Podcasts

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.

Access the complete archive of Earth Wise podcasts:
www.earthwiseradio.org.

Selected Podcasts

Mapping Emerging Infectious Diseases

Podcast

Ebola. Hantavirus. Lyme disease. What do they have in common? Like most emerging infectious diseases, they originated in mammals. So many debilitating pathogens make the jump from wildlife and livestock to humans, yet at the global scale little is known about where people are most at risk of outbreaks.

The Trouble with Burning Forests

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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?

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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?

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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.

dam

Go with the flow

Podcast

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

Podcast

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.

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Lake Ohrid: Respecting an elder

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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

Podcast

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.

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Ecology and designing future cities

Podcast

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. 

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