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Fire and Life

Fire and life - what do they have in common? It turns out there is more to fire than just the glow of the flame. Stephen Pyne, Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University gives Dr. Biology a lesson in fire and how it has shaped life on Earth.

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MP3 download | 14MB

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Topic Time
Introduction - fire and life - battling a dragon 00:00
What is fire? 01:20
What do we need to make fire? 01:55
How long have humans been using fire? 02:38
Fire does have beneficial - right? 04:12
What are the key elements that make fire so important? 04:31
Summer wild fires 06:38
Is there a bad side to fire - could it just be humans? 08:19
Slash and burn techniques in tropical forests - global warming. 09:51
You have been working with fire a long time. What got you started? 11:57
Stories about fire and fire fighting. 12:32
Dragon fire. 15:23
Hypothetical forest fire, what are the key things that happen afterwards? 16:29
Can you imagine Earth evolving the way it has without fire? 18:36
Why isn't fire considered living? 19:18
Where do you place fire in the environment? 20:22
Transition from firefighter to researcher and writer. 20:54
Do you like writing? 22:11
Do you write at a particular time? 22:44
Do you like words? 23:06
When did you first think about being a scientist? 23:36
What would you be if you could not be a researcher and writer? 24:57
What advice do you have for someone that might want to follow your path? 25:59
Why do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? 27:02
What is your latest book? 27:59

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Fire and Life

Audio editor: Charles Kazilek

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.