In this concluding episode of Season 1 (we have seasons now!), I’m talking with someone who is literally an expert on ocean storytelling. Dr. Kelly Bushnell explains how she managed to combine scuba diving and Victorian literature, and takes us on a journey from Greenland to the Salish Sea to the Galapagos. We chat feminism, the connections between colonialism and natural resource exploitation, and the narrative of climate change. As Kelly says, “when problems are caused by humans, they have to be solved by humans from every discipline.”
This month, join me and my dad, a wetland scientist, as we explore wetlands from all over the world. We have forests that are wetlands, wetlands that are mountains, bogs that catch on fire, and seasonal puddles that host a wild amount of life. Oh, and wetlands with 10,000-year-old people stuck in them.
How are coral reefs, chemistry, and composting all connected? Tune in to find out! In this episode I chat with a new scientist friend who studies ocean acidification and coral reefs in the Florida Keys. From labs filled with experiments, to reefs of baby coral polyps, to a scuba dive trip, Amanda and I nerd out about one of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet.
This month we’re jumping into a massive freshwater ecosystem: the Everglades. And yes, “jumping in” is a literal statement. My friend Bree and I talk about the unique environment that is southern Florida, alligators, “the Grand Dame of the Everglades,” and more, all while tromping through mud and shin-deep water.
Ever wonder what happened to that entangled whale you heard about in the news, or that harbor seal you saw on a beach in pretty rough shape? Well in this episode we’re getting an inside look at a marine wildlife hospital. Casey Mclean is the executive director of Sealife Response + Rehabilitation + Research, a nonprofit dedicated to, yup you guessed it, the response, rehabilitation and research of marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. Her work with wildlife and veterinary medicine has taken her all over the country, saving injured animals, and this past spring she opened up a hospital in Washington to care for even more of them. We talk about harbor seal pups, sperm whales, oil spills, and the challenges of being a land mammal caring for ocean mammals.
It’s time to get your binoculars out and your birding hats on, we’re heading out into the field. In this episode, I’m in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, sailing through storms and looking for cool birds. Kevin, the resident birder of the trip, walks us through how to ID birds we’re unfamiliar with, tells us fun facts about sea birds, and even whistles his best bird call: a chickadee asking for a cheeseburger.
Sea stars have been battling a disease outbreak for a decade on the western shores of the U.S. It effects many species, hits them quickly, and has even sent the sunflower star plummeting into “critically endangered” territory. And the way this disease works is a sea star’s very own version of a zombie apocalypse, with otherwise healthy limbs strewn across beaches and populations gone in just a few short weeks. So, if you’re a fan of zombie dramas, welcome to the real-life version of that. Whoever started the rumor that zombies are afraid of water clearly wasn’t a marine biologist.
The guest for this episode is Dr. Drew Harvell, an ocean disease scientist who has studied everything from corals, to sea grass to sea stars. She walks us through what we know about this sea star epidemic and what things might look like in the future.
This episode we’re talking about science communication, and more specifically, climate change art. Jill Pelto is a watercolor artist that takes data about wildfires, melting glaciers, or ocean temperature changes and incorporates them into beautiful watercolor landscapes of the subject. She also moonlights as a climate scientist and has regularly found herself in places like Antarctica and the glaciers of Northern Washington. So if you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to paint in below-freezing temperatures, this is your episode.
More sharks! More sharks! This episode we switch coasts over to Florida and chat with a shark scientist about the research she does on sharks big and small. We talk about how Abby got hooked on sharks when she saw one demolish a sea turtle, how shark embryos have superpowers, how rare shark bites actually are, and of course, about her awesome research relating to light pollution in our ocean.
Imagine you are out surfing on some great waves in the Pacific Ocean. The day is beautiful, the company is wonderful… and then you see a shark. What would you do? In this episode, we hear from Ben Furbee, a friend of mine who essentially slipped out of the womb and onto a surfboard. He’s seen lots of sharks in the wild, and has some epic stories about encounters he’s had with these often-misunderstood creatures. Ever wondered how fast a shark swims? Or which species is the Baby Yoda of the sea? Tune in to find out.