Science Moab

Hosted by:

Kristina Young


  • Education
  • News
  • Talk

Science Moab is a weekly half-hour program exploring current research going on within the Colorado Plateau and beyond, the show includes interviews with scientists about the fascinating research they are conducting in our area. Host Kristina Young explores basic ideas behind various scientific topics, the kinds of research that scientists do to answer their questions, and how current research can help us understand our changing world. Science topics span ecology, geology, chemistry, archaeology, hydrology, and any other -ology that might come our way.

Kristina also explores the human side of science by asking researchers why they chose to pursue science careers and what they most enjoy about the work they do.  The answers are broad-ranging and fascinating and include sticky topics, like the lack of gender, racial, and ethnic diversity within science.

Join her every Friday at 11:30 am for Science Moab or listen later on SoundCloud or iTunes.  

You can follow Science Moab on instagram and facebook to stay up-to-date with the science in Moab. 

Water can be a formidable force in the desert. From carving canyons to cutting arroyos, water has the power to form the landscapes around us. Today on Science Moab, we learn how water shapes the earth with Dr. Taylor Joyal, a fluvial-geo-morphologist studying earth shaping processes

When you’re walking over the desert soil, you’re walking over huge amounts of fungi. These fungi are connected to the roots of grasses and shrubs, gathering the nutrients these plants need to survive. Here, we speak with world renowned soil ecologist Dr. Nancy Johnson and hear about the evolutionary past and current roles of these understudied and truly fascinating organisms.

This show examines how people living in the desert southwest in the past may have differentiated between communal places where everyone was welcome, and private places like granaries and dwellings. Through studying these differentiations, Elizabeth Hora-Cook tries to understand what society may have been like for Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan people.

Cheatgrass is one of the most pervasive, non-native grasses in the American West, changing ecosystems almost everywhere it goes. Here, we talk with Dr. Jayne Belnap, a world renowned scientist from Moab, Utah, who has studied how this invasive grass has changed ecosystems around the Southwest. We talk about where cheatgrass came from, how it got here, and how it has and will likely continue to transform southwestern landscapes.

There is shocking little known about why animals behave the ways they do. From competition, to territoriality, there is an incredible amount left to discover about how animals behave. Here, we speak with Dr. Kenny Chapin who explains what we know about animal behavior and some of the ways researchers ask questions to understand why animals act the ways they do.

The geology of the Colorado Plateau is amazingly exposed and incredibly dramatic. Here, we get to hear about the forces and slow passage of time that shaped the Plateau as we see it today. We hear from Drs. Scott Ritter and Tom Morris as they walk us through iconic and lesser known places, describing why our landscape looks like the way it does.

In the deserts, the soil surface is alive. The soil is covered with lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi and other microorganisms that together are called biological soil crusts. Here, we talk with Dr. Matthew Bowker who studies these cryptic communities and works to put them back into the landscape.

Host Kristina Young moved to the Southwest in 2010, and has spent her time studying the desert ever since. She worked for the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center in Moab for four years, and received her Masters of Science degree from Northern Arizona University, where she was a Wyss Scholar for Conservation of the American West.

As a strong believer in the importance of science communication, Kristina loves talking about and exploring all things science. Have questions or want to know more? Email Kristina at or find her on twitter @arid_ecology


  • Friday - 11:30 am - 12:00 pm


Leave a Reply

− 1 = 1