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No More Mermaid Tears-PW077 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

#KidsGetIt ! Today, July 1, 2018, on Planet Watch, our guest is Ruby Rorty who, at age 14, founded the Santa Cruz Environmental Alliance a youth-led organization with the goal of empowering young people as ocean defenders capable of addressing coastal plastic pollution. Ruby is an environmental educator and advocate from Santa Cruz, CA, where she grew up in and around the Pacific Ocean. One of Ruby's initiatives, #NoMoreMermaidTears , raises...


Learning to be a Good Primate-PW076 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Our guest on this week's Planet Watch is Michelle Merrill. She is currently an independent consultant ( and the founder of She taught anthropology and sustainability courses at Cabrillo College from 2006 to 2013. She then had a 2 1/2 year research fellowship at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, doing work that led to her book on education for sustainability in Asia. She earned her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Duke University in 2004....


Deep Sea Explorers and Elephant Seals-PW075 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

On the podcast we hear an interview with deep sea researcher Linda Snook whose work takes her 1500 feet down underwater in a tiny submersible. The creatures she sees few people lay eyes on in a lifetime; giant sea bass, strange worms, and lantern fish are some of the surprises she finds on old oil rigs.Then, stories from Cabrillo College journalism students on topics ranging from elephant seals to landfills to sudden oak death.


Fossil Free UC: A Divestment Movement with Momentum-PW 72 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

At the University of California, students and faculty are engaged in a campaign to get one of the country's largest public university systems to divest their financial interests in fossil fuel companies on moral grounds and with the argument supporting polluting industries that contribute to global warming is contrary to the values of the institution.They are having some successes and some set-backs along the way. In this episode we hear from two students who are busy engaging in activism...


Bus Rapid Transit: A Cleaner Alternative-PW 71 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Stan Sokolow trained and practiced as an orthodontist most of his life. But his interest in solving the world's transportation problems became an obsession when he got inspired by reading about successes in other countries with this innovative solution. Find out which cities are already using this method of people moving and which are about to adopt it. What about self-driving buses? Would you ride on one? Here is more information on BRT:


Singing Scientist Dr. Peter Weiss & Live from Washington DC Science March - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

The "Singing Scientist" Dr. Peter Weiss, an atmospheric chemist from the University of California, Santa Cruz, speaks about fog, mercury in the soil, and his role as a science educator. Also, Joe Jordan reports live from the Washington D.C. Science March. Dr. Weiss' research interests include sea-air transfer of methylated mercury and impacts on coastal marine fog, mercury bioaccumulation in coastal terrestrial food webs, the global biogeochemical cycle of mercury, sulfur, and nitrogen;...


Climate Change in the Classroom - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

How are educators approaching the topic of climate change in the classroom? Two retired high school science teachers, Pauline Seales and Roland Saher, talk about their efforts to bring the next generation up to speed on the science of climate change, the probable consequences of denying and delaying mitigation measures, policy issues, and solutions.


Micro-Hydro Power Guru Don Harris – PW070 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Ever thought of making your own electricity in a nearby stream? We’ll talk with Don Harris, world-class guru on micro-hydropower and inventor of the Harris Hydroelectric Permanent Magnet Turbine about his experiences with these low-cost, high-return devices. Don lives up in the hills in the off-grid community of “Last Chance”, north of Santa Cruz, but his electric power generating systems have been installed at small stream sites all over the world. Original Air date: April 9, 2017 on KSCO...


Saving American Democracy and the Planet -PW069 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

A conversation with David Orr, writer and professor emeritus of environmental studies and political science from Oberlin College about the future of American democracy. What do we do to repair the damage being done to our basic institutions by the current administration? What happens after 2018, 2020, and next week if there is a constitutional crisis? How does that relate to saving the environment? Tune in and find out. Dr. Orr is spearheading a project to develop conversations across the...


Finding Planet B: Exoplanet Hunter Jonathan Fortney-PW068 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Jonathan Fortney is a planet hunter. His job as head of UC Santa Cruz's Astronomy Department is to look for exoplanets, planets orbiting other solar systems. He talks about what it would mean to find life, any life, elsewhere and how that ties in to our own stewardship of our own living planet.


Green Skyscrapers? Tiny Changes Can Save Big Energy-PW067 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

What so green about skyscrapers? What are the top three best ways to make one greener? How long until their owners recoup their investment in green retrofits? Find out with green building guru, Barry Giles, CEO of BREEAMUSA. Barry is the CEO of BREEAM USA and BuildingWise and a LEED Fellow and a BREEAM Fellow with over 35 years in construction and facilities maintenance. He is a past member of the GBCI’s Credentialing Steering Committee and a past member of the Materials & Resources TAG...


Micro-Hydropower Guru Don Harris - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Ever thought of making your own electricity in a nearby stream? We'll talk with Don Harris, world-class guru on micro-hydropower and inventor of the Harris Hydroelectric Permanent Magnet Turbine about his experiences with these low-cost, high-return devices. Don lives up in the hills in the off-grid community of "Last Chance", north of Santa Cruz, but his electric power generating systems have been installed at small stream sites all over the world.


Future Fossils: What the Past Tells the Present with Scott Wing-PW066 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

An interview with Scott Wing, Curator of Fossils at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History and a Yale educated expert in what happened when earth had its last period of global warming. We'll talk about what he learned that could help us understand and avoid repeating that turbulent time. Scott is a great storyteller and passionate advocate for the environment.His work was featured in this article in National Geographic....


Saving the Holy Trinity of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla-PW065 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

A visit with Patricia Rain, the Vanilla Queen and a look at the future fate of our favorite flavors. Patricia Rain is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company, a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. The Vanilla Cookbook (Celestial Arts, 1986) established her as an authority on this exotic rainforest product. She has continued to do...


Green Buildings-Cool Planet: Strategies for Efficiency-PW064 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Guests Len Beyea, an energy efficiency engineer/expert on green buildings and efficiency and Peter Drekmeier, former Mayor of Palo Alto and an eco warrior for the Tuolumne River, among other causes, share their insights on how local municipalities and private companies can drastically reduce their carbon footprint by lowering energy use in buildings. Plus a little April foolish news.


Darkness and Light: Keeping Day-time Natural and Night-time Dark - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

What have we lost by lighting up the world with artificial light? What can we gain by helping the skies stay dark at night, and infusing our days with natural light? How is artificial lighting impacting wildlife? What is being done to protect our sleep problems and loss of the night sky view? These are some of the questions we'll be taking up with members of the International Dark Sky Association Lisa Heschong and Jeff Parry.


Climate Restoration: Pipe Dream or Survival Strategy?-PW061 - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

Peter Fiekowsky is an entrepreneur committed to leaving a world we're proud of for our children. He is a founder of initiatives in climate restoration: and Healthy Climate Alliance. Founder and president of AVI LLC. Board member of Repower Capital Inc. MIT physicist with 27 patents. Peter is an expert at identifying and specifying intended outcomes so that pathways to success are quickly identified and effective, committed teams are assembled that achieve them. He connects...


Mary Silver: Ocean Science Pioneer - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

We present a conversation with Mary Wilcox Silver,Professor Emeritus of Ocean Sciences, one of the first women to head a major Ocean Sciences department at a UC. Her works focuses on phytoplankton and ocean food webs. What do phytoplankton have to do with Alfred Hitchcock's movie, The Birds? Find out how Mary Silver figured out the answer!


The Solutions Project - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

A road map for getting the U.S. completely off fossil fuels by 2050 is the subject of today's interview with Mark Jacobson, Stanford University professor of engineering and author of The Solutions Project. Also on the show Dan Sugar, CEO of NEXTracker, a solar company making big strides in sustainable energy.


What Ancient Hot Earth Can Teach Us About Global Warming - Planet Watch Radio Podcast

James Zachos's investigations of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum and other major climate shifts in Earth's past are highly relevant to understanding how human activities are driving modern-day global climate change. A study he coauthored in 2016 shows that the current rate at which carbon is being released into the atmosphere is unprecedented in at least the past 66 million years. Zachos is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Geophysical Union, California...