Turning Up The Heat
Trinity launches monthly podcast series, with climate change as opening topic
Friday, September 29, 2017
Benjamin Surpless records at desk

Pop in those ear buds, Tigers: The opening episode of Trinity’s Learning TUgether: Podcast Series is now available for download!

The series, offered by the Office of Alumni Relations’ Alumni Education and Engagement programs, will bring a diverse host of Trinity faculty members to explore topics around “Climate Changed,” “Food Matters,” “Inventing Mexico,” “Science Fiction,” and “Great Books of the Ancient World.”

Selim Sharif, director of alumni education and engagement, says a new episode of the podcast series will be posted the first Tuesday of each month, starting on Oct. 3, 2017, with the opening episode, “Climate Changed.”

“These podcasts are meant to start a dialogue with our alumni and all members of the Trinity community,” Sharif says. “But it’s on your time; you don’t have to be on campus to hear this amazing discussion.”

For “Climate Changed,” the podcast series will draw on the expertise of Trinity University geosciences professor Benjamin Surpless and English professor Kelly Grey Carlisle. The pair anticipates listeners doing a double-take at the past tense of the word “changed,” Sharif says.

“The title is intentional,” Sharif notes, “because this isn’t just a conversation about the future: Our climate has already changed.”

“Climate change, any time you see it in media or hear it mentioned in conversation, seems like a provocative topic,” says Surpless, who studies the subterranean mysteries of faults, fold systems, and fracture networks. “And it can be easy to pick and choose what you want to hear on this topic.”

Carlisle, who delves into the struggles posed by the highly technical terminology surrounding global warming issues in the podcast, seconds this notion.

“Today, we’ve all gotten into a habit of talking at each other,” Carlisle says. “We need to start coming to arguments having done our ‘critical reading.’”

With Carlisle and Surpless both on board for the conversation, things are bound to get interesting, Surpless explains.

The pair won’t divulge any major spoilers from their roughly 22-minute segment, but they do note that the conversation will take an interdisciplinary approach to the topic.

“A lot of our alumni have asked us, ‘Are you teaching students what to think about climate change, or how to think about climate change?’” Surpless says. “This podcast will try to change the way you approach this question, too.”

“For alumni,” Carlisle adds, “this podcast gives you a dynamic view at how our students are being taught. To be able to get that sort of behind-the-scenes look—that’s something special.”

That emphasis on critical thinking carries over from Trinity’s interdisciplinary set of courses known as First Year Experiences (FYE). The podcast “Climate Changed” takes on many concurrent issues as the FYE of the same name, now being offered at Trinity for the third consecutive year, Sharif says.

“Our alumni who attended similar courses (First Year Seminar) said that changed their minds and broadened their perspectives,” Sharif says. “This podcast series is meant to be a continuation of that: these are interdisciplinary conversations where great minds meet.”

In addition to conversations inspired by these FYE courses, the podcast series will feature alumni and faculty experts sharing their research and perspectives on a wide variety of topics. Visit Trinity's alumni events page to listen, download, and share new episodes the first Tuesday of every month.

Jeremiah Gerlach is the brand journalist for Trinity University Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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