Our podcasts focus on raising awareness about the science that underpins environmental issues. Topics include climate change, energy, sustainable living, agriculture, and threats to air, water, and wildlife.

From 2012-2016, we collaborated with WAMC Radio to produce Earth Wise, a daily segment broadcast twice a day.

We are now partnering with Pulse of the Planet which broadcasts on over 270 (national and international) stations.

Selected Podcasts

We need more free-range kids


Once-upon-a-time, kids were expected to amuse themselves outdoors. Today, fears of shady neighbors and bodily harm have led to a nation of parents who appear content to keep their kids inside, playing computer games, surfing the web, texting, and watching TV.

Biodiversity is good for us


There are many reasons to protect Earth's biodiversity. One of the more underrated is that disease incidence is lower when ecosystems support a variety of plants and animals.

Missing monarchs


We have talked about monarch butterflies before. The orange and black butterflies are often used in school lessons about insect ecology. Monarch caterpillars forage exclusively on milkweed; in the process they acquire foul-tasting chemicals that ward off predators. In late summer, monarchs living in the Eastern U.S. migrate to overwintering grounds in Mexico.

The case for mixed recycling


In the early days of recycling, people diligently sorted their waste, with bins for paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass. Comingled approaches are becoming more common. They require less effort, so more households comply.

Watch out for this weed!


Weeds are the bane of many a gardener's or landscaper's existence. They sprout up, uncontrolled and unwelcome, and must be tediously managed time and again. But some weeds are more than a nuisance – they rise to the level of a public health hazard. Such is the case with giant hogweed.

On the care of our common home


Religions are based on systems of faith, morals, and practice. Science is based on a system of theories, evidence, and hypothesis testing. Both are embedded in the structures of society where a convergence of beliefs and knowledge can often work together for a common social good.

Valuing wetlands


The value of wetlands extends beyond evenings in early spring, when a chorus of peepers makes the woods come alive with the sound of their music. Or when you stumble upon a male wood duck in a secluded forest pond— and marvel at its colorful beauty.

Forecasting future infectious disease outbreaks


From Ebola and bird flu to Lyme disease and West Nile virus, most emerging infectious diseases are transmitted from animals to humans, with more than a billion people suffering each year. Safeguarding public health requires effective surveillance tools. 

Has phragmites met its match?


Goats are gaining a reputation as allies in the fight against invasive plants. Urban parks, college campuses, and nature preserves are taking advantage of their appetites and agility.


Why did the frog cross the road?


Here in the Northeast, after a long winter signs of spring have finally arrived. Many of us are tuned into budding plants and migratory birds. It's also a great time to take a hike and observe the awakening of amphibian life.

Why volcanoes are not driving climate change


Once in a while, one will hear the argument that volcanoes are to blame for rising carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. There are several reasons why this can't be the case

Time to hug a tree


Forest preservation is essential to combating climate change. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide, storing it in their wood. Forest destruction is responsible for about 20% of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions into the Earth's atmosphere.

Spring flooding shapes streams


In the Northeast, streams once covered in ice are flowing again. The floods that often accompany spring thaw bring big changes to these ecosystems.

The problem with coal ash


Coal combustion in the U.S. generates around 130 million tons of coal ash each year, with power plants being the largest contributors. Bottom ash is collected from combustion chambers and fly ash is gathered from smokestacks and air pollution control devices.

Trade and trees


Debate about the Trans-Pacific Partnership overlooks an unintended consequence of increased trade with Asia – the assault on America's trees.

The case for messy woodlands


Does your property contain a patch of forest? When managing your woodland, resist the urge to keep things tidy. Dead and dying trees are a healthy part of forest ecosystems.

Leaky pipes and polluted waters


Most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about our wastewater. We want our toilets to flush and our dirty wash water to go down the drain. We assume this water is efficiently routed to a treatment facility, where it is cleaned up and returned to the environment. But reality doesn't measure up to our expectations.

Too much of a good thing


Bags of garden fertilizer are labeled with three numbers, such as 15-4-5. These numbers indicate the percent of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the product. The remainder of the bag is filler that helps the fertilizer disperse.

The downside of nitrogen fertilizer


Yesterday, we introduced the topic of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Anyone with a lawn or a garden is familiar with the product. But prior to the 1950s, it use was not the norm.

Toads: Warty, toxic, and resilient


This spring, amphibians displayed their singing skills in the flooded lowlands at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies' Millbrook, NY campus. Eastern American toads were major contributors to the evening chorus, which was at times deafening.

Cleaning up with mussels


Zebra mussels are one of the most pernicious invasive species in the United States having infested the Great Lakes in the 1980s and then having spread to 29 states by hitching rides on boats on inland waterways.


Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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