Al Stahler with Sol Henson Sierra Streams class on Salmon

Date 5 September 2017

Al Stahler with Sol Henson Sierra Streams class on Salmon




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Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, 2e

Date 29 August 2017

The Redbud Chapter of CNPS has revised their excellent field guide. I spoke with Nancy Gilbert, Karen Callahan, Julie Becker, Darlene Ward and Ames Gilbert about it.




 Get MP3 (11.1 MB | 48:29 min)

The ionosphere during total eclipse

Date 15 August 2017

The ionosphere is the region of Earth’s upper atmosphere where meteors vaporize; where auroras glow; where radio communication (including GPS) is enhanced or mucked-up. I spoke with Josh Semeter of Boston University, a week before the 2017 eclipse.




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California and the Civil War - Conversation with Richard Hurley - Part 2

Date 31 July 2017

In Part 1 of California and the Civil War, Richard and I only got as far as the firing of the first shot fo the war. I Part 2, we get into the meat of the book: California and the Civil War by Richard Hurley




 Get MP3 (11 MB | 47:55 min)

California and the Civil War - Conversation with Richard Hurley

Date 24 July 2017

California entered the Union a a free state. Demographically, though, California was a border state. This led to a complex and violent history. I spoke with Richard Hurley, author of the just-published book, California and the Civil War.




 Get MP3 (10.9 MB | 47:45 min)

SOUNDINGS: Wildfire Ecology

Date 18 July 2017

Our understanding of fire – including intense fire – and its role on the landscape – continues to evolve. Al Stahler spoke with Chad Hanson, co-editor/author of The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix




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No-till gardening - Al Stahler speaks with Tom & Renee Wade

Date 7 July 2017

Soil did not evolve with tilling (overturning). I spoke with Tom and Renee Wade about maintaining soil ecology by not tilling.




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Homelessness & Rehab - The Co-Living Network

Date 4 July 2017

The challenge of homelessness, and that of drug rehabilitation, often go together. Here in the foothills, Greg Zaller has been attempting to find solutions for both. On the Fourth of July, I spoke with Greg, and with William Wallace and Daron Barry.




 Get MP3 (10.8 MB | 47:06 min)

SOUNDINGS: Opioids

Date 20 June 2017

SOUNDINGS with Al Stahler

The US is suffering an opioid epidemic. Prof. Daniel Ciccarone, UCSF, spoke with me about it.




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An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism

Date 30 May 2017

Skepticism is healthy – it’s good for science. Al Stahler speaks with Jim Steele, Director Emeritus of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, and author of
Landscapes and Cycles – An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate skepticism




 Get MP3 (11.2 MB | 48:59 min)

17.04.10-Doc Dachtler - Poetry

Date 8 May 2017

Doc Dachtler joins Al Stahler to read and discuss poetry, as Al fills in for Haines on Earth Mysteries/Soundings




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BYLT Bioblitz - 17.04.25

Date 8 May 2017

Al Stahler speaks with Rick Ramos, Erin Tarr and Laura Peterson of the Bear-Yuba Land Trust about the upcoming (5-6May) BYLT Bioblitz




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Breaking the Trance - Kids and Screens

Date 11 April 2017

Breaking the Trance – Kids and Screens




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Soundings (c) Feb-11-2014 KVMR FM Nevada City

Date 11 February 2014

Soundings: About Racism.

Al Stahler interviews Bill Drake and Maggie McKaig about Bill’s new book “Almost Hereditary- A White Southerner’s Journey Out of Racism”




 Get MP3 (17 MB | 49:50 min)

Problems at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station - Arnie Gundersen

Date 1 May 2012

The turbines that spin the generators at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station need steam. But the reactors at SONGS are pressurized – at roughly a ton per square inch – so the water cannot boil. Instead, hot water from the reactor is pumped through thousands of tubes. Cold water flows around those tubes, absorbs the heat of the reactor water, and boils, generating steam for the turbines. The vessels in which this takes place – the steam generators – are huge, each over twenty feet across, over 600 tons.

SCE replaced the steam generators at SONGS in 2009. The new SGs were supposed to last decades. Instead, the SGs are already wearing out. A small amount of radiation escaped the plant as a result. Both SONGS reactors are presently shut down.

In this podcast, nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen (Fairewinds Associates) describes the SG switch-out, and how the problems may have stemmed from changes to the original design. He ends with an intriguing hypothesis as to why the design might have been changed.




 Get MP3 (5 MB | 21:28 min)

Curiosity - Mars Science Lab

Date 6 March 2012

Having successfully completed a major (and planned) mid-course correction, Curiosity – the Mars Science Laboratory – is now on-course for her August arrival on Mars. I spoke recently with Deputy Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada, JPL.




 Get MP3 (5 MB | 20:02 min)

Death and Oil

Date 20 November 2011

The Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf was only one of many offshore oil accidents. The destruction of Piper Alpha in the North Sea was another. I spoke with Brad Matsen, author of Death and Oil, on Soundings.




 Get MP3 (6 MB | 23:53 min)

Tar Sands

Date 15 November 2011

In the Canadian province of Alberta are rocks soaked with bitumen. It’s not crude, but more like tar. With lots of energy and water and work, bitumen can be turned into synthetic petroleum … with horrendous environmental consequences. I spoke with Andrew Nikiforuk, author of Tar Sands, on Soundings.




 Get MP3 (5 MB | 20:51 min)

Clouds and climate - Norman Loeb

Date 1 November 2011

The most powerful – and least understood – effectors of climate are clouds.

To better understand these objects – how they both reduce and magnify the energy we get from the sun – CERES (Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System) instruments now fly aboard several spacecraft, looking down on the sky.

Another CERES instrument has just launched, aboard another spacecraft. A few days before launch, I spoke with CERES PI (principle investigator), Dr. Norman Loeb, of NASA’s Langley Research Center. The conversation broadcast on Soundings, a few days after launch.




 Get MP3 (3 MB | 13:37 min)

What does it mean to KNOW something?

Date 17 October 2011

Putting a number on something gives it an aura of precision … but begs the question, “Where did that number come from?” Listeners to “Soundings” have heard me struggle to find out the origins of some of the numbers bandied about in the climate change debates. This is a short explanation for my discomfort. Aired on Steve Baker’s morning show.




 Get MP3 (1 MB | 5:16 min)