Northeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2015)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


THORNBURG, Jesse D., Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Rutgers University, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, SEMINACK, Christopher, Department of Environmental Science & Policy, George Mason University, 126 Research Hall, Fairfax, VA 22030 and PETERSON, Stephen, Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122,

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular and effective way to educate a broad audience. Recent advances in technology have made the ability to podcast extremely affordable, requiring little technological expertise and minimal startup costs. The iTunes software package has created one of the world’s largest podcast databases, allowing users to easily discover and access our podcast. Collectively, we have created the Geology Flannelcast to discuss geosciences in an informal and fun manner, targeting a broad audience of all education levels. Our Podcast is presented in a conversational atmosphere by researchers with varying areas of expertise, enabling us to cover a single topic from the multiple perspectives of the hosts. This is a fun and lighthearted approach, differing from a traditional lecture format. Each podcast begins with news stories and current events pertaining to a wide swath of disciplines relating to Earth and environmental sciences, followed by a stand-alone main topic. This format allows learners to choose subjects and move at their own pace and schedule. The podcast is released on a biweekly schedule covering a wide range of geologic subjects ranging from novice topics such as plate tectonics and how rocks are formed to more advanced topics including the Anthropocene and geothermal systems. Occasionally experts in the field are interviewed to teach the audience about various occupations in the geosciences as well as speak about state-of-the-art research in their field. Our website provides access for listeners to submit questions and topics that can then be covered in future podcasts, making this not only user friendly but a user driven experience. We have received feedback from a wide range of skill levels spanning from the interested hobbyist to postgraduate researchers. Our goal of the Geology Flannelcast is to present geology topics to traditional and nontraditional learners alike, in a format that will keep their attention, allowing for increased retention of topics.