This week, we explore communication: how do we talk? how do we hear? and what the hell are we even saying? And what about the rest of the animal kingdoms? African elephants don’t just communicate through trumpeting – they also use seismic waves. Elephant behavior expert Caitlin O’Connell explains this “second language,” and how it’s helping advance hearing aid technology. She also tells us about her new work of fiction, Ivory Ghosts, which draws attention to the intensifying problem of illegal ivory trade. We then talk to evolutionary biologist Nicole Creanza, who explains that we can learn a lot about early human migration across the globe not just through genetics, but also through our languages.
by Miles Traer
As we kick off this new season of Generation Anthropocene, I thought that I’d take some time to answer some of the most queried questions on Google about geologists. Specifically, I tackled the question, “Are geologists…” followed by every letter of the alphabet and the resulting autofill question. Unsurprisingly, some of the letters hadn’t been searched enough for autofill to work. And yet, some letters yielded some of the strangest questions I’ve ever heard about geologists. Without further ado, here are my attempts at answers: Continue reading
Our co-producer, Miles, gives a talk about San Francisco’s hidden nature that is simultaneously informative, funny, surprising and slightly uncomfortable (you’ll know what we mean when you get there). From the gold rush to the bay to the delicious food, Miles tries to explain why humans ever came to the Bay Area… hint: it involves geology. The talk was given as part of a collaboration between the California Historical Society and the Odd Salon.
Emma Marris, author of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World, believes that in the Anthropocene we should widen our repertoire of conservation strategies, rather than exclusively relying on traditional conservation methods that “look backwards.” Emma also shares how her own relationship with nature has changed over the years, and suggests that we can learn to appreciate all forms of nature, from weeds growing in sidewalk cracks to grand mountain landscapes.