Similar to previous years, in March we recognize women scientists who have connections to the Finger Lakes.
Isa Betancourt is an entomologist and science communicator who received her B.S. from Cornell University and M.S. from Drexel University. She runs The Bugscope! a very popular live broadcast every Thursday ~2:45 pm ET. Her followers can learn about 6 and 8 legged creatures on her Facebook account and on Twitter as well.
She talks to Mark Sarvary about insects and science communication (they share a passion for both of those topics) and her super exciting upcoming adventure with National Geographic.
In a historical piece, Kitty Gifford tells us about Anna Botsford Comstock (September 1, 1854 – August 24, 1930) and her best-selling book The Handbook of Nature Study.
Dr. Anna Levina is an Active Learning Postdoctoral Researcher and potato expert at Cornell University. Nancy Ruiz talked to her about potatoes, teaching, pedagogy, and life in general.
Producer: Mark Sarvary
Music/Voiceover: Joe Lewis
Contributors: Kitty Gifford, Nancy Ruiz & Mark Sarvary
In today’s show, we hear interviews of two different professionals who use microscopes in their work.
Mark Sarvary starts the show off by presenting a review of an exhibition called “The History of Glass and the Microscope”, that was on display in 2016 at the Corning Museum of Glass. You can still read about the exhibit here: (https://www.cmog.org/collection/exhibitions/microscopes).
Our first interview of today’s show is with Dr. Brooks Crickard, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University. He talks about his research using single molecule total internal reflection microscopy (TIRFM). This technique allows him to directly visualize proteins and protein complexes as they function on DNA in real-time. Crickard also discusses challenges he has faced as a new faculty member during the pandemic.
In the second part of our show, you’ll hear an interview with Sten Anderson, a science teacher at DeWitt Middle school in Ithaca, New York. He recently taught his 7th grade students how to use foldscopes, flexible, waterproof, paper-based microscopes (www.foldscopes.com). Students learned how to use foldscopes during both in-person and remote instruction. Anderson guided students in how to gather, examine and record images of non-living and living specimens. The purchase of a foldscope for each of his students was made possible by a Red and Gold Grant from the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (http://www.ipei.org).
Producer: Liz Mahood
Segments: Mark Sarvary, Nancy Ruiz, Esther Racoosin
In this episode, Mark Sarvary interviewed the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Benjamin Houlton began his term on October 1, 2020, as the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is also and a professor in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Global Development.
Hear the story of how Dean Houlton almost received a Cornell Ph.D. and how he works with farmers in both California and in New York state to mitigate the impact of climate change.
In the second interview, Candice Limper talked to Nancy Ruiz about her research at Cornell University, discussing what Alzheimer’s disease is and some of the symptoms. Nancy is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate and is trying to understand what factors contribute to the development of this disease as part of her thesis. During this interview, she describes a mouse model that she uses to understand the molecular mechanisms involved.
Janani Hariharan interviews Dr. Corrie Moreau, Martha N. and John C. Moser Professor of Arthropod Biosystematics and Biodiversity at Cornell University.
Dr. Moreau created a seminar class called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in STEM in Fall 2020. This interview touches on her motivation to create such a class especially in the wake of the George Floyd protests of 2020, the structure of the class and her favorite moments of the class. She also shared some recommendations for other educators who might want to design similar classes at their own institutions.
And, to close out the show, Esther Racoosin speaks with Zoe Learner Ponterio, Manager at the Spacecraft Planetary Image Facility, also known as SPIF, located at Cornell. SPIF is hosting a watch party on Thursday, February 18 at 2:30 pm to view the landing of the Mars 2020 mission. To find out more about SPIF, visit http://www.cornellspif.com