Produced in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Earth Wise focuses on raising awareness about the science that underpins environmental issues. New topics are featured daily, with coverage on climate change, energy, sustainable living, agriculture, and threats to air, water, and wildlife.

Airs Monday through Friday at 11:10 a.m. and 4:04 p.m. on WAMC.

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Selected Podcasts

Amazon in peril


A constitutional amendment being discussed in the Brazilian Senate threatens to set back decades of conservation efforts in the Amazon.

Size matters


One of the crowning achievements for wildlife protection in the US was the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge system in the 1930s, when the populations of waterfowl were perilously low. 

Outdoor lights dim nature


At night our planet is now bathed in artificial light, ranging from streetlights and floodlights to burning gas flares in oil fields. There are few places that are truly dark at night.

Lessons from the forest


For more than half a century, scientists have converged on Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire's White Mountains to explore how forest ecosystems work. The site was established by the U.S. Forest Service to study the relationship between forests and New England's water supply. 

Mapping emerging infectious diseases


Ebola. Hantavirus. Lyme disease. What do they have in common? Like most emerging infectious diseases, they originated in mammals. 

The trouble with burning forests


President Obama has set 2030 as the target for reducing U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to comply with the Paris Climate accord. Unfortunately, the Senate's new Energy Bill would allow states to count wood as a "carbon neutral" fuel when drawing up plans to comply with the EPA's Clean Power Plan.


Big data + technology = improved global health


Scientists are calling for the creation of a global early warning system for infectious diseases. Such a system would use computer models to tap into environmental, epidemiological, and molecular data – gathering the intelligence needed to forecast where disease risk is high.

Hidden costs of e-waste


Recycling is often a great thing. But, when you hear about the conditions under which electronic waste is disassembled by impoverished peoples of developing nations, it gives one pause.

Mobile apps empower citizen science


Citizen scientists play a vital role in raising awareness about the health of our nation's freshwater resources. Their efforts can help document water clarity and track harmful algal blooms and other indicators of poor water quality instrumental to sound management.

Tiny forest pests cause big problems


Each year, more than 25 million shipping containers enter the U.S. All too often, highly destructive forest pests are lurking among their imported goods. Wood boring insects arrive as stowaways in wood packaging, such as pallets and crates. 

Stop putting food waste down the drain


Should we really be putting food scraps down our sinks? Advertisements for kitchen garbage disposals assure us that these devices are a 'hygienic way of eliminating waste and keeping odors at bay' – but behind marketing materials questions remain.

Climate change redistributes global water resources


Worldwide, climate change isn't just raising temperatures, its also altering the distribution of water. So reports an inventive new study that tapped into archival water samples to reveal how sources of precipitation have changed over time.

Old car or new car?


Every few years many of us face a big decision: is it time to buy a new car? The trusty vehicle that has carried us so well has gotten too rusty to pass inspection or too old to assure us of its continued reliability. What vehicle choice is best for the environment?

De-extinction: opening Pandora’s box


De-extinction, or the act of bringing extinct species back from the dead, has been riding a wave of enthusiasm. Nearly 2 million people have watched Steward Brand's TED talk on the topic, and Beth Shapiro's book How to Clone a Mammoth has received rave reviews.

Keeping a pulse on our planet


The discovery of acid rain in North America was made possible by environmental data collected at a biological field station. Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest is just one of the many biological field stations located around the globe that are keeping a pulse on the health of our planet.

Who needs Aedes mosquitoes?


There are approximately 3,500 mosquito species in the world. Of those, only a few hundred are known to bite humans. And just two have adapted to breed almost exclusively in urban environments where they are in close proximity to people.

Social and ecological underpinnings of infectious disease


When it comes to addressing infectious disease, we have a short attention span. In the case of Zika, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency based on a strong association between Zika infection and microcephaly in newborns.

Bolivia's disappearing lake


Bolivia’s second largest lake has nearly disappeared. Lake Poopó, a saltwater lake located in a shallow depression in the Altiplano Mountains, used to cover an area about the size of Los Angeles. While it’s not the first time the lake has dried out, scientists believe its recovery hangs in the balance.


Go with the flow


Have you ever wondered what happens when a fish encounters a dam or a culvert? Too often, these structures are barriers to breeding and nursery sites, feeding grounds, and vital genetic mixing. In a warming world, barriers also prevent fish from seeking refuge as stream temperatures change.

lake superior

The world’s lakes are heating up


Climate change is causing the world's lakes to warm, with repercussions for fisheries and freshwater supplies. So reports an ambitious new study, funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, and recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.


Lake Ohrid: Respecting an elder


Nestled in the mountainous border between southwestern Macedonia and eastern Albania, Lake Ohrid is a deep, ancient lake. Its waters provide refuge to hundreds of plants and animals that live nowhere else, including seventeen species of fish.


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