I frequently use the USGS Website in my Maps & Landforms class and occasionally in Weather & Climate. The site is rich with content that can be used in lectures, labs, and Web exercises. The USGS also has an extensive collection of podcasts.
The podcasts are organized in several different collections, including CoreCast – natural science from the inside out; CoreCast – short on time, big on science; coastal and marine geology; and recordings from several state programs. Solid summaries are provided along with transcripts. In addition to providing access to podcasts on the Website, podcasts are available via Twitter.
I listened to a number of the podcasts, all of which I found easily. For purposes of this post, I am sharing Beyond Billions: Threatened Bats are Worth Billions to Agriculture. The transcript is available, too. The podcast features a discussion of the pest control services and savings provided by bats and the potential economic impact of declining bat populations from white nose syndrome and wind turbines.
I believe this podcast could easily be incorporated in the discussion of and an assignment about wind energy. We often assume that wind is a benign source of power, which this podcast dispels in non-technical language. It provides a solid example of the interconnectedness of people and the environment, how we attempt to harness natural resources, and how our decisions impact the landscape.