Research

KGS explores Earth science and more on 'The Big Blue Rock Pod'

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Doug Curl, Matt Crawford, Sarah Arpin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2022) — Glaciers in Northern Kentucky, geologic time and surface hydrology are some of the unique topics listeners can explore in the Kentucky Geological Survey’s podcast, The Big Blue Rock Pod.

In each 45- to 60-minute episode, co-hosts Matt Crawford, Sarah Arpin and Doug Curl delve into earth processes, emerging research and other areas in Earth science.

The idea for a podcast developed after many fascinating science-driven lunch conversations at the KGS research center. “I love podcasts. I think it’s incredible way to reach a lot of different people," said Crawford, Ph.D., a geologist with expertise in landslides, geospatial analysis projects and engineering geology, who joined KGS in 2001. “We did some research and found that there are not a lot of strictly Earth science podcasts out there, and we wanted this to be very informal and a fun conversation. Part of our mission here at KGS is outreach and this seems to be an effective way to get what we do out to stakeholders in Kentucky.”

The podcast launched in January 2022, and episodes focus on subjects that are unique to Kentucky. The KGS podcast team called out two of their favorite episodes: a discussion about the longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave, and the influence of rock type and groundwater on bourbon production.

“Of all the things we do at KGS, my friends outside of the field seem to be most interested in our podcast,” said Curl, head of the KGS Geoscience Information Management Section. “We’re not trying to be overly technical. It’s a way to reach an audience who may not have a background in science but just find it interesting.”

Sarah Arpin, geologist, said she connects with the audience because she finds it exciting to know more about the Earth as she hikes and explores. “There is such a diversity of plants, animals, and how things in the environment or landscape interact, it makes it that much more fun.”

If you have geology questions or episode suggestions, please send them to kgsmail@uky.edu.

The Big Blue Rock Pod is hosted on PodBean and is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts.

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