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Podcast: Land of Painted Caves with Jean M. Auel

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In her “Earth’s Children” series, novelist Jean M. Auel brings to life fictional characters from a long-vanished, Ice Age-era Earth. In this podcast, the author discusses her latest book The Land of Painted Caves, and describes some of the real-life archaeological finds that informed her work.

Auel was introduced by Curator Emeritus Ian Tattersall. The podcast was recorded at the Museum on March 30th, 2011.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes ( 1 hour, 73 MB)

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Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex

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Known as the greatest dinosaur collector of all time, Barnum Brown helped the American Museum of Natural History establish its world-class fossil collection. Museum Research Associate Lowell Dingus and Chair of the Division of Paleontology Mark Norell recently traced Brown’s extraordinary career from a frontier farm to the world’s top fossil sites to the halls of the Museum in the book Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus rex.

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From the Field: Emily Rice

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Blogging from Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, Emily Rice, a research scientist in the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, is working with a collaborator to model the atmospheres of low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and giant gas planets, including descriptions of their chemistry and clouds. A major new exhibition about the future of space exploration opens at the Museum this fall.

For this trip, I made an unfamiliar journey to a familiar destination: Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. I have visited Lowell almost 10 times in the past seven years, but until this trip I was traveling to Flagstaff from Los Angeles, where I was studying astronomy at University of California, Los Angeles. For this, my first trip to Lowell since becoming a research scientist at the Museum, I spent 14 hours taking three flights from bustling New York City to tranquil Flagstaff.

Tags: Exoplanets, From the Field

Podcast

Podcast: Under the Sea, Inside the Mind

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Beneath the waves, ocean-dwelling animals such as dolphins, whales and manatees lead purposeful lives. In this podcast from the Milstein Science Series, three scientists discuss the results of recent studies on the intelligence and self-awareness in these animals.

Listen to the discussion led by Dr. Lori Marino, senior lecturer in neuroscience and behavioral biology at Emory University; Roger Reep, neurobiology professor at the University of Florida; and Hal Whitehead, professor of cetacean science at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. The talk was moderated by Melanie Stiassny, Axelrod Research Curator in the Museum’s Department of Ichthyology.

This podcast was recorded at the Museum on March 6th, 2011.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes ( 1 hour, 10 mins, 84 MB)

Tags: Brain, Podcasts

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From the Field: Sunsets, Sunrises, and Studying Stars

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Blogging from the Kitt Peak National Observatory in the Sonoran desert in Arizona, Jackie Faherty, a research scientist in the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, is on an observing trip this month to study brown dwarfs and low-mass stars that are potential hosts to exoplanets. A major new exhibition about the future of space exploration opens at the Museum this fall.

One of the rituals that I follow without fail at a telescope is watching the sunset and sunrise.  It is an essential part of any observing run and a wonderful marker of how our work night begins and ends. Night five at Kitt Peak provided a spectacular sunset, with perfect pink and red puffy clouds on the horizon. This is actually terrible for observing as the pesky clouds interfere with collecting data from way out in the cosmos. Luckily, a few hours into the evening the majority of weather blew off, and I was able to take high-quality data.

Tags: Exoplanets

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