Blue Dot

Fridays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Each week Blue Dot takes you to curiosities across our universe. Featuring interviews with leading scientists, authors, filmmakers and journalists from around the world, Blue Dot examines our home from a planetary perspective. Whether it’s a discussion about our life-giving oceans, the imperiled climate systems, the depths of space, or how a rock guitar works, Blue Dot is an adventure of discovery.

Hosted by Dave Schlom, and co-produced by North State Public Radio, Blue Dot digs deep into conversations about earth and space. For the past 12 years, Schlom has adorned the airwaves with his warm, relaxed style. His extensive scientific and journalistic background and his gift for engaging natural and thought-inducing conversations make Blue Dot a program you don’t want to miss.

Original Theme Music by Matt Shilts, Engineer and Producer Matt Fidler, Associate Producer Ellie Johnson.


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! 


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.


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.

Sloan Science & Film

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.


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.

Daniel Swain

Dave is joined by climate and weather expert Daniel Swain from UCLA's School of the Environment and Sustainability. His weather blog, Weather West has been keeping west coast weather watchers and professional meteorologists engaged for nearly two decades. 


Daniel tells us all about this summer's nearly non stop fire weather and the climate conditions that led to a hellish summer for the entire western US. He also explains how computer models in North America and Europe are used to converge on your weekly forecast.

Jeff Vinokur

Dave talks to the founder and CEO of Generation Genius, Jeff Vinokur. "Dr. Jeff" aka "The Dancing Scientist" has been wowing audiences for the past decade with his signature dance moves coupled with dramatic scientific demonstrations. Vinokur's start up, Generation Genius, produces educational video modules along with support materials for K-8 classrooms and distance learners. 


His standards based lessons bring to life complex ideas from all branches of science and makes them accessible to a young audience. Vinokur is a real scientist with a PhD in biochemistry from UCLA.