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12 August 2022

15-Ice: Birds foretelling climate change

Anant Pande is an Indian polar researcher who studies snow petrels –  shy pelagic (sea-faring) birds who nest on rock crevices in Antarctica. These endemic birds prefer to nest near less icy waters. Climate change has melted polar oceans and perhaps made it less energy intensive — as they have to fly shorter distances to find non-frozen oceans.

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5 August 2022

14-Ice: Glacier tourism on thin ice

Glaciers around the world are melting because of climate change. Yet, while glaciers might be smaller than they once were, that’s not stopping tourists from flocking to see them.

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29 July 2022

13-Ice: The ice ships of Project Habbakuk

Dive down into the freezing depths of Patricia Lake, in Alberta’s Jasper National Park, and you will find the wreck of the Habbakuk—a sixty-foot model battleship originally constructed of wood and ice.

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22 July 2022

12.5-A podcast of ice and fire

Cool off from the summer heat with our next six-part miniseries all about ice – from those who call it home to its use as a tool in science.

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8 July 2022

11-Extinctions: Oddballs of the Triassic

Hans Sues is a fossil guy at the Smithsonian. Born in Germany, he has been all over the world finding and interpreting fossils for more than 40 years. His focus is on vertebrates – both in his professional work and his personal attachment to cats.

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24 June 2022

9-Extinctions: Not your science fair volcano

For many of us, the word “extinctions” conjures up images of dinosaurs, asteroids, and (maybe?) volcanos. And while that last point did likely play a role in the demise of the dinosaurs, volcanos in their own right can go extinct. In this episode, we chatted with volcanologist Janine Krippner, Honorary Research Associate at the University of Waikato, about what exactly makes a volcano extinct, the difference between volcanic ash and smoke, …

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27 May 2022

6-True story: Migrating robins & thieving capuchins

Emily Williams has traveled the world in search of birds. As a biologist, she’s worked in Kansas, Argentina, Australia, and Denali, and studied loons, flycatchers, kingbirds, and more. And even with all these experiences and diverse species interactions, she’s now landed (ha, get it?!) on studying the common robin.

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20 May 2022

5-True story: A prop plane, a bucket, and a trip to Antarctica

Pacifica Sommers is an ecologist and explorer. From the deserts of Arizona to the Antarctic tundra, Pacifica has looked at how organisms from tardigrades to pocket mice live in extreme environments. We talked with her about some of the most beautiful places on Earth, the diversity of folks who can be scientists,  and what exactly that bucket is for on the flight to Antarctica.

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13 May 2022

4-True story: Using TikTok for (shark) science good

Jaida Elcock says she thrives in chaos. And we’re inclined to believe her. From her ridiculously entertaining TikToks on animal facts, to her work with the non-profit Minorities in Shark Sciences (oh, did we mention she’s currently pursuing her Ph.D.), she seems to be managing that chaos pretty well. We talked with her about all of her endeavors, her inspiration from conservationist Jeff Corwin, and what (or who) she would like to see in science.

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6 May 2022

3-True story: A Martian on Earth

Tanya Harrison never thought she was going to be an astronaut. But she was determined to go to space. And she did just that – through satellites, first to Mars, and now looking back at our own third rock from the Sun as she uses satellites to map places near and far. We talked with her about what it’s like to be a Martian, making science more accessible to those …

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29 April 2022

2-True story: Lassoing lizards (for science)

Gina Zwicky love lizards. And frogs. And turtles. Basically, all sorts of amphibians and reptiles. The love has turned into a career looking at how lizards fight off parasites and how those parasites evolve to be, well, better parasites.

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1-True story: Slapped by a (misinformation) shark

David Shiffman is a shark guy. It’s in his Twitter handle, he’s writing a book about it, and he was wearing a shark shirt the day we interviewed him. But more broadly he’s a marine conservation biologist, meaning he studies all sorts of ocean-going animals.

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22 April 2022

True (science) stories you’ve never heard before

Third Pod from the Sun is back, and we’re going weekly! Join us as we combat misconceptions about sharks, learn how to lasso lizards, hear from a Martian here on Earth, spark science joy via Tiktok, journey to Antarctica, and fight over food with some capuchins!

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22 November 2021

Staff Picks: Toxic City Under the Ice

In 1959, the United States built an unusual military base under the surface of the Greenland ice Sheet. Camp Century was a hub for scientific research, but it also doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic. When Camp Century was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be forever entombed beneath the colossal sheet of ice.  

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13 July 2020

Escape from Thera

About 3,600 years ago, a colossal volcanic eruption blew apart the Greek island Thera, now the popular tourist destination known as Santorini. Falling volcanic rock and dust buried the Bronze Age settlement Akrotiri, on the south side of the island, preserving multi-story buildings, frescoes, tools, furniture and food, until archaeological excavations uncovered them in the last century, much like the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE famously buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. But unlike the Roman cities, Akrotiri has a notable lack of bodies.

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15 June 2020

Instruments of Unusual Size

Volcanic craters could be the largest musical instrument on Earth, producing unique sounds that tell scientists what is going on deep in a volcano’s belly.

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22 April 2020

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Earth Day at 50, Stories from NASA

This year is the 50th anniversary. To celebrate, we chatted with over a dozen NASA scientists about what Earth Day means to them in this special compilation episode!

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1 April 2020

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Kim Cobb, Standing Up for Women in Science

Kim Cobb loves being out in the field. She talks about the euphoria and passion she has for it, saying “It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced literally, and I’ve given birth to four children.”

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13 January 2020

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Bärbel Hönisch, “Queen of Boron”

Bärbel Hönisch, Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences at Columbia University also known as Queen of Boron, transported us millions of years beyond the ice cores to the realm when Greenland had no ice.

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6 January 2020

E25 – Antarctica’s Oldest Ice

Drilling engineer and ice core scientist Robert Mulvaney has driven thousands of kilometers over Antarctica in the past few years in a snow tractor, creeping slowly over one of the highest points of the ice sheet, near a location known as Dome C. He’s looking for the perfect place to drill one and a half million years into the past.

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