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Past and present advances in the fields of agronomic, crop, soil, and environmental sciences. Enjoy interviews with researchers published in journals, books, and magazines from the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. Opinions and conclusions expressed by authors are their own and are not considered as those of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, its staff, its membe ...
 
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“Greenhouse gas fluxes from turfgrass systems: Species, growth rate, clipping management, and environmental effects” with Drs. Quincy Law and Jon Trappe Greenhouse gases are naturally occurring gases that contribute to climate change. These gases, like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, are both absorbed and produced by turfgrasses; howeve…
 
Boll weevils are an agricultural pest that feeds primarily on cotton. After their arrival in the 1890s, they caused devastation across the South-Eastern United States, starting a battle that’s raged for more than 130 years. This episode, Paul Csomo of the award-winning Varmints! podcast joins us to discuss these creatures, their adaptions, and thei…
 
“Macadamia intercropping into an inefficient adult coffee plantation is economically advantageous” with Rogério Soratto. Macadamia nuts are a lucrative crop for Brazilian farmers, but long wait times from planting to production can cause financial strain when first planting them. This episode, Rogério Soratto discusses his work researching intercro…
 
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been fighting hunger for more than 75 years. The FAO Strategic Framework 2021-2030 articulates FAO’s vision of a sustainable and food secure world for all. Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist for the FAO, joins us to discuss this strategy, the various components and accelerators de…
 
We typically expect physical phenomena to follow certain rules: an apple falls from a tree under the influence of gravity, a skater will eventually slow down from the friction between their skates and the ice, a star spins in a similar direction as the planets in its solar system... Here's the interesting bit, the last one doesn't always hold true.…
 
Harlan’s Crops and Man with Drs. Thomas Stalker and Marilyn Warburton Humans and the crops they use have co-evolved across the centuries. This episode, Drs. Thomas Stalker and Marilyn Warburton discuss three major periods of time within this relationship as well as misconceptions we might have about our predecessors and where we’re headed next. Tun…
 
When nutrients are taken up in the field, they often find their way into the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy. But once we eat them, how can they get back to the fields for future crops? This episode, Rebecca will discuss her work in returning nutrients from human waste back into the soil. Tune in to learn: How nutrients can be returned back to …
 
In this episode, we interview Andrew Parmenter, a geologist working for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term storage of Canada’s used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come. Nuclear waste is a reality our generation has been…
 
Research is crucial for the advancement of agriculture. However, research solutions must also be feasible for the farmers who will be implementing them. This episode, Heather Hampton+Knodle will discuss her many hats in the worlds of agriculture, policy, and research solutions, as well as her journey as a farmer and research collaborator. Tune in t…
 
The Living Soil Handbook with Jesse Frost. Regenerative agriculture focuses on improving soil health by disturbing the soil as little as possible, keeping the ground covered as much as possible, and keeping the ground planted as much as possible. In this episode, farmer Jesse Frost of the No-Till Market Garden podcast walks us through these three t…
 
Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a system by which pests are controlled using informed decision-making techniques. Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that focuses on soil health and environmental recovery. In this episode, Tom Green finishes out our five part mini-series on IPM by walking us through how these two systems can w…
 
“Assessing the Effects of Lake-Dredged Sediments on Soil Health: Agricultural and Environmental Implications on Northwestern Ohio” with Angélica Vázquez-Ortega and Russell Brigham Shipping accounts for a large portion of the Ohio economy. Channels therefore need regular dredging to keep shipping channels clear. In the past, such sediments were ofte…
 
Happy birthday, everybody! Today is our third birthday, and we couldn’t be happier. We’re so grateful to all of our guests and to you, dear listener! Whether you’re brand new or have been with us since the beginning, we’re so grateful for all of your listening and support over the years. Thank you for listening! Please note, we’ve also put together…
 
“Earthworm density differences over time among a native tallgrass prairie and chronosequence of tallgrass prairie restorations in the Ozark Highlands” and “Seasonal earthworm density differences among mound positions and soil moisture regimes in native tallgrass prairies in the Ozark Highlands” with Dr. Kristofor Brye Earthworms are praised as envi…
 
Fieldwork Ready with Dr. Sara Vero. Fieldwork and lab work are two sides of the same scientific coin. However, when preparing for fieldwork, there are many things to consider that don’t come up in a lab. This episode, we talk with Dr. Sara Vero about her new book, Fieldwork Ready, which covers anything from the practical ins and outs of common fiel…
 
Sustainable farming systems are critical for all of us, from producers to consumers. It’s therefore important for the full supply chain–from food companies and ingredient suppliers, to farm service providers, to CCAs, and farmers–to support sustainable agriculture practices, many of which can have a beneficial impact on pest management. This episod…
 
“Varietal Timelines and Leadership Challenges Affecting the Legacy of Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov” with Dr. Joel Cohen Nikolai Vavilov was an agronomist and seed collector whose life spanned the regimes of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. These were years plagued by extreme famine, especially in the Ukraine. Vavilov strove to follow Mendelian scienc…
 
Seed banks are collections of seeds that researchers use to protect valuable genetic resources both for breeding and conservation purposes. But where did they get started and how have they become what they are today? On this episode, Dr. Helen Anne Curry will guide us through the history of seed banks, including their origins, the various phases of…
 
“IPM Toolkit Preservation” with Dr. Bryan Ulmer. Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a system by which pests are controlled using informed decision-making techniques. These techniques are many are varied, but so are the threats to their continued use. This episode, for the third episode in our IPM miniseries, Bryan will walk us through the types…
 
Many Earth Sciences Departments have been recording low enrollment numbers for the last decade. This field has been known to ride the industry wave; high enrollment when the oil, petroleum, and mineral resource industry is booming, low when it's not. This time, the ebb and flow of markets aren't the cause. General public mistrust of the industry, l…
 
“The Impact of pH and Ion Exchange on 133Cs Adsorption on Vermiculite” with Dr. Dan Ferreira. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami led to the explosion of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The explosions resulted in radioactive particles being released into the air, which eventually settled on neigh…
 
The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992 by Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail. Less than 30 years after this initial discovery that won the Nobel Prize in Physics, more than 4000 exoplanets have been confirmed (NASA). These planets, while unique, have some similarities in mass and size, and potentially other features, to Earth. While we aren't …
 
“Using Cover Crops as an IPM Tool for Managing Hard-to-Control Weeds” with Dr. Christopher Proctor. Cover crops are crops grown between cash crops like corn, wheat, and soybean that provide valuable ecosystem services—or ecosystem benefits—to the surrounding crops and soils. With the rise of herbicide resistant weeds, however, cover crops are also …
 
With natural disasters become more frequent and damaging, how can we accurately access who's at risk without updated information and predictions? The answer is we can't. That's why accurate risk and hazard mapping is essential for both private homeowners and all levels of government that have a public responsibility to mitigate the adverse after-ef…
 
Ag Literacy is defined as having a basic knowledge of how food and fiber systems work. However, many consumers today do not understand these systems and processes. Brendan Black, host of the Talk Ag to Me podcast, is working to change that, serving as a translator between agriculture specialists and the general public. This episode, as part of a po…
 
Imagine if you lived in a world where some humans evolved the ability to fly, use one hundred percent of their brainpower, or the ability to reproduce at twice the normal rate. These evolved humans would certainly have an evolutionary advantage over the rest of us, and likely outcompete us in the long-term. What if a similar situation happened arou…
 
“Sustainable Agriculture in the U.S. vs. the EU: A Comparative Look at Different Approaches to Similar Objectives” with Dr. Scott Hutchins Government officials in both the United States and the European Union agree that sustainable agriculture is an important and necessary topic today. However, there are many and differing opinions on how to secure…
 
For this special New Year's episode, Dean and Sofia trade news stories about new discoveries in the Earth Sciences. The discoveries include the finding of the world's oldest crater, a prehistoric tsunami, and the best way to regrow forests. We finally talk about how we started our podcast, and thank the people who have given us invaluable feedback …
 
“Drawn to natural history: Enhancing field courses with drawing and field journal instruction” with Bethann Garramon Merkle. Field drawing has long been used as a method of documentation and observation in the natural sciences. However, more technologically advanced documentation tools, perceived dichotomies between artistic and scientific capabili…
 
Compared to other foundational scientific breakthroughs like Mendeleev's periodic table, Einstein's relativity, and Watson Crick and Franklin's double helix DNA model, the discovery of plate tectonics is the youngest and one of the most influential in the Earth Sciences. Since the 1960's geoscientists have been building upon John Tuzo Wilson's grou…
 
Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a system by which pests are controlled using informed decision-making techniques such as pest monitoring and pest thresholds, instead of regular, scheduled pesticide use. Holistic IPM takes things to the next level beyond that, incorporating economic, social, and other advanced systems into the decision-making…
 
What happens when the Canadian government tries to simultaneously decrease fossil fuel demand at the same time as giving subsidies to big oil producers? In this episode, we talk to Professor Miriam Diamond, a contaminant scientist and prolific advocate for climate change action. We discuss the carbon and plastic lock-in problem, and how divergent a…
 
“Risk assessment of pollen-mediated gene flow from Ga1-m field corn to dent-sterile Ga1-s popcorn” with Dr. Amit Jhala and Dr. Ethann Barnes. Popcorn accounts for a small portion of the corn grown in the United States. It is therefore important to protect popcorn varieties from cross-pollination with other field corn varieties. Up until now, geneti…
 
“Registration of ‘Butta 12’, A Two-Row Malting Barley Adapted to the California Central Valley with Proven Floor-Malting Success and Craft Brewer Acceptance” with Lynn Gallagher and Ron Silberstein California is a prime location for craft brewers and microbreweries. However, fungi and virus disease susceptibility have made it difficult for many bar…
 
We're used to thinking of geologic phenomena as events that take millions of years. Think mountain building, subduction, or even the rock and carbon cycles. In this episode, we talk with Assistant Professor Xu Chu about a new discovery in metamorphic petrology: ultra-fast fluid-rock interactions and what they mean for earth system processes through…
 
Locusts are one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the world, causing problems since ancient times all the way up until today. This episode, we talk with Ellen Weatherford of the Just the Zoo of Us podcast to learn more about these frightening insects for a special Halloween special. Tune in to learn: How Ellen would rate locusts on effecti…
 
In this special episode of Earth News Interviews, we host six guests in a round table discussion about field courses and their place in geoscience programs. Should they be required for a degree? What are some new methods in teaching the material traditionally learned in the field? How can we ensure people aren't excluded from both the opportunities…
 
The World Food Prize is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to food and food security around the world. The brainchild of Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, it was founded in 1986 and is the foremost international award for those in these fields. Dr. Rattan Lal is the 2020 World Food Prize Laureate for his continent-spanning wo…
 
In this episode, we discuss original University of Toronto research on Earth's microfibre pollution problem. What are microfibres? Where do they come from? What can we do to help turn the tide? All of this and more with U of T's own PhD. Candidate, Samantha Athey! Primary Readings Discussed: Your Beloved Blue Jeans Are Polluting the Ocean—Big Time…
 
Dr. Norman Borlaug was an American agronomist who specialized in wheat breeding. Known as the Father of the Green Revolution, he helped other hunger fighters save hundreds of thousands of lives in Mexico, India, Pakistan, and other countries throughout his long and varied career. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and founded the World Food Prize…
 
It's often inconceivable that we can have such a big impact on the environment around us, but nonetheless, humanity has molded the planet to meet its needs. This molding came with its own unintended consequences: Fracking induced seismicity is the crust responding to oil and natural gas exploitation by releasing energy. Even though most of these en…
 
“Tapping into Wild Carrot Diversity for New Sources of Abiotic Stress Tolerance to Strengthen Carrot Pre-Breeding in Bangladesh and Pakistan” with Dr. Philipp Simon. Carrots are a diverse crop that grows worldwide. Packed with nutrients and flavor, many of its wild relatives also carry important traits such as resistance to abiotic stresses like dr…
 
Removing excess carbon in the atmosphere generated from human industrial activity is one of the most relevant geoengineering feats of this century. But what if we told you the oceans and coastal areas have been doing this naturally for billions of years? In this episode, we sat down with PhD candidate Elizabeth Phillips to talk about speeding up th…
 
“Research and Funding in the Time of COVID‐19” with Dr. Gary Pierzynski. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption worldwide, with research projects, schools, grocery stores, and more all impacted. Dr. Gary Pierzynski, the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at…
 
Volcanoes have captured the imagination and intrigue of the human civilization because of their unpredictable and destructive nature. Today, hundreds of volcanoes are being monitored for potential warning signs that precede an eruption including gas emissions, seismic tremors and ground deformation. We sit down with volcanologist Paul Ashwell to as…
 
“A Review of Turfgrass Sports Field Variability and Its Implications on Athlete-Surface Interactions” with Dr. Chase Straw. Sports scientists study how athletes perform during exercise and how that affects the body. Turfgrass scientists study how to improve and maintain the health of turfgrass. But what happens when you combine the two? Dr. Chase S…
 
In this episode, we discuss both the engineering and socio-political problem that nuclear waste storage has posed since the 1940's. Dealing with tonnes of radioactive waste that needs to be safely stored for hundreds of thousands of years is no easy feat, and as such it has been passed off to every new generation of scientists and engineers. Dr. Do…
 
In this episode of Earth News Interviews, we discuss the events which added oxygen to our oceans and atmosphere. We get into the importance of oxygen for life, the stability of Earth's systems, and even the search for other planetary life. Primary readings discussed: Breathing new life into the rise of oxygen debate…
 
In this episode of Earth News Interviews, we discuss scientific journals. What kinds of scientific papers get produced and what kinds of journals accept them? How might review journals be of use to aspiring undergrad and grad students? What is it like to have your work peer reviewed or be the reviewer? Primary readings discussed: Types of journal a…
 
“A preliminary investigation of wild pig (Sus scrofa ) impacts in water quality” with Dr. John Brooks. Wild pigs are an invasive species that impact at least thirty-five states in the United States with a population of approximately six million and growing. With few natural predators and a high reproduction rate, they are a highly mobile species th…
 
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