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

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 and a spike in Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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.

day burners

The fight against day burners


A U.S. Department of Energy webpage states that "about 10% of street lights are brightly lit during daytime and essentially waste electricity due to faulty photosensors." Such lights are called "day burners." While some think the 10% figure is a slight overestimate, the electricity day burners waste is significant nonetheless.

Road salt


Snow season is here. The chances are good you'll find yourself behind a truck spreading salt on the roads in an attempt to deice them. You may even try a little salt on your own front porch. Annually we spread about 20 million tons of road salt in the U.S., and we've been doing it since the late 1930s.

Listening to forest data


The forest is playing a symphony. By tapping into environmental monitoring sensors at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a tool called WaterViz captures a real-time audio visualization of the forest’s water cycle.


Ecology and designing future cities


When most people hear the word 'ecology' – chances are it conjures up images of scientists working in distant, wild landscapes, such as old growth forests or remote mountain lakes. 

Beavers: nature’s nitrogen busters


Beavers are one of nature's most industrious engineers. Using branches and mud, the intrepid animals create dams that slow moving water. In New York's Hudson Valley, their constructions are a common sight on streams and in wetlands.

Feast before the famine


New York's Hudson Valley is experiencing a "mast year." Mast refers to the seeds of woody plants that are eaten by wildlife. "Soft mast" has seeds surrounded by fleshy pulp, and includes berries and fruits. "Hard mast" has seeds protected by an outer coat, such as acorns and hickory nuts.


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