Sea-ing the Environment: Virtual Reality and Ocean Education

Can you imagine a reality where you could explore the ocean without getting wet? How about flying through the clouds without leaving the ground? How might your perspective of swimming or flying change?

In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Andrew Pollack, a CS major, and Hanna Payne and Laura Anderson, two marine scientists, explore the world of virtual reality and the impact of technology on environmental education. What are the benefits of VR experiences and can virtual “dives” increase care and understanding of the ocean?

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Season 3 coming soon!

After a break of several years, I was once again able to teach PWR91JS: Stanford Science Podcast in winter quarter 2019. I had a fantastic group of students, and I will be releasing their podcast episodes later this summer.

Episodes will explore the origin of the universe, Juul and the ethics of design, using virtual reality for ocean education, the causes of pre-term birth, how we communicate complex and controversial science, and the mysterious bio-geo-chemical world of archaebacteria.

Listen to the preview for season 3 below.

Understanding Water in the West by Kira Minehart and Nate Nunez

In Fall 2013, Stanford University decided to turn off all eighteen of its fountains in response to the California drought. The drought has impacted water management decisions throughout the state, and dry fountains show the University’s commitment to water conservation. But just how bad is California’s drought, and are these types of responses effective?

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Climate Change and the Ticking Clock by Maria Doerr and Emma Hutchinson

Climate change is real. From increased storms to changing migration patterns, communities and ecosystems are already feeling the impacts of global warming, and the impacts will only get worse as time goes on. As the Earth’s temperature ticks up, the clock ticks down, marking how little time we have left to make a change.

In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Emma Hutchinson and Maria Doerr explore what it means to be a scientist studying issues relating to climate change. How did they start working on climate change? How do they see their role in the public sphere? How do they deal with opposition to the results of their studies?

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