All posts by Miles Traer

The Odd Natural History of San Francisco

In a talk for the California Historical Society, I discuss San Francisco’s hidden nature. Despite my best efforts to remain informative, funny, and surprising, things go off the rails and get slightly uncomfortable (you’ll know what I mean when you get there). From the gold rush to the bay itself to our delicious food, I uncover the hidden geological history responsible for it all.

The Largest Mass Poisoning In History

In the mid-1980s, a small problem began to surface in a relatively obscure corner of the world. In 1994, just about a decade later, the World Health Organization published a statement that this little problem had developed into “the largest mass poisoning of a population in history.” On today’s show, we speak to the doctors, epidemiologists, and geologists who helped hunt down the origin of this tragic event. Join us as we venture through the human body and through geologic time to uncover the twists and turns and remarkable coincidences responsible for this ongoing epidemic.

This story was originally published in 2013 on the Generation Anthropocene podcast.

Generation Anthropocene is back!

The Generation Anthropocene podcast has returned for its 5th year!!! We’ve been collecting a lot of great interviews and our student producers have been working on some incredible stories that we will be releasing every Tuesday and Thursday for the next few weeks (at least). You can find all of the latest and greatest Generation Anthropocene news at our newly redesigned website.

Our latest season begins with an interview with Jonathan Foley, the Museum Director for the California Academy of Sciences. He talks to host Mike Osborne about science education and outreach, with added emphasis on the relationship between science and politics in a “post-truth” world.

Earth & Space Science cartoons from AGU

This week is the annual American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting, the largest gathering of Earth and space scientists in the world. And, as I’ve done several times before, I will be drawing cartoons inspired by the incredible talks, posters, and conversations. This post will continue to update through Friday, 16 December 2016. You can also follow along on twitter (@Geo_Miles). Enjoy!


The first session I attended today was an ambitious one, called “Planetary Intelligence: Managing Earth’s Future.” The driving thread of the panel discussion was how are we going to do this?!? As the panel continued, I sensed a common emotional journey for the audience.

Continue reading Earth & Space Science cartoons from AGU

A geological perspective of the Cubs championship

“Radio was invented between now and the last time the Cubs won the World Series”

“The Titanic was built, set sail, and sank between now and the last time the Cubs won the World Series”

“There were only 46 states in the US the last time the Cubs won the World Series”

Much has been said about the futility of the Chicago Cubs in their 100+ years of trying to win a championship. Many nifty factoids like those listed above have been countlessly spatted about by broadcasters and general Cubs aggravators and fans alike. And they are nifty factoids. But I think they’ve also been overused. We finally get to retire them! One-hundred-and-eight-years is a long time for the Cubs fans to wait, and now, we get to look back at the Cubs championship drought as history and we must find a new way to talk about it. So here I am, to present a geological perspective on the now past championship drought of my beloved Chicago Cubs. Continue reading A geological perspective of the Cubs championship