Down To Earth: A podcast for Geoscientists by Geoscientist-logo

Down To Earth: A podcast for Geoscientists by Geoscientist

Science Podcasts

Welcome to “Down to Earth”, a 30-minute podcast about innovative geoscience and the incredible people behind it. Each week, we host a different guest to talk about science, careers, and passions. From stories about meeting their idols, to investigating their science superpowers, and all the fascinating research and engineering projects in between, Down to Earth is sure to become your quick and compelling catch-up on the people and the work in geoscience. This podcast is presented by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.


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Welcome to “Down to Earth”, a 30-minute podcast about innovative geoscience and the incredible people behind it. Each week, we host a different guest to talk about science, careers, and passions. From stories about meeting their idols, to investigating their science superpowers, and all the fascinating research and engineering projects in between, Down to Earth is sure to become your quick and compelling catch-up on the people and the work in geoscience. This podcast is presented by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.






S4E08 Down to Earth: Demystifying the Scientific Process with Data Management, FAIR, and Science Communication

Part of the thinking behind the open science movement is that, if science is open, more people will trust the scientific process. But, as previous guests have pointed out, opening up science requires more than just the act of making it open. It also requires letting people know the science is out there, and ensuring it is findable, accessible, and reproducible! In today's episode, we speak with Professor Christopher Jackson, Director of Sustainable Geoscience at Jacobs, Visiting Professor of Basin Analysis at Imperial College, and regular face on the BBC, about how we can use science communication to increase the general public's understanding of science. We also talk to Dr. Sara El-Gebali, Project leader at SciLifeLab-Data Centre and co-founder of FAIRPoints, about applying the FAIR principles to ensure that the science we communicate about is ethical and findable!


S4E07 Down to Earth: Artificial Intelligence: Boon or Bane for Open Science?

There’s a technological revolution happening right now that is having a massive impact on our interactions with each other, and the world around us. That revolution? Artificial Intelligence. Touted as a tool that will enable the average individual to generate groundbreaking developments for the betterment of humanity, AI is being seen as a panacea for many of our challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture, and transport. But as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”. What are the ethical implications of AI and what are we doing to address these? Further, how does AI fit into the Open Science movement? In this episode, we chat with Dr. Sasha Luccioni, Research Scientist, Hugging Face an organization focused on democratizing AI through open methods, to get some answers.


S4E06 Down to Earth: Breaking Barriers with Open Education and Open Peer Review

It’s all well and good to have open source software, but if end-users have no clue how to operate it, open data becomes useless. That’s why Open Education is another important component of open science. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Leah Wasser, Executive Director of pyOpenSci, who developed a publicly accessible curriculum to teach python and R to anyone who wants to learn!


S4E05 Down to Earth: Making Open Source more Accessible: A GitHub Case Study

How can we ensure open source is open to everyone? In this episode we speak to Demetris Cheatham, Senior Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at GitHub, about how she’s building “open opportunities” and equity into a diversity, inclusion, and belonging strategy to ensure GitHub’s infrastructure is just.


S4E04 Down to Earth: Pirate or Proprietary? The Solution in Open Source

Open science and open data easily go hand-in-hand, but one area of open science that’s often forgotten is open source. What is open source and how does it allow us to actually use open data? In this episode, we speak to Yuvi Panda, Co-Founder of 2i2C – a nonprofit devoted to developing, operating, and supporting infrastructure for interactive computing – about how we can make tools work for the open science movement.


S4E03 Down to Earth: Navigating Data Sovereignty in Open Science

Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is being created. This is an unfathomable number, but the reality is, we are constantly generating data with every app we use on or phone, every purchase we make, even every time we see a doctor. As the creators of data, what rights do we have to governing it? And with the push to make data more open, how we can ensure our science continues to uphold the values of ethics, justice, and equity? In this episode, we speak to Sativa Cruz, Applied Scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Reseach Institute at NASA Ames Research Center and member of the NASA Indigenous Peoples Initiative, to explore the data sovereignty considerations that must be addressed when embracing open science.


S4E02 Down to Earth: Dealing with Data: Infrastructures and Standards

Data is EVERYWHERE. In fact, there’s so much of it, we now have the term “Big Data” to describe the increased volume and velocity at which we’re accruing data. With such a large quantity and assortment of data available, it begs the question: How the heck are we going to organize it and make it open? In this episode, we bring this question to two open data experts: Dr. Monica Granados, Open Climate Campaign Manager at Creative Commons and Dr. Gracielle Higino, Open Science mentor and consultant at the University of British Columbia.


S4E01 Down to Earth: What is Open Science?

Climate change. Poverty. Inequality. Violence. These days, we are facing an unprecedented number of global challenges that require collaboration across countries to resolve. That’s why some scientists in particular are pushing for a move towards open science – namely, science that is more transparent, accessible and inclusive. But what exactly is open science, and what does it entail? In this episode, we speak with Yo Yehudi, Executive Director of Open Life Science to examine exactly what’s involved in this movement to make science more accessible!


Down to Earth: Season 4 ”Open Science” Trailer

Open science! It's a thing! Welcome back to “Down to Earth”, a 30-minute podcast about innovative geoscience and the incredible people behind it. For season 4, we’re collaborating with NASA and the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society to dig deep into this fascinating frontier. Whether you're an active researcher or you just love science, join me, Stephanie Tumampos, and our guests as we explore the depth and gravity of all things open science! Our new season of Down To Earth: A podcast for geoscientists by geoscientists starts in February 2023, for the year of open science.


S3E08 Down to Earth: Culturally-relevant climate change solutions through innovation

As we continue to face unprecedented climate challenges that disrupt our ways of living, organizations like Space4Innovation and GEO Indigenous Alliance are turning to citizen science to design innovative climate change solutions that are culturally relevant. In this episode, we speak to Diana Mastracci Sanchez, founder of Space4Innovation and International Strategic Liaison of the GEO Indigenous Alliance, about her work seeking creative ways to maximize the impact of current technologies and Earth Observation data to empower social change initiatives.


S3E07 Down to Earth: Growing the next generation of climate scientists

While scientists are building new remote sensing networks in Costa Rica, others are merging networks to build capacity across Africa. Through her work as the Co-Founder of African Women in GIS, Geospatial Analyst Chidimma Umeogu Maduka is supporting other women in pursuing geoscience. At the same time, she’s also applying her geospatial knowledge to tackle the socio-economic barriers Nigerians are facing on the climate change front. From helping assess when and where to plant trees as part of Nigeria’s reforestation campaigns, to bringing visibility to the amazing women geoscientists across Africa, Chiddima is all about using remote sensing for empowerment!


S3E06 Down to Earth: Modelling a carbon neutral future through collaboration

With fires raging, permafrost thawing, urbanization increasing air pollution, and more, staying positive about the future of our planet can be challenging. But as the scientists in our previous episodes have demonstrated, there’s still hope yet. And in Costa Rica, a small country with a big dream of becoming the first carbon neutral country in the world, two researchers are pooling their collective knowledge and experience towards this goal. Dr. Alejandra Rojas González, associate professor at University of Costa Rica, focuses on flood mapping and water resources modeling. Dr. Melissa Rojas-Downing, Guest Lecturer at University of Costa Rica specializes in sustainable agriculture. Together, they hope to build a remote sensing lab in San Jose, which might just become Central America’s leading institution in remote sensing and climate change.


S3E05 Down to Earth: Dousing Forest Fires in Australia and the Amazon through Geoscience

Similar to Arizona, Australia is no stranger to a hot, dry climate–one that sets a yearly stage for bushfire season. In 2019, Australia experienced one of its worst bushfire seasons to date, with fires consuming swaths of land, causing significant wildlife death, and even burning some of Australia’s remaining rainforest. That same year, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the Amazon rainforest experienced a longer dry season than normal. This resulted in a surge in fires that consumed over 17.5 million acres of land. In the face of ongoing global warming, how do we detect and address fire threats to prevent these catastrophes from happening again? In this episode, we speak with two researchers, Dr. Marta Yebra, Senior Lecturer in Environment and Engineering at Australian National University, and Dr. Ane Alencar, Science Director for Institute for Amazonian Environmental Research, to find some answers.


S3E04 Down to Earth: Protecting Water Resources Amidst Drought

While arctic thaw is leading to soggier conditions up north, places like Arizona, USA are experiencing higher rates of drought. Due to a combination of human extractive activities alongside climate change, the Navajo Nation in particular has faced an increasing shortage of freshwater. In this episode, we speak with Ph.D student Nikki Tulley, also a member of the Navajo Nation, about her work using satellite data to study water quality, access, and drought in her home community, Blue Gap.


S3E03 Down to Earth: Tracking “human footprints” across the Arctic with Sentinel Data

While human-produced emissions may have decreased during COVID, the levels of methane and carbon dioxide released by permafrost thaw in the Arctic continues unabated. But thawing permafrost doesn’t just impact our atmosphere. It also destabilizes the ground, causing real problems for the 30million+ people living in the permafrost zone. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Annett Bartsch, Founder and Managing Director of b.geos, an Earth Observation consultancy based in Austria. Through her work with ESA’s Climate Change Initiative Permafrost Project, Dr. Bartsch and others have used remote sensing to develop predictions into 2050 about permafrost thaw, which, if used wisely, can shift how communities respond to climate change in the arctic.


S3E02 Down To Earth: Clearing the Air: Pollution before and during a Pandemic

A major contributor to climate change that often increases with urbanization is air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution kills around seven million people every year. For us humans, it presents one of the most pressing public health problems in the world, and yet is one of the most neglected. Thankfully, the COVID-19 lockdowns helped spotlight this growing challenge by giving scientists like Dr. Shivangi S. Somvanshi an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of human activity on air pollution. Her research sheds light on factors that can help reduce air pollution as the world begins to emerge from this pandemic.


S3E01 Down To Earth: Tackling the Earth’s Top Two Megatrends through Remote Sensing

By 2050, approximately 3 billion of the world’s population will live in cities, making urbanization – the population shift from rural to urban areas – the second-largest megatrend impacting life on our planet. What role does urbanization play in advancing climate change, and how does understanding urbanization trends help us mitigate climate change? In this episode, we speak to Dr. Tzu-Hsin Karen Chen, Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University's School of the Environment and one of the pioneers of the first deep learning method predicting 3-D urban structure information at 30m resolution across time. We discover how this work has allowed researchers to detect and learn from planning policies implemented by cities in the past, and the ways in which we can implement these learnings moving forward, to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities.


Down To Earth: Season 3 Trailer

Welcome back to “Down to Earth”, a 30-minute podcast about innovative geoscience and the incredible people behind it. In Season 3, we take a deep dive into the ways in which scientists across the globe are helping us understand and address climate change. In the process, we dig into inspirations that sparked their novel scientific approaches, and the ways in which their personal experiences led them to their current work in the first place. Overall, Down to Earth is sure to become your quick and compelling catch-up on the people and the work in geoscience.


S2 (Ep9) Down to Earth : Back to Our Roots: The case for Open Science

A key component of the scientific method is replicability. But how do scientists replicate research findings unless they have access to the data, methods, and systems used to generate the initial results? Enter, the Open Science Movement -- a push to make science more accessible, not just to other researchers, but to the general public as well. In this Episode, we speak to Dr. Kevin Murphy, Chief Science Data Officer of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, to learn about the Open Science Movement, its opportunities, and its challenges!


S2 (Ep8) Down to Earth: Looking to the stars for “New Space”

NewSpace is a term that has received a lot of attention recently, particularly with the launch of missions such as SpaceX. However, the term actually represents a movement that is less about billionaires and more about innovations to make space a more accessible frontier. In this episode, we speak with Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and Co-Founder of the microsatellite company, ICEYE, to demystify NewSpace and learn how companies like his are quietly advancing the space sector.