Beavers: Engineers for Our Planet

Photo credit: Chris Canipe

Today’s show features:
Employing Beavers (start time: 11:12):  Some consider them pests. Others praise them as saviors of the environment. Whatever your impression of these furry swimming rodents, beavers are gaining more proponents for their ability to make landscapes, and thus humans, more resilient to climate change. Through their dams and lodges, beavers raise water levels, moisten fire-prone forest soil, slow water speed, and thus prevent flooding while storing more water. Host Susan Moran talks with Jessica Doran, a wildlife biologist with EcoMetrics Colorado; and Aaron Hall, senior aquatic biologist with Defenders of Wildlife, about the promises and complexities of employing beavers as ecosystem engineers.
Beaver resources:
iBeaver (crowdsourcing App from Defenders of Wildlife)
How On Earth 2018 interview with Eager author Ben Goldfarb
Rewilding the American West (Ripple et al, BioScience, 2022)

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Show Producer: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Headline contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender, Tom Yulsman

Listen to the show here:


Global Weirdness // Institute for Social and Environmental Transition

Why global climate change is real. (Random House 2012)
We feel it when we step into the heat outside; something weird is up with the climate. . Not only is it hot, we’re weathering a drought of historic proportions. That drought has set the stage for crop losses and for wildfires that are burning up the homes of people who live in the mountains here in Colorado. And the strangeness continues across the globe. We learn on the internet that ice at the poles is melting feverishly. And we’ve just lost another huge chunk. Last week scientists announced that in Greenland, a mass of glacial ice twice the size of Manhattan Island is slipping away. To help us make sense of the strangeness, we talk with Michael Lemonick, coauthor of the new book: Global Weirdness, Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future.

2010 Pakistan floods from space (NASA)
We next turn to new ideas about how humans can adapt to global weirdness, by undoing what we’ve always done. Marcus Moench, the Director of Boulder’s Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, joins us to talk about why de-engineering the floodplains in South Asia may be best.

Hosts: Jim Pullen and Joel Parker
Producer: Jim Pullen
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Susan Moran