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The Amoeba People Podcast

EPISODE 8: THE AMAZING MARIE THARP WITH HALI FELT

Marie 1

In the 1950s, when Marie Tharp mapped the ocean floor and noticed what appeared to be a rift valley at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, her idea was ridiculed by a male colleague as "girl talk". But nowadays that rift valley is evidence that Earth's crust is in constant motion, resulting in earthquakes, volcanoes, and continental drift.

Author Hali Felt, whose book Soundings details the life and work of Marie Tharp, talks with us about the process of writing such a fun and engaging book when people know so little about its subject.

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We also break down our song "Girl Talk," a funky tune about Marie's amazing discovery.

Marie and Bruce

 

 

 

EPISODE 7: MASS EXTINCTION WITH KIRK JOHNSON

If you really want to scare yourself this Halloween, ghouls and ghosts are nothing compared to an asteroid careening into the Earth and obliterating the most dominant species on a planet. You really want to scare yourself? Then listen to this episode!

K Johnson by Ray Troll

Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington D.C., paleobotanist, author and science communicator extraordinaire, helps us understand the worst day in the history of Earth: the day an asteroid slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula and wiped out the dinosaurs.

We also break down our song "Chicxulub," a chipper-sounding tune about the site of that asteroid strike.

It's the perfect Halloween episode for the science-minded.

 

EPISODE 6: ROCKIN' THE MESOZOIC WITH JERAD HEUCK

What would a battle royale of 16 Ceratopsians look like?

 

 

Jared Heuck, Fossil Preparator of the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology helps us understand the Mesozoic Era, better known as the Age of the Dinosaurs. And though he thinks we should NOT bring back a T-rex, a la "Jurassic Park," if we did, he wouldn't mind seeing a grudge match between 16 of the most awesome Ceratopsians ever assembled in one place. In addition to this incredible interview, we also break down our song "Rockin' the Mesozoic," a musical adventure that travels deep into the Age of the Dinosaurs. Onward!!!

 

 

  

 

EPISODE 5: SO YOU WANT TO BE A PALEONTOLOGIST? WITH BILLIE GUERRERO

Get ready to be inspired!

Paleontologist Billie Guerrero found herself in the foster care system by age 12. By the time she was in her late teens, she was homeless. The last thing on her mind was college, let alone becoming a paleontologist. But as a kid, she always found the stars, planets, and galaxies fascinating. She always had a desire to know more. That desire pushed her, at the age of 23, to go to college. This led her down a path that would change her life forever. 

In this episode, she tells us about the long, winding road her life took on the path to paleontology, as well as how through hard work she overcame a nearly impossible situation to become the phenomenal scientist and science communicator she is today.

We also break down our song "The Terrible Lizards" track by track. Our drummer Dustin Jordan stops in to talk about the genesis of the song, and to share an embarrassing early demo of the tune. 

So you want to be a paleontologist? Well, friends, this is the episode for you!!!

 

 

 

EPISODE 4: FOSSIL HUNTING WITH GABE SANTOS

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In this episode we speak with the Collections Manager of the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology, Gabe Santos, a paleontologist, science communicator, and adventurer. 

Gabe talks with us about his work as a paleontologist, and what it's like to tell people with dollar signs in their eyes who bring fossil to the museum hoping for a big payday that fossil are, in fact, priceless. You can't put a dollar amount on something that helps increase our understanding of the past. 

 


We also talk with Gabe about his organization Cosplay for Science and how they communicate science through pop culture. (Side note: Gabe recently gave a TED Talk on the Cosplay for Science initiative!!! Video of that talk will be available soon!)

In addition, we break down our song "The Ballad of Barnum Brown," about the man who is considered the greatest fossil hunter of all time.

We hope you thoroughly enjoy "Fossil Hunting with Gabe Santos." Onward!!!

 

 

 

EPISODE 3: THE ART OF DEEP TIME WITH RAY TROLL

Ray Troll Self Portrait

 

In this episode, we talk to the legendary paleo artist Ray Troll about how he conveys the enormity of deep time in a single image. His art has been in museums and galleries all over the world, and his numerous books have not only become widely popular, they've also done an incredible job of making science funny and accessible. Two of his best known works, "Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway" and "Cruisin the Fossil Coastline," were written with paleontologist Dr. Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. We talk with Ray about his upbringing, hanging out with scientists, his iconic style and his artistic influences, which range from Hieronymus Bosch to Mad Magazine.

In addition, we break down our song "Back to the Beginning" track by track. Just like scientists like to break down concepts component by component, we like to break down our songs in the same way.

Come along with us and enjoy the art of deep time! 

Onward!!!

Geologic Time Scale Ray Troll

 

 

 

EPISODE 2: VOLCANOES WITH ARIANNA SOLDATI

Can your head explode from the heat of an intense volcanic eruption? Could you actually have a lightsaber duel while surfing down a lava flow? We ask these questions and more of our guest, the completely awesome Dr. Arianna Soldati, a volcanologist who currently works at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. We also learn about her personal experiences with volcanoes, why she loves them so much, and why she wants everyone to know how important they are. We also break down our song "Volcano!" track by track, then piece it back together. This episode erupts with volcanic goodness! Onward!!!

Arianna Mt. Saint Helens

Volcanologist Dr. Arianna Soldati at the top of Mt. Saint Helens in Washington State.

 

 

 

EPISODE 1: COPROLITES WITH TONY FIORILLO.

Tony on mountainDr. Anthony Fiorillo of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas joins us for an episode all about fossilized poop! He discusses his long, storied career in paleontology, talks about the scientists who influenced him, and helps us wrap our minds around how something like poop can become fossilized. We also break down our song "Coprolites" track by track. This episode has everything you could possibly ever want to know about fossilized poop. Onward!!!

 

Paleontologist Dr. Anthony Fiorillo (left) with Ray Hedgpeth of The Amoeba People.

 

 

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The Poo-posal of Dustin and Lindsay. May your love last longer than a dung stone . . . Congrats, you two.

 

 

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One happy lady.

Nov 7, 2019

In the 1950s, when Marie Tharp mapped the ocean floor and noticed what appeared to be a rift valley at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, her idea was ridiculed by a male colleague as "girl talk". But nowadays that rift valley is evidence that Earth's crust is in constant motion, resulting in earthquakes, volcanoes,...


Oct 24, 2019

Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington D.C., paleobotanist, author and science communicator extraordinaire, helps us understand the worst day in the history of Earth: the day an asteroid slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula and wiped out the dinosaurs.

We also break down our song...


Oct 10, 2019

What would a battle royale of 16 Ceratopsians look like? Jared Heuck, Fossil Preparator of the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology helps us understand the Mesozoic Era, better known as the Age of the Dinosaurs. And though he thinks we should NOT bring back a T-rex, a la "Jurassic Park," if we did, he wouldn't mind seeing...


Sep 26, 2019

Paleontologist Billie Guerrero was in the foster care system as a child and wound up homeless in her late teens. The idea that she might become a scientist one day was the furthest thing from her mind. On this episode she tells her incredible story of hard work and perseverance on the road to becoming a paleontologist....


Sep 12, 2019

We break down our song "The Ballad of Barnum Brown," about the greatest fossil hunter of all time. Then we talk with paleontologist Gabe Santos about his work at the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology as collections manager and outreach coordinator, as well as the history of fossil hunting and his work with the...