Blue Dot

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

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities. Host Dave Schlom leads discussions about the issues science is helping us address with experts who shed light on climate change, space exploration, astronomy, technology and much more. Dave asks us to remember: from deep space, we all live on a pale, blue dot. 


In our warming world, Greenland's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. Recently, NASA scientists announced that one of the continent's major northern glaciers, Zachariae Isstrom, is entering an accelerated rate of retreat after millennia of glacial stability. It's a big glacier, and a big deal since it contains 5 percent of Greenland's ice sheets. 

Josh Willis is principal investigator of NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland program. He explained what "OMG" means to him.


NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 recently completed its first year of operation monitoring carbon dioxide being emitted and absorbed around the planet. It's the first time scientists have been able to accurately assess global carbon levels from space.

Annmarie Eldering is deputy project scientist for OCO-2. She spoke with Dave Schlom about the new data, but started with what exactly it is.

We all hear about the weather — "Did you hear that it's going to rain?" — but someone at some point had to actually figure out what the weather looks like. Michelle Mead, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, and she's one of the folks who does the legwork to let us know that yes, it's going to rain. 


Dave Schlom talks with Daniel Stern, project scientist on NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). The array looks for supermassive black holes, and has recently discovered that there may be many more in the universe than previously thought.


Is there water on Mars? Was there at some point? If so, what are the implications for life on the Red Planet? Dave Schlom talks to Leslie Tamppari about the recent findings of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that point to new evidence for water on Mars, and what that might mean.

Jason Sussberg

Bill Nye produced 100 episodes of  "Bill Nye the Science Guy" during the 1990s, winning 19 Emmy Awards  in the process. Since then, he's continued to be a voice for science and science education. Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado are directing the crowd-funded documentary (with Nick Gordon and Nick Pampanella producing) about Bill, and Sussberg spoke about it with host of the Blue Dot Report Dave Schlom. Dave being the Bill Nye fan he is, the conversation went too long for our radio broadcast. 

Kacey Gardner / NSPR

On this special episode of The Blue Dot Report, produced for North State Suds and Spirits Day as part of NSPR's fall membership drive, Dave Schlom investigates the science behind beer, with a guest who knows quite a bit about it.