Podcasts

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

Are fish made of maple leaves?

Podcast

Most of us learned about the aquatic food web in high school. Using a sealed aquarium, teachers explained that plants form the base of the web, with the organic carbon they create supporting aquatic life—from invertebrates to sport fish.

More wildlife diseases are making the leap to humans

Podcast

Research has found that when humans modify the environment, fragmenting habitat and reducing species diversity, we are more likely to contract diseases normally confined to wildlife.

Dams complicate river management

Podcast

Managing fish in human-altered rivers is a challenge because their food webs are sensitive to environmental disturbances.

What's all the talk about mute swans?

Podcast

In the late 1800s, mute swans were brought from Europe to the eastern U.S. to enhance the beauty of ponds on private estates.

deer

Have deer gotten a false rap for Lyme disease?

Podcast

It's commonly believed that Lyme disease risk is tied to the presence of deer ticks and white-tailed deer. But this simply isn't correct.

Not just hot summers, climate change will affect winter, too

Podcast

Most people think about global warming during the dog days of summer. But temperatures are rising in the winter too, and that means less snow.

Warming the tundra

Podcast

A lot of dead plant material is stored in the tundra soils of the far north. Most of it is frozen in permafrost, and inaccessible to the microbes that normally decompose organic matter in soils.

Let's quit carping about it

Podcast

In the 1960s, grass carp were brought to the U.S. from Asia to control weeds in southern fish-farming operations. Unfortunately, like so many other exotics, these fish escaped into the wild, and have been moving northward.

In a warmer world, the ticks that spread disease are arriving earlier

Podcast

In the northeastern US, warmer spring temperatures are leading to shifts in the emergence of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens.

pearly mussel

Why should we care about freshwater mussels?

Podcast

There were once three hundred species of mussels in the United States. They supplied food to Native Americans and people harvested them for pearls and for mother-of-pearl to make buttons. Now, hardly anyone eats freshwater mussels and buttons are mostly made of plastic.

Methane: The other greenhouse gas

Podcast

Most of us are familiar with the idea that we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to prevent global warming. Methane is also a problem, and we hear about it much less frequently. But compared to carbon dioxide, methane's impact on climate change is some twenty times more powerful.

Powassan encephalitis

Podcast

The number of tick-borne illnesses reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the rise. Lyme disease leads the pack, with some 35,000 cases reported annually. 

The sound of spring

Podcast

In the Northeast, one of the first signs of spring is the unmistakable calling of the spring peeper. While this small frog weighs only a few grams, its mating call is louder than that of many songbirds ten times its size.

cardinal

Eavesdropping on your neighbors? Even the birds do it

Podcast

Most of us use the sounds around our homes to take measure of our neighborhood—it's all part of the information we process about our surroundings.

rain puddle

Acid rain: Progress but not triumph

Podcast

Though not in the news as much as it once was, acid rain remains a problem. Power plants, factories, and vehicles give off sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions, which react in the atmosphere to form sulfuric and nitric acids. These acids are then deposited back onto the landscape in rain, snow, fog, or particles.

Marine invaders in the global marketplace

Podcast

Next time you go shopping, keep an eye out for the origins of the things you purchase. From kiwis grown in Chile to shirts made in Bangladesh – we are living in the age of the global marketplace.

burmese python

Invasive species: good, bad, or neither?

Podcast

When we hear about the devastation caused by invasive species like emerald ash borers and hemlock wooly adelgids, it is easy to believe that all invasives should be killed. But in fact many well established invasives have neutral or even positive qualities: witness the popular sport fish rainbow trout and large-mouth bass.

acorns

Where did all the acorns go?

Podcast

For many years, oaks in the Northeast were prolific acorn producers. The 2010 crop was record-breaking—many will recall getting hit with acorn rain or slipping on acorns underfoot. Last fall, however, acorns were scarce.

Grow vegetable gardens instead of lawns!

Podcast

For years, I lived in a densely wooded neighborhood in suburban North Carolina. Anyone who wanted to grow vegetables needed to plant them in the front yard, where there was much more sunlight. 

Predicting the forest of the future

Podcast

We hear a lot about how climate change will affect forests. Some projections show wholesale loss of species in the western U.S., due to fire and pests.

Fish have to eat

Podcast

My colleague Emma Rosi is an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute. One of her research projects involves an endangered fish called the humpback chub. She and her team spend a lot of time counting insects in the Colorado River downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam. You might think her time would be better spent counting the actual fish, but her approach will provide us with a lot more information.

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