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Best Of Blue Dot: A REAL Science Project: Ellery McQuilkin And A High Sierra Glacier

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Ellery McQuilkin

Dave visits with Lee Vining High School junior Ellery McQuilkin about a very real science project that has earned her spots in the California State Science and Engineering Fair as well as the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair as a finalist.

High above her small town in California's Mono County, the Sierra crest towers with its rapidly shrinking glaciers. McQuilkin was one of the first to study the glacier that sits below 13,061' Mt. Dana in the Ansel Adams Wilderness bordering Yosemite National Park. Her work measuring the volume and movement of the glacier is an important study of how climate change is affecting Sierra's dwindling ice fields.

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Ellery McQuilkin

McQuilkin's advisor for the project, Yosemite National Park Geologist Greg Stock, also joins Dave to talk about the big picture of the Sierra's glacial past, present, and future as well as what it was like working with a very talented young scientist.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.