Dave Schlom

Host, Blue Dot

Dave Schlom has taught the physical sciences at Corning Union High School since 1991. A lifelong amateur astronomer and astronomy educator, he has a passion for both the earth and the space sciences, which are the principal areas of focus for guests on Blue Dot. He started doing radio interviews on space and astronomy topics for local stations like KFM and KPAY in the 1980s and into the 90s, where he was a popular go-to guest for local radio personalities. He is also an expert on the history and geology of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where he has served as a volunteer for decades. Dave enjoys a quiet life at home with his partner in life, Cheryl, and their two dogs, Elvis and Pearl, at their Red Bluff residence.

On this episode of Blue Dot, Dave talks to fellow science communications host Ira Flatow who joined us from his home in Connecticut. The award winning host of Public Radio International's Science Friday tells us about being on the NPR staff in the early days as a science correspondent, the PBS television series he hosted for kids, Newton's Apple, his love of science and gadgets plus some tips for would be guests on the show. Ira also tells us about what it was like to play himself on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Dave is also joined by United States Geological Survey research scientist Francis Rengers about the recent, tragic debris flows in Montecito, California that took 20 lives. Rengers specializes in studying the impacts of wildfires and how they can lead to catastrophic erosion like what was seen following the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County.

In this episode of Blue Dot, Dave is joined by Kate Fullam to interview Ann Druyan. Ann was the Creative Director of the Voyager Interstellar Message Project. She co-wrote ‘COSMOS: A Personal Voyage’ with her late husband Carl Sagan. She was awarded the Emmy and Peabody awards for ‘COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey. In this wide ranging discussion we'll hear about Ann's relationship with her late husband the creation of the reboot of Cosmos on Fox Television and the release of the catalog of books by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan on Audible last year. A second season, Cosmos: Possible Worlds is in production with Druyan and the rest of the Cosmos team and will be on Fox in 2019. The second half of the show features a report from Sheryl Hosler, The Roving Naturalist from YouTube. Sheryl will tell us about the strange an interesting lives of parasitic sea lice.

On this episode of Blue Dot, we talk to the creators of "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere" and "Trifles." Scott Monty and Burt Wolder are not only highly successful businessmen (Monty was the head of social media for Ford Motor Company from 2008-2014), they are also two of the world's most respected Sherlockians --  experts on the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous Great Detective and his chronicler, Dr. John H. Watson. The Holmes character was patterned after Professor Joseph Bell, Doyle's teacher and mentor from medical school in Edinborough, Scotland and is considered the progenitor of forensic science. Many a scientific mind was inspired by the original 60 stories that Doyle penned (aka "The Canon") and the immense number of portrayals of Holmes and Watson on stage, screen (film and television), radio and pastiche fiction makes Sherlock Holmes an enduringly fascinating part of our popular culture. Our guides to all things Sherlockian, Scott and Burt, will take us back to the world of Victorian London and the fog shrouded apartments of Holmes at 221B Baker Street, "where it is always 1895." The game is afoot!

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. A frequent contributor to Blue Dot, Josh's expertise is studying the interactions between warming oceans and melting ice. John Morales isn't just your average TV meteorologist. He is one of the few elected to be a Fellow with the American Meteorological Society and had a Ph.D. in meteorology, specializing in tropical storms. That comes in handy as the Chief Meteorologist for NBC TV's Miami affiliate. Find out what it was like to literally be responsible for people's lives during Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

For the debut episode of our new hour-long Blue Dot format, Dave talks to David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, the filmmakers behind Bill Nye: Science Guy. The film ambitiously follows Nye over the course of a year as he debates creationist Ken Ham and takes on climate change denier Joe Bastardi. The film takes us on a journey from the persona that was created on the iconic Bill Nye The Science Guy television series to the man behind the bowtie. Find out what it was like to be in the whirlwind that is the life of one of America's most popular science communicators. 

Eli Ennis is a leader and grandson of a chief of the Tla-o-qui-aht first nations tribe of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. His work as an educator and activist is featured in Gleb Raygorodetsky's book The Archipelago of Hope, which was featured on a previous episode. We dive deeper into how Ennis is leading a cooperative effort of land stewardship based both on science and traditional tribal practices.

The west coast of Canada is a rich maritime rainforest and fishery that is home to eagles, osprey, whales and salmon. And it is also very sensitive to climate change, which is altering the natural patterns that have existed along with humans, for thousands of years. It's a fascinating, hopeful and challenging discussion of balancing the needs of humans and nature. 

Inexorable. The unrelenting power of the expanding, rising oceans is something that humans WILL be dealing with for decades, if not centuries to come.

In this episode we talk to Rolling Stone Magazine contributing editor Jeff Goodell. Jeff is the author of The Water Will Come.

It's Part 2 of our series on The Science Communicators. For some science majors, their love of nature knows few bounds and the thought of research in just one field of study wasn't appealing. What was is sharing their natural curiosity through the medium of YouTube and beyond. We talk to Ines Dawson from the U.K. and creator of Draw Curiosity. Then we visit with Nick Lucid about his take on science where it is OK "to be a little crazy," on The Science Asylum channel. Then Nolan joins Dave to quiz him on some notable science reads of 2017. Find out what tome comes in No. 1!

In this episode Dave talks to three science communicators with YouTube Channels. Jacklyn Duff's videos focus on science and technology on her SciJoy channel. Jade Tan-Holmes is an Australian whose Up and Atom videos focus on physics, math and computer science. Sheryl Hosler, aka The Roving Naturalist, loves to share her passion for environmental science. All three came to the same conclusion — that communicating their passion for science was a stronger calling than the traditional research pathway. And they may become regular contributors as special correspondents on future episodes as Blue Dot widens its horizons.

This week, Dave is joined by special cohost Kate Fullam from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Kate and Dave interview Sara MacSorley. Her new coloring book Super Cool Scientists, profiles a diverse array of women scientists. The coloring book is designed to engage girls in thinking of scientific careers as possible futures for them. Super cool ones! This program is the second of an ongoing collaboration with the Alda Center based at Stony Brook University in New York.

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