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Here's Why Iowans Should Care About Oceans

Sarah Brown
Many scientists estimate there are nearly one million species of animals that live in the ocean. However, around 95 percent of them are invertebrates.

We are in Iowa, at least 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean. So, why should Iowans care about what happens in the ocean?

“The oceans in a nut shell,” said oceanographer David Gallo, “provide us with half of the air you breathe. Here in Iowa you can thank the oceans for that. Almost all the rainfall patterns are controlled by the oceans, so the water we drink and about 2 billion people on this planet depend on the oceans for food.”

On this archive edition of River to River, we feature two science-based conversations. The first is with Gallo, a renown oceanographer who is a pioneer in mapping ocean terrain with robots and submarines. He has investigated and located several ship wrecks and plane crashes in the ocean. In 2010, he helped lead an expedition to create the first detailed map of the Titanic. He’s also appeared in many documentaries, including "Why Planes Vanish."

Then, a conversation with University of Iowa anthropologist Robert Franciscus. Why do modern humans have chins when other species don't? That is the primary question Franciscus sought to answer in a 2015 paper published in Current Anthropology. It turns out there are many competing theories about why humans have chins. In this interview, Franciscus breaks them down.

These interviews originally aired in 2015.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River