Future Ecologies

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How did nuclear testing accidentally reshape our understanding of food webs and marine ecology? Why did sea otters bounce back from near-extinction on some parts of the Pacific coast, but are still absent in others? We speak with Dr. Jim Estes (a godfather of the field) about a series of serendipitous events that led to the re-writing of textbook ecology.This is part one of our three-part series on kelp worlds.For a full list of music credits, citations, and more, head over to https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-2-7-trophic-cascadia To support the work that we do, and to get access to monthly bonus mini-episodes, a community Discord, and more, pay what you can at https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies
Who, or what, is a Naturalist? With the help of author Briony Penn, we trace the intertwined stories of two pivotal characters in the modern environmental movement: Cecil Paul (Wa'xaid) & the late Ian McTaggart-Cowan. These larger-than-life figures inspired a generation to reconnect, intellectually and spiritually, with the natural world. Associate producer Fern Yip investigates what it all means to the youth of today.Adam and Fern are your hosts on this episode. Mendel is busy making a series of bonus mini-episodes on the weird and wonderful world of Fungi exclusively for our supporters on Patreon. Support the show, and get access to these episodes for as little as $1/month.Music in this episode was produced by kmathz, VALSI, Luke and Charissa Garrigus, Claude Debussy, Leave, Sunfish Moon Light.
The past two years have been the worst fire years on record across the west coast of North America, with whole communities being engulfed in flames and smoke enveloping major cities for weeks. But as the airways fill once again with stories of valiant fire-fighters and people who’ve lost their homes, we answer some burning questions that seem to always fly under the radar. For example:How long have fires been burning on this planetHave our ecologies always been adapted to fire?What role did indigenous peoples play in lighting fires in the past?And how can we return prescribed burns to sensitive ecosystems?To answer these questions, we talk to regional experts, including internationally renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Nancy Turner, in this first part of our two-part series, On Fire.Find shownotes, sources, and musical credits at https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-5-on-fire-pt-1
How are human activities changing our oceans, and why do these changes all seem to support a new age of jellyfish? What are these ancient, diverse beings: harbingers of doom, or simply the most well-adapted form of life in the sea? In this episode we go jellyfishing for answers with preeminent jellyfish researchers Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin and Dr. Lucas Brotz.If you’d like to dive into more detail about a number of fascinating jellyfish species, we have a series of mini-episodes featuring Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin – available only to our Patreon supporters at www.patreon.com/futureecologies
Almost exactly one year ago, a series of devastating earthquakes rocked southern Mexico. But what if it’s not the earthquakes themselves that pose the greatest threat to these communities? The conflict between institutional and grassroots disaster response in the aftermath of these earthquakes provides a powerful illustration of the tensions that have underlain the concept of development ever since President Truman’s second inaugural address in 1949. In this episode, Oaxacan deprofessionalized intellectual Gustavo Esteva guides us through his thinking on capitalism, disaster response, and what lies beyond development.Find shownotes, sources, and musical credits at https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-7-help-not-helping
In this second part of our two-episode series, On Fire, we look at ways to move our civilization forward – without continuing to deny the role of fire in our landscapes. We discuss how prescribed burns are currently conducted, radical new (and old) perspectives on land management policy, and practical techniques for everyone in fire country to protect their homes, their communities, and their forests.Find shownotes, sources, and musical credits at https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-6-on-fire-pt-2
Future Ecologies is recorded on the unceded territories of the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm) Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil- Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh) Nations - otherwise known as Vancouver, British Columbia. But what does that mean?In this proto-episode of Future Ecologies, we talk to indigenous plant diva T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, about how, as non-indigenous people, we can podcast respectfully on unceded indigenous territory. It’s our way of acknowledging the the land we live on and the ever-present role that indigenous peoples will play in the stories to come. Also, Cease tells some great stories of her own.Find show notes for this episode at www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-1-decolonize-this-podcast
This is an excerpt from episode 5 of our Patreon-exclusive series: “Meet Your Fungal Associates” Pay what you can – as little as a $1 per month – to unlock this entire episode, and our whole back catalogue of bonus monthly mini-episodes.https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies
So long as police exercise violence with impunity, we will never be safe.So long as a badge is a license to murder without accountability, it will be sought by those who desire tyranny.So long as the agents of enforcement are from outside the communities they patrol, they will never understand its needs.So long as our governments choose to fund aggression over nourishment, healthcare, & education, we will never have justice and we will never have peace.We reject fascism. We call for the disarming and defunding of police. We stand for sanctuary and respect for all beings – and in this moment, we stand for Black lives especially.Black lives matter.Trans lives matter.Indigenous lives matter.– – – –Donate to 40 community bail funds at once: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd Join and support Vancouver-area mutual aid organizations: https://mutualaid.shadowsmile.ca/Donate to Critical Resistance: http://criticalresistance.org/donate/ways-to-give/Join and support Black Visions Minnesota: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/Listen to Justice in America (episode 20) https://theappeal.org/justice-in-america-episode-20-mariame-kaba-and-prison-abolition/Listen to Intersectionality Matters! http://bit.ly/intersectionalitymattersListen to Pod for the Cause https://civilrights.org/podforthecause/A reading list on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminalization of Blackness https://www.radicalhistoryreview.org/abusablepast/reading-towards-abolition-a-reading-list-on-policing-rebellion-and-the-criminalization-of-blackness/
Heads up: Future Ecologies will be back in your feed soon! We’re sorry you had to wait so long.Music by PORTBOU
Scales of Change is an 8-part, weekly mini-series. Get each episode a day early at scales-of-change.captivate.fm/listen––––In this chapter we meet our first genus of dragons: Artusnoia – the dragons of Limited Cognition.Among them, the twin dragons of Perceived Behavioural Control, and Perceived Self Efficacy (A. impotens & A. parvoperitia, respectively) are perhaps the greatest challenge to meaningful climate action. Join us as we discover the subtle shifts that can make all the difference.To learn more about the Dragons of Climate Inaction (+ musical credits, citations, and more) visit futureecologies.net/dragons
Scales of Change is an 8-part, weekly mini-series. Get each episode a day early at scales-of-change.captivate.fm/listen––––Before we lace up our boots and head into the field, some introductions are in order.What are the Dragons of Climate Inaction? Where do they come from? And why, especially now, are they so important?To learn more about the Dragons of Climate Inaction (+ musical credits, citations, and more) visit futureecologies.net/dragons
A more efficient world is simply cleaner, greener, and more sustainable. Or is it? This month, we’re exploring some of the ways we can reset our long-standing paradigms of labour, productivity, and efficiency. Take a break with us. For a full list of music credits, citations, and more, head over to https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-2-6-podcasters-of-the-world-relax For more by Outside / In, get to http://outsideinradio.org To read Conrad’s work, find “Alternatives to Growth: Efficiency Shifting” or “Workers of the World, Relax” at your favourite book store. To support the work that we do, and to get access to monthly bonus mini-episodes and more, pay what you can at https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies Photo by Alex Goetz
To find out what the future might hold for Kelp, Sea Otters, Urchin, and Abalone, we're taking you to Haida Gwaii – an archipelago famous for both its deep culture and unique ecology. In Gwaii Haanas, the Islands of Beauty, a surprising experiment is taking shape, and we're going to dive right in.We go from mountain top to sea floor, and we finally get to meet the fastest snail in the west.This is the final chapter of our three-part series on kelp worlds. Click here to listen to part one, Trophic Cascadia, and here for part two, Ocean PeopleThis episode features Stu Crawford, Captain Gold, Lynn Lee, Dan Okamoto, and Nate Spindel, and more.For lots of photos from our adventure to Haida Gwaii, musical credits, citations, and more head to https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-2-9-in-the-balanceSupport Future Ecologies and get monthly bonus episodes and more! https://www.patreon.com/futureecologiesKelp forest photo by Alex Mustard
No matter where we call home, the land beneath us has been in a long and constant relationship with people. Some of these people may be our ancestors, some may not. This episode is about how we move forward from a fragmented past; how we build community in our shared spaces; and how a women-led movement can bring collective healing to a deeply storied land. Come with us to Ohlone territory – from Tuyshtak (Mt. Diablo) to the East Bay, and meet the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.This episode features Corrina Gould, Johnella LaRose, Gavin Raders, and Siena Ezekiel.Music in this episode was produced by VALSI, Ben Hamilton, Hildegard’s Ghost, Leucrocuta, Spencer W Stuart, Cat Can Do, Jose Guzman, and Sunfish Moon Light.To learn more about the West Berkeley Shell Mound project, visit shellmound.org or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZoapMtyRsA If you’d like to learn more about the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, and pay your Shuumi Tax, go to sogoreate-landtrust.com. Or, if you live in Seattle, check out realrentduwamish.org to pay your rent. Eureka listeners, you can find the Wiyot’s honor tax at honortax.org. Curious about Planting Justice and their nursery? Check out plantingjustice.org and rollingrivernursery.com.Find full show notes for this episode at www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-2-4-rematriationTo support the work that we do, and to get access to monthly bonus mini-episodes and more, pay what you can at www.patreon.com/futureecologiesCover photo of Tuyshtak (Mt Diablo) by Hitchster
The world is full of sound. With the help of Hildegard Westerkamp, Bernie Krause, and Nick Friedman, we untangle some of the amazing ways that we can learn about our planet by listening to it. Join us as we explore the nature of sound through the sounds of nature. Featuring sublime electroacoustic composition, stunning field recordings, and cutting-edge scientific research, it all begins by listening.For a full list of music & soundscape credits, citations, and more, head over to https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-2-5-the-nature-of-sound To support the work that we do, and to get access to monthly bonus mini-episodes and more, pay what you can at https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies Cover illustration by Katie Lukes
Forever is a really long time. This episode is about death, and its transformative power on the landscape. It’s also the last episode of Season 1.It may be trivial to remind you that death is an unavoidable part of life. However, death is an act that leaves ripples in life. Some may last for thousands of years.⁣⁣You might expect us to talk about new sustainable burial technologies (See: Jae Rhim Lee & Katrina Spade), and honestly so did we. As we started working on it, we realized that we would rather let TED Talks handle that sort of thing. Instead, this episode takes a broad view through the lens of ritual, urban planning, and ecological entanglements, with a distinct focus on the Salish Sea.It’s been a huge honour to bring you all of these stories over the past 5 months. This seemed like the most appropriate way to close out our first season. We can’t wait to bring you Season 2!For extended show notes, musical credits and more, head to www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-1-11-funerary-ecologies
We’ve dropped an album. Those in the know might recognize the prolific Sunfish Moon Light as the musical alter-ego of Future Ecologies co-host, Adam Huggins.Now you can listen to the original, full-length instrumentals that set the mood for Season 1.Click here to preview the album for free, or buy it for $8.
Today is the 10th anniversary of the rediscovery of the Franciscan manzanita! To celebrate, we're re-releasing this episode from Season 1.What do you do when you find the last individual of a species previously thought to be extinct? The two rarest plants on earth both live in the Presidio of San Francisco, they’re both in the same genus, and there’s only one left of each. Is there a future for these species, and if so, what does it look like? And what can species on the brink tell us about ourselves and the future of our ecosystems?An update from Dan Glusenkamp:“Today the mother plant is thriving, hundreds of clones are growing in dozens of botanic gardens across California, and baby plants are being reintroduced to their ancestral home in the Presidio. What’s more, the project inspired even more ambitious work –for example, Newsome Administration recently budgeted funds to enable scientists to collect seeds from all California’s rare plants, so they can be placed in long term storage toward ending extinction.”Click here to learn more about the California Native Plant SocietyMusic for this episode was produced by PORTBOU and Sunfish Moon Light.
Dams remain one of the ultimate demonstrations of human power over nature. Wild rivers can be tamed to deliver energy for industry, lakes for recreation, and water for agriculture. But severing the link between land and sea has come with grave ecological costs. The impact of dams on salmon populations has been especially obvious and painful.This is part one of a two-part series on dam removals. In this episode, we return to the Klamath river to examine the fierce conflict (and unlikely partnerships) in pursuit of the deconstruction of 4 major dams.Find shownotes, sources, and musical credits at https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-9-swimming-upstream
The story of modern-day North America begins with the systematic genocide and displacement of indigenous peoples. The social and ecological consequences of this founding trauma have become clearer over time, but so far relatively little has been done to address this at the federal, state, and provincial levels. In this episode, we zero in on two violently displaced tribes in California - the Wiyot and the Amah Mutsun - and tell the stories of their respective journeys to return to the spiritual centers of their worlds. Along the way, we ask a simple question: can the wrongs of the past be addressed, at least in part, by the return of stolen lands?Find show notes for this episode at www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-2-this-is-where-it-begins
SummaryWe’re starting off the year with lots of exciting news.First off, our friends at Half Wild are hosting a live Future Ecologies evening on January 8th in Oakland, California. Sadly, Mendel is stuck in Canada for this one. Adam will be joined by Rucha Chitnis, a photo journalist who explores ecological preservation / resistance movements, and presents an indispensable counter-narrative of the women’s work within. The event is free of charge, and will be a lovely night of conversation and shared food, plus a screening of Rucha’s award winning documentary short “In the Land of My Ancestors”. Find the event on Facebook or at HalfWild.EarthNext, we have a very special announcement about some of the music on the show (produced by one Sunfish Moon Light), and updates to our iNaturalist citizen science endeavours. Listen now to learn more.
Season 2 may be over, but Future Ecologies is still going strong.We're so excited to announce that our new *weekly* 8-part miniseries will hitting your podcast feed on May 13th. Listen on for the trailer.Subscribe to Scales of Change at https://scales-of-change.captivate.fm/listen
Lichens: ecosystems unto themselves. They’re diverse, apparently ubiquitous, and foundational to life on terrestrial earth. But this episode isn’t really about lichen. It’s about an endangered species that relies on a lichen diet – a diet that is disappearing as fast as the old growth forest in British Columbia. Southern Mountain Caribou are at the nexus of a heated debate about conservation. What can we save? What should we let go? And most importantly, what are we willing to admit about the policies that brought us to this point?For extended show notes, musical credits and more, head to www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-2-1-enlichenment-and-the-triage-of-life
During the devastating September 9, 2017 earthquake off the coast of southern Mexico, residents of Mexico City and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala witnessed mysterious bursts of light in the sky. These lights, however, were not UFOs, exploding transformers, or evidence of a mysterious government conspiracy - instead, they were examples of a long-documented phenomenon known as “earthquake lights.”Can these mysterious lights in the sky help us learn to anticipate earthquakes? Can physics explain the strange animal behaviour linked to seismic activity? We unravel the science – and controversy – of a new interpretation of geophysics, and we talk to two groups developing very different technologies with the same goal: saving lives from earthquake disaster.Find shownotes for this episode at www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe1-4-luces-en-el-cielo
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Podcast Details

Jul 17th, 2018
Latest Episode
Mar 11th, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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