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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Outdoor Learning Safer in the Pandemic

 

As schools and pre-schools prepare to reopen, some educators are considering the benefits of outdoor learning to help lower the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In Scotland, nature-based preschools were already popular before the pandemic. Cameron Sprague, a team leader at nature-based Stramash nursery school in Fort William, Scotland, spoke with Bobby Bascomb about how he and his fellow educators incorporate outdoor learning into their preschool curriculum, and the many benefits of outdoor education.

 

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As schools and pre-schools prepare to reopen, some educators are considering the benefits of outdoor learning to help lower the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In Scotland, nature-based preschools were already popular before the pandemic. Cameron Sprague, a team leader at nature-based Stramash nursery school in Fort William, Scotland, spoke with Bobby Bascomb about how he and his fellow educators incorporate outdoor learning into their preschool curriculum, and the many benefits of outdoor education.

Backyard Tigers in America

 

Private ownership of big cats is completely legal in several US states. In fact, experts estimate more tigers live in captivity in the United States than remain in the wild. Bobby Bascomb speaks with investigative journalist Rachel Nuwer, host of the podcast “Cat People”, about the exotic predators living in roadside zoos and backyards.

 

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The Farmer The Grain The Miller The Sea

 

Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence, Mark Seth Lender, takes a moment to reflect on seeing the food chain of the Atlantic Ocean at work.

 

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Animal City: The Domestication of America

 

American cities were once home to large numbers of livestock: cows grazing Boston Common, pigs roaming through what’s now downtown Manhattan. Then the nineteenth century brought cultural change and reform, and a new relationship with animals. The history of this transformation is the focus of Animal City: The Domestication of America by environmental historian Andrew Robichaud, who spoke with Jenni Doering.

 

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Food Waste Increase in the Pandemic

 

Long before the COVID-19 disruptions forced dairy farmers to dump swimming pool quantities of milk into fields, a third of all food produced was going to waste, with huge consequences for hunger and the climate. John Mandyck, the CEO of the Urban Green Council, joins Steve Curwood to discuss how improving distribution, consumer habits, and “best-by” labels can reduce food waste, feed the hungry, save money and reduce carbon emissions.

 

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Tips for Low-Waste Living

 

Sustainable living can be as much about returning to old, thrifty traditions as it is about innovative technologies. Social media influencer Julia Watkins set out on a low-waste journey and discovered that food scraps can be repurposed in everything from soups to crackers to household cleaners. Julia Watkins is the author of the new book, “Simply Living Well: A Guide to Creating a Natural Low Waste Home” and joins Host Steve Curwood to share some of the recipes she learned along the way.

 

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The Great Lakes and Climate Change

 

In the last 30 years the largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area, Lake Superior, has warmed nearly six degrees Fahrenheight. The increased temperature is a boon to some fish but warmer water is also more suitable for some species.

 

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Baby Polar Bear Rescue

 

Climate Change is making life difficult for polar bears across the world. But an orphaned Alaska bear cub is about to get a new home, and a new sibling, at the Buffalo Zoo in upstate New York.

 

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Hummingbirds in the Canyon

 

Watching hummingbirds in Arizona's Madera Canyon gave Mark Seth Lender an up close view of their interactions, and a chance to take spectacular photos.

 

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Hurricanes and COVID-19

2020 is likely to be the warmest on record and the Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be worse than average with three or more extremely dangerous storms. Should those storms come ashore FEMA, the US agency responsible for disaster recovery and response, is at risk of being overwhelmed as it already has to handle the novel coronavirus pandemic, and a backlog from past storms, wildfires and floods. For more on the intersection between storm response and COVID-19, Steve Curwood talks with Rachel Cleetus, Lead Economist and Policy Director for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Outdoor Learning Safer in the Pandemic

As schools and pre-schools prepare to reopen, some educators are considering the benefits of outdoor learning to help lower the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In Scotland, nature-based preschools were already popular before the pandemic. Cameron Sprague, a team leader at nature-based Stramash nursery school in Fort William, Scotland, spoke with Bobby Bascomb about how he and his fellow educators incorporate outdoor learning into their preschool curriculum, and the many benefits of outdoor education.

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Why Fish Don’t Exist

Fish scientist David Starr Jordan discovered thousands of new fish species around 1900, and kept going even as he faced repeated disasters that threatened to obliterate his life’s work. His stubborn optimism is the springboard for science journalist Lulu Miller’s new book, “Why Fish Don’t Exist”, and the search for order in a cold, chaotic world. Lulu Miller and Steve Curwood discuss what her journey into science and the past uncovered about the astonishing life of David Starr Jordan.

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This Week’s Show
May 29, 2020
listen / download


Hurricanes and COVID-19

listen / download
2020 is likely to be the warmest on record and the Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be worse than average with three or more extremely dangerous storms. Should those storms come ashore FEMA, the US agency responsible for disaster recovery and response, is at risk of being overwhelmed as it already has to handle the novel coronavirus pandemic, and a backlog from past storms, wildfires and floods. For more on the intersection between storm response and COVID-19, Steve Curwood talks with Rachel Cleetus, Lead Economist and Policy Director for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Beyond the Headlines

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This week, Peter Dykstra and Steve Curwood discuss how stagnant plumbing may pose a health risk as public buildings that had been shut down during the pandemic reopen. Also, it’s now easier for people in urban areas to hear bird songs, as noise pollution has decreased due to the pandemic. And in environmental history, they discuss the 50th anniversary of the peregrine falcon, the brown pelican, and the leatherback sea turtle joining the endangered species list.

Outdoor Learning Safer in the Pandemic

listen / download
As schools and pre-schools prepare to reopen, some educators are considering the benefits of outdoor learning to help lower the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In Scotland, nature-based preschools were already popular before the pandemic. Cameron Sprague, a team leader at nature-based Stramash nursery school in Fort William, Scotland, spoke with Bobby Bascomb about how he and his fellow educators incorporate outdoor learning into their preschool curriculum, and the many benefits of outdoor education.

The Pear Tree

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Writer Jennifer Berry reflects on the wonders of a pear tree from her pre-pandemic life. Warblers, mockingbirds, and cedar waxwings are just a few of the creatures that find a feast in an old yet fruitful pear tree.

Climate and Marine Disease

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Climate disruption is wreaking havoc on the oceans of the world and the creatures that live there, including sea stars and salmon. Kori Suzuki reports.

Why Fish Don’t Exist

listen / download
Fish scientist David Starr Jordan discovered thousands of new fish species around 1900, and kept going even as he faced repeated disasters that threatened to obliterate his life’s work. His stubborn optimism is the springboard for science journalist Lulu Miller’s new book, “Why Fish Don’t Exist”, and the search for order in a cold, chaotic world. Lulu Miller and Steve Curwood discuss what her journey into science and the past uncovered about the astonishing life of David Starr Jordan.


Special Features

Outdoor Learning Safer in the Pandemic + "The Pear Tree"

listen / download
As some schools and pre-schools prepare to reopen, educators are considering the health and educational benefits of outdoor learning to help lower the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In Scotland, nature-based preschools were already popular before the pandemic. Also, writer Jennifer Berry reflects on the wonders of a pear tree from her pre-pandemic life. Warblers, mockingbirds, and cedar waxwings are just a few of the creatures that find a feast in an old yet fruitful pear tree.
Blog Series: The Podcast from Living On Earth

Lulu Miller on "Why Fish Don't Exist"

listen / download
Lulu Miller of NPR’s “Invisibilia” joins Host Steve Curwood to discuss her new book, “Why Fish Don’t Exist”, which follows the astonishing story of fish scientist David Starr Jordan. He discovered thousands of new fish species around 1900, and kept going even as he faced repeated disasters that threatened to obliterate his life’s work. But his stubborn optimism had a dark side.
Blog Series: The Podcast from Living On Earth


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...Ultimately, if we are going prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them...

-- President Barack Obama, November 6, 2015 on why he declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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