Blue Dot Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities. Host Dave Schlom leads discussions about the issues science is helping us address with experts who shed light on climate change, space exploration, astronomy, technology and much more. Dave asks us to remember: from deep space, we all live on a pale, blue dot.
Blue Dot

Blue Dot

From North State Public Radio

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities. Host Dave Schlom leads discussions about the issues science is helping us address with experts who shed light on climate change, space exploration, astronomy, technology and much more. Dave asks us to remember: from deep space, we all live on a pale, blue dot.More from Blue Dot »

Most Recent Episodes

Blue Dot 126: Dr. Don Hankins

Dave learns about fighting fire with fire in this episode as he talks to CSU Chico Professor of Geography Don Hankins. Dr. Hankins teaches a course called "Pyrogeography" examining the role of fire on both landscapes and the communities that inhabit them. Hankins is a firm believer in the importance of using prescribed burning techniques to control fuel loads and enhance the native ecology of areas throughout California that evolved with fire as a natural element of their ecosystems.

Blue Dot 125: Menno Schilthuizen

Evolution by natural selection is taking place everywhere on Earth. Or is it? As in "natural." In this episode Dave talks to Menno Schilthuizen, an evolutionary biologist from the Netherlands. His new book Darwin Comes To Town: How The Urban Jungle Drives Evolution examines how evolution is not only taking place, it is accelerating in our cities.

Blue Dot 124: NASA's Jet Propulsion

Blue Dot teams with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to give you a taste of their new podcast series, On a Mission. Created by science journalist Leslie Mullen, the podcast chronicles the InSight lander mission to Mars, which lifted off from Vandenburg AFB in Southern California (the first planetary mission launched from California!) in May. The lander is going to probe the interior of Mars to try and learn more about how the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus Earth and Mars) evolved their

Blue Dot 123: Chris Hadfield

Not many modern astronauts become household names. Chris Hadfield's moustached countenance has become an iconic exception since his final spaceflight as Commander of the International Space Station in 2013. His autobiographical lessons on life, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, was a bestseller and amazing chronicle of why spaceflight matters to all of us. Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space and helped install the Canada Arm2 onto the ISS during his second spaceflight in 2001.

Blue Dot 122: NASA's Josh Willis

Lost in a lot of the noise about climate change and sea level rise is the role that warming ocean currents are playing in the melting of ice. And perhaps nowhere on Earth is that role more dramatically playing out than on the giant glacial clad island of Greenland. Dave is joined by his longtime friend Josh Willis, the Principal Investigator for NASA's OMG mission — Oceans Melting Greenland. The warming Atlantic ocean circulation system is demonstrably melting the ice shelves of Greenland which

Best Of Blue Dot 85: Josh Willis & John Morales

In n the wake of Hurricane Michael, we thought it appropriate to revisit our show on climate and severe weather. Climate Change. It generates controversy as well as extreme weather. In this episode we talk to Josh Willis and John Morales, two atmospheric experts on the frontlines of communicating climate science. Willis won a Presidential Early Career award from Barack Obama in 2009.

Blue Dot 121: Apollo 7

This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first test flight of the Apollo spacecraft in October of 1968 — Apollo 7 — with the last surviving crew member, Walt Cunningham. After the tragic fire that took the lives of Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee in January 1967, NASA had to completely redesign the Apollo spacecraft. Just over a year and a half later, the crew of Cunningham, Commander Wally Schirra and Donn Eisele took the spacecraft into earth orbit for

Blue Dot 120: The Great San Francisco Earthquake

In this episode we look back at what was once known as, "The Great San Francisco Earthquake." But it isn't the famous disaster from 1906. On October 21 an estimated magnitude 6.8 temblor rocked the Bay Area when the Hayward Fault ruptured. Dubbed "the most dangerous fault in America," by seismologists, the tectonic boundary is an extension of the more famous San Andreas Fault and passes below the densely populated East Bay from Fremont through Hayward, Oakland and Berkeley before ending in San

Best Of Blue Dot 105: Weather From Space!

This week's Blue Dot is a classic episode. Our nation's fleet of weather satellites are one of our greatest orbital assets. They provide the data that is fed into sophisticated computer models which are then used by forecasters to give us accurate 5 to 7 day outlooks on the weather. In November, the Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS-1 was launched with amazing instrumental capabilities. In the image above, you can see the smoke plumes from the devastating Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in

Blue Dot 119: First Man

In this episode, Dave interviews James R. Hansen, author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong — the first and only authorized biography of Neil A. Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11 and the first human being to set foot on another world. Hansen had unprecedented access to the famously reticent astronaut and conducted over 50 hours of deeply personal interviews and unfettered access to Armstrong's family and friends.

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