Whether we wear a lab coat or haven’t seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives. And that means we all have science stories to tell. Every year, we host dozens of live shows all over the country, featuring all kinds of storytellers – researchers, doctors, and engineers of course, but also patients, poets, comedians, cops, and more. Some of our stories are heartbreaking, others are hilarious, but they’re all true and all very personal. Welcome to The Story Collider!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s episode features two stories where love finds a way.
Part 1: Scientist Bruce Hungate yearns to find someone who cares about the tiny details as much as he does.
Part 2: Science reporter Ari Daniel and his wife are at odds when it comes to moving their family to Lebanon, but the pandemic changes things.
Bruce Hungate conducts research on microbial ecology of global change from the cell to the planet. His research examines the imprint of the diversity of life on the cycling of elements, how ecosystems respond to and shape environmental change, and microbial ecology of the biosphere, from soils to hot springs to humans. Bruce is Director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University, where he holds the Frances B McAllister Chair in Community, Culture, and the Environment, and is Regents Professor of Biological Sciences. He is an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, Fellow of the Ecological Society of America, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and member of the American Academy of Microbiology. Bruce plays classical piano and writes narrative non-fiction at the intersection of science, the environment, family, and people. He hopes to share ideas about ecology and to find humor, connection, and solutions in the face of global environmental change.
Ari Daniel is a freelance contributor to NPR’s Science desk and other outlets. He has always been drawn to science and the natural world. As a graduate student, he trained gray seal pups (Halichoerus grypus) for his Master’s degree in animal behavior at the University of St. Andrews, and helped tag wild Norwegian killer whales (Orcinus orca) for his Ph.D. in biological oceanography at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. For more than a decade, as a science reporter and multimedia producer, Ari has interviewed a species he’s better equipped to understand — Homo sapiens. Over the years, Ari has reported across six continents on science topics ranging from astronomy to zooxanthellae. His radio pieces have aired on NPR, The World, Radiolab, Here & Now, and Living on Earth. Ari is also a Senior Producer at Story Collider. He formerly worked as a reporter for NPR’s Science desk where he covered global health and development. Before that, he was the Senior Digital Producer at NOVA where he helped oversee the production of the show’s digital video content. He is a co-recipient of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Gold Award for his radio stories on glaciers and climate change in Greenland and Iceland. In the fifth grade, he won the “Most Contagious Smile” award.
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