrey is tge author of the new book, Lunar Outfitters: Making The Apollo Spacesuit.

Bill worked for decades as a test engineer during the Space Shuttle era for ILC, the International Latex Corporation, and has served as a historian for them in liason with The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, which curates the Apollo suits including Armstrong's.

Dave talks to two heroic veterinarians associated with UC Davis. First, Dr. Jamie Peyton shares her pioneering work on treating wildlife suffering from burns and other injuries associated with catastrophic wildfires.

Peyton uses amazing techniques involving the use of fish skins to act as bandages for severely burned animals like bears and mountain lions.

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Dave talks to one of his favorite people on the planet, Ann Druyan. As the wife of the late Carl Sagan, Ann has worked tirelessly since his passing in 1996 to foster and carry on his legacy. In 2014, Druyan teamed with Seth McFarlane to produce the sequel to Sagan's classic Cosmos: a Personal Voyage. Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey, received critical acclaim and 4 emmys and spurred the production for a second series Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which airs on FOX TV beginning September 22.

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Dave is joined by planetary geologist Clive Neal from the University of Notre Dame for a spirited conversation on the past, present and future exploration of The Moon. Clive is an expert on the geologic explorations of the Apollo program and a leading proponent for using  the moon as an enabling resource for the long term exploration of the solar system. Clive also weighs in on the recent discovery of abundant water in the lunar crater Clavius.

 


 

Dave visits with fellow science communicator Amy Quinton. Amy and co-host Kat Kerlin are the creators of Unfold a science podcast featuring research from the University of California at Davis. 

 

The podcasts are thematic series on topics like food scarcity and climate change. Amy talks about her path from being a broadcast journalist to a science specialist who truly loves taking listeners along on journeys of scientific discovery.

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