Bureau of Economic Geology introduces radio program on Earth Day

Jenan Taha

“EarthDate,” a collection of two-minute radio segments from researchers at the Jackson School of Geosciences, debuted on Earth Day with 10 segments made available to stations and listeners worldwide.

The researchers from the Bureau of Economic Geology at the Pickle Research Center created the program to present the latest Earth science news in an interesting and understandable way.

“We hear on the radio and in social media so many stories about science that it’s often a conflict,” Bureau director Scott Tinker said. “We felt it was really important to bring modern science to people in a way that is fun and informational so that you can learn some things without having to debate.”

Tinker, who narrates EarthDate, said he wanted to create a program that could spark people’s interest in Earth science and make them more connected to the
scientific community.

The segments, available on EarthDate’s website, focus on a range of topics concerning Earth’s wonders, resources, hazards and history. The first segment, titled “precious water,” talks about the scarcity of fresh water resources on Earth.

Juli Hennings, EarthDate’s researcher and content producer, said the program is a break from the usual complicated subjects on the radio.

“There’s a lot of news that’s difficult to listen to, so we wanted to give people an opportunity to listen to some fun and interesting stories,” Hennings said. “They’re all meant to tell a story in terms that the general public can absorb. Even scientists might learn something.”

The EarthDate creators have marketed their program to hundreds of stations, including many NPR affiliates, and it has been picked up by dozens of stations.

Geology sophomore Mary Hoffmann said after listening to the first segment, she plans to listen to more of the program in the future.

“It was entertaining and fun,” Hoffmann said. “It put a lot of things in perspective and (gave) a different view that I never thought of.”

Thirteen to 15 new segments will be available July 1, and the creators plan to put out the same amount of new content every 3 months.

Tinker said he hopes EarthDate will help people educate themselves about the planet.

“The Earth gives so much to humans that we just don’t realize,” Tinker said. “This allows you to see all the different things we depend on Earth for, and how to take care of it.”