Earth and Environmental Systems Podcast

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A lecture based introduction to Earth systems science by Dr. Christian Shorey of the Colorado School of Mines' Department of Geology and Geologic Engineering.

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A lecture based introduction to Earth systems science.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2007-11-09 21:11
last episode published
2009-10-22 15:38
publication frequency
13.54 days
Christian Shorey author   owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Education Science & Medicine



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors


A parting message of thanks to all who have listened to this lecture series, and special thanks to all who have written me. Also, we detail how to get the video podcasts by going to the Colorado School of Mines site on iTunesU and navigating to the Ea...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 65 - The Future

In this last lecture of our series, we look into the challenges that face our planet, biosphere, and species over the span of future deep time. The focus is on preserving intelligent life in the universe as long as possible, and what immediate concern...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 64 - Science& Religion

The title says it all.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 63 - Perturbation (1727-2009AD)

Since the scientific revolution the pace of scientific advance has only accelerated. Changes are going on in our understanding of the world, and of ourselves at a truly awesome pace. But along with the great advances we also have a rapidly increasing...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 62 - Revolution (1581 - 1727AD)

The scientific revolution in all its gory detail. From the birth of Galileo to the death of Newton.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 61 - Exploration (1212 - 1609AD)

The crusades fizzle out as we start off in the 13th century. We begin to see more scientific learning in Europe as the learning of Islam seeps deeper into the Western psyche. There is a feel of exploration both in mind and in space. The existence of...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 60 - Crusades (750-1212AD)

Science progresses in Islam, and then transfers to the west as a struggle for power takes place on the Iberian Peninsula between Christians and Moors. Power plays abound led by kings, emperors, caliphs, sultans, and popes. Such a male dominated story...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 59 - Submission (330-750AD)

From Constantine founding a Christian Empire in Constantinople, to Islam pounding at its doors. Enjoy the Fall of Rome, while Buddhism fiddles in the east.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 58 - Word Made Flesh Made Words

From the birth of Jesus until Constantine setting Christianity of the Holy Roman Empire. 17 B.C. to 325 A.D. The Rise and beginning of the fall of Rome.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 57 - Lighting Fires (600BC - 17BC)

Human history from 600BC to 17BC. It is a time of innovation in the arts, society, science, and religion. This is the first half of the Age of Great Beliefs and the Age of Classics.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 56 - Gods of War

The Near East is thrown in a tumult as raiding nomadic people make life harder there and even invade India, Greece, and Egypt. They bring with them gods of war and conquest but depending on what native culture they encounter, the outcomes are very dif...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 55 - People of the Book

The higher arts of civilization (reading, writing, mathematics, systematic observations of the heavens, kingly government, monumental architecture, priestly caste) break upon the scene to begin this week's podcast. We see the rise of the hieratic city...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 54 - Civilization

We travel from our"caveman" roots, through the deglaciation of the planet, and into the first signs of human civilization in the nuclear near east, leaving less than a minute of geologic time left to go.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 53 - The Mythic Age

With the advent of Homo sapiens on the planet we begin to see tremendous advancement in both technology and mythology. This lecture takes us from the earliest humans to the Cro-Magnon people in Western Europe and the demise of the Neanderthals.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 52 - Human

What is it that makes us human? What makes us different from other life forms? Today's lecture explores the geologic story that leads up to the evolution of our own species, and the significant changes that took place along the way.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 51 - Planet of the Apes

In our Big Story this episode we cover the chilly Oligocene, and the warmer Miocene epochs. We will follow our ancestors from monkey like primates, to apes. The race is on between brains and bipedalism.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 50 - Dawn of the Recent

We start with the planet's biosphere recovering from K/T boundary extinction. Thus our story leaps from the"Age of Reptiles" to the"Age of Mammals". The Dawn of the Recent covers the Paleocene and Eocene epochs in which our ancestors become much more...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 49 - Middle Life

The Mesozoic Era and all that entails.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 48 - Good Times Bad Times

We cover the entire last part of the Paleozoic Era. We start with the mighty Devonian Period. You will love the Devonian. We we cover the origin of land vertebrates and the effect of trees on the environment. We end with the formation of Pangaea an...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 47 - The Age of Fish

Our geoyear big story continues through the time period of the Ordovician and Silurian. This is the time period from 448 tp 416 million years ago, a time that saw , the rise of coral reefs, and a marked divergence in fish types.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 46 - Cambrian Explosion

We continue our Big Story by finishing up some notes on the Precambrian, including an overview of life in the Ediacaran Period. We then explore the geology and evolution of life in the Cambrian, and discuss the Cambrian Explosion and its implications ...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 45 - Precambrian time

Our geoyear story continues through the oxygenation of the atmosphere, the development of sexual reproduction, and multicellular organisms from the single celled, asexually reproducing pond scum that dominated this planet for most of its history. We w...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 44 - The Dawn of Life

We start by discussing the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere. Then we explore fossil evidence for the first life and its implication for extraterrestrial life. We conclude with the leading ideas of abiogenesis, the creation of life ...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 43 - Hades

Our story continues with the formation of the solar system, the Earth, and the Moon. We cover most aspects of the Hadean Eon of geologic time.
Christian Shorey author

Prokofiev's Universe

My first attempt at a video podcast! Enjoy a musical tour of the universe while listening to my dad's favorite piece of music. We start by looking out from the perspective of the Earth, and then turn our vision around to look back at the Earth.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 42 - Pre-Earth History

A romp through cosmological history from the Big Bang, past inflation, through stellar evolution, renewed inflation, and right up to the point of Earth formation.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 41 - The Big Story

We begin a tour of universal and earth history by looking at the scientific trail that has led to our present conception of our existence in this universe and its origin.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 40 - Environmental Economics Pt. 2

We cover the remaining three major system failures of the market system with respect to environmental degradation. We also investigate irrational behavior in the marketplace due to evolutionary conditioning of our mental abilities. Finally, we try to ...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 39 - Environmental Economics Pt. 1

We explore the use of the market system as a tool to maximize benefit to society and the environment. Seeing as the market is at present not doing a great job with the environment, how can we restructure our use of the market in order to have less eco...
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Lecture 38 - Energy Resources

With energy consumption a driving force in so many of today's environmental issues, we take the time to look at the history of human energy consumption, and what our present and future options may be. There are advantages and disadvantages for each en...
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Lecture 37 - Conservation and Biomimicry

Solutions, solutions everywhere. A pep talk for conservation of biodiversity. We look to the principal strategies for saving biodiversity while also investigating varying ethical stances towards species preservation, and arguing for practical environ...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 36 - The 6th Extinction

We look at the causes of the present human induced mass extinction, the proof that we are experiencing a mass extinction, and reasons for valuing biodiversity.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 35 - Biodiversity

We look at the definition and types of biodiversity, the current state of biodiversity through the filter of our limited knowledge, a look at biodiversity changes through time including a closer look at the five major extinction events of the Phanerozo...
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 34 - Human Population

A look at the past trends of human population growth, and the projections and uncertainties about future human population in the context of the carrying capacity of the planet.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 33 - Population Dynamics

After a catastrophic computer crash, Dr. Shorey struggles to communicate the most salient features of population dynamics. Exponential growth and the environmental resistance factors that keep populations in check are discussed in detail.
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Lecture 32 - The Evolution of Consciousness

We look into how natural selection actually slows the evolutionary rate, but directs toward more efficient solutions. We look the multiple ecological level involved in natural selection, and the fuzzy idea of an individual, which can be resolved by lo...
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Lecture 31 - Intelligent Design

An overview of the creationist argument against evolution and where Intelligent Design stands as a scientific theory.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 30 - Evolutionary Theory

An summary of the concept of evolution and the theory of natural selection. The lecture begins with a statement on the inability of science to address supernatural explanations and ends with the evidence for evolution.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 29 - Ecology

An overview of feeding and non-feeding relationships between organisms and their environment. A quick overview of biogeochemical cycling is also given along with a reading from Richard Powers' book,"The Goldbug Variations".
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 28 - Sweet Life

We wrestle with the difficult questions: What is life? How can we classify life? What is a species?
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 27 - Climate Effects and Politics

A description of the differences between the environmental issues known as Global Warming and Ozone Depletion. We then review the possible good and bad effects of climate change, and ask the questions of whether we can do anything to affect climate ch...
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Lecture 26 - Climate Forcing Mechanisms

A discussion of the various mechanisms by which natural climate change has been affected in the past, with a discussion of how well they may be affecting current, and near future climate change.
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Lecture 25 - Paleoclimate

An overview on the science on past natural climate change on earth. We review some of the major paleoclimate archives, dating techniques, and climate proxies, and end with a quick look at the major changes discovered in our distant past.
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Lecture 24 - Natural and Anthropogenic Climate Change

This lecture combines a discussion of the difference between Venus' and Earth's climates, and how the Earth's climate has been regulated over geologic time. With knowledge that climate can change naturally, we explore why it is the consensus opinion o...
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Lecture 23 - History of Global Warming

The history behind the science of global warming lets us see the well-grounded basis for the scientific notion that humans are currently causing global climate change.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 22 - Weather Pt3

A concluding lecture on wether that covers the rest of the mechanisms that are responsible for lifting air. The second half covers the topics of lightning, thunder, thunderstorms, severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 21 - Weather Pt2

An examination of why rising air tends to get more saturated with respect to water and has to potential for forming clouds and precipitation. We then look at the first of five mechanisms that can cause air to rise; global circulation patterns.
Christian Shorey author

Lecture 20 - Weather Pt1

An overview of the four main atmospheric parameters measured to asses weather conditions: temperature, pressure, wind, and humidity.
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Lecture 19 - Atmosphere

A discussion of atmospheric composition and structure.
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Lecture 18 - Glaciers

A discussion of the cryosphere, frozen water on the Earth, focusing on glaciers, and the landforms they produce. Sea ice and permafrost are also discussed, with an overview of climate change resulting on ice ages in Earth's history.
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