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Podcast Intersection: The Great Salt Lake

                                                                               Photo of the Great Salt Lake from The Nation, Aug. 21, 2023

By Robert Nelson

U Rising is a University of Utah podcast produced by University of Utah Marketing & Communications. Brooke Adams is the executive producer. The podcasts are recorded in the Marriott Library’s Audio Studio. The author of this blog post serves as U Rising’s technical producer: microphone setup, podcast recording, and sound editing.

In July, Prof. of Geology McKenzie Skiles, who manages the U’s Snow Hydro Lab, recorded a podcast regarding how the erosion of the Great Salt Lake has led to a phenomenon of dust that diminishes Utah’s snow pack.

Fascinating information. Having the ability to actively listen while editing the interview is one of the great benefits of a technical producer/podcast obsessive. This led to a discussion with a retired library colleague, Floyd Shiery. He recommended a complementary article published in The Nation magazine: The Great Salt Lake is Becoming Too Salty to Support Life. Similar topic. University of Utah Faculty.

Dr. Katharine Walter, Department of Epidemiology. Another harrowing and local take on the doom loop effect of how the shrinking of the Great Salt Lake leads to climate change and exacerbates systemic health effects. As the subtitle of the article states: (The Great Salt Lake) supports an exquisite ecosystem whose collapse is literally making people sick.

Serendipitously, about a month later, Dr. Walter reached out via the Audio Studio webpage. Her Nation article led to Prof. Walter needing a place to record a podcast with Utah Public Radio.

In the audio setup, a discussion took place regarding Dr. Walter’s research and how it matched up with Dr. Skiles similar research regarding a diminished Great Salt Lake’s impact on local snowpack. It was easy to send the U Rising podcast link.

Enjoy Katharine’s podcast: Great Salt Lake with Katherine (sic) Walter on Tuesday’s Access Utah.

About a month after that, Wender Wischer, Professor of Art & Art History, requested a recording time slot. Wendy is a high user of the professional setup in the Audio Studio for her art installations. She incorporates personal audio narratives into her Utah landscape art projects.

What was the topic of her audio reflection? The devastation of the habitat surrounding the shrinking Great Salt Lake.

Here is Wendy’s reflection: A Disappearing Lake in Three Parts.

It was an opportunity for this topical intersection of research presented in easily digestible podcast form: Geology, Epidemiology, Art.

The utilitarian opportunity of podcasts is to distill a textual research paper into a readily digestible audio format that can be consumed almost anywhere: waiting for the bus, at the gym, cooking dinner. Disseminated in a medium that appeals to academic researchers as well as lay people who have an interest in the topic.

Local in focus, international in reach. These three campus women professors did not know each other existed until the cross pollination of multi media production that all took place in the Marriott Library’s Audio Studio.

Robert Nelson | Media Studios Librarian
Creativity & Innovation Services / Media Studios

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