PlanetGeo

PlanetGeo

Welcome to PlanetGeo, where we are excited about the Earth! Join Chris, a nationally-recognized high school teacher, and Jesse, a geoscience professor, in discussing the amazing features of our planet and the impact on your everyday life. No prior knowledge required. New episodes coming at you every week. Listen, subscribe, share with someone you know!... Show More

Episodes

March 4, 2021 32 min

Join us in a wide-ranging discussion with Professor Steve Mattox! 

Dr. Mattox is a professor at Grand Valley State University, where he has taught for many years.  Dr. Mattox had a very diverse career before going the faculty at Grand Valley, and we discuss his career path, how he became interested in the Geosciences, and what he thinks of the future of geoscience.

Dr. Mattox has led several very interesting research projects surro...

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In this GeoShort, we take a snippet from our discussion with Dr. Steve Mattox from GVSU.  He has an interesting career path that started out in the economic geology sector working for a mining company looking for base metals (copper, zinc, gold, silver).  This took him to some interesting places such as Australia and rural Indonesia.  Steve talks about the interesting skill set that geologists have to make sense of an area.  For ex...

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In this episode we discuss the many ways in which we determine the ages of rocks.  This is a really common and important question that many people have.  Here, we cover some of the basics.  Basically, the methods used to date rocks range from simple intuition that anyone can do if you just spend some time looking at outcrops, to really advanced techniques involving laser and plasma instruments!  

We introduce this topic by describin...

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Have you seen the viral "cookie monster agate"?  If not, check it out via the link below (or our instagram: @planetgeocast)! 

Both Chris and Jesse have had this viral agate image shared with them, and today we discuss how agates are formed, and how the represent a really cool and important geologic process; fluid flow!  

Agate is a form of microcrystalline silica (like quartz) that often forms from super-saturated fluid. ...

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In this episode, we answer a series of really excellent listener questions.   

Mrs. White, a high school teacher, assigned our plate tectonics  episode to one of her A.P. classes and they came back with some great questions.  Here they are:
1- how far have we drilled into the Earth and is there any hope of reading the mantle?  We have drilled about 12 km which is a tiny amount.  This took about 20 years to accomplish and the high tem...

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In this GeoShort we tell a few stories that highlight how identifying rocks can be sort of difficult, even for those of us with Geology degrees!  Chris likes to call limestone the "Katy Perry" of rocks and Jesse got a question about pumice wrong, one of the easiest rocks to identify on the planet!  So, if you are an amateur rock collector and don't always know what the rocks you find are called, never fear!  It can be h...

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Today we interview Dr. Jackie Faherty of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City!  Our conversation runs wild (and a bit longer than normal!) where we cover everything from Jackie's favorite rock, the overlap between geoscience and astronomy, to the BackYard World Citizen Science project that Dr. Faherty launched several years ago. 

Dr. Faherty is an observational astronomer, meaning that she uses telescopes to s...

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In this GeoShort, we give you a short preview to our full interview Dr. Jackie Faherty (coming out next week Thursday).  Dr. Faherty is an astronomer who now works at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  Dr. Faherty is a prominent astronomer who has published and presented over 100 papers and has a really unique perspective on the Geosciences!  We were absolutely honored that she agreed to talk about astronomy, geos...

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January 7, 2021 35 min

In this episode we cover....you guessed it, dams!  Dams are incredible manmade features that can not only dominate the landscape but also dominate the river system and fundamentally change how the rivers operate. 

We discuss everything from the amount of dams in the United States to major dam failures in the recent past, and highlight some of the basics of how dams fundamentally affect streams when they are installed. 

Here are some ...

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In this GeoShort, we briefly discuss how people measure groundwater, from the fairly rudimentary (stick a measuring tape down a well) to the highly sophisticated (satellites and conductivity!).  

We highlight the GRACE satellites that have been used for decades to monitor and predict groundwater levels around the world. 

And we also briefly discuss work by future Penn State Professor Dr. Chloe Gustafson, who uses electromagnetism to ...

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December 23, 2020 6 min

Have you ever heard of obsidian?  Mostly likely you have; it is the rock that was commonly used by early humans to make arrowheads and other weapons.  Obsidian is a very beautiful rock types, but it's formation is often misunderstood.  In this GeoShort, we briefly highlight how obsidian is formed and discuss how unique it is.  Obsidian is actually a glass, meaning it has no crystals in it!  In fact, obsidian is naturally very u...

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In this episode we had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Diana Roman, a volcanologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC!  Diana is not only a spectacular and prolific researcher, but she is an excellent communicator of all things volcanoes! 

In this interview we talk to Dr. Roman about a wide range of topics including her career trajectory and former life as an economist and venture capitalist!  Now, Dr....

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In this episode, we answer a listener question!  Thanks to Tom for the excellent question which is, Why Don't Beaches Erode Quickly?  Basically our answers are the same, that beaches do erode quickly both in storms and in every day wave action.  But, we answer them in two different parts.  

Tom also wondered what was our favorite beer to drink while looking at the Grand Tetons.  Another excellent question!  Chris enjoys a hazy I...

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In this episode, Jesse and Chris talk about water.  That's right - water.  Where is the worlds water?  We begin by lumping all of the worlds water into 6 geological basins: oceans, glaciers, groundwater, lakes, atmosphere, and rivers.  We then assign relative percentages to each reservoir and then demonstrate how much water each would hold if all of the worlds water were scaled down to 5 gallons (19 Liters).

What comes to light ...

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November 25, 2020 5 min

Welcome to PlanetGeo - a short episode.  Today, we have a bonus story from our interview with longtime Yellowstone Park ranger - Harlan Kredit.  We were asking him about some of his most memorable experiences during his 48 year tenure.  Late one night, Harlan got a call about a baby that was lost at Lewis Lake in the Southern part of the park.  He talks about the grueling task of working a gird search in rough terrain.  Buried in t...

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In this episode, we interview a real gem - Yellowstone Park Ranger Harlan Kredit.  At 81 years old, Harlan has taught high school biology and earth science for 58 years and worked as an interpretive ranger for 48 years in Yellowstone.  Don't be fooled by his age; Harlan hasn't lost a step; Chris' high school students have a hard time keeping up with him on hikes!  Arguably, Harlan has more of an intimate knowledge of Ye...

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In this GeoShort Episode we answer the listener question: Can human induced earthquakes damage Earth?  The short answer is....no.  

Human seismic noise is actually really really small, but everywhere.  Much like static in the radio signal, it creates a little background buzz in many place.  

In this episode, we talk about how small the human background seismicity is and also the misconception that earthquakes are rare events.  Earthq...

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In this GeoShort Chris gives recommendations for several hikes to do in the Grand Teton National Park!  These recommendations range from short day hikes to see cool geoscience within the Park, to full-on weeklong backpacking trip suggestions if you need to get away from it all for awhile.  

Backpacking: Teton Crest Trail.  Unrivaled beauty along this well-defined trail.  Four to six days depending on what you want to do.

Day Hikes: A...

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November 5, 2020 35 min

Join us as we discuss the science behind the greenhouse effect and how it all works.

In this episode, we talk about the forgotten history of the greenhouse gases.  The science behind greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and water is 200 years old.   What we began to understand two centuries ago came long before humans had any impact on the composition of our atmosphere and it certainly never occurred to Joseph Fourier and John Tynda...

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Check out this photo of Grand Teton National Park to visualize what we discuss in this Episode!
https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/tetonfall.htm

Join us this episode as we take you through a tour of the geoscience history of Grand Teton National Park and discuss why the Grand Tetons are such an amazing place to explore geoscience questions. 

Grand Teton National Park is a totally dynamic place, where there are two competing forces...

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