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302 - AGU Part II, Dune or dune not, there is no dry (ice)


It didn't realize we were recording. I mean, any we were recording. I mean, yeah, you're giving me you're gonna have to make a lot of choices here. I'll say that. Right. Sort of dot com. You're listening to science sorta. Science sort of. You're listening to episode three hundred and to I'm your host Ryan. And joining me to talk about things that are science things that are sort of science and things that wished they were science centered around the theme of AG, you part to dune or do not. There is no dry ice, which may be one of the more convoluted themes we've ever come up with. But joining me to discuss the conversations and the reasons for them is Patrick over there, and Charlie you guys. So neither of you were able to attend AG you this year. But I went and Eboni even I went and tried to cover it to the best of our ability. I'm I definitely always feel very intimidated at a Jew as covering it as press because there's like real reporters there right people from actual news organizations. But you know, I'm usually one of the few people walking around with a microphone. It's like everyone either has a full production crew with their camera and lighting and all that stuff or people are just taking notes on. Hadn't paper, and then writing these amazing stories, and then there's me right in the middle just with a microphone try not to look like Davis. Did you ever go to AG for science reasons? Patrick are- mostly just going because it was nearby when we lived in Santa Cruz area. I've been at least two times I can remember where I presented. Yeah. So I've been for centuries. I just I just always felt like you just got lost in that meeting though. Huge was so huge and the nature my science, I was always kind of on the border of of being super relevant. They're not I feel like everybody actually feels that way. Whether or not they are just because there's so much stuff going on. It was never my favorite meeting. Always just felt like overwhelming. Yeah. But it is it's it's the meeting when it comes to like earth science. So kind of like you can make it there. You can make it anywhere, Charlie. I imagine. This was your meeting for a while. Like your main? You have made a meeting was of litter in planetary science. This is a little too broad for you down in Houston. But I would go to this every year and present throughout grad school in most of my post doc days, mainly because of convenience because I lived within biking distance of Mosconi center in San Francisco. When is when it was held there since it's moved around. I've had less compulsion to go. Because again, it's it's such a broad meeting that I feel like I can't really further my science and network nearly as well as I can and smaller symposiums and workshops guys. Brought that up because. Yeah, it's a huge meeting. I like that. It's a huge meeting. Just because it feels important when you're there like it feels like stuff is happening. And names are you know, the names that you hear like actual big names. And like, you know, governors tell by how many how many pastel colors they have attached to their name tag. Yeah. The little banners and the name tags, and so one of the one of the things I always like get nervous about is have I represented the diversity of topics at the meeting with the shows, we produced so that's one of the reasons is you're producing more shows than ever Senator on you. And then at the end of the day. I'm kinda just like it's a chance for me to get my friends in a room and promote their research a little bit. And that's actually what our first interview today is all about. So it's myself, Tom, and rob who are fellow grad students of mine at Wyoming Thomas still there, but rob is now graduated and moved on and they both do kind of sentimentalities stuff. And I got to talk to Tom right after he had finished his official AG you talk. And so it was kind of fun. I think to go from a very formal presentation with your adviser right there in the audience to just chatting with me on the microphone not really knowing anything about what they do other than they talked about particles hopping around on dunes. So let's go take a listen, I'm being -joyed by Thomas. But you go Tom Wright, and Robert Mahone, and you go by rob, obviously, he goes by Robert Mann, Robert man, and we were we were all at one point in our lives of the university of Wyoming. But rob your now at the university of New Orleans, and you guys have an abstract. That was presented as a talk by Tom with your co authors, Kate Leary, Brandon McCoy and swim on how do you say the last name saliva on notch? Bonn. So I'm knocks Bod and the title of your paper was on symbol distributions of particle hop distance and travel time over equilibrium dunes. So first things first, I think this interview will have more talk of hops that's not about beer than anything ever. But something we'd like to do for people who have somewhat wordy titles is can you break down your title in like, more, plain English and kind of tell people just what the title of your abstract and talk about well, first of all I wanted the unsolvable part from the title of the talk that was on the on the actual talk itself because I I've gone back on what that actually means. But we're talking about probability distributions of the transport distances of particles from when they are moved by the flow so particles sitting on the bed is picked up by the flow because of forces on the particle and it moves some distance and then it stops somewhere at sometime later. And we're this is something that people have thought a lot about. But we're talking about this behavior over sand dunes or bed forms is actually what a more general term. Okay. So a bed form in this instance. This is a sand dune is a type of bed form. Yeah. A sand. Dune is probably a specific bed form and a bed form in general is like a periodic self organizing structure made of usually sand. When a granular bed is sheared by a fluid. Okay. And put the fluid in this case is air while it's water or air. Oh, so you can get water dunes too. Yeah. Yeah. So this particular work focused on dunes on riverbeds, sandy river's. Okay. And so can you give us like a working definition of what it dune is for people who are only familiar with the sign level and not don't don't think about this. And. Yeah, Aidan let's think of dunes as a state of a sandy bed. Right. And so when when dunes are stable, it's because there's not really a working definition. I guess it's it's a periodic structure as opposed to a flat bed. Okay. So so like, the ideas, you you. Shear bed with a fluid, and if you have the right combination of like grain size and the gravity of the planet. You're on and the viscosity because we know there are on other plant, right, right? Which is really cool that we know that. Yeah. And the, you know, the right combination of gravity viscosity of the fluid the density of the fluid and the velocity and stresses. You know applied by the fluid on the bed, then you sometimes dunes form. So it's like the equilibrium configuration of the bed under those conditions. That's kind of geoscientist do you guys identify as you say, you're sediment, tala GIS or sounds like to me. But maybe like fluvial GIO morphology is is kind of like, I tell people because there was a south park episode about it. I tell people different things depending on who the people are. Interested anymore? If I want to continue the conversation, I'll say set of intelligence or Jim morphology, if maybe not then I might tell them that I do sediment transport in the eyes glaze over sometimes. Yeah. My my general answer to most people is like unless they're in my field is they asked me what I study and I say well, sediment transport in rivers. And so when you were when you you mentioned particles, are we just talking about like a particle in his instances the grain of sand. Yeah. And it's usually sand because mud and gravel don't really like to make bed forms. They will under like a small range of conditions. So in mud the particle size is too small and and gravel the particle sizes too. Big. Yeah. Yeah. Or like in mud in mud. The particles stick together, and that's a whole nother problem. And then in gravel it's like usually the size of the bed forms that. You would get if there were bed forms are smaller than the size of the gravel. And so that doesn't make them. That's that's kind of how I think of it. Anyway, it's like there's a range of conditions where gravel can make bed forms. But. Actually, the the stable bed form height has to be bigger than the height of the size of a grain. And like, maybe there's like a stable bedroom height. But you can't you just get like little sheets of gravel that are a little bit higher than maybe their bed forms, but they're really like hard to identify. They don't really take the form that you see with like really nice sandy bed forms. And so a dune is just something that forms when the sediment of a certain size is subjected to a certain kind of flow from a fluid. Yeah. And so, and you guys you're always involve a lot of math. So that like there's mathematical equations that are clear controlling this process of you're trying to use to describe this process. Totally. Yes. So we're interested in what the fundamental physics are of the fluid interactions with the sediment, grains on the bed that control the motions of those sediment, grains, such that they can build up these structures of dunes and so- mathematics is like many physical processes a good way to describe. Certain physical parameters. Exactly there were there's terminology reasons anatomy of dune. Right. So can you kind of explain to our listeners who, you know. So they can visualize it like if they're seeing a dune what parts are what? Yes. So typically, a June is an asymmetric triangular form if you're looking at it from the side, so it will have a steep face on the downstream side and more shallow face on upstream side. And that shallow faces generally where it's eroding particles are being in trained off off the back side of this June picked up off from from the bed into the flow yet, and and those particles who then moved towards the front of that bed form in general or in front of that dune. And then they will either fall on the front or they will get caught at the very top or the crest we call that. And then that Crestwood avalanche in periodic avalanches. And that's how the dune moves. And that's how. They do appear to migrate downstream generally because downstream because in this instance, we're not talking about wind. We're talking about riverbed. Yes. So we have these dunes forming at some point in the river. And then they've go down the river bed. Yeah. They migrate downstream. And while they migrate. They change shape and call that deforming, and like I like to think of dunes is four dimensional elevations fields. Right. So that's like the bed elevation is evolving in time some three, you know, there's some there's there are three dimensional elevations fields where two spatial dimensions stream lies in cross stream and then time, and so you can study the characteristics of how that field changes in time or how the two-dimensional allegation field changes in time, and you can study that three dimensional field. And then try to relate that to how the particles or moving over that field. And so that's kind of the thing that we're. That were interested in and you guys study this. I mean, we mentioned the equations of mathematical modeling, but the way you build out these equations is by doing experiments with these like stream tables that you guys builds you guys are kind of explain what these experimental contraptions that you you put together for making dunes in the lab the. Yeah. The problem with with studying the physics are really complex, and we don't really understand them. So we do a lot of experiments to try to sort of come with simplified approximations for what's happening in various aspects of the system where we can like we come up with some functional description, that's like a like a physics equation. But it's not really because it's not physics, and it has some tune -able parameter, and then we make a bunch of measurements. And then we find out what that parameter should be based on our measurements. And and then people apply that instead of real physics because real physics are really hard. When you have flow in three dimensions and particles that are acting because. Of the integral of the force of the fluid on the. It's like a it's a really messed up problems. So we do experiments to sort of come up with simplified approximations for how the system when you say like a tuna Bill parameter, do you mean like the speed of the flow of the water like what are those parameters? Yeah. So like, the classic example that I would say think of is like when you're trying to predict the amount of sediment transport, right? So the flux is the the the mass of sediment transported past a point, for example in a river. Right. You have a river. That's transporting sediment. You want to know how much sediment is being moved by the river. That's the flux, and you relate that to the shear stress of the fluid on the bed by a relationship that we and I say, we isn't like the sediment transport geo morphology community has sort of collectively decided at this point that there's an exponent where the shear stress is related is related to the flux by to the power of three halves. And that's something that like, you can observe all the time when people have made all these arguments that's kind of like that makes sense. But really, it's basic. An empirical relationships that like neglects, the complex physics of fluid particle interactions, and it just has fluxes equal to stress to the three halves. And that's something that, you know. That's an example of something you could do how does that relate to the videos? I see you guys showing where it's a dark room with brightly lit particles like a rapidly moving star field like what what's happening. They're showing. These kind of experimental situations were generally trying to isolate very specific parts of this puzzle. And where we can really control the variables of interest. So what he was talking about in terms of coming up with an equation that relates some parameter to some other measurable parameter. When we run these experiments were interested in being able to vary, systematically, which premiered or we're interested in being able to measure things in a very controlled environment. So in this particular case, we were able to control the lighting and the sediment that we used in the experiment in order to. To track particles at the individual particle scale. So those were the kinds of things that you couldn't do that in the field because water might have too much mud in it. So you couldn't see the bed, and or the scale of the river is too deep, for example. So in this particular case, we're trying to control clarity of the water and then pick one steady discharged condition or river velocity condition, essentially, so these stream tables are like they're like this trough that you guys dump a bunch of sediment in some of which is marked. So that glows under like a black lead. I guess and then you have a way of adding water to the flow, and there's a recirculating pump that recirculated, sediment and water. So whatever comes out of the end of the flu just gets pumped right back to the top. This these stream tables, we call them, flew GMs. If we're if we're doing river channel. So there are a long narrow straight basically a rectangle of aluminum and sometimes plexiglass. And so the we put sand on the bed, but. But how about how long of a flu or are you guys working with the one that Wyoming is about eight meters long? Yeah. I just did some experiments in Netherlands in the Netherlands and the flu was like a meter wide and fourteen meters long. So there's there's a fluent Saphal in seeing Anthony falls. That's like like, a meter deep and three meters wide and one hundred meters long or something like the large Hadron collider. Flu gms. Yeah. Yeah. They actually divert part of the Mississippi goes across three countries. No, I'm not even joking. Minnesota. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Facility. And so using these you can basically make micro rivers that you then can experimentally control such that, you can create derive the equations that applied to also large-scale rivers. Totally. Yeah. So to get back to your question about what we were measuring their there's this whole field where we're sort of trying to describe how the mechanics of individual grain motion results in what you see at the macroscopic scale that was the topic of that session. It was like scaling the granular physics to the to the continuum. So so you take this process, that's really complicated at a fine scale, and you describe all of the variability with probability distributions, and then you can generalize that to allow for prediction of things that are happening at a much larger scale. So for example, if you want to model the evolution of a sandbar, and you know, that the probability distribution impartial part. Article hops or something something, you know, something that the pub- probably distribution of particle helps you can you can actually ignore the probability distribution of particle, hops. You can ignore all that fine scale behavior, and derive expressions that are much simpler to describe the evolution of that larger scale like the sandbar or the river. It's the sand sandbar type of dune. No sandbar. Type of bed for larger bed form. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And so you were interested one of the things I took away from your talk was you were seeing particle motion that was happening in discrete chunks of time. That is typically it sounded like if I understood correctly, it sounded like we typically describe particle motion over a longer scale. And you were seeing that when you break it down into smaller scales. There's different types of behavior that you see like these small little hops leading to one large Leib as looking at a one large. Well, actually, I think. That's crazy. Close actually, so people have considered particle, hops. Right. And particle hop seemed to be sort of the the fundamental unit of motion, right? Like, a particle is sit resting on the bed, and then it moves, and then it comes to rest, and that's like a that's like one motion Salteri, right? But when they're. Signals transmitted. Yeah. And what I realized was that when their bed forms actually particles make several of these saute shins, and then like as the bed forms of all the topography is going up and down and some particles are becoming part of the topography and other particles are going from being topography to now being on the sort of active layer on the surface of the bed form, and there's a scale of motion that is important that represents sort of how far particles travel between the time that they're part of topography till a time that they're part of topography later. I guess if that makes sense, and it can be multiple, hops. Okay. Until like is that more or less what you found and we're trying to describe mathematically in your talk. Or was there a bigger picture to your talk that I didn't quite pick up on? Yeah. So there's there's a hypothesis or I wouldn't say it's a hypothesis. It's kind of something everyone thinks is true and sort of knows. But no one's ever really figured out. How to describe the processes and tell you. Project to address it. But yeah, there's this idea that basically the transport distances. A particles are connected to the link the length of the bed forms, so how far particle moves okay is related to the links of the bed forms, right? And it's something that kind of everyone knows size dunes would have different part different distance of particle hop. Exactly. Well, so so that's the thing. It's like, we don't assume we're just like hops like, I don't know how far particles move. And like what I tried to do is really clarify. What we tried to do is really clarify. The fact that like there are hops. And then there is the scale of motion that's related to do Neville Lucien, and it can consist of multiple, hops. So so there's there's models for the physics of assault Haitian. And the point really is that like the physics of Saltaire don't really apply because multiple of them can be linked together skill evolution this notion that we have in our community that. Attempts to relate, these individual hops or Saul tation lengths to the length of a dune originate from the blown ripple and dune community. So we're observations existed of dunes under air instead of water. That was shearing the sediment and causing them to move. In those cases, what turns out to be a very different type of bed form a much smaller. What we call ripples in our community are in that case related to the single hop distances. And so that has sort of pervaded into the literature and into the mind of just general sentimentalists. You guys are finding is that there's something fundamentally different about wind based dunes versus water-based or or their ripples in water as well. There's something fundamentally different about I don't know if I want to go here. Overextend what your results were trying to say it wasn't trying to push you in that direction. Might it might mean that there's something fundamentally different between like ripples that are set by the scale of Saltaire and bed forms or dunes that are set where where the particle transport distances between the time spent inside the topography consists of multiple saute shins at that actually might be that might be thing. If you find out that's the thing come back and talk about it will be like, oh, we'll site you came up with. Right helps interviewing techniques are there. Places. People can go see like river renamed Oomen's at an absolutely most people probably live within a few hours of a sandy river and many of these sandy rivers or shallow enough that or even have portions of the river that you can access and walk along and anywhere. If you're standing in an in a or something like that, it may be shallow enough that you can walk out there, and you can see these dunes. Oftentimes, if there's a flood in town, and there's any sandy sediment floating on the. Sitting in the street. It might get funneled into your gutter, and you might see dunes the next day that got dried out I used to see those all the time in Laramie. I see him all the time in New Orleans now, I bet so they're quite ubiquitous com. So it's one of those things while people start looking for them. They'll probably start finding them. Yeah. Sure. Do they do they affect the flow of the river? Or like did they have an effect on the rivers? I I want to say life history traits. But like the way the river moves and changes its flow over time. Yeah. Totally that's sort of one of the big reasons we care about them is the fact that when they're stable they make the bed of the river more rough. So by making the river more rough if you think of roughness on the bed as like resistance to flow, then when when you supply a discharge or when a discharges supplied. This is getting very close to the everything in geology is a sexual innuendo. Bedding discharges. Yes. Supplying a discharge. So when you supply discharge the depth of the flow is controlled by how rough the bed is basically. So the discharges partitioned into velocity and depth. And so if there's dunes on the bed of the river the flow is going to be deeper for a given discharge supplied from upstream. So that that like that's something actually care a lot about in the Netherlands because they have these levees that are protecting all the people from the rivers that are higher than the places people live, and so they want to know how much water they can let out of a dam before the Levy floods and they have to like predict what dunes you're going to do as part of an interesting and predict things is to have an equation that works exactly it's a figure out how the equation works. Best. You have to do these float fluid experiments. Yep. That's really cool. I also we hear so much about especially now that you're in New Orleans like we hear about river discharge having big downstream downstream effects, but like downstream in both the literal and ecological sense in terms of like. The floral and final communities at the Gulf of Mexico. The fertilizers we use and everything. So I imagine understanding flow rate for these big river systems is gonna make a big difference in. How we understand that? Totally. That's that's definitely true. Yeah. And on top of that I would say one of the motivators for this project initially for some of the work that we were doing looking at not just the scales of downstream transport, but the scales of cross stream transport. So when what the influence of roughness on the bed like dunes, how that results in particles, not just moving in the downstream direction with the flow, but moving across the river, how that motion of sediment across the stream balances the motion of sediment off the banks towards the center of the streams to help understand better. The processes involved in setting up the width of a river, for example, in the width relative to the depth of that river in if dunes play a part in partitioning, sediment towards the banks more. So than would be predicted from just looking at say a flatbed, which doesn't send particles as as rapidly to the banks. So for a river to have dunes has to be like silty or. India ah guess, so if you have just like a rocky river like I would think where I would try to go trout fishing or not as likely to see these dunes. Also, this might be completely off the rails. But like I fascinated by the ideas of what rivers were like before there were plants. Right. This. This is definitely a discussion with me. Is it really was rivers like this. Drying credence. Streams that's a that's a pretty pervasive notion in the community as well. And there are a lot of reasons that we think that that many people think that this is stuff you guys think about I'm not totally off. This is totally like on a daily hourly basis. Cool. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I I think it's so cool that like much like life on earth, the water that supplies everything that life needs to live. Also is evolving in tandem with us in the way that the water moves around the landscape is this interactive process between life and geology. And I think that's just I don't know. I think it's kind of poetic and kinda cool total in the case of rivers. Specifically, you mentioned braiding meandering rivers. Right. So there's there's a lot of discussion in our community. That's it's relatively recent about whether plants on land on the banks in the flood plains. They have the ability to trap, sediment when the Bank or when the river goes into flood stage and flows over. The banks, and so they can trap sediment, which is generally finer grain, which means that the banks will be more cohesive because they're made more out of clay's. Whether that influences how stable they are and how the river can change its with versus its depth, and how that changes its planned form. What we call it the presence of bars in the middle of the of the river and so forth. There are two types of rivers. There's not really there's there's two members to end members there's meandering and braided rivers, and there are some people that will tell you that before vascular plants existed. There was no such thing as a meandering heard that I've been told that as in. I don't mean. But that's just my that's my bias. I spent a lot of time looking at very old rocks. Where I've seen what I believe they're sediments lodge. We need to find a meandering river on Mars. And then you'll there there are and there are meandering place. It's on Mars unless there have been arguments made for vascular plants on Mark. No. Potentially the Bank material that was stable to allow those rivers to meander might have been frozen. Oh basis to that could have caused that cohesion all you needed. Something to cement the sediment together. It doesn't have to. So when we say, vascular plants, we're talking about terrestrial plants that have a root structure that's going to hold the soil together. Right. Some traffic line so forth. To rocks into sediment in the first place. Like a lot of small fine scale sediment exists in part because plants are there to make it happen. What you know, just as an extreme case of this. There are meandering rivers that you can see on the tops of ice sheets that are where the bed is made out of ice and the sentiment if you will which is crystals float on top and they're eroding and the ending because the Connectix of the fluid causing heat generation on the Outer Banks and so forth, south really cool. So it doesn't necessarily require plants specifically, but other forms of cohesion can can also resulted in that I have I have two more questions for you guys. First question is is what's coming next for both of you? Like, what are your kind of what what it or you don't have to answer if it's like super secret top secret science stuff? But just in terms of like where you know. Now that you've presented this this data, and this idea here at this conference, obviously a larger publication come out of this. But like, what are the future kind of projects that you're thinking about or what are the future questions or? To answer. What the work that you're doing? Well, I guess short term I measured a really tiny area in the experiments that I presented today, and I just did some experiments where I measured much larger area. And so I can address the problem of these aggregates steps that. I was talking about in the basically, I I I'm scaling up this research and one day I'd like to hope I I'd like to finish my PHD, wouldn't we all? That's a good. That's an excellent short term future goal might end up. Not being short term is. Dungeon just takes motivation. Yeah. That's that's sometimes in short supply. I'm standing offer me. I so I just started a faculty position at the university of New Orleans. So I'm working on building. Lavish villas on building instrumentation for a flu m- at a fairly large scale as well. As trying to start up some field projects on some Delta's down in Louisiana and looking at flow incentive interaction in vegetation, apropos to what we were talking about just a few seconds secure. And so my biggest future plan is to try and recruit new graduate students to come help me work on some of those projects do legitimately have a lot of high school and undergrad listeners. So. My next question that I have I do have one final question is how can people follow along with your research? Like, I know you're onto their Twitter. Oh, well, I'm taking me on Twitter, but I got on Twitter. And then I never looked at it again, or like where can people find you guys online or follow along with your research, if they want to get updates on stuff as it moves forward or apply to work with you? Yes. So I'm pretty easy to find on the Twitter's and elsewhere. So you can find my Twitter as I believe at Robert C M A H O N all linked to that in the show notes. And then I have a website for my lab group, which is WWW dot bed form dot org. Which shockingly wasn't already taken. Well, that's exciting. It's a good. That's a good URL. And Tom you have a website because I thought it was only every you. So I went and I printed out your resume. Imagine it's the one you had to make as part of the fundamentals or research client. I don't don't give him in that euro. That one might still exist for me. I know my still exist but mine exists, and I had them port before Brendan left. I had him port. My actual euro on top of my university, Wyoming, your L, but if you're on a slow browser my old, I Wyoming page that I built would load, and then my new page takes it takes over. So like if you can stop that right before my new page loads, you can probably still access wheeled page. Just kind of a cool little internet. Nice artifact. I'm looking up what my Twitter is. My final question for you guys is if you had the opportunity to study dunes on any other planet besides earth, which planet would you pick titan titan. I figured you guys guessing if I had to guess, I thought you were going to say titan Mars Mars is boring. Marcy. Stop boring. There's fluid bias as it is it just because you want a liquid fluid. Part of it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, methane dunes transporting ice crystals transporting methane ice crystals. Like more could you want it smells? I bet it smells terrible. I love that smell you. Love the smell of methane. Sure. He smells fart. I still don't have my I think all professors do isn't that a requirement. Well, I think Tom looks is up a question. I'll ask you since you talked about recruiting students if a person is in geology program right now for their undergrad. What are the kind of courses that they should be looking at taking to be prepared to come work in a lab like yours, the standard geology curriculum? I still strongly value field experiences feel courses maths and physics. I can't stress enough because as a maths maths. Yes. As very rich. Would you know as an undergraduate I wasn't as well prepared in math and physics as I would like to have been, and I think I. When you're at visors tell you to do, well and calculus and physics trust them. It's useful. And it makes makes the world a lot more interesting and tractable also pistons, did you say Satistics already said mass which implies it month behind because there's the cocktail and then the applied math of statistics. But noble, there's calculating this probability theory more than statis- anyway. Yeah. I mean. Yeah. Definitely statistics are good. I think we can all agree on that here. If there's one thing science sort of sand for statistics are good Beijing statistics. Do you agree with that not as you did just say probability about or we don't have time? We're out of time. For dealing. We've been come back on and promote the works of the good Reverend bays later date. I have my Twitter. It's Thomas C Ashley with an at symbol before. It. That's how Twitter works K you'll you'll learn once you start using it. I'll figure it out. All right. Well, if people are listening to this go go at him in a tweet. So his phone starts picking him. And he wonders why everyone is suddenly sending tweets and with that. Thank you both for joining me telling me a little bit about your work. This fascinating. Thank you. All right. So that was my chat with Tom and rob fund to catch up with them and was very excited. When I mentioned the idea of dunes on other planets that they were super into that. I would have been really disappointed if they were only terrestrial based dunes. Right, charlie. No, definitely I'm trying to remember this book. I'd read a long time ago in grad school that I loved I think is like dune by Frank. Herbert knows like that gold bag older or something like that is called like the physics of blown sand and desert dunes. It's amazing book that guy wrote the seminal book on on alien physics and he brought it out of boredom during World War Two during the African campaign. So is this English guy that was in Saharan Africa and just started taking notes on everything just kind of crazy. Yeah. It's totally crazy that they just if when it doubt they just start writing stuff down that they see. Yeah. Shoot that Nazis every once in a while. And then do some doing physics dunes are kind of crazy because they're not the kind of thing. Like if you had ever just asked me if you take all the sand in the world and blow it around with some wind. What happens and I would say you'd have some varying sized piles of sands. I would never predict that a dune would form it's kind of a cool emergent property, and yet what are those barkin dunes did actually singing south, no barkin dunes? The this like crazy, Chevron shape, and they or crescent shape and the self replicate the true to sort of structure the consume a wind energy gradient and create a structure of lower entropy, the is self replicating. Wow. So there's like dune DNA or. There's an element of life. Yeah. Living dunes, basically, and they're yeah. They're surrounding the North Pole of Mars and in the larger desert's on in America, including death valley, and the Sahara feel like if there's something that happens on Mars if you're going to have it happen on earth. It's probably going to be in death valley type place. Dry and extreme it esteem really starting to come together. Dry and extreme makes you thirsty. How's it coming together for you? What did I say we are with well? See you you knew before the episode started of because you did the interviews, but we were talking about, but Charlie, and I we just had to sort of take the take the theme as it came in. Now, the pieces are starting to fall, and it just like the listener would be experiencing. The theme and the stories start to conceal make sense. Well, let's see how much since they make after we've had a drink which we will doing in our next. Episode of science sort of an particularly not an episode from AG you because AG is a conference is somewhat renowned in the geosciences for. It's reached a point where it's not even that they're they make free beer available. It said they start like forcing beer on you at around. It felt like it got earlier and earlier every day. It was like three thirty maybe. When you know, they still had coffee out and the beers just started flowing, and it was this year. Like they were so on top of getting the beers out that there were just be tables with cups just for you just walked up took a Cup. There was no line is an improvement. So with that in mind, Patrick or did you have to wait in line for whatever you're drinking now? Well, no. My house doesn't have a line in from the. Bar. But I have I have a port wine. Yeah. So port wine is something I used to enjoy feel like about. Fifteen or twenty years ago a lot more than I have lately. But I'm in Europe now and figured I was close to Europe. And when you say now you literally mean for right now. Because apparently where you're sitting is about the not be Europe as soon as they can figure out there. Well, brexit. Yeah. I guess organizationally. Be Europe anymore. I'm not sure changing the locations going to be quite as easy. But yes, a port wine was something needs to drink a lot thought. I'd give it a shot here. I probably haven't had it in a while. And so this is I don't think this especially Goodwin. But I bought it and now drinking Dow's trademark finest reserve port, obviously from Portugal, and like it can bring you about it. Apparently, the Symington family owns the swim and six members of the family still managed much of the winemaking into the blending, and I will go into sip here are you apart guy. Not really I prefer like a less sugary. Yeah. In general, it's sweeter than I remember from long ago. So I don't know if I just don't know what I'm doing choosing one or or. Yeah, they really are that sleep because there's all the different like tawny versus ruby. Right. Yes. Yeah. It is a thing. I can't tell you. Oh, neither guy. And then we use some port when Julie mix her globe, which is like a traditional Swedish mold wine, but it's you know, it's part of a much larger concoction. So it doesn't it doesn't end up overly sweet. But I've had ports that I really very much enjoy. But it's not the thing. I keep around on hand. Right. Well, I guess I've been noticing them at the end of the after dinner drinks are big a bigger theatre. And so I would just I started seeing them listed a lot. And I was like, oh, you know. I should I should buy some Portland. They last a long time. Right. Yeah. That's the whole point not like a normal yet. Right. Yeah. My dad's into them. It will always like pour me a little glass after dinner over at his house, but fortified with more alcohol, right? So they can like mad dog twenty twenty. Exactly. Because they were originally made for like sailing vessels. That were going to be out at sea for a long time in the line needed to stay good and not go bad. So it's one of those like it's like the IP of wines. I guess so called it out. I pave once. Ryan how twenty nine hundred seven reports. And I guess one of the east coast hazy ports. What about you, Charlie? What are you having? Nothing. Nothing. Exciting hit some one PM. I'm in my office and still just opened up a drawer to my desk and had choice of wild Turkey or. Yeah. I got that. Same Chee cold brew, much green tea that I had less time or I had a few cans of lequel. So that's what I'm gonna crack. Open a tangerine will cry for you. Uncouth americans. He was kansin based beverage LaCroix. It's like if water remembered citrus existed. Tis. But like tangerine, I guess if you're looking for in your life without any sweetness. Tide raiding. There's not really much to say on ROY. Yeah. It's been a huge service to people trying to reduce alcohol consumption or quail call because it's like a thing to crack. Open hold at night. See that. I definitely have friends that are that are super about the LaCroix, and we'll can talk and passionately about the flavors. They prefer. I think it's the best. I'll have one if it's if it's the option available, but it's it has yet to become something that I seek out. I haven't I haven't bought in that hard yet. But instead, I'm having a braven brewing company script script IT a WPA, which is a braven is a brewery out of Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. And I got the beer because it has a atler d- camera on the label. That's perfect for us. So if you guys look will drop an image in the slack, and you can see it. But it believe it is a raven with buck's Antlers. I think that's why it's braven. So I didn't have a strong desire because that's beer for any Kitson. It's raven with breakfast Panthers. That's why it's a brave. Yeah. I think some conversely evolved clearly since we're both dinosaurs. Right. Yeah. It's very very good clean drinking WPA nothing too crazy or different about it other than it being well-made and enjoyable, but I just really liked the label, and I couldn't resist couldn't resist something that was so reminiscent of the Braque yellow. Yeah. Call have you seen high Wests, boo? That's another antler Everett. Save it for the show. I guess why you told us about now, Charlie go get a bottle, and then feature it at a future recording. Because that work at one PM. I can only talk about it. That's why. Maybe towards the end of the term. When grades or deaths. I do know professors have whiskey in their desk. I'm just not that brave yet. Very old school choice will get tenure. Charlie. I feel like I should have made go last in the rotation. Because my next interview is with Mike O'Connor whose research works on thawing permafrost and ice and the release of CO two, and you're having a I guess we're both technically having beverages that really c o two, but yours is just water. We're gonna we're gonna talk to relevant. I don't know. Just try to just reaching for any transition at all. Talked to Mike laid on his Mike. Fan. Two. Bring. Slow. So I'm being joined by Mike O'Connor who is a doctoral candidate at the university of Texas at Austin, and according to your website. I'll just read right often, you study hydrological phenomenon in the real world and model them numerically to better understand our societal and global problems. And I love the first line of your dissertation in one minute. And I might steal this. My dissertation on one minute over my website, but diffusing the Arctic carbon bomb. So let's talk about your research. Maybe broadly a little bit, and we can talk specifically about what you were presenting here at AG does that sound good. Absolutely. So what what kind of scientists do you identify as when people ask you that answer changes, depending on who's asking I get that a lot of people. Yeah. People bob. And weave with the whatever the situation is when explaining it what it is. They do. I absolutely operate on the on the nexus of a number of different disciplines, I'm trained as a hydrologist I'm trained. I studied water flow. That's that's my job. But the general public doesn't really understand hydrology as as a field. So I usually either say I'm earth scientists or a climate scientist because I really what I do impacts. Both also saying you're climate scientists in a crowded room of muggles, actually, raises some eyebrows. We're calling them muggles. So you're you see the university of Texas as Hogwarts, I guess. Maybe it's more. The what's the the the one in Germany, the bigger one? Yeah. The ones that have like the staff's instead of ones. Now, it's a wonder it's a wonderful huge place. Yeah. It's it's it's no Hogwarts. We we we don't we know like ten people in our department. There's fifty thousand people there. So how does being a hydrologist put you in a room where you can speak about what's happening with Arctic carbon? Okay. Awesome question. Yeah. There is a enormous amount of carbon in soil twice as much carbon. As in the atmosphere is in soil. Okay. And half of that's in Arctic permafrost, really half of it. Okay. So we're not talking about like Arctic ice we're talking about land soil yard. We're talking about soil in the Arctic, and specifically soil that has been frozen for a while. Turns out we've turned up the temperature on the whole whole system. And that means that such some frozen soil previously frozen soil is now thawing, but becoming water it's becoming a slurry of water and dead organic material, and that is really good food for microbes, and then those microbes microbial fart and release carbon dioxide and methane. I mean, it sounds almost like what literally would happen if you just opened your freezer and just left it on the left. It open things would thought and then start to rot, and it's going to get real gross real fast. Absolutely. And that's what we're looking at is as really it's it's an enormous doc of of of carbon. It's as much carbon as as in the atmosphere. Wow, right now right now, it's trapped it might not be trapped. My and we're not sure. So the reason we're not sure like it should be relatively simple question. But the problem is that water controls the whole dynamics of the system if it's damp, cold wet. Saturated really that means there's very little oxygen. The microbes will make methane methane is a really really potent greenhouse gas twenty five times more potent CO two if it's drier, if it's if it's warmer, if it's more well drained than you make CO two which is less potent but lasts longer. And now you overlay on that whole problem that when it's cold microbes work less than when it's hot. So you have arguably more production of a less potent gas versus less production of a more potent gas, depending on what the water condition is. Nobody knows how much water is going to be there. So interesting because because we don't know once the ice melts isn't going to drain. Exactly. That's why we need to start at the very beginning with the water cycle. Okay. So what kind of data do you? Collect you go out in the field or high actually collect about the simplest data that you can possibly collect. I get water levels from soils that are really shallow. Like a three feet down you stick a tube in the ground. And you're literally measure the height of the water in the twos. Up in the Arctic is up and they'll ask. Oh, yeah. We do that in a across wide areas. We measure the depth to the permafrost the ice step. You just stick until you can't stick in the sex anymore. Right. That's the very scientific process. It's it's a we call it the well we brought a field assistant from Hong Kong out there and she called it just her weapon around. Yes. A thought probe. And then the last thing you need to understand are the are the properties of of the soil. So how well do they transmit water? How much carbon is in the soil that you're looking at how old are they transmit heat? And so if you're thinking about this at all from math perspective, if you're if you're listening as a scientist, this is just outlined Darcy's law. I've never heard of that. It's the rule for all groundwater the amount of flow. You have is the product of how steep the hill is right water goes downhill. Yeah. So the amount of flow. You have you gotta you gotta have a steep hill for flow. You have to have a thick aquifer. Right. A thick amount of flow. So big area. And you also need to have a soil that is permeable. So the product of those three things gives you flow. And so we go out and measure, those three things that's really cool. That's it seems incredibly elegant, but probably are scaled up to continental well the next, and then that's when it gets a little bit more complicated. That's where we're we actually have a fair amount of NASA money to try and Brown truth. What we got in our small locations to satellites that look at things like soil moisture and look at ground differ mation, right? When when ice freezes it expands ten percent. So you can see the ground shift. We don't talk often about how weird it is. That ice gets bigger. When it freezes does there's a little bit a weirdness to that. Yeah. There's water super weird. What is responsible for a lot of like how earthworks we're alive because because ice freezes from the top not the bottom, right? So weird. Yeah. And so is that what you were presenting an age, you do should we shift into talking a little bit? I can let me read the title of your abstract. We play a game here on the on the podcast where I read the title. And then you have to say it back to plain English help. Your title is an one thing we've noticed that is a problem with this game. Is that a lot of times? What you've right as the tide of your abstract might not be what you end up actually presenting on. So you're allowed to divert defer to that. Okay. Cool. All right. So you you presented a poster yesterday. Yep. Called predictability of variable Arctic soil, hydraulic and thermal properties and implications of such variability on future thaw. Yes. So that to me does seem like what we've just been talking about little bit. Yeah. Basically do the plants and the slopes that you see on the surface predict what the soil looks like beneath your feet. Okay. So this is the first time plants have been brought up. So how do plants factor into the work you've been doing Lance? I mean, only in that they're an indicator. Okay. They're an indicator of the subsurface. So would he we don't have any trees as far north as we are? There are no trees in the Arctic circle or north of the Arctic circle where north of the Brooks range in northern Alaska. We're actually not too far away from the we're in an war where. They're about to drill a bunch of oil. I hope not is that happening. It's seems like they want to. So I guess. So it's worth mentioning that like much like when you go up a mountain. There's eventually a tree line that works latitude on earth to right? So let's get above a certain latitude trees just can't really hang anymore. Okay. So you're above that. We're above that. And the reason the trees can't grow is because the soil is frozen. So the the roots die. They can't get that those roots and deep enough to survive, but there are trubs there are lots of Woody shrubs. And so you can see where there are shrubs. You have a different type of soil when they're then where there grasses where the grass is you have a different type of soil than where you have something called tusks, which are real weird plant that it looks like Dr Seuss's made they look like. Yeah. The Laura x just little tufts of stuff, but anyways, I am not a botanist and ecologist at any sort all I use the plants for is as a clue for what's the soil like underneath them. Or do you collaborate with plant people or like what the the there's there's a couple of botanists at Columbia that are that are really good at identifying like super like species specific what plant I'm. Looking at is. And basically, we've been working together and to figure out like, okay, how how much detail is the least amount of detail that we need right. Right. So you take all these measurements. And then it sounds like you're creating a model or just where the math comes in. Yes. And then you're trying to test that scaled up model against a much bigger space. And is that what you were presenting on with your with your poster, this was not a scale up. Poster. We didn't get to the stage of building the scale up. What what we did more? So was test. The impact of we found like three unique types of soils and three unique types of columns. Right. Okay. Like, these these three types there's either a thick organic layer, a thin organic layer or a thick. But impermeable organic layer interesting. Those are basically across the two hundred sites. That's what we've found broken down, which is a nice simplification of it. And I fed him into the model to to basically ask the question. Do we care does this variability effect hydrogen? And is that affect you're looking for the difference between methane production and c o two production. No, it's just the fact of is drained or not. So intellectually drained is it cold is it wet or dry. So the drained is the direct effect, and then the whether or not it's methane or CO two is the indirect then there's a biogeochemical model that goes into the does get more complicated. Sure. Does why is it always getting? Modelling. We're trying to simplify it. And then as soon as you simplify it you realize like this doesn't cover nearly as much as I needed to cover. Yeah. I mean, but that being said, I that's why I did this study was to try and figure out do we need to go to this really complicated level. And it turns out in most cases. Yes, we do. But there are only three categories that that matter and we can predict where they are. You have an interesting twist on all this in that you also have some policy experience, and you talk about your outreach in one minute on your website as well. And you say that you connect water science water policy, and I really liked again. I really like tell you right this. I'm going to steal some stuff from your website, go for it. And you said water is life, and it can lead to some pretty ugly legislative fights, which is incredibly true, especially I mean in the west in particular. But yes, absolutely. It's always suing each other over water rights because rivers don't care right flow and one St. dams of river upstream from another state or dumps a bunch of pollution that flows from Tennessee to Georgia like that's a fight. Yep. So so, yeah, can you tell us a little bit about how the research you do? But also just your general role. Hydrologist as affected your ability to talk to policymakers, and I'd be lying. If I told you that my Arctic hydrology work is critically important for water resources, it's critically important for global climate. But it's it's it's not a water resources issue. And that's really what got me into the field in the first place, you've got Arctic carbon bomb on one side of your research life. We're trying to figure out how bad it's going to be when when Arctic thaws, and then in the meantime, and just in general, I mean, you you you take a dissertation project. It's available to you at the school. And this was one that was really compelling to me. But in the meanwhile, you know, you have to recognize where your funding comes from your funding comes from the government, and the government needs to have a voice of science in it. Otherwise, you know, you you can sit in the staffers office, and they're just going to sort of brush it off, and we need to to defend our our livelihoods in those buildings and we also can show through that defense. How useful we are? Right. So I my background is mostly Texas, water policy and western water policy. Those are the things that we've. Worked on and western is defined as just west of the Mississippi. Yeah. Yeah. The big water. The our exactly the arid states that that really have have some we've talked on the show before about how ridiculous the country is when it comes to being divided by this giant river that kind of doesn't make sense as a water drain and it's two hundred feet deep. I mean, it's like an ocean. It's yeah, it's absurd. But most of what I've worked on is simply not not specific bills, but translations of hydrologic terms and hydrologic science to the policy of things like in Texas. There's a lot of push for new water stored strategies. One thing is called aquifer storage and recovery base. ASR basically, you shove excess water into Iraq. And wait until you you need it. And then you pull it back. Right. Right. And that's better than a lake in Mezin cases because the lake you have a lot of evaporative loss, especially in a state where it gets to one hundred ten in the summer, you probably don't wanna have the water sitting out, and you lose you feet. The per yet. So you're not just volunteering to help out policymakers out of the goodness of your heart. You actually worked in policy. Yes. Louis what was your role when you were working in high was I was I mean as the legislative intern in both cases for committees. Okay. And so a committee would have a Bill come across whether it was like some sort of real through sation of dams or of appropriation of of small streams or a redefinition of waterways or something like that. We just saw happen many cases because of the power structure when I was working in these bodies. I was working on the side of the Bill that was trying to kill it rather than trying to see it forward because there was a lot of expansion into the private sector into public sector work. But yeah, it's generally how can we what science? Do we need to show that this policy? Either is good or bad. Okay. Right. Yeah. Gotcha. And who needs to what stats can we put out on the floor? What stats can we put out to media? What's? Can we put out to our Facebook followers, which of which that is a huge part of government narrowly? Oh, yeah. If you're going to have a Bill that you want either through or not through you can reach out, and, you know, call the offices. Here's the numbers. These are the people that we need to flood the phones of if you're in that office and your phone's ringing off the hook it matters. And we've seen that sort of phone ringing off the hook thing happened where everybody on Twitter is call your Senator call your legislator for more social policy -solutely, but I think there's significant downtime between those events or maybe you could make a call about some science policy to I will say that the calls from what I've seen it works. Best in bursts Burr best their best done when organized. Okay. Because you wanted to what you wanna do is you want to kind of piss off the staffers if they can't answer their phones, then they think that there's a real problem interesting. Yeah. One in the good local examples of this is in Texas. We had a situation where basically groundwater is a private property right in all of Texas. If you buy the land. You own the ground wanna underneath your feet, which is a problem because it flows, right? So if you put a pump in your property, you're stealing your neighbor's groundwater. But legally, you're not right. So you end up with these races arms races of who can put bigger pumps in on their on their land to grab out more water. And then you just deplete the heck out of the really self defeat. It's super stupid. That's a really interesting story. And does I think illustrate how complicated these issues can be to handle legislatively, and scientifically, but I want to ask about what was the reception to you pushing more scientific agenda pushing the scientific data when you were working in policy were they receptive to that. Or do. They just want the data. If it's supported what they were already wanting to do for so in in the Texas ledge, I worked in Texas legend, the US house in the Texas ledge, I was really just test more as an information translator. Okay. So I wasn't pushing a policy agenda, and and because of that they were they were happy to hear what I had to say. Okay. In that. You know, there were some hints thrown in there. Like, you know. As like, I said with the groundwater law. I would put in the policy memo that mathematics will show you that the rule of capture is stealing. Okay. And that's just not. That's not an opinion. That's a scientific fact, but not necessarily too much of an agenda there when working in the US house. There was a clear, right. The that office was a democratic office that office was tasked with pushing democratic bills or word and topping Republican bills. Did you feel hamstrung by that? Or did it generally jive with the data you were trying to get out there? Anyway, I mean, mostly what we were doing was in line with I think that's practice science. That's just sort of how the parties align right now. But there were some cases where I thought we were we were fighting battles that were unnecessary. You know, water isn't partisan inherently. I mean, if you have a drought, everyone is upset when I've heard we talk about, you know, or for oil and war on drugs. But I remember hearing at one point the more wars have been fought over water than any other resource currently the Arab spring was sparked by a water shortage as was the Syrian civil war because you can last a lot longer without oil. Then you can't water. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I can't speak more to those ideas of that. Those are things I've. It my intention was just to emphasize. Oh, yeah. It's super important. If your point that water is life, you know. And yeah, the the issues that we worked on on the committee often were intentionally antagonist thick, and there were some cases where we could have crafted water legislation at least that would have seen movement on the other side and didn't pursue. And I'm not sure if that strategy is part of just the broader democratic. Former what? But that's that was my experience. Most of the time. I was fighting for bills that I really did believe in. Sometimes I was surprised I was fighting for a Bill the that. I'm sure I did believe in but seemed lower priority than when we could actually do by and large. It was a positive experience for. Yeah. Absolutely absolutely up there with doing research. Like are they complimentary to you or no not at all? Which is your which is your baby. Which is what I'm not. I'm not sure. I thought up there with I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No the research. I do does nothing to help the policy work that's gone on. But yes, they're both super important. I do find myself to switch gears. Yeah. It is. Yeah. I do. I was just about to say do famous if I'm doing one for a while takes a very long time to get back into the other. Well, we had to do a little bit of both this week. Because this is the first time, I think I've ever recorded this podcast in a suit. But you're also wearing a suit, which is the weirdest thing we both. I think we both look good. But it not addressed for radio to radio we're dressed up because we both have meetings on the hill, which is DC phrases. I love to get to say because that's the hill. It's not as special a place as people want it to be. But it is just a fun. Little bit of jargon to say. So one thing does during the phone meeting. I think well because the fall meeting is taking place here in Washington DC. They've set up a congressional visit day today on Friday at the end of the meeting and I've participated. In a criminal visit date before. But I had like a handler, and they kind of walked through it. Whereas this seems a little bit more of a scattershot approach to. Let's just get as many scientists up on the hill as we can. But it sounds like with your background and policy. You probably have some effective strategies for managing these kind of meetings. So it was interesting because I've been on the other side of the meetings before I've been the guy listening rather than the guy talking. And so I did kind of have a little bit of an idea of what does a staffer just not care about. Well, so let's explain a little bit. How these meetings were basically, you you or whoever's running your congressional visit day, we'll reach out to the legislative staff, which is, you know, the young people who work in the offices of the UC's ban. Crazy like there's a big by modal history. And so you you get a meeting usually it's not going to be with the actual Representative unless you're coming like when I was in Wyoming and did away when I was meeting with the actual Representative. Because why I'm as state not as many people not as many meetings to deal with. So you go to their office on Capitol Hill. You have fifteen twenty minutes me to talk about whatever it is. You wanna talk about? And so you're sitting in a room you're cross the table from these young people who are going to advise the Representative. And I'm saying Representative because it's both well. Yeah. Congress because it could be Senate or house presentative. And so from there, let's imagine that you're giving us. I anticipate advice who's sitting at the table across from those people like what's best tips and practices for having an effective meeting. They got to know while you're there instantly. Right. You have to have a reason for being there and sometimes just saying increase science funding isn't good enough. Okay. I mean in a lot of cases like that's that's easy everyone on their face police in science, but what you need to walk in. And you say is. I'm here because I'm concerned about the trajectory of the budget of the NSF, okay or something like that. Or I'm concerned about the trajectory of the budget of NASA or I'm concerned about leadership. There's there needs to be a specific issue because that staffer likely is able to have a totally fine twenty minute completely forgettable meeting with you about how important sciences for the world. Not there's anything wrong with that. However, I think it's much more effective. If they report back to the members going to say, what did you do today? And I said I'll I met with person for major you. And what did they say? Well, just said increase science funding. We're moving on is their value and having these meetings, so the other because the US has a two party system right now, if you're meeting with a member of the Republicans, those Ted that tends to be the party that wants to cut science funding, if you're meeting with democrat, they tend to be the ones who at least on the surface will say they're finding increase science funding. Is there value in telling the Republicans about a need for increased science funding? And is there value in just telling the Democrats that like you appreciate their continued support? There is value. Of course. I mean, I know those like you said, it's if it's that vague, maybe it doesn't have the same impact of the same memorabilia. But like, I think I think targeted blitzes are incredibly valuable, and that's why we do these days where we're trying to send as many geoscientists to the one day as we can absolutely. Because then. Then everyone is going to hear from us. And maybe someone starts talking about it creates a narrative. Yes. And it goes in conjunction with with calls. It goes in conjunction with emails kind of thinking. Males are useless. I mean, you can delete those pretty easily, and if you send snail mail it could get lost in security. Exactly, exactly. I think of a conversation with with some employee of that office is critical and does make an impact you'd be surprised. How much of what happens in congress is due to the echo chamber of what happens on that hill. Okay. And not necessarily sure there's constituent issues, but the people's were writing and signing the bills they're human beings, and those human beings have the thoughts that occupy their head are the ones that they hear about most frequently and how important is it to have these meetings just to put a face on what that legislative affairs team member or the members themselves thinks of science, otherwise, we're forgotten right? So we. We don't have lobbying money like we're not there. We're we. We can't go in with an offer that like their campaigns going to get funded because they met with us. It's a bizarre thing because we're essentially advocating for us to keep doing a service of the government, and in many cases. Yeah, there's a party that would rather not provide as many government services. But like someone I did my congressional visit day. Sorry. I cut you know. No, no. When I did my congressional visit day the issue that was at hand was that the house of representatives wanted to continue funding on us at the same level. But the thing they wanted to change was they wanted to get to decide which departments within NSF got what amount of money from that budget, which meant that they were gonna they were gonna like probably gearing more money to research new tack bum. We're going to cut or sciences funding because they didn't want climate change getting stuff. Right. And so like our big ask our specific asks that we were going in the room was while we appreciate you contending doing the fun science. We would also appreciate if you let us decide the best way to allocate funds, and that's the that's the granularity that you need. Yeah. That's this. But I wouldn't have. Known that if we hadn't had like, a legislative affairs person from AG you to coach us through the absolute and even then it's super awkward and super hard. Because it's like, I don't think scientists are built for these kinds of meetings tells there's a reason we've kind of been steamrollered in the special interests world. Yeah. You you need to be a pre a okay with conversations lots of them, you need to be okay with ones that are just explicitly about what do you want? Yeah. Asking and that stuff it's his scientists are not good at the app. Now, we're we're kind of we're kind of passive. Yeah. And we kind of just want you to accept that. What we tell. You is good enough me. And I have the data. Right. Yeah. So you need. So if you had like one big take home message for scientists who are interested in policy and in having an influence a positive influence on policy like, what's if they can meet with legislator. Great if they can make a phone, call great. But like what some of the take home messages, you wish more scientists thought about when they were complaining about funding or science policy in the US, get informed. Honestly, I don't know as much as I should about the science. That are at the government the other thing, that's really important. Yes. So there are plenty of groups that are advocating for you get in touch with them. Like, all the way Jews Facebook, follow GSA, that's geological society of concerned. Scientists all concerned scientists are triple AS these are organsations that actually do have a fair amount of experience. They know what they're doing. And they're putting out all sorts of information for you of of exactly what you need to do. Those those like the best thing an individual can do is hitch their wagon to some to an organization that day support the agenda of and then just how we're used to reinventing the wheel you don't have to do that. We've got a lot of groups in place. I like that I like that. And then if they're maybe pivot back to science before your have up here is there. A take home message that you would like people to remember when thinking about your science up in the artists now. Now, it's a water problem. It's no, you know, what it's a it's a great project for understanding. Why like many different types of science need to work together? Right. I need to know hydrology. I need to know climate. I need to know g chemistry in order to answer. This problem. You gotta talk to abundance from time to time. And you gotta talks about an absolutely, you know. And so I'm not an expert in any one of those fields. But I am pretty good at all of them. So you got to be okay with that just answer the question that's in front of you. So people can follow along with your continued research at Mt. O'connor twelve dot website dot com. Thank you. And I will put a link to that in this episode and one last thing I want to ask you about four wrap up. Is you said that you also do some music is there a place. People can go here. Your music back in Boston, go see an improv show. All right. You do improv in Austin to. Okay. That's we'll do the music for. Oh, you do the music for the improv socially here, the Josie Lawrence. You're like, I'm Laura hall or whoever Linda Taylor. Yup. Yup. So you're the like, let's let's hear that classics. Gone and AG you on the hill. That's really cool. All right. That's how I keep my sanity. Okay. Cool. So I assume if people go to your website, they can find info about upcoming shows and stuff. I sure. Yeah. Yeah. Great. Well, mike. Thank you so much for talking with us you too. Thanks so much. Those my interview with Mike. Thanks so much for chatting with me. I think I mentioned this in the interview, but I haven't actually gone back and edited that audio yet. But I think this is the first time as much as we've joked about it in the past that I actually did record science sort of in a suit suit and tie. Oh. 'cause I that same day that I recorded this interview, I had I got to say one of my favorite phrases. And it's that I have a meeting on the hill, which is slang for going to Capitol Hill for a meeting. I would have never guessed. And because that was the day that AG you did their geoscience congressional visit day or AG or. And Mike, and I are both participating in that. So Mike was actually also wearing a suit. So this is the first the best dressed interview that we've ever had. I think have you seen the new headquarters near DuPont circle. I've been that's their temporary one, but they have like the planets in late into in brass in the in the sidewalk in front of it. And they have like different geophysical equations inlaid in brass and the sidewalk in front of it. This is the new they're building a new headquarters right now. I don't know which one you're referring to the one that's been there for like ten years. Yeah. They're they've been temporary headquarters for a little while. Hey, had friend visiting DC a few years back, and we just happened to walk right by honestly. He he he works for the State Department. I don't know what he does. But he I always this is where issue actually is news. Like what you know? This thing I go. Yeah. And he goes he was at some kind of cult like they put all these like weird symbols and planets in front of it. I'm like, yeah. It is some kind of cold. Physical union. Science cult. We're all ignorant about some things. Oh, yeah. There's no reason. Anyone of than the, you know, seventeen thousand people are gonna AG you know, what it is that sound sarcastic. But it's it's not really. So with that those are the two interviews I had for everyone for this episode of, but we can't finish the show just yet because we have to do some listener feedback, and that's coming up in our final segment of the paleo pal. Always inside sort of with deepen. Melancholy wondering why we still do? But also some feedback from you the listeners, Patrick, I'm gonna point you go first. Okay. I will do my very best. So my understanding is that we need to give a these title to longtime support the show and artist Sonia, and we we over lot not only does she support the show but back in the day. She did some breakfast Valentine, art force. I guess that's that's relevant. Right. Well, the steps up and Valentine's Day. That is a good question. And that was one of the things I was working on this afternoon before we started recording and didn't got distracted. That's cool. It'll be out right after Valentine's Day. Okay. So I'm sure as you're looking back on your Valentine's Day plans. You wish that you had just a little bit earlier. So you could have gone and downloaded some of the the Brecqhou Valentine's state. Our son is done. I in the past because that would definitely major Valentine's Day a little smoother. You can actually buy the bracket up Valentine from her online store, and she gives us twenty percent of all the sales. See sonnet, you you're you're too generous. But anyway, it's time for us to bestow upon you title. Let's see these title. So let's see I'm inclined to mix in some like romantic habits of the bracket. Lope? Okay. Let's got dunes. We got. Sequestration in soil. Right. So like romantic have you done? I feel like we've done a bracket meeting one before. This doesn't have to be. To have been scooped. Well, I think a lot of people are interested in the mating habits the lope complained about it. But it could just be sort of her behavior. Coupling coupling behavior for breakfast show podcast insys in cold, weather, and in sandy environments, something like that. I went back and looked at the list, we've never given out a bracket themed thesis. This could be a and I think she's with her multiple tributes to the bracket lope. So I was thinking maybe like maybe part of the mating ritual of the breakfast has to do with like air flow around the horns, creating some sort of sound or it does kind of have the has the no spout up by the horns, like localization vocalisations thing. Mating mating. Call back you. You sounds like that I think. Based on based on the reconstruct the scientific reconstruct three three printed the. So sexual selection in the bracket, lope and mating vocalisations. Maybe she was testing in like tundra environments versus like dune environments affects no alien affects sandy and cold weather environments co climate environments. I missed up there. Good, right. I'm just I was just typing. What do you think? Karl you got anything to add to that. I'm looking at the painting that. Brin made right? The original peaches Iraqi levels was by Bryn, the one I just posted in the slack chat. Is by Sonia. The personal, oh, I like that one that one has a has a smaller. It's a triple Copro smaller air hole in the talk. Talking about the other little. Yeah. So yeah, I wonder if there's some sexual diamorphine with the Aries, and if that affects meeting sounds maybe needs the smaller nasal opening in sandy environments where it's going to clog. That's a good point. Or or called environments because you need to warm the air before it's your lung tissue. We've learned this week with the polar vortex in the midwest. But think about how far away that lung tissues. So what is that Oregon called? Well, that's just their nasal opening on top of their narrates. The the scientific name for the news. Leeann Nario adaptation and Houston in mating rituals based on presence in alien dunes or freezing tundras across the range of the breakfast show. The majestic regular like across the range. Okay. Brian. I'm trying to put it all together. So I know I know you got you got it type of their funny. Mix and match. Let's get this final final version. Let's let's scientific name us for the regular Pakistan's is the genus named. It's no, it's yeah. Regular podcast us. I think air. Tesla era podcast inches by guesses. I liked this drying. What kind of flowers are those ISIS? I'm the wrong person. Ask not iris. Blue lily talents beautiful though. When. Okay. The only affects. All right. So I'll pass over you guys. If it sounds good. We will confer it upon Sonia for all of her of her hard work. The only in effects of sandy and tundra environments on the sexual diamorphine of the Neri's. Of Dracula Pakistan's implications for sexual selection of aiding vocalisations across gladdock extremes. Beautiful Dr out of that. But it's not a doctorate. It's a it's a bachelor of science sort of. Oh, yeah. I do that too. I haven't had a chance to feature. Chance to feature, but we didn't get an Email from somebody who has now did they have like an actual degree that comes letters after the name. But they added comma after that when they Email, which was definitely points for style for sure. All right. Well, you know, it took us a minute to to dance around it. But we figured it out. And Charlie I think you're up next. Sit down. This is going to be a bit a one. Let me make sure I don't screw this up cases. An Email from Tom subject Bladerunner rules three. Exclamation points. Message blade runner rules nation points. This is actually isn't older Email, but Melvina checks out because we're not living in the year. The first blade runner is set which charleena joked about last time, and we both immediately thought about the noodles that he's eating in one scene. That was the most important and relevant part of blade runner. And not that this is the future we were promised, and whether or not have conscious or so are you actually a big fan of Bladerunner Charlie or do we both just like that seeing the noodles? I actually really liked Bladerunner Philip kid, and I liked that Titian. Did you like the sequel? I liked the sequel just from the like the the opening scene of the Mojave covered with solar power towers, and then like all the climate change stuff. And then just the the, hyper connectivity of social media leading to like total isolation. What is was like growing trend in Japan? He he go Maury or whatever I've not heard of this does to go because I don't know if I said that exactly right. Yeah. He Kiko Morty is a psychological condition, which makes people shut themselves off from society often staying in their houses for months on end. And it's happening in the most league densely, populated places Japan. So it's like this like reversion to hyper socialization, and so then they just stay inside all day every day for months and have their food delivered and only interact of the computer matrix. Yeah. People's people's at the new one was like, slow and plotting. But I of think it needed that. Because otherwise, you're not in the right mood. It's not an action movie long though. Yeah. It was long. But I enjoyed it. Well, yeah, Patrick. What was your do? You have do you have Bladerunner thoughts seem Charlie. But. I would say I'm ban. I liked it. I saw the sequel I liked it. I it doesn't sound like I'm quite on level. You guys are. Jury like some late writer haven't actually read the novel. I probably should have that to my even novel or more of short-story calls it an awful, but we've been yelled up before forgetting that one wrong. It's sixty one thousand words, which would be considered a short of oil. Yeah. I don't know if it's available. The cutoff point is. I imagined the fuzzy boundary. Philip k dick was known for his short stories that has definitely. Yeah. So it's not as memorable as the first one. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I think that really was kind of a twist at the end of the first win of what? You don't know whether or not decker doesn't replicant right. Whereas the second one I think pretty much went into knowing kind of what was going on. Yeah. Like when that one guy dies at the end. Spoiler alert that one replicate. Talks about like attack ships on fire off the shoulders of I Ryan, and like cbs' glittering in the dark and stuff. Like that is just like super poetic drops in the rain apparently that actor apologized for not knowing his name like improvised that. Yeah. I don't have those. Those sharp images that that the first one has. But I like the second one to later on rules triplex mention point. Charlie. All right. So for me to wrap things up somebody sent an Email about get hub. So I think they might have failed the test. If we're talking about Bladerunner because I'm not sure anyone who's passionate about get hub, really human. Actually, I got an Email from Chen are and they said, hey, Ryan on episode two seventy five publishing rocks. You mentioned that you didn't get along with get hub. I think I made some joke that one of my guests websites was built using get hub. Which was not a thing. I'd think Justin does that too. So it's not uncommon in academia, but it's not something. I was familiar with when we did that up which was a while ago. Some people write papers on they use it for Berge in control in their their drafts. That's part of its. Yes. I think you are. Right. But finish Email Chen says you are right. Referring to me Ryan, get can be confusing as hell and get hub another layer of complexity over that my stock advice for dealing with that confusion is the talk get for ages four and up on YouTube after that funny and delightful hour and a half get will still be confusing. But in a way that one can deal with I hope you will enjoy this as much as I enjoyed listening to your podcast. Cheers chen. So I cooked link because is something I would like to learn how to use better. But I feel like I mean the notes ages four and up, but I don't have a four year old is their attention span for YouTube videos, explaining get an hour and a half long. Seems optimistic to me. They're tension span for watching people unblocks toys is in our and a half. So I'm not sure about get you guys have to use get or get hub for for your science fi like China, Charlie. Do this. I don't use it. I don't get it. What what is version control? Even mean, if like, you were working on a piece of software, and you know, you add some new code that broke things. Okay. Yeah. That's what I guessed gives you a way to like fork the repository. So there's like two people and working separately. They're not overwriting each other's code accidentally. And it's yeah, it's very Silicon Valley and more and more research is I know who do like natural science research are using get hub. I think it's a good place to collaborate on like our code. If you're writing greater any kind of. I mean, mostly any kind of job, but I have heard that people just just writing papers on it when they collaborate. So that they can you know, they can merge the different Mercs changes together and keep track of different versions. I don't know. It doesn't seem like it's purpose made for that sort of thing. But maybe missing something feeling get. Get hub is sort of like the joke Paul made to you about latex, Patrick of like, that's great. If you learn it, but unless your collaborators no it who cares. So I feel like it's the sort of thing where if you were managing lab, and you insisted that everybody us get hub as part of your lab management that would be one thing. But I don't know that there's a ton of utility in the individual researcher learning if none of their none of their cohort under their advisers, none of their collaborators use it as well. I think you have to have collaborated who plug into it. I mean, if you are writing software and you want. If of coating writing software as part of your resume think it's essential that you have a repository that you can show to people and say, yeah, this is. Stuff. I wrote I have applied for like fellowships that are more data science focused, and they do ask for your get hub username. So they can go check out your public facing get up stuff. So I've been learning learning to use it more. I haven't finished this video yet. But it seems like he tool I could find utility in. But only if it was a part of my regular routine and not just something I used every once in a while. Right. I think that's key. I have I did use it like a week or two and got somewhat competent in it. And now, I don't remember a single thing about it. Right. And like I finally crossed that threshold are where now I can be away from our for a little bit and come back to it and still feel like, I'm okay? But that's a while. I don't know if I've got the got the stamina for another fight like I had with our our our about beat me. But then I clicked on across the threshold. And now, I really like our so maybe gets the same way. I'm sure it is get much like the vanilla version of our there's a program, you can get called get that is just a command line based Graham, and that I was trying to learn once for class and found that that was what I was complaining about get hub seems to be a much more developed tool kit that has things I can use. So that's my that's my updated thoughts on get. Okay. Why don't you just? What did they say? When you submit your. Co two. Put it together. Yeah. Just push it. Let's let's go. Okay. Get pushed getting sparked my curiosity. I think I'll go check it out. Sounds like Charlie Charlie's going to watch this video. He's going to be using it full bore tomorrow. Full brave. I dunno the preview picture of the video says a guy wearing orange shirts, blue overalls. That's kinda creepy to me. But oak lick it. I won't be judgmental poor fashion. We'll have you have something to be judgmental about with anything. We've said here in this episode or anything, I guess I've talked about you can get in touch with us on our contact page at science dot com. And we're also on Twitter and Facebook you guys heard of those. All these days, so many different online -ment images to maintain gotta make image to. What are we what are we going to get an official Instagram for the show? That's kind of a good question. I just win Facebook merges, what's Eappen, Instagram and Facebook altogether planned to do. But I don't think there's any. Makes sense for us to do anything on the pod units. Let's sucker very becomes president of now. This is the show is now not going to age. Well, patrick. That comes to pass her. Well, hopefully by the time president burger sworn in. We're still allowed to do this podcast. And we haven't had our mics pride from our cold dead hands until then you can come back next time for part three which I can guarantee is going to have a whole lot more science sort of primarily just science. You miss it. You miss the sort of needed to get back to the big miss the sort of science sort of dot com for show notes links to all the stories we talked about and waste interact with the host guests and other listeners. Science sort of is brought to you by the regular media network of podcasts with audio engineering by ten Dobbs of encyclopedia brunch podcast. That's all for this week's you next time on science. Everyone keeps saying it's. So it's colder in Chicago. And Minneapolis than in Antarctica. Like, so it's summer in Antarctica. Yeah. I think it's much much more interesting to say, it's colder in Chicago than the equator of Mars. That to me is a better metric for coldness. But. I don't know in the absence of Heatley leanness. Absence of heat Linus. All this cold that people are like posting about is about as cold as it would get an average winter in Wyoming at least once. No way really negative forty forty got done negative twenty was the coldest day. I guess. Yeah. That's what I guess part of the problem with the news right now that keep on putting the wind chill. It's sounds good more shocking. Yeah. I mean, there was usually wind in Wyoming. Right.

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