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Blue Dot: Science and California's "last perfect place:" Point Conception

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Doc Searles
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Point Conception

The Point Conception region just north of Santa Barbara is one of the last remaining wild portions of coastal ecosystems in Southern California. It's lack of development on the scale found on the rest of the coastline has left intact ecosystems ranging from the top of coastal mountains to the kelp beds lying in the Pacific. It's a place where you could see a mountain lion and a whale all in one day!

Dave talks to scientists from the Nature Conservancy, NASA, and the University of California Santa Barbara in this special look at a cooperative new study called SHIFT for "Surface Biology and Geology High Frequency Time Series." Using a state of the art spectrometer flown in a NASA aircraft, scientists from the three entities are engaged in an unparalleled study of the Point Conception area focuses on the Nature Conservancy's Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve and UC Santa Barbara's Sedgewick Reserve. Dave talks to Nature Conservancy scientist Mark Reynolds about the Dangermond Preserve and overall ecology of the area, then is joined by NASA/JPL Research Scientist Dave Schimel to hear about the instrumentation and methodologies in the study. Finally, UC Santa Barbara Ecology and Environmental Science Professor Frank Davis describes the Sedgwick Reserve's role as part of the UC Natural Reserves System.

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.