From Earth Science Week: Podcasts Dig Deep Into Careers in Minerals

Earth Science Week

Aiming to promote awareness about mining and minerals, the Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Foundation offers educational resources focusing on the ways that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are used by mining professionals throughout the industry.

The latest of these educational offerings is a series of MEC podcasts with industry experts, showing students how an interest in STEM subjects can lead to a rewarding career in the mining industry. Podcast series mining experts include:

Listen Current: Oklahoma Earthquakes

Listen Current

From Listen Current, 12/09/2015  --  Oklahoma has experienced more than 5,000 earthquakes this year. Some scientists tie these earthquakes to fracking, the extraction of oil and gas from deep within the earth. Fracking uses water to extract the oil and gas and is then injected into underground wells for storage. This can put pressure on faults and cause them to slip and trigger an earthquake. After inspections were ordered, state regulators shut down the water disposal wells, which slowed the earthquakes. But once the wells came back online the earthquakes started again.

Listen Current: Climate Change Summit

Listen Current

November 29, 2015  --  This week the United Nations Conference on Climate Change begins in Paris, France. This is an annual meeting of all countries that want to work together to improve the climate. To help discuss this with your students, Listen Current has highlighted their resources about climate change.

Access the audio file and lesson plans at the Listen Current website (you can register for a free account to access all these teaching materials and more):

Listen Current: Indigenous Groups Fight Logging

Listen Current

October 29, 2015  --  The Amazon in the north of Brazil is being deforested, and it is estimated that 80% of the wood harvested is illegal. Many environmental groups are fighting deforestation on the basis of its effects on global warming. But there’s one group of indigenous people in Brazil is fighting back against illegal loggers. This tribe is trying to preserve the trees because they are central to their way of life. They surround and warn illegal loggers and then drive them away with bows and arrows.

Listen Current: Calculating a Local Carbon Footprint

Listen Current

New software is providing data for emissions reduction in very specific areas, like your neighborhood. Listen to understand emissions at the local level and discuss how students can calculate their carbon footprint.

Access the audio file and lesson plans at the Listen Current website (you can register for a free account to access all teaching materials):

Listen Current: A New Human-like Species

Listen Current

September 22, 2015  --  A new species that tells us something about humans origins was recently discovered deep inside a cave in South Africa. This discovery is a mystery in many ways. How did the bones get there? How old are the fossils? What is the significance of discovering them? The bones are so deep inside the cave they were almost inaccessible. The scientist who discovered them hired thin, non-claustrophobic scientists to descend a steep cliff and then climb through a 7-inch wide crack in a cave to collect over 1,000 bones.

Listen Current: Katrina 10 Years Later

Listen Current

September 4, 2015  --  It’s been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans. At the time then President George W. Bush and his administration were widely criticized for their slow response to the flooding. But on the 10 year anniversary Bush was invited back to visit the city again. His tour sparked mixed reactions from residents who still feel they were let down by the federal government's response to the massive disaster. Use this story to discuss this anniversary and the local reactions to the federal response. 

Listen Current: High Tech Meets Agriculture

Listen Current

August 18, 2015  --  Farm work is on the decline, but work in agriculture-related business is booming. Two ways that technology is transforming the farming business is in creating websites where farmers can find bargains on seeds and selling technology solutions to help farmers collect and monitor data. Listen to hear the many new jobs that are being created using technology in interesting ways to improve farming businesses.

PAESTA Podcast Series: Episode 4 - What is a Watershed?

You Asked, We Answered!

Transcript for the podcast

We all live in a watershed – think of it as your ecological address, and no matter where you are on land, any water that falls in that same location has a drainage destination determined by elevation and landforms. A watershed is an area of land where the surface water (including lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands) and the underlying groundwater flows from a higher to lower elevation. Streams and rainfall within a watershed will typically drain to a common outlet, such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel. The word watershed is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment.

PAESTA Podcast Series: Episode 3 - How do Scientists Measure Rainfall?

You Asked, We Answered!

Transcript for the podcast

Many schools will have a rain gauge installed, where students can measure and record the amount of rain that falls each day. But scientists do not measure precipitation on the ground – they measure precipitation from space, using a combination of active and passive remote-sensing techniques, improving the spatial and temporal coverage of precipitation observations on a global scale.  You see, reliable ground-based precipitation measurements are difficult to obtain because most of the world is covered by water, and many countries do not have precise rain measuring equipment (such as rain gauges and radar). Precipitation is also difficult to measure because precipitation systems can be somewhat random and can evolve very rapidly. During a storm, precipitation amounts can vary greatly over a very small area and over a short time span.