Ken Liu: Talking Science & Fantasy

March 18, 2018

In this episode, we talk with award-winning author Ken Liu.  His short story, "The Paper Menagerie", recently read by Levar Burton, is the only story to win the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards.  We talk about how this moving tale has touched so many people and also learned more about how Liu’s work weaves science into wonderful storytelling.


We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we enjoyed having it.  


Image Credit:
© Lisa Tang Liu


Geek Girl Con 2017

March 11, 2018

Attending Geek Girl Con is now a tradition for Spark Science.


This time we are featuring famed science communicator and creator of the DIY Zone (at Geek Girl Con) Dr. Raychelle Burks. We also had the pleasure of speaking with awesome astronomer Dr. Nicole Gugliucci (also known as twitter's @noiseyastronomer), the Bug Chicks, SciFi writer Astrid Amara and more.


We hope you enjoy listening to these amazing women.


Weir on Mars!

March 4, 2018

Welcome to Season 4! 


We hope you enjoy our first episode of the season featuring author of The Martian and Artemis, Andy Weir. 


We had a great conversation about space elevators, history, & character development.  The co-host for this show was environmental student and Spark Science blogger, Jonathan Flynn.


Thank you to Andy Weir, WWU Video Services and Village Books

Photo: Jonathan Willams - WWU



Science Policy with Congressman Rick Larsen

September 3, 2017

For our Season Three Finale we interviewed our national representative from the 2nd Congressional District of WA State, Rick Larsen.  The guest cohost was Planetary Society’s Director of Space Policy and friend of the show, Casey Dreier.


We did our first cross over podcast with Planetary Radio – Space policy edition and talked about Congressman Larsen’s love of science, how science gets funded, how politicians get their scientific information and what is the role of scientists and science enthusiasts in politics.


We hope you enjoyed season three and come back for season four in 2018.


Spacecraft Chronicles: Photography on Mars

August 27, 2017

There are thousands of beautiful images of and from the surface of Mars.  In this episode we talk about how and why these images are taken by rover photographers.  From the taking images in black & white images verses color to church glass, how we study Mars through photography is fascinating.


Special thanks to Emily Lakdawalla, Melissa Rice, Nicole Schmitz and resources from KMRE – Spark Radio & Western Washington University


Image Courtesy of NASA


Science of Soccer / Physics of Futbol

August 20, 2017

Do you love Soccer?  Is Futbol part of your life?  If so, we have an episode for you.  

Student intern Taylor Raybould requested a show on the physics of the almost universally beloved sport.  Our guest today is Dr. Andreas Riemann, the chair of the WWU physics department.  Dr. Riemann teaches physics of sports course and has a great time talking to Taylor about the world of soccer/futbol.


Note: This episode has a bit of an audio issue.  We hope it isn't too distracting


Image Reference


2017 Solar Eclipse PSA

August 18, 2017

Enjoy this short PSA about the Solar Eclipse coming August 21, 2017 produced for Spark Radio, KMRE in Bellingham, WA.


For more information go to


Thank you to Spark Radio and WWU's own Robert Clark for production and editing


Image Courtesy of NASA


Science, Pseudoscience & Society

August 6, 2017

In this episode we have a round table discussion about what disaster and horror movies say about our society with WWU medical anthropology professor Dr. Sean Bruna and a couple of anthropology students.  

The first student works under Dr. Bruna's and also happens to be the Spark Science video editor, Kyle Mullins.  The second student continues the Spark Science tradition of family member co-hosts, Dr. Barber DeGraaff's father Ramon Barber Jr.  Ramon is finishing a degree in Anthropology at SDSU.
Enjoy this short pop culture filled episode.


Image Courtesy of Universal Studios


Ski 2 Sea Algae

July 29, 2017

In this episode we explore the work of Western Washington University biologist Dr. Robin Kodner.  She studies algae populations from the peaks of mountains to beautiful bays.


Dr. Kodner's work combines the disciplines of computing (Bioinformatics) and astronomy (Astrobiology).  She also has a great idea about how algae can be the plot of a disaster movie.


This episode was edited by Victoria Highley.  Check out her other work at Spoons for STEM


Image Courtesy of Dr. Robin Kodner


Science Communication Compilation #2

July 23, 2017

Today’s episode is a collection of student podcasts from a Science Communication course at Western Washington University.  This is the second in a two-part series.  Course professors were Mars Planetary Geophysicist Dr. Melissa Rice & Spark Science host, Astrophysicist Dr. Regina Barber DeGraaff.


The show features students Andrew Hood, Jonathan Cornet, Huy Nguyen and AJ Calder.  Subjects range from science education, an exposé on a local Bellingham business owner/scientist, and one student’s journey to become a thin films researcher.


Image/Logo courtesy of Wendy Aguilar