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E-mail: info-or@usgs.gov


USGS Oregon Science Podcast


USGS Oregon Science Podcast (album art) From the U.S. Geological Survey, the USGS Oregon Science Podcast provides news and insightful interviews on science topics from around the state. Join us as we keep you informed, entertained, and engaged in the world around you. Tune in, science never sounded so good.


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Icon for Episode 14

Clearing up Muddy Waters
For this month’s episode we discuss the water-quality parameter turbidity. More than just a way to measure dirty water, turbidity can serve as a useful indicator of the ecological health of a watershed. Join us, as we sit down with USGS scientist Heather Bragg to discuss differences in how turbidity is measured, how the data are used, and where you can find real-time turbidity monitoring here in Oregon, only in this month’s episode of the Oregon Science Podcast.

Download podcast 5.4 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 13

Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR
This month’s episode focuses on one of the most useful geographic tools scientists have for studying our natural world: Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR. LiDAR is a powerful data collection technique that can be used to map surface features, even those hidden beneath the dense canopy of Pacific Northwest forests. USGS scientists use high-resolution LiDAR data to create virtual 3-D landscapes, similar to the wireframe worlds found in movies and video games. With these virtual surfaces, investigators can now manipulate, measure, model, calculate, and examine the landscape in a whole new way and discover things previously unseen. Listen in as we uncover how new technologies reveal new possibilities, only in this month’s episode of the USGS Oregon Science Podcast.

Download podcast 3.8 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 12

Unearthing the Secrets Beneath the Forest Floor
There is a black box hidden beneath the forests of the Pacific Northwest, guarding the secrets to why the trees grow so large! The black box is soil, which harbors immense biological diversity and controls the release of water and nutrients that support the life above ground. Join us as Sue Powell interviews USGS ecologist Steve Perakis and discusses his research about the forests and watersheds in the Pacific Northwest, only in this month’s episode of the USGS Oregon Science Podcast.

Download podcast 5.3 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 11

Recent USGS Studies in the Willamette Valley
This month the USGS Oregon Science Podcast contains two interviews. First, we sit down with USGS hydrologist Stewart Rounds to discuss the effect dams have on water temperature in the rivers of the Willamette Valley. Then, we are joined by former USGS hydrologist Bernie Bonn to learnhow chemistry can be used to identify where organic matter in streams comes from in the Tualatin River Basin.

Download podcast 14.8 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 10

Well, Well, Well…How Deep is the Water Table?
This month we highlight a new interactive map that allows users to determine the depth to groundwater at any location in the Portland Metropolitan Area, Oregon. This month’s episode features an interview with the groundwater project’s lead author, USGS hydrologist Daniel Snyder. Stick around and learn about the water beneath our feet here at the USGS Oregon Science Podcast.

Download podcast 8.2 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 9

Klamath River Basin Restoration
Dennis Lynch, USGS scientist and Department of Interior’s Program Manager for the Klamath Basin Secretarial Determination, brings us up to speed on recent developments in the Klamath River Basin restoration. Developments include the signing of two historic agreements that attempt to provide long term solutions to one of the West’s most challenging conflicts over how water is balanced among the many different needs of the local community. In addition, the Department of the Interior recently established a new website KlamathRestoration.gov to inform the public of progress on these agreements and allow them a chance to comment and receive updates on the Klamath Settlement process.

Download podcast 12.7 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 8

To Burn or Not to Burn? A Framework to Answer the Question
Prescribed burns are a common tool used by land managers to control invasive plant species and to promote native plants. There are many benefits to using a prescribed burn as a management tool; however, controlling fire is often difficult as it can be unpredictable. FRESC research ecologist Dave Pyke sat down with us to speak about a new framework that he has developed for land managers, which can be used to determine if fire is the appropriate strategy for controlling or enhancing specific plant species.

Download podcast 10.3 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 7

Drab Appearance Masks Complexity of Imperiled Sagebrush Ecosystems
Compared to the rich diversity of forests, sagebrush shrublands contain relatively few species. Yet, these shrublands in the western United States have incredibly complex dynamics that present major challenges for conservation. They are also one of the most imperiled habitats in North America, primarily due to invasive plant species. Non-native cheatgrass promotes more frequent and larger wildfires, preventing sagebrush re-establishment. USGS ecologist Steve Knick provides an overview of sagebrush ecosystems and discusses research priorities, birds and their habitats, and indicators of change over a broad landscape.

Download podcast 10.13 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 6

Fatal Frog Fungus
The potentially lethal fungal disease chytridiomycosis has been associated with declining amphibian populations around the globe. This rapidly emerging disease, and the chytrid fungus that causes it, have forced scientists to scramble to learn more. There are still plenty of mysteries about the origin and spread of the fungus. With today’s episode we will shed some light on what we know and what we can expect for the future of amphibians. Join us as we interview USGS ecologists Mike Adams and Tara Chestnut, as well as USGS hydrologist Chauncey Anderson.

Download podcast 16.7 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 5

Northwest Mussels Live Long to Tell Their Story
Few would believe the importance of freshwater mussels to scientists here in the Pacific Northwest. These little-known and often-ignored organisms may live for over a century on the bottoms of lakes, rivers, and streams. Freshwater mussels have a story to tell, and researchers have developed a way of “reading” this story. USGS Aquatic Biologist Jason Dunham discusses his ongoing research on the freshwater mussels of the Pacific Northwest.

Download podcast 7.9 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 4

Urban Hydrology: Restoration and Monitoring of Johnson Creek in Portland, Oregon
The Johnson Creek watershed is an important resource in Portland, Oregon. It forms a wildlife and recreational corridor through densely populated areas of the Portland metropolitan area, as well as rural and agricultural land in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. However, because of its location within an urban environment, there are often concerns, including worries about persistent flooding and degradation of water-quality. Join us, as we interview USGS scientist Karl Lee about what’s being done to monitor and restore Johnson Creek.

Download podcast 10.9 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 3

Tsunamis: Tides have nothing to do with it
Tsunamis are devastating. Usually associated with earthquakes in the Pacific, these giant surges of oceanic water can kill thousands and do billions of dollars of damage in minutes. Surprisingly, most people in Oregon are not aware of the tsunami history and hazard along our very own coast. Listen in as we examine the science of tsunamis and sit down for a special interview with USGS scientist Brian Atwater and Oregon Office of Emergency Management Geologic Hazard Coordinator Althea Turner. Plus, a recap of this week’s Geological Society of America annual meeting.

Download podcast 21.6 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 2

Science is back! And it's better than ever
Better late than never, here's a proper introduction to the USGS Oregon Science Podcast. Learn about who we are, what we do, and what you can expect from us in the future. Plus, as an added bonus, get a teaser for what's coming next month.

Download podcast 5.1 MB
A transcript is available.

Icon for Episode 1

Pharmaceuticals in Urban Streams in Northwest Oregon
Coinciding with the release of the USGS report "Reconnaissance of Pharmaceutical Chemicals in Urban Streams of the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon, 2002," we sit down and discuss recent findings with USGS hydrologist Stewart Rounds. Find out how everyday drugs, such as caffeine, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and codeine, have made it into our streams, how well they are removed from wastewater, and what we can do to keep them out of our waterways. (7.8 MB)

Download podcast
A transcript is available.

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