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LSS 99: Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Mining Rare Earth Metals; Learning about and Finding Solutions to Climate Change

In today’s episode, we hear about a new technology that can lower the carbon footprint of an energy-intensive mining procedure. We also learn about the causes of climate change, and why the development of new technologies that keep carbon in the earth are so important.

To start off, Janani Hariharan interviews Dr. Buz Barstow from the Cornell Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Barstow talks about his research project that uses bacteria to extract rare earth elements in a clean, sustainable way. In this segment, you’ll hear about what rare earth elements are, why they’re important to us, what the current problems are in mining these minerals, and how Dr. Barstow’s team is working to solve some of these problems.

In our second interview, Esther Racoosin speaks with Dr. Ingrid Zabel, Climate Change Education Manager at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca. Dr. Zabel discusses the new exhibit at the Museum of the Earth (MOE) in Ithaca, “Changing Climate: Our Future, Our Choices”. A virtual version of the exhibit is currently on display at the MOE website, https://www.museumoftheearth.org/exhibit/changing-climate. The live version of the exhibit will open at the museum in late November. To make a reservation to visit the museum, go to this link: https://www.museumoftheearth.org/visit/plan-your-visit.


Producer: Liz Mahood

Interview of Dr. Buz Barstow: Janani Harihanan

Interview of Dr. Ingrid Zabel: Esther Racoosin

Music: Joe Lewis; Blue Dot Sessions

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