GETTING CURIOUS | Are Dams Cute… Or Not So Cute? with Professor Heather Randell


Dams, what’s their story? Are they scenic sites? Harmful structures? This week, Professor Heather Randell and Jonathan go on a journey through dam history, ecology, and sociology. Listen in to learn about why dams are built; who they serve; and how they can cause displacement, change river ecology, and contribute to climate change.

Heather Randell is an Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology and Demography at Penn State. She studies how dam construction affects local communities as well as the health and social impacts of climate change.

You can follow her on Twitter @HeatherFRandell, and at

Want to learn more about dams? Here are three short films worth checking out:

And here’s a recent article from the New Yorker on the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.

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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness