Third Pod from the Sun is the American Geophysical Union’s podcast where we hear stories from scientists, for everyone.

Latest Episodes

22-Storied careers: Ocean sensors and dog scenters

Tommy Dickey is an emeritus oceanographer from U.C. Santa Barbara and Naval Operations Chair in Ocean Sciences. His modeling and observational research yielded ocean monitoring technologies and tools. For retirement, Tommy trains and deploys Great Pyrenees as therapy dogs, while studying scent dogs’ capacity to detect COVID-19.

21-Storied careers: Scouring seas from the skies

This episode is about how satellite technology is being used to study a big chunk of the earth’s surface. Seventy percent of the earth comprises water but we know very little about it. Color sensors aboard some satellites can actually reveal a lot about phytoplankton or microalgae blooms that are linked to ocean temperatures. These tiny organisms contribute to half the photosynthesis on the planet.

20-Storied careers: The unexpected path to Ethiopian rifts

Choosing a major and university is one of the earliest major life decisions—but what if you had to leave those choices up to chance?

19-Storied careers: What you didn’t learn in (geo)science class

In the past couple of decades, Earth and space science education for K-12 has evolved significantly, much due to the work of geologist, educator, and writer, Michael Wysession. This is a time where the science education we receive plays a big role in our response to climate change; an adaptive and engaging curriculum, beyond the usual textbook, is paramount – and way more fun!

18.5-The (not so) secret histories of scientists

Science is all about experimentation, discover, and sharing those results. But what happens behind the scenes? What stories do scientists have to tell that don’t make it in the manuscript or the classroom lecture?

18-Ice: Ancient knowledge for modern tech

To the untrained eye, Arctic ice appears unchanging, but conditions can shift quickly, and often reveal life-threatening hazards when they do. It is an unforgiving environment, but the Inuit know how to navigate it. That knowledge has been passed down through generations, and a new app is giving centuries-old Inuit knowledge a very modern form.

17-Ice: Stolen moon ice

When you think of ice, you might imagine glaciers, the North Pole, a clink in your water glass. But it turns out that our closest neighbor in space isn’t just a dusty ball—the moon has ice tucked away in deep craters at each of its poles. On top of that, scientists think the moon stole its ice: from comets, asteroids, maybe even from the Earth.

16-Ice: Shells of an ice-less past

Brian Huber is a climate detective at the Smithsonian who grew up collecting arrowheads in the woods of Ohio, but now collects and studies fossils from sediment cores. Brian uses fossils of tiny organisms − foraminifera − to track climate over millions of years, including the Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse climate.

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.

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.