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Podcast co-hosted by biology professor nominated for national award

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Podcast award

Doane biology professor Ramesh Laungani will send his warm regards back to Doane as he travels to Los Angeles, Calif. on Jan. 17, to attend the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards for a podcast that he co-hosts.

“Warm Regards”, co-hosted by Laungani, was one of five podcasts nominated for “Best Green Podcasts” at the second annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards held in Los Angeles, California on Jan. 17.

“Warm Regards” broadly focuses on the topic of climate change and is meant to highlight the various lives affected by climate change. Shrinking the gap between the scientific community and the general public is a driving force for the podcast.

“It’s not just a science issue,” Laungani said. “We could have made a climate change podcast that was just the science, but that would have been a very incomplete picture if we really wanted to make this inclusive and comprehensive about the impacts of climate change.”

The podcast began in 2016 and is hosted by Jacqueline Gill, associate professor of paleoecology and plant ecology at the University of Maine. 

“Warm Regards” is independently operated and is one of the longest-running climate change podcasts in the marketplace along with having nearly 500,000 listeners, a Doane University article said. 

Laungani knew Gill through Twitter where she is a known scientist and science communicator. He reached out to Gill and invited her to be a keynote speaker when planning a science communication conference held at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2018.

The conference was focused around discussing science to a non-scientific community.

A few months after the conference, Gill reached out to Laungani and asked him to be a co-host for her podcast.

He accepted and has been co-hosting ever since.

The podcast is volunteer-based, and with the busy schedules of teaching and working as well as the distance between host, co-host and producer, the podcast gets released as often as they can. Laungani hopes in the future to have at least two new podcast episodes per month. 

Since joining the team with “Warm Regards”, Laungani has had the experience of talking with a variety of guests including scientists, writers, change activists and religious leaders among others.

Two of the most inspirational guests Laungani recalled were a high school student from Kentucky and a middle school student from Minnesota who are pushing for and making progress on climate action in their communities. They were able to discuss, articulate and identify climate change complexities and how it impacts people’s lives. 

“It makes me think, ‘What should I be doing as an adult... because I am closer to the levers of power than an eighth-grader?’,” Laungani said. “That’s really what’s inspirational, their actions inspire more action.”

Laungani teaches Climate Change Biology, as well as other biology classes at Doane University. His biggest area of research is also finding ways to mitigate climate change.

While he does not request his students listen to his episodes on the podcast, he does turn them to the early episodes to learn from Gill about ancient climates and habitats and other topics. He also brings perspectives from guests on the podcast into the classroom for his students.

Gill, Laungani and two contributors to “Warm Regards” will be attending the awards beginning at 10 p.m. central time. The awards will be broadcast and streamed live across iHeartRadio stations.