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STEMS and Leaves

Science Podcasts

A show exploring intersectional stories in STEM // Highlighting how queer, POC, and other identities define the work we do in STEM-adjacent spaces and places. Hosted & Produced by Em Mattaridi - - -

A show exploring intersectional stories in STEM // Highlighting how queer, POC, and other identities define the work we do in STEM-adjacent spaces and places. Hosted & Produced by Em Mattaridi - - -


United States


A show exploring intersectional stories in STEM // Highlighting how queer, POC, and other identities define the work we do in STEM-adjacent spaces and places. Hosted & Produced by Em Mattaridi - - -




[19] Spring Clean: Nicotine

Substance use disorders and addictions are one of the lingering taboos and unfortunate misunderstanding in society at large. Misuse of things like tobacco are alcohol share an incredible level of social tolerance, although tobacco had fallen out of popularity until vaping and e-cigs hooked the younger generation. In this episode, I share a bit of science about substance use disorders and what I learned about the brain and what happens when you develop a nicotine addiction. I also share some...


[18] 2020 wrap up with Lila Asher

What's there to say? It was a year and we share, to the best of our memory's ability, to recall important events globally and locally that were personally impactful. Couldn't bring all this baggage into 2021 with us. Also fair warning, Asher and I recorded nearly 2 hours of audio and I was able to trim it down to a tight 40... Unfortunately, that means you won't get to hear us ponder luxury fruits, cat hygiene, or bean varieties. As always, thanks to Rosy Ross for use of our theme song...


17: Trauma Stewardship and Healing Changes

In this episode, I wanted to share a great book by Laura VanDernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk, 'Trauma Stewardship: A guide to caring for self while caring for others'. The founders of the Trauma Stewardship Institute walk the reader through identifying trauma responses and offer helpful, introspective prompts to get you thinking about the work you do and how it affects you throughout the process. For folks involved in trauma work or just people that want to bolster their emotional resilience,...


[16] Columbus, Ohio: A Legacy of Planned Racism

Columbus Ohio is all too typical of the physical imprint of racism on urban spaces. Redlining, urban highways, white flite, prohibitive zoning... All of these things and more have manifested in the economic and racial segregation that plagues Columbus. This episode shares some insight on Columbus' "urban problems" and offers several resources for planners and non-planners alike to learn more and do better. Discussed in this episode: Strong Women Strong Places, Tamika Butler, Dr. Destiny...


15: Public Transit in the pandemic, featuring Andrew N.

Episode recorded May 2020. Public transit across the US and the world has been entirely disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic. Transit agencies have been forced to cancel service, adjust fare collections, and take aggressive measures to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. The Central Ohio Transit Authority took early steps to curb the impact on regional transit. They eliminated fares, mandated new protocol for how many passengers can ride at one time, and altered how those riders may...


Episode 14: Bridget

This episode is weird. Life is strange these days and one of my favorite gals is here to chat about life in a pandemic. We get personal about what we lost and learned as we both have graduated from university and look towards the future. We also talk about Survivor season 40 and how many beans is too many beans. Enjoy the beautiful mess! Bridget's LinkedIn More episodes and content @ STEMS and leaves Credits: Album Art and Show Theme Music Listen Now @: iTunesSpotifyGoogle...


Episode 13: Buying Time (COVID-19 Suppression Strategy)

In this episode, we discuss an article posted on Medium by Tomas Pueyo, 'Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance'. It's an overview of the current state of COVID-19 and a summary of what measures should be implemented now in order to provide the world with our best fighting change against the virus. Pueyo presents three strategies: Do Nothing, Mitigation, and Suppression. The author presents a compelling case for Suppression and recommends that readers that are moved to sign a petition to the...


Episode 12: Jason Pyles

Planning in Appalachia, convincing a community that you're not taking their jobs, and the future of autonomous vehicles in rural places. My guest this week, Jason Pyles, and I discuss all this in more in one of my favorite interviews yet. As a kick off to our discussions centered around Geography and Geographic Information Science, I turn to Jason for his expertise. Jason works for the Buckeye Hills Regional Council as one of two GIS professionals supporting the agency's work. His position...


Episode 11: We're back and Buildings Have Names!

Back from hiatus with new updates to share about what's coming next. With the blessings of OSU's Geography department, we'll be sharing some GIS related episodes on topics ranging from disease tracking to cultural preservation. Also a new project launching soon is Buildings Have Names, a crowdsourced local history scavenger hunt. Stay tuned for details. As always, keep up to date on social media and at Support the show (


[10] Tobi Otulana

This episode my friend and colleague Tobi Otulana chats with me about the field of planning and her path to sustainable planning. Tobi and I have known each other since spring semester, when we took a sustainable transportation class together. I recognized that Tobi is a super talented and passionate individual and I've been hoping our paths would cross again to allow that. Lucky for me, after graduating her MCRP program, she stayed local and has been with the Mid Ohio Regional Planning...


Episode 9: Urban Foraging

This episode we discuss the practice of urban foraging. That act of harvesting wild grown food is a practice as old as humanity. From society's earliest days, we have depended on the fruits, nuts, berries, and herbs we've found along the way to secure our food supply. Although, a recent surge in popularity of foraging in cities and a lasting legacy of racist and classist laws often prevent some groups from foraging in public spaces. This episode unpacks why and how we forage and recommends...


Episode 8: Danceable Cities

It's time again for a return to school and all the lovely obligations that come with student life. Thus, STEMS and leaves will be detouring from interviews for a bit and focus on sharing some snapshot stories about all sorts of things. This episode, we dig into some interesting research from Caroline Chen - a postdoc researcher at UC San Diego. Chen published 'Designing the Danceable City: How Residents in Beijing Cultivate Health and Community Ties Through Urban Dance' that explores the...


Sujata Emani

Sujata Emani has done a lot of interesting things with her career - both willingly and as a result of the universe's greater workings. From research with NASA to working for a whiskey company, she's fearlessly faced incredible challenges both professionally and personally. In this episode, we spend a good amount of time discussing women of massive determination and how we work everyday to emulate their example. Sujata also shares some insight into her identity as a caregiver for her...


Coral Torres

Coral Torres is without a doubt one of the coolest engineers I've ever met. She exudes confidence in herself and her work; all the while remaining truly humble. It was a pleasure to join her for an afternoon at the Surface Transportation Board offices and learn a bit about her niche in the industry. Coral's official title is 'Transportation Industry Analyst', which she explains in this episode. More broadly speaking, she analyzes data to interpret railroad performance in a regulator capacity...


Episode 5: Shauna

Another interview out of DC this week, my guest Shauna has worked as a freelance programmer for 9 years. She left neuroscience after a long reckoning with the uncertainty. Shauna found herself challenged by a big question: How do we quantify and understand the vast potential of human behavior with hard tools? Maybe we can't. Or at least not in the ways we want to. Shauna and I discuss these interesting ideas from her work and how she's grown professionally. We also touch on the significance...


Episode 4: Christy Gerencher

Christy Gerencher is a Senior Program Officer at the Transportation Research Board. She manages hundreds of volunteers across more than a dozen committees all working to advance research in Aviation and Environmental Science. She's been an aviation nerd since day 1 - or least since she was old enough to drive to the airport for piloting lessons. In our conversations, she shared with me what exactly the National Academies do and how their research propels government decisions. We also...



Jocelyn is one of the coolest people I've ever known and I cannot wait to see what her future holds. We met over a year ago at the opening banquet for the Global Leadership Initiative cohort (of which we were both new members). I immediately knew that she was someone with a lot of great stuff to say and when she sat down with me in the studio... we sure did get to it. Between gripes about generational trauma and loving guidance from valued mentors, this episode steps outside of STEM to shed...


Dr Amber Woodburn McNair

This episode features Dr Amber Woodburn McNair of the Ohio State University. She serves as an assistant professor in the Knowlton School as well as the Center for Aviation Studies (both within OSU's College of Engineering. We sat down to discuss Dr Woodburn's research and experiences in academia and how her identity and presentation as a woman has affected her journey. She also shared some wonderful advice about navigating the murky waters that await after graduation and the importance of...


(my dear friend) Donna

Episode 1: Donna My guest this episode is my dear friend Donna. She works as a consultant with ODOT and has years of experience in technology. Her path has not been conventional and she shared a few great stories about what she has learned along the way. For more episodes and cool stuff: STEMS and leaves website Theme 'Feeling Fool' by Rosy Ross Album Art by Aaron Thomas Art Support the show (