Nick's Picks (#132)
As we are now fully immersed in the iPod culture, "podcasts," or regularly updated audio files on a particular topic or theme, have become increasingly popular.* You can download podcasts on a broad spectrum of topics such as how to learn a new language, how to catch a fish, or even how to appreciate wine. Fortunately, some podcasts have found their home in the sciences. Some of the more prominent science publications such as Science and Nature have weekly podcasts, and there are other podcasts directly related to the Earth Sciences (some are even specifically focused on geochemistry). Now you can stay up-to-date on exciting research wherever you go: on the bus, in the gym, or even out in the field! Here are some Geo-relevant podcasts I regularly listen to, but I'm sure I missed a few. Feel free to email me your favorites to the address at the right so I can post more up here. For your listening pleasure:
This podcast, as well as a few others in this list, is great because it is a review of many fields in science. In one episode, you can learn about climate change, stem cells, governmental funding, and how bees swarm. Quite often they have features on Earth science, and it's nice to have that mixed in with other areas of science. The stories are presented at a high level, but are technical enough to get some real information out of them.
This is the podcast edition of a great radio program that airs on many NPR stations across the country. The language is a little more simplified because it's meant for a general audience, but sometimes its nice to hear something boiled down to the basics. Also, they have a page for help with signing up for podcasts, keeping them current, and actually listening to them.
Living on Earth
This podcast is entirely Earth-related topics from environmental geochemistry and climate change to ecology and sustainability. Like Science Friday, it's also a public radio program available in podcast form. It features great interviews and coverage of the most current issues like energy and global warming. If you're at all involved with Earth and Environmental science, this is the podcast for you.
Subscribe, listen to the most recent show, or check out this episode from May 2007 remembering the legacy of Rachel Carson (author of Silent Spring), the discovery of bacteria in the La Brea Tar Pits, and the complex role that coal plays in our communities.
Nature Magazine: Similar to Science magazine, but with Brittish accents!
Pulse of the Planet:'Two-minute sound portraits of the Earth.' Bite-sized science clips that are easy to digest.
(Note: One of their ongoing features this summer is a Science Diary by Former Geochemical Society President Mike Hochella. Check out his Science Diary on their website and find links to all of his episodes.)
American Mineralogist: This mineralogy journal has a few really interesting audio files in which they interview authors of recent Am. min. papers to discuss the implications of their research. You can't subscribe to the podcast yet, but they have a page with all the audio files.
*For help with downloading podcasts to your computer or iPod, check out