Blue Dot 129: Marcia Bjornerud

Jan 19, 2019

Credit Marcia Bjornerud

Dave visits with Lawrence University Geology Professor Marcia Bjornerud, author of the new book: Timefulness: How Thinking Like A Geologist Can Help Save The World. Dave and Marcia embark on an epic journey into the depths of geologic time together, examining how the concept of "timelessness" can actually be detrimental to our understanding of the Earth's geochemical cycles -- especially that pesky one involving carbon that humans have been messing with for the past two centuries.


A massive amount of geologic time is hardly ever covered in geology textbooks and nearly absent on classroom posters of the geologic time scale. Dr. Bjornerud teaches us how to think like geologists using the concept of "timefulness" a deep awareness of Earth's long history where long periods of quite change are punctuated by dramatic upheaval -- like the asteroid impact that played a role in the extinction of much of the life on Earth 65 million years ago.

The rate of change humans are having on our planet is so dramatic that many geologists are arguing that this is a new geologic time period -- the anthropocene. But what markers in the Earth's rocks would geologists far in the future use to denote the start of this period? Join us and find out!