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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.

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. 

UC Davis


The west's epic wildfire season shows no signs of letting up as one Red Flag Warning follows another and millions of acres burn. Dave talks to three experts from the University of California at Davis. Forest ecology experts Malcolm North and Andrew Latimer weigh in on the state of wildland ecosystems past, present and future as they respond to long-term mismanagement, drought, and a rapidly changing climate. 


Dave takes a virtual field trip to one of his childhood haunts -- the Griffith Observatory perched above the Los Angeles Basin in Griffith Park. Our tour guide is the longtime Director, Dr. Edwin C. Krupp.

 

Ed's passion for astronomy education and the venerable observatory, built in 1935 and extensively renovated in the early 2000s, comes through as he takes Dave on a trip through time and space at one of California's most iconic venues. 

NASA

Dave talks to two NASA climate scientists on the topic of global sea level rise. First, longtime friend of Blue Dot Josh Willis joins us to talk about the difficulties of collecting data from Greenland's massive ice sheets in a time of pandemic and discusses the rigors of peer reviewed research.

Then NASA/JPL Postdoctoral Fellow Thomas Frederickse visits with us from the Netherlands. He led a breakthrough study on the water cycle budget that for decades has mysteriously underestimated the observed rising of global sea levels. Thomas also gives some insight in what its like to be on the faned Jet Propulsion Laboratory campus.

NASA

Dave revisits a conversation with two of the Deputy Project Scientists deeply involved with the Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring Gale Crater since 2012, and the new, yet to be named, Mars 2020 Rover that will be launching this July. 

Abigail Fraeman is the DPS for Curiosity and explains how the mobile science laboratory has furthered our understanding of how Mars was once a planet that was suitable for primitive microbial life. 

Surfrider Foundation


After the killing of George Floyd, Blue Dot's Oceanographer Emeritus Bill Patzert called "Big Wave Dave" to ask him to check out a New York Times Opinion piece titled "The Long Strange Tale of California’s Surf Nazis," by journalist Daniel Duane. 

 

Conversations ensued about racism, localism, and the environment and how surf culture has reflected those complex currents through time since the Malibu explosion of the early 1960s. 

Kim Fulton Bennett

Dave traveled to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) earlier this summer where he learned about many of the institute's scientific programs.

In this episode we look at the use of sound to study the oceans and the life that inhabits them. MacArthur Foundation Fellow Kelly Benoit Bird uses sonar for her MBARI research to study how animals find food sources in the vast oceanic environment. 

NPR

  

Dave is joined by Brendan Byrne for a conversation about the state of crewed spaceflight in the US in 2020. Brendan is the host of Are We There Yet, produced by NPR affiliate WMFE in Orlando. 

 

He gets to cover the space beat from the front row on Florida's "Space Coast" and had an amazingly personal and powerful experience covering the SpaceX Dragon Demo 2 Mission that launched astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. 

Science History


Dave visits with legendary United States Geological Survey volcanologist Donald Swanson in this look back at the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980.

 

Preceded by weeks of earthquakes and minor eruptions, Mt. St. Helens exploded in violent fury on that fateful spring morning in the Pacific Northwest, taking 57 lives and devastated millions of cubic meters of timber, killed thousands of big game animals, destroyed 250 homes and wiped out hundreds of miles of highway. 

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